It was either the girl who wanted me to carry her shoulder pole — the kind that carry a pair of baskets, in this case filled with pineapples — and tried to put her hat on my head, or it was the hail-fellow-well-met who wanted to help me across the street, putting his arm around my shoulder. I had around five dollars in loose bills in my pants pocket and one of them got it, probably the girl. Because I had been to the bank, I also had about $200 in a pouch on my belt, which they didn’t get, and some more money and credit cards in a wallet buttoned in my back pocket, which was also safe. Usually I’m pretty alert about such things, but I am still tired from the trip and I had been walking around in the heat, so I must have let my guard down.
Funny, I lived here a year without every getting pickpocketed and now someone touches me on my second day in town. It’s not the money, of course, but feeling I’ve been made to look foolish. Well, I was foolish, but I’m not fretting about it. Ironically, I discovered the loss when I reached into my pocket to pull out some change for a beggar. Well, that will certainly teach me to be considerably more cautious.
In happier news, I arranged to get some language lessons starting next week. Perhaps I’ll begin by learning how to say, “You little thief.” I think it would be something like “Em la ke trom nho.”
Update: Now I’m not so sure. Looking through my wallet just now I saw a bunch of small bills — I may have put them there (instead of my pocket) when I left the book store a few minutes before my encouners on the way home. Maybe I didn’t have any money in that pocket. A nice little ambiguity there!