"In the interest of security, keep an eye on your belongs and beware of pick-pockets." The phrase plays over and over on the metro audio system in three different languages, every day, all day.
I took a sip of diet coke, dropped the bottle back into my purse just before entering the metro car. On this day, in the interest of security, I did not keep an eye on my belongings, nor was I aware of pickpockets. No one saw a thing, the doors opened, people moved, the doors closed. My wallet disappeared somewhere in the crowd.
Walking down the street with an empty purse, I felt angry, confused, vulnerable, and stupid. "Hey You!" I heard walking past a cafe. "Hey, Florence!" I heard my name, wondering who knew me. It was the perfect moment to bump into a few friends who were just hanging out having a drink. (Paris feels more and more like home, when I randomly meet friends on the street.) "What's the matter?" they asked immediately knowing I was in a fog. "My wallet was just pick-pocketed on the metro." I told them.
"Oh, we're so sorry." They said simultaneously, telling me not to worry or beat myself up. They told me to cancel all my cards, file a report, take a deep breath, be thankful I still had my purse, keys, passport and ID card, everything would be alright. They even offered me money. "Sit with us for a while, have a drink, relax. You'll will be alright." they insisted.
Everything will be alright.
Sometimes its strange how good I feel when bad things happen when good friends are around to support me. Alain and Mike cheered me up, with positive support, comfort stories, good wine and laughter. Even when bad things happen in Paris, good friends make everything alright.