Pickpockets! / by Jessica Lee

I almost got pick-pocketed today.

(Above photo is of me with all my stuff in happier times while on a becak.)

I was in a local bus on my way from Yogyakarta to Solo, when this guy sitting in front of me starts doing this weird fiddling around thing near the window. He was playing with the zipper of the front pocket of one of my bags, trying to reach inside! What a crook!

This was a harsh and emotional experience. Growing up in an affluent country, I’m not quite used to this. Sure I’ve been stolen from before, but that was due to my own stupidness when I was quite young. I left my things around without being there. This pickpocket however, he was attempting to steal from me even though I was sitting right behind him! I mean, he could see clearly who was it was going to effect had he taken anything (or maybe he did take something, but so far I don’t see anything missing- there were only loose bills and pens in there, and I still see the bills). Silly thief, I’m obviously not going keep the jewels and valuables in the most easily accessible pocket.

I yelled out “What are you doing!” really loud and he quickly moved away to the front of the bus, presumably because it would be awkward now that I knew he was trying to steal from me and also because the other people sitting around was getting a sense of what was happening.

I’ve been quite fortunate during this trip in that I haven’t really been pick-pocketed except for this one time. Other misfortunate events have occurred (such as bed bugs and an empty backpack and my headphones being stolen) but I am surviving through them.

I think one of the reasons I was aware of this pickpocket was because of the stories my African friends (back in Toronto) would tell me of the pickpockets back in their country. Hearing their stories and seeing them acted out during a lunch break in my third year of university opened up my eyes to how sneaky thieves can actually be.

I really hope this is the last pick-pocketing experience I will have to deal with during this trip!

Do you have any pick-pocketing/thievery stories to share?