Last year ended on a whimper for me. 

Just after 9 pm in Paris Wednesday 28 December 2022.

I had just texted I was boarding the RER B at Les Halles Chatelet station to Roissy CDG Terminal 2.

As soon as I got onboard, I felt for the mobile in the right pouch pocket of my jacket. There was only my reading glasses.

Instinctively, I went for the left pouch pocket which was buttoned up. My wallet was in place.

I had been pickpocketed.

In hindsight, I should had also button up the right pocket. 

I had not felt anyone brushing against me when boarding the train. Nor was the platform unusually crowded. Two or three people to my left and another five or so to my right.

The pickpocket was that accomplished.


“Be careful next time,” was the kindly advice the officer gave after signing the statement in the police kiosk inside Les Halles Chatelet. This was the next morning. I had been to the train station to ask if – by chance – someone had returned a Space Grey iPhone 13 to “Lost & Found”. 

Unfortunately, I did not have enough backup and lost all videos and photos after 3 July 2022. And contacts in WhatsApp and Wechat. And Notes.

If you happen to be someone who has texted me in the past, please be so kind to email your number to wine@thewinereview.com.sg. Thank you in anticipation.

There is a silver lining in all this.

Since having become phone-less, I have been reading and writing more.


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A lawyer by training, CH’NG Poh Tiong holds a postgraduate Certificate in Chinese Art with Distinction from the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London

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