Friday, September 17, 2010

Clean Sweep

There seems to be a profusion of three card monte games (or should I say scams) at the major tourist sites around town. I've seen them close to the Eiffel Tower, near the foot of Sacre Coeur, and even on the Champs-Élysées. Don't be fooled folks. You will not win at this game even if it appears that it can be beaten. That fellow who just won 50 euros? He's a shill. Keep your money in your pocket and just keep moving. I've thought about taking a picture to share here but figured these guys probably wouldn't take too kindly to that.

Yesterday afternoon, I happened to be passing by the Eiffel Tower and noticed a profusion of policemen, on foot and on bikes. I'm pretty sure the heightened security is due to the bomb threat made on Tuesday night. Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux actually held a press conference there earlier in the day to remind France of the continued terrorist threat to the nation. At any rate, there were lots of guys in uniform and guess what? No keychain vendors, no ladies in long skirts asking tourists, "do you speak English," and no three card monte. The bridge between the tower and the Chaillot gardens was clear, even walkable. What a difference a day makes.

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