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    Is that your hand in my pocket or am I just happy to see you?

    December 18th, 2006 by steve

    I’ve never been pickpocketed and never understood the stories from people who talk about having their wallet stolen in a crowd. I guess I spend a fair amount of concentration on whose hand is on my butt, so it never made sense to me that you wouldn’t notice an extra hand in your back pocket. Well, I finally got a chance to test my reflexes in the Addis Ababa market. The ‘mercato’ is claimed to be the largest market in all of Africa. Whether or not it is the biggest, it is certainly a monster that extends forever in all directions around you and is well known as a center for petty crime. Down by the live chickens, we were getting pressed through a narrow space between a few henhouses and a passing truck when I noticed something near my pocket that wasn’t me. I spun around to find some dude’s hand about to go into my pocket. After grabbing him and giving him a good talking to, I wasn’t sure what I should do next short of walking a couple kilometers looking for a cop, so I just let him go. I was surprised to turn around and see a crowd had gathered and was motioning that I should have pummelled him. I should’ve known that vigilante justice would be approved of here. In the end, I was amazed to find that although his hand wasn’t getting in my pocket without my noticing, he was able to unbutton my pocket. Lesson learned. Back at camp we learned that of the 5 groups that went out 4 had pickpocketing experiences, but only 1 was successful.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

    One Response

    1. Jow Says:

      I was pickpocketed in Florence. Ever since then I’ve been paranoid about being in foreign places. Before that incident, I was a carefree, happy soul. Now I’m bitter and hateful. Merry Christmas.

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