‘Tis the season for pickpockets

Happy holidays. This greeting is coming late because a) I’ve been consumed by consumerism the Christmas spirit and b) I’m hella burned out, so I’ve been taking a way overdue vacation of sorts. Not that I’ve really gone anywhere, just been spending a lot of time in Prague’s centre, especially strolling through Prague’s Christmas markets, hanging out in Old Town, drinking mulled wine and digging on all the pretty lights. Yeah, I’m a sucker for that kind of thing, and this year the City of Prague has done an amazing job of Xmasifying the centre.

City officials are also doing their best to warn people against pickpockets and mobile phone snatchers, and rightly so. Last week, while taking a tram home from a Christmas party, Jitka and I were witnesses to a mobile grab-and-run. A woman was talking on her phone and as the tram driver was just about to close the doors, a couple of young, fairly well-dressed guys jumped her, snatched her phone, and took off. The woman screamed, the tram departed, and the rest of us passengers could only look on and feel guilty and furious for not being able to help.

Yesterday, while coming home on the B-line, the metro driver made an announcement that there were pickpockets in the second car (his exact words were Vazeny cestujici, dejte si pozor. Do druheho vagonu pristoupili kapsari – Dear passengers, be careful. Pickpockets have entered the second car). It just so happened that Jitka and I were on the second car. It also just so happened that we had gotten on in a rather aggressive rush of people that had me rather forcefully nudging people back. And the group of douchebags who were trying to get physical got off the metro post-haste at the next stop. Jitka reckons we were targeted because we were speaking English and had obviously been shopping.

So, when out and about in Prague, no matter how long you’ve been here and no matter how long you’ve heard the warnings, keep in mind that the good folks at Prague’s City Hall are not just flapping their gums and blowing taxpayer money on their warnings. Be mindful of these bastards, as this is prime time for them: everyone’s in a festive spirit and are more likely to let their guard down, plenty of people are playing with their new phones and other gadgets, and with all the post-Xmas sales, folks are carrying more money around Prague than usual. Use plastic, don’t use your phone on public transport (at least not when approaching a stop), keep your money and valuables in a safe place, and if you ever manage to get your hands on one of these eels, hold him down so that I can get a few good stomps in – I’ll be more than happy to return the favour.

Dec 28, 09:29 (Filed under: )

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  1. Happy Christmas, Patrick. Glad to hear you’re getting a rest, even if it is of sorts. I’ll take you’re warning on board about the pickpocket scum and leave my new ipod at home next time I am in Prague. Although it bugs me enormously that I should have to.
    Richard Body    Dec 28, 16:26    #
  2. Hey Richard, Happy-Merry to you too! Finally, a non-spam comment…

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the shifty-eyed little bastards – just be extra-careful, ’s all. I never leave home without my Creative Zen Nomad Xtra, which is as bulky as the name. Did you get one of them wafer-thin nanopod thingies?

    Btw, when is the next time you’re in Prague?

    Patrick    Dec 29, 23:21    #
  3. Hey Patrick.
    I am thinking sometime around March, if you’re around. I am off to Malta on Tuesday and I like to have my next holiday in the bank. So I was thinking maybe a long weekend in the Spring. When back from Malta I will make a booking… Next time I wanna see some of the countryside too. Watch this space as I’m going to be picking your brains.

    It was a wafer thin fifth generation 30GB video ipod that I bought myself before Christmas. So nice. Oh, and it’s black too.

    I’d noticed the rash of comments spam you were slammed with this week. I have that word recognition thing turned on now, which has knocked it on the head. It’s just annoying in a messy kind of way. I can delete them but I find it cheeky and that it clutters up my blog.

    Richard Body    Dec 30, 00:00    #