No. of Recommendations: 1
You are about to get mugged by a band of zingari (it's a generic term largely offensive to a particular ethnic group... but here I use it generically to indicate a nomadic group that mostly steals for money).

Experienced this on the Paris metro. The car was standing-room-only when we boarded with another couple. Crowding in behind us was a family of about five people, including a very young girl carrying an infant in her arms. As the train pulled out, she appeared to stumble into me and I instinctively held one arm out to steady her. Just then my husband signaled to me frantically over her head and said, "your purse!!!" (He had just felt a hand go into his front pocket). I closed my arm tightly over my shoulder pouch. As the train pulled into the next station and the doors opened, the "nomadic" family exited and just then the American woman who had boarded with us discovered her wallet gone from her purse.

An immediate check of my small bag revealed one zipper had been slightly pulled opened, but it was too difficult for a quick grab and run. No way to tell which zipper yielded the goodies. Our companion had a more conventional handbag with a snap-close top and a large wallet just inside. She was an easy target.

I never carry a wallet when I travel. My tiny travel bag has multi zippered pockets-within-pockets. The ones deep inside hold cash and a credit card. Another one holds a passport. The outside pockets hold only loose change, metro map and ticket.

Always beware of anyone - old lady or small child - stumbling into you. On a crowded subway it may seem normal. It isn't.

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