Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tips for Tourists

I was walking along one of the wide boulevards near the Arc de Triomphe yesterday afternoon and in this upscale neighborhood, I saw a fellow in front of me try the gold ring scam four times, each time without success. Paris is quite safe but the one thing you have to be alert for are pickpockets and con artists. In the gold ring scam, a person appears to pick up a gold ring off the ground as you walk by and asks, "is this yours?" The next step is to ask you to buy it or perhaps simply to distract you while your wallet is lifted. So if you come to Paris (or for that matter any big city in Europe), stay alert and don't let these guys or the gypsy ladies asking "do you speak English?" get the better of you. If you are a man, put your wallet in your front pocket and better yet, put a rubber band around it so it won't slide out of your pocket easily. If you carry a purse, carry a shoulder bag across your body and be sure it's the kind that zips fully closed. And if you must carry a backpack, use it for water, snacks, guide books, or maps, not valuables. Other than that, enjoy your stay!

1 comment:

Starman said...

We were hit a couple times on this last trip. The second time, I took the ring and thanked the guy profusely. He was so confused he just walked away. A few minutes later, he regained his senses and came back to ask for money. I refused, and laughing, gave him back his ring.

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