it took quite a while for sarah or me to have an attempted pickpocket, but weve had a couple in the last two weeks.
the pickpockets get onto the matatu with a poster board wrapped in a plastic bag normally. it gives them something big to lay over your bag or pocket as they go in for the steal.
on the first ride this happened sarah noticed her bag was unzipped and scared the guy off, while i felt something im pretty sure was fingers trying to get into my pocket. it was a crowded matatu (the only kind really) so i couldnt tell where it came from. but nothing taken
then a few days ago some guys made another attempt, it was at least two or three working together. they created a distraction, something about everybody putting on seatbelts, but sarah was wise to them from the start so she pulled my bag out of their reach. however, just before the matatu stopped, i noticed a guy in front of me handing back a cell phone held between his poster board to the guy next to me, who tried to grab it between his poster board. they dropped the cell phone and the owner noticed his phone was gone. then everybody was getting off, and i looked on the floor and grabbed the phone, and gave it back to the owner. we need to learn how to call out the thieves in swahili.
so...never try to put on a seatbelt just cause everybody else starts doing it, and look out large flat objects as the only thing somebody is carrying. just in case your ever on a matatu...