I have never been mugged, despite having that ‘mug me’ look about me. Now don’t get me wrong, nobody is ever asking to be mugged, but when you’re wearing your camera around your neck, speaking in English and your bag is wide open, you’re not exactly making it difficult for muggers. Sorry, but you’re kind of asking for it.
Picture this: Rome, the Colosseum metro station. I’m wearing something super cute, probably girly and the word ‘tourist’ is basically tattooed to my forehead. Why? Because it’s 30˚c out, I don’t know how to dress for that kind of heat, there are plasters on my feet, hiding the blisters and my camera is around my neck. Oh, and I have a bucket bag. You know the type, they’re not very practical because they never completely close but they’re totally fashionable right now guys, trust me.So I’m getting onto the train on a crowded metro platform, and all of a sudden I’m separated from my family by three young girls, all of them standing way too close for my liking, so I try to escape and the next thing I feel is a tug from my bag. One of the girls had reached in and taken a built in pocket that was attached by a small patch of fabric. Yeah. A maybe-twelve-year-old-girl tried to mug me and failed.
In the end, nothing actually happened. The pocket contained nothing, so even if she did manage to detach it, she would have been disappointed with her findings and I would have lost my ‘bait’ I now use to tempt other muggers.
Secondly, had she manage to find something valuable in my bag beneath the snacks, used tissues and recites, she would have walked away with no more than €20, as I kept the majority of my currency in a safe at the hotel.Still, being picked out of a crowd as an easy target isn’t a reassuring feeling, especially in the early days of travelling. Unfortunately, some people will always have that ‘look’ about them. Thankfully, it turns out I am a little bit smarter than I look. Although if I were truly smart, I would have kept an eye on the muggers and reported them to security, but they were too quick for me and were probably on to their next target as soon as I lost them.
The things I learned from this experience is:
- Muggers come in all shapes and sizes, genders and ages.
- It’s good to carry a ‘trick purse’ inside your bag that is attached so will let you know if someone is trying to steal it.
- Don’t bring out all your currency at once, and if you do, make sure to keep it all in difference places.
- Maybe don’t wear a bucket bag?