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A few ( stupid) questions 1st time to Paris

A few ( stupid) questions 1st time to Paris

Old Oct 23rd, 2014, 05:51 PM
  #41  
 
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Bookmarking..........upcoming trip in June, staying @ same hotel as OP.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 10:40 AM
  #42  
 
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You can hail any taxi in Paris if you more than 50 meters from a taxi station.>

My info on that could be dated but at one time and a long time ago it may have been the word was you could not hail taxis on streets and business types I was taking to Paris at the time said they tried and no cab stopped - probably because they were all full.

But thanks for the corrections on my misinformation.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 10:48 AM
  #43  
 
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No matter where you are you have to use a little "street smarts." The same rules apply in Paris as in NYC. The only thing that I noticed in Paris is that people standing in line for anything are not as cognizant of personal space as we are in the US. Therefore the person in line behind you is so close that they may be touching you.

My sister was pickpocketed on the first Metro trip we took. It was the middle of the day, the station was not busy and there weren't many people on the train. I believe that they spotted us purchasing our carnets and followed us down to the train. As we entered the train they were horseplaying and bumped into my sister. That quickly they were in her purse and took her wallet and passport. We would have not know for a while but they threw the passport on the floor. The purse had a turnkey latch on it with a flap that covered the whole front of the purse. We learned to stand back when there were too many people on the platform. We were not in a hurry.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 11:58 AM
  #44  
 
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Oooh, that wasn't nice, especially for a first metro ride. "Horseplay" is indeed something about which to be wary, because it is often used as a distraction, as well as a number of other things -- such as dropping things on the floor in front of you so that it seems like the best thing is for YOU to pick it up. Bending over to get something is one of the ways to put you in a position where you don't realize if somebody is touching you.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 12:32 PM
  #45  
 
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OH the joke was on them. She did not have much cash and we were able to call on her credit card pretty quickly. We still had a very nice trip. We were just a little smarter after that.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 01:11 PM
  #46  
 
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We were just a little smarter after that.>

Back to the original point about it being silly to worry about such things happening on the Metro - better IMO to be a little smarter and that is not silly! I'll bet Parisians rarely if ever get pickpocketed on the metro but I think the incident of obvious tourists like gardendiva is not an isolated event - the rate of pickpocketing on the metro may be low overall but could be quite high if a certain small group are targeted.

Like the Chinese currently being victimized in Paris at unbelievable rates (I posted a NYTimes article about this a few months back) - they are targets because they often carry cash and have I phones, etc - again my Korean friend who was recently robbed of his I-phone in a McDonalds - no doubt he was targeted because he was Asian and thus an easy mark with something worthwhile to snatch).

The wealthy tourist-looking tourist is I would think much more likely to be targeted where the zillions of local riders would not be - thus statistics in general about this could be meaningless taken as a whole.

I do think the obvious well-heeled tourist is at much more risk of being pickpokcets on the metro or in a metro station crush than they would be on the Champs-Elysees - by far.
I always react with high dudgeon when I hear someone who obviously knows relatively little about a place make such claims that just give a false sense of security to prime targets - better to raise a bit of an alarm so that good folks like gardendiva's sister would have been more on guard and perhaps not been victimized. Make it sound like there is little or no problem and folks let their guard down.

Easy targets are easy targets.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 01:24 PM
  #47  
 
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>

This is highly unlikely since about 90% of the people on the metro are Parisians and they remain by far the largest group of crime victims in Paris. But I understand that visitors like to think they are being targeted since it makes their own faults a little less subject to condemnation.

On a lot of sites, people who were caught by the metro ticket checkers in Paris think that they are specifically targeting tourists, too. The ticket checkers -- and the pickpockets -- would starve to death if their only revenue came from tourists.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 01:42 PM
  #48  
 
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Love; You should ne totally confused by now, so just go, be aware of the soundings and have a great time.
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Old Oct 24th, 2014, 03:30 PM
  #49  
 
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"But I understand that visitors like to think they are being targeted since it makes their own faults a little less subject to condemnation."

Not so in our case. We had just had the "keep your hand on your purse" discussion before we left the hotel. We did let our guard down because it was not crowded. However, I am sure that 3 women trying to figure out what to purchase was a dead give-a-way for somebody looking to pickpocket.

I cannot imagine that tourists are the only people that are victims. We just talk about it more.
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Old Oct 25th, 2014, 11:26 AM
  #50  
 
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Though the warnings about pickpockets in the Metro and on the streets are certainly valid, you should also be very careful with your belongings while using your Museum Pass.

There's a big problem with pickpockets in crowded museums, where people are much more focused on taking selfies or getting up close and personal with the statues.

There is no one profile of a pickpocket, so just keeping an eye out for a swarthy stranger won't be enough. If you can, it would be wise to avoid bringing anything of value - including a purse or backpack - when you plan to visit museums. The less you have to lose, the better - and the easier it is to protect yourself.
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Old Oct 25th, 2014, 05:22 PM
  #51  
 
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It's true that some people are easy targets. Hence the advice to use the normal city smarts - which would have included getting immediately out of the way of any "horseplay" on public transit - as well as anyone getting too close - and keeping everything in a cross-body bag with zipper closings.
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Old Oct 25th, 2014, 06:19 PM
  #52  
 
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Lovestrip, use the metro, it's easy. If you end up going the wrong way simply get off and go the correct direction. Say NO! if someone wants you to sign anything, sell you a trinket or sell you a yarn braclet. Greet everyone with bonjour before you start your transaction and you will see how polite and helpful people in Paris are. I hope you have the time of your life.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 10:00 AM
  #53  
 
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Yes you probably have more a chance of being pickpocketed in the Louvre than on the metro. Be careful in any crowded area.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 10:10 AM
  #54  
 
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I've asked this Q before I think but don't remember the answer - how is it that thieves can afford to get into the Louvre/Musee D'Orsay etc? Entrance to such places isn't cheap. The metro I can understand as a ticket is very cheap but these popular attractions are far from that.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 12:54 PM
  #55  
 
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annhig, it would only take one mark with 100 euros on him to more than recoup the investment of an entry ticket.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 01:07 PM
  #56  
 
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I believe that EU citizens under 26 get in free to museums, and people usually just jump the turnstyles to get to the platforms. The majority of pickpocketing seems to be done by young people who look to be under 17. The courts can't hold them until they're older than that, since there's no juvenile detention center, so if they are caught, they are simply questioned and released.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 01:57 PM
  #57  
 
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My understanding is that there can be imprisonment of juveniles in France but it is unusual. I take your point about under 26s EU citizens getting in free but are all these people in possession of ID cards? and surely the museum attendants get good at spotting them.

artsnletters - I'm not sure that the minds of juvenile offenders work like that. Those of the ones I used to represent certainly didn't. and it's strange but I'm not aware that it's a problem in the big London museums, which are free!
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 12:40 PM
  #58  
 
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If you live in NYC, you'll love the Metro (numbered lines). It's actually less complicated (no express trains you need to be aware of that will skip the stop you want like on the 8th Ave lines in NYC)

The RER (lettered lines) -- suburban lines -- act like express lines and have multiple versions of each line in the suburbs but not in the city...but the screens on the platforms are very, very good at showing which stops the current train will make).

A 1-week pass includes the buses, which are pretty similar to NYC...with excellent line maps and schedules posted at the stops.

SS
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Old Nov 15th, 2014, 06:06 AM
  #59  
 
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Mostly just bookmarking, but wanted to comment that I believe a fair level of vigilance with common sense usually keeps pickpockets away. Just giving off a slightly wary vibe, obviously being aware of your surroundings and keeping a good grip on your handbag seems to dissuade them. I also have a steel reinforced bag slashproof with appropriate latches that I use in iffy cities like Barcelona or Lisbon. I'm sure that would work in Paris too.

Sounds like the Museum Pass is worth it. How easy is it to navigate around the city using the buses? I suspect the Metro is out for anything but long trips, since the stairs might be prohibitive for us.
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Old Nov 16th, 2014, 04:41 AM
  #60  
 
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WWanderer....

We have found the buses very easy to use for not-so-long trips (and fun since you can see the city), with the following caveats (same as NYC):

-- Traffic dictates how quickly they move and whether they get to your pick-up stop when you expect, so be wary if you are pressed for time.

-- A number of lines don't run on certain days (Sundays/holidays for instance) or at certain times (only rush hour), and most lines vary their frequency throughout the day.

What I do is download the schedules of those lines near my hotel that I am most likely to use and keep them handy.

http://www.ratp.fr/horaires/fr/ratp/bus
(turn off pop-up blocking)

Of course, if you're phone is connected in Paris -- either on the go or at you hotel -- RATP has an app that gives you real-time arrivals at your stop.

The buses also provide a way of never getting lost for those of us who tend to wander around fascinating Paris. We just hop on the first bus we see, look out the window and jump off at the first Metro sign. Once in that system, getting where you want to go is a snap.

SS
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