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Chinese lady to Europe-- worry pickpocketing !

Chinese lady to Europe-- worry pickpocketing !

May 27th, 2006, 07:14 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 60
Chinese lady to Europe-- worry pickpocketing !

Hi, I'm a chinese lady planning to go to Aix-en-Provence to have one week French study this July. This is my first trip to Europe and I'm really worry about the pickpocketing.
I think I must easily become the target of pickpockets cos I'm a single lady with Aisan looking and I'm an inexperienced traveller. So, I'm really worry about my trip.
Can anyone give some advice on how to protect myself and avoide being pickpocketed even I'm become a target...
Irenewong is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 10:41 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,332
Irene, first of all from my memory of being in Aix I don't recall it as a place I worried about crime too much!

You can take some precautions that will help you relax and enjoy your trip. Here's what works for me:
I never carry much cash anywhere I travel, incl (especially!) here in the US. When traveling in a place I am not familiar with, I wear a small, lightweight neckpouch (I can't stand the feel of a money belt) around my neck that tucks under my shirt. I keep a credit card/ATM, passport or a copy of my passport, and some cash in it. In my purse or bag, I carry just a little cash for quick purchases like bus tickets and snacks, along with things like maps, sunglasses, kleenex, lipstick, whatever I want for that day.

If my hotel has a safe I use it if necessary.

You mention 'Asian looking' -- Irene, I lived many years in Japan and Taiwan and have in-laws who are Chinese, as well as many Japanese friends who come here to the US to visit. What I suggest to them is to dress simply and not wear too much jewelry. Leave the designer stuff and gold and jade at home, pay attention to your surroundings, try not to stand on a street corner with your map wide open, and walk with confidence! You will have an awesome time!
annabelle2 is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 11:09 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,158
as a chinese lady myself, I can vouch for no problems with an asian face. the problem is more in being an inexperienced traveler. always walk with confidence, be aware of your surroundings, be alert and don't look worried! and do everything annabelle says.
MelissaHI is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 12:57 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 33,778
I do a lot of what the others have talked about except I don't use a money pouch. I use an Ameribag Healthy Bag and the shoulder strap has enough play in it that when in a crowded situation I can swing the bag around to the front and hold both my arms or hands on it. I do that on the metro, tube, or while waiting in line. So far so good. Use your good sense, have a wonderful time.
crefloors is online now  
May 27th, 2006, 08:13 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 60
Thank you to all of you. I'm now feeling less nervous about the trip now. I will follow all the methtod taught. Thank you again.
Irenewong is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 08:27 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Irene, no worries. I'm Asian (but thoroughly American), and have never had any problems anywhere I've traveled. Even northern Africa.

You don't say where you're from, but if you're from a large American city, your street smarts will work best for you. Follow your instincts and never let your guard down.

However, you have almost nothing to fear in Aix-en-Provence. It was a nice charming city with very friendly people. I agree w/Annabelle's comment not to walk around with a constantly open map. I usually fold my map into a 4x6 size so that I can easily take it out of my jeans pocket whenever I need to refer to it.

Which French school are you going to in Aix?
mcnyc is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 08:39 PM
  #7  
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Hi mcnyc, my French school is IS Aix-en-Provence. I will arrive 4 days before my French course start and go sight-seeing. Do you have any suggestions on hotel in Aix or day trip to the other cities near Aix? Actually I would like to go to Arles but I don't know how to get there from Aix.
Irenewong is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 09:48 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hi Irene,

I was particularly fond of Baux en Provence for its charm on a hill top, and is just filled with basically souvenir shops and not much else. A car was definitely useful for this stop, although I'm not sure if a bus stops there. This is definitely a half day trip (with most time spent on shopping for candy or soap) if you go.

I also liked Arles (I'm fond of Roman history, of which there are plenty), Avignon (the town was charming, and while the Palais de Papes was impressive on the outside, the inside was sparse) and Marseilles (particularly the Old Port area).

Sorry I can't recommend a place in Aix, as I was staying at my friend's rental and we went places by car. But if you search the forum, or ask in a separate thread, you should be able to get tons of answers. There are lots of seasoned travelers who favor the south of France and have much more knowledge than I.
mcnyc is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 09:50 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Oh, I'm also confused by your comment Aix-en-Provence is the name of your school. Are you saying the school's name is Aix? Or are you saying your stay in Aix is your French study?
mcnyc is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 12:25 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,456
I think Irene's school is called "IS Aix-En-Provence", IS perhaps for International School or something like that?
kappa is offline  

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