Day 2 in Beijing. We descend into the subway station at 灯市口。The station is empty except for one group of people, who appear to all be together. The train arrives and, despite there being at least 20 other subway cars, the entire group of people decides to all get on at the same door as us. People are pushing and shoving, there’s even a guy in a wheelchair causing more confusion. It’s mayhem.
Next thing we know, my mom’s phone is gone.
My mom dives off the subway, quickly identifying the pickpocketer. I jumped off the train to help. She demands her phone back, and he obliges without incident. She snatches it out of his hands and slips back onto the subway through the closing doors, leaving me behind in the subway station, which is still empty except for the group of people I now know to be pickpocketers.