How You Should Hold Your Handbag From Being Pickpocketed

Never let life’s hardships disturb you … no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.

~Nichiren Daishonen~


A lesson I just learned recently. The hard way.

7 years in New Zealand. I’m so used to what’s being practiced in here – an honest life. Not many thieving activities. Let alone pickpocketing.

I left my handbag once, but got everything back, without a single thing missing.

It was very naive of me to think that everybody in this world would share the same quality. Because of that I was left almost penniless on my way from Madrid to Lisbon. Thank God that the thief (or thieves because I was told they operate in a group) has a code of ethics. ‘Take only cash. Return the purse to the owner.’ Otherwise only God knows what would happen to me. No money to pay for the accommodation, nor food.

Since then, I guarded my handbag really well. I would make sure that I could see the handbag’s zip all the time. Yes, instead of the zip be behind your back, it should be pointing towards you. Where you can see it all the time. That will make it harder for them to open your bag without being seen.

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Make sure you can see the zip

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Don’t make it easy for the pickpocket to steal

Never underestimate these petty thieves. They are really good at what they are doing. I held my handbag most of the time. The only time I let my guard down was when the train had arrived and I was ready to hop in. Even in that few seconds of moment, he managed to outsmart me. I hadn’t realized it at all!

Oh well, if it is meant to happen, it will happen. But there’s no harm in trying our hardest to prevent this from happening, right?

Having The Best View

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


Window seating was always my favorite. Looking out through the window, especially when the plane is taking off or descending, gives an indescribable feeling. What could be better than having an aerial view especially of those beautiful scenery?

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On the way back to Christchurch from Osaka, Japan

I could not remember since when, but my preference has shifted to an aisle seating, especially for a long-haul flight. There’s only one reason for that – it is easy to go out from that seat. To go to the lavatory or to disembark the plane. I could not care less about the view anymore.

On my recent trip from Lisbon to Madrid, I had the opportunity to sit by the window. It was already dark when the plane took off. Lisbon, being an illuminated city, really lives up to its name. Seeing the pretty scenery from above, reminded me why I used to request for a window seat before.

I love looking up at the sky, which is painted with beautiful clouds during the day and sparkling stars during the night. I love looking down from above, where I could see almost everything. The snow-capped mountains. The ocean. The city.

Apparently, I was not the only one.

A guy, who sat beside me, definitely share the same feeling. I guess he was more mesmerized than me, judging from his body position. He completely turned to look at the view outside.

And not long after, I found out that he is actually a first officer, on his way to Madrid to take a flight simulator test. He told me that flying is his passion and the pilot is actually having the best view ever! Sometimes at night, the collision between ice particles create electric sparks and he witnessed this amazing phenomena.

Within that one-hour journey, he shared a lot of things. Mostly about flying. My supervisor used to tell me a lot about what actually happens inside the cockpit. During the cruising, the plane is normally left to the auto-pilot mode. There are always three machines to control everything. If one breaks down, there are two others to backup. If all three were down, there is always an option to operate the plane manually.

I won’t lie that I was actually scared after knowing about this fact of flying. I took this chance to ask him and he explained exactly the same thing and assured me why flying is the safest mode of transportation. He also told me that the monsoon season in most tropical countries causes more (and worse) turbulence than the other parts of the world.

Hearing such thing from the first officer himself actually makes a lot of difference. It definitely helps to overcome my fear of flying.

It was only for one hour, but it reminded me of the reason why I love to look at the sky, especially at night. To appreciate the beauty of this universe.