Well kids, it's been a week of firsts for me in the city of looovee and lights. Let's start with some of the lighter 'firsts', shall we?
1) First Olympic athlete siting on the metro! Still no clue who he was but I'm practically famous now as a result.
2) If that didn't impress you, then I'm sure this will get you: first model shoot I've encountered...in the park by Matt's apartment of all things! I'm pretty sure the fur coat that this girl was wearing could have been dismembered and clothed an entire African village...if they needed a fur coat that is with all that snow and such there... ;)
3)First attempt to cook American cuisine for my fellow institute residents. (successful, I have to add, for all you who were questioning my culinary skills...although not quite as successful at keeping the soy sauce in the mixing bowl...)
4) First visit to the préfecture. Oooh...now things get a little not so fun. If any of you remember, the préfecture was the agency responsible for the bane of my existence last year: French bureaucracy [enter scary duh duh duhhhhs here]. You should all be very proud of me; I walked right into the préfecture, asked for an interview, got very confused when she asked me for all these random documents, and somehow finagled my way into an interview on Tuesday! Booya! (slightly different than the 4 month wait last year)
5) Now we get to the interesting incident that occurred a couple of nights ago:
Me and Matt (Matt and I for all you grammar sticklers) like to get together on the weekends (ok, we haven't really experienced a weekend yet where we're not together...) and that usually entails a late night ride home on Paris metro/RER. Matt came with me the first couple of times just to make sure the route was ok and the like (he just doesn't trust my kung fu panda skills, I can't imagine why...). But seeing as how Nogent isn't exactly the Bronx, we began parting before the trip.
Friday night I got on the metro back to return to the institute and man was I pooped. Resting my bag on my lap with my hands clasping the handles, I decided to lean up against the side of the metro and take a wee little snoozer. This wasn't exactly the first time--in fact, one time I was so tired I actually almost fell out of my seat 4 or 5 times during the ride. But now I was getting kinda paranoid about falling asleep all the way in the fear of missing my stop and ending up in French Timbuktu.
So this man gets onto the metro and stands near my seat. I didn't really move but kinda scrunched closer to the wall to make him feel more at ease pulling down the seat next to me if he so desired. After a couple minutes he casually sits down. I see him glance over at me out of the corner of my eye, but don't think much of it really. After another glance and a few more minutes passing, all the sudden this guy starts to really relax and spread out his legs a bit...and a bit more...and a bit more... Until this guy is basically sitting with me and not next to me. So I'm thinkin' "whoa man, you're kinda invading the space bubble here!" But as it was awkward and I wasn't sure how to respond, I didn't respond at all--or move for that matter.
However, due to this guy's obvious laxity towards his fellow passenger, and my discomfort, I definitely couldn't really continue my snooze. So with eyes still partially closed, I just kept watching his legs, hoping one of these moments he'd wise up and show me some spatial respect. Well that didn't happen. What I actually saw was his hand very slowly make it's way from his lap, to the top of his leg, down past his leg and in midair reach to the corner of my bag.
Well, needless to say, instantly I sat up, gave him my 'don't you even try Sonny' stare and just as quickly his hand was back in his lap, legs to himself, everything back to normal as if the whole thing had never even happened. He got off at the very next stop.
So ladies and gents, I bring you to my last first of the week: my first pickpocket attempt. Me and Matt both think that invading my personal space was actually him testing me to see how I would respond to his close proximity, whether I was really awake or not, etc. Everything he did was very slow, deliberate, and calculated. It was incredible for me to watch this guy depart: he had graying hair, dressed nicely but not in a way as to stand out; he seemed like the epitome of a safe and trustworthy person. Scary huh? Goes to show that appearance doesn't always show you what's on the inside.
So here's the really crazy thing: when I told Matt what had happened, he told me that as I was leaving, he had prayed specifically for me not to get robbed. Crazy huh? How amazing God really is! So many things could have happened--heck, if it had been the night where I was falling out of my seat in fatigue I'm sure I would have been a gonner! But instead God chose to show his glory and protect me! So cool, I just love God.
Well, that's all for now folks. Stayed tuned for more eccentric Parisian incidents...