Earlier today I was in the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery drawing a sculpture of Michelangelo for my painting class. I was sitting on the ground, leaned back against the corner of a post of a temporary wall they put up to separate construction. As I was drawing, a few tourist, actually more than a few, would stop and glance over at what I was doing. Some would try to see from a distance while others came in for a closer look. Then this guy came to my side, slightly behind me, and crouched down to take a better look. I looked at him because he was so close to me and he tried to pronounce Michelangelo.
So I went back to drawing. About a minute or so later the last song of the album I was listened to finished. So I turned a bit to put on a new album. Out of the corner of my eye, through the sweater he had draped over his arms and onto my bag, I saw him reach into my bag. So I asked him if what he was doing. He stood up, but as he did I saw he had my phone. So I stood up too and shouted "Give me phone!" He dropped it and walked away pretty quickly.
As he was walking away I checked my bag to see if everything was there. It was, but I was prepared to go after him. A few moments later a French couple came by to inquire if he had taken my phone. It was more of a "Cool, was that really a pickpocket trying to get your phone?" rather than a "Are you ok?" Gah, tourists . . .
Anyway, I am Ok. Looking back at it I guess I was an easy target. I had my focus on my drawing with my music on and my bag wide open to the side of me. He probably watched me for a while and planned it out. I learned my lesson. So from now on I am either going to have my legs on my bag or have it behind me. I'm going to make sure that I look at someone who gets too close to me. And, if they don't know how to pronounce Michelangelo and are in Florence I'm punching them square in the nose and calling the police.
Italian word of the entry: Borseggiatore - pickpocket