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Just home from 8 days in Paris--Pickpockets threat--Rude French people

Just home from 8 days in Paris--Pickpockets threat--Rude French people

Jun 13th, 2013, 01:43 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,416
We too are "your age" and have been to Paris and north/south France five times. Our service people on all levels were fine; they do not engage in casual chit-chat to befriend you which is appropriate and somewhat desireable; different hotels each time. We once had a rude couple next to us in a restaurant where their table was 3" from our table, he smoked and made a comment in French about Americans (I understand a bit of the language), BUT we have also dined numerous times here in the States and in many other countries in Europe where the situation was the same with obnoxious people. Sorry, but most people know not to keep their iPhones in their pockets, they're being stolen here in States as well for instant cash value, and wallets in front pockets while going through turnstiles or strap-hanging is just not being vigilant. I live in NYC, the safest city in the world I'd agree, but you've got to choose smarter options than travelling that way. Speak quietly as to be heard only by the person with whom you're conversing, 'blend in' and pick better travel clothing w/ more secure pockets or use the moneybelt you have! One trip our college-aged daughter's tote was wide open and a pickpocket moved to it again at a Metro turnstile, but I was through and turned and foiled it. (Ever the Moms are we). Lived in Houston four years and hopefully the crime rate can some day improve to the level of where we live, sorry, but facts are facts. Perhaps a group tour might better serve your interests, hopefully you will continue travelling, and lastly, sorry about your experience. Meanwhile, look at travel clothing, it doesnt have to be expensive and the zippered pockets low on leg are great. I travel w/ a PacSafe purse w/ latched zipper and only keep junk in my larger day tote.
aliced is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 01:50 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
Pvoyageuse,

Yes, they can jump the queue and as I said, I am 100% fine with it. Was taken aback at the time because the woman was managing a huge load and pushed in without a single "excuse me or thank you." It was shortly after we moved here.

At 63 and with a bad knee i do not hesitate to give up my seat on the bus or Metro to a pregnant woman. Sometimes my offer is declined but is usually met with a smile and thank you.

My IKEA incident was, I hope, a one-off and as someone said, there are rude and clueless people every where.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 01:56 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Cathinjoetown: I was replying to MaisonPlague
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 01:59 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,342
I have never heard of a pregnant woman being allowed or expected to "jumping a queue" and I am not sure why they would. Does this mean everywhere? Movies, restaurants,lines at the grocery store, buying tickets to anything and everything? Why in the world would that be the case?

I am not talking about "metro" but queues.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:05 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
Well, vjplovesitaly, it's pretty much a given in France which I learned after my IKEA shove.

In this case, not when in Rome but "when in France...."
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:16 PM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,342
haha. I will defer to all pregnant women if I ever get to France. Getting pregnant take a special skill which should be deferred to at all times. I think I will bow in their presence.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:18 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,050
Hurdle, that razor blade rigging sounds hilarious!

My maid's son goes to Temple University in Philadelphia and he has done the same with his car stereo. Lots of blood all over the car seats, but he still has that stereo!

I will shoot anyone who tries to harm me or my family.

I believe in Darwinism.

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:23 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 66
Pvoyageuse, we are always being told nowadays that being pregnant is not an illness! I guess next time I go to France I'll take a cushion with me .... no more having to wait in line eh?
MaisonPlague is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:31 PM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
MaisonPlague : you asked a question, I replied. I am not here to discuss whether being pregnant is an illness or not and I wish you good luck with your cushion.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:44 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,529
In defense of the OP, I have been on the Champs when the crowd was so thick that one could barely walk. That said, I haven't gone back there in a long time, but it obviously can happen.

In my very middle sized US city, there really is only one neighborhood that attracts tourists. I am in that area often, and I can barely control my impatience with those that are strolling, gawking, gabbing, blocking the sidewalk, etc. A friend of mine used to always be grumbling about the ____ ____ tourists whenever we were in that neighborhood together. He died, but I'm still grumpy when the tourists get in my way.

I can't imagine living in a place where that would be the situation all day, every single day.

Lining up is a very American and Canadian thing. We are so damn polite about it. I had a visitor from Israel, and she was incredulous at the line at the Dairy Queen, where every family and person quietly stood there for half an hour, waiting their turn. She talked about it all night.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:47 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Aren't there special seats in the metro cars for (and I may not remember all the conditions) elderly, pregnant, and people with young children? And does it mention Legion of Honor holders?
adrienne is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:50 PM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes, and it's les mutilés de la guerre.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:53 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Israelis DO NOT queue!

My friend Eynat from Tel Aviv has to remind her family members to line up when they come to visit her here!

Her father once forgot and had a guy smack him in the back of the head.

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:55 PM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Flaubert was Legion of Honor and he hated trains.

He thought trains were ruination of France.

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 03:17 PM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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"Southern Europeans maybe (in fact you can just about identify the country by how much they break the queue), but Northern Europeans never, try that in the UK and "if looks would kill".

In my experience not all of Northern Europe but just the UK.

I remember when I missed a bus in the UK on a Sunday and had to wait at a completely empty bus station for the next one. It was at least 15 minutes before departure when the next guy arrived and took a position at the head of a potential queue, never moving away from that spot for the next quarter of an hour.

A few minutes later the next guy arrived and moved next to the first one. At the end there were maybe 12 people queuing next to each other. I watched them and silently laughed my head off that they would bunch up like that. There was nobody around, just this dozen guys patiently forming a queue in a big, open space.

Then the completely empty bus arrived and even though I had watched them queuing, I automatically moved in the direction of the door and nearly tried to cut in in front of them before I realized what I was doing.

This moving to the door wasn't meant to be impolite. It was just by instinct since I couldn't care less whether I was number one, five or ten to enter the bus and so I had to remember that these guys cared a lot that the number five at the bus station would also be the number five to enter the bus. They cared so much that they'd spend fifteen minutes crowded to each other just to establish the precedence.

I think the cultural difference is that the majority of people in a lot of other countries normally just doesn't care that much whether they're number five, six or seven.
Hans is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 03:28 PM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 938
"haha. I will defer to all pregnant women if I ever get to France. Getting pregnant take a special skill which should be deferred to at all times. I think I will bow in their presence."

No, getting pregnant or breaking a leg isn't a special skill.

It's just somewhat more difficult to stand for a long time, so many people think that it makes sense that they stand one minute longer to allow pregnant women to take precedence.
Hans is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 03:40 PM
  #57  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 650
On our first trip more than 40 years ago, we were taking a train from Luxembourg to Paris and the cars were quite crowded. A women in her haughtiest French said, "It must be there first time in France," speaking of my wife and myself. I wanted to say, "Deuxième," but I really can't speak French and was afraid someone would engage me.

Later that week when an elderly Frenchman saw us admiring the iron work on the doors of Notre Dame, he invited us for coffeee. He was of the generation who was grateful to Americans for the liberation of France. When we said that clearly we had nothing to do with it, he said "Of course, but we still wanted to show his appreciation and tell other Americans that the French still remember."

Our next trip a few years later, the Parisians were absolutely rude. Our next trip was after the Olympics at Albertville and their was a national campaign to act human and that seem to take.

We know the secret handshake of greeting people when we enter a store and before speaking to someone in a place like Galeries Lafayette. And never touch anything in a small store.

I am native NY'er and the only time I had my pocket picked was in Istanbul a few years ago and I had put my wallet in my front pocket. I still would return to Turkey. One incident is not going to spoil a country for me, I will leave that to Erdogan.
BigAleinstein is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 03:45 PM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,704
Many times in Paris, thankfully never had those problems, the opposite, people being helpful but one time I was going to sign a petition for the deaf by an American fair haired
young woman until a Frenchman shook his head saying, no, no.

BUT-I Can tell you about here in Boston/Cambridge
on the subway seeing someone trying to get into woman's handbag, a man's pants, I yell out watch your wallets
and at a bookshop, a woman wearing a backpack involved with the book was about to get her things stolen, as a guy started to dig in. As soon as I walked up to her, he ranaway.
this is part of city life, to be alert not keep your valuables easy to get at.
cigalechanta is online now  
Jun 13th, 2013, 03:45 PM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 66
Pvoyaguese do these cartes de priorité actually exist then or are you having me on?
MaisonPlague is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 03:45 PM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Oh Thin, I love having you on this thread. I just wish you were omnipresent on all forums in all of our alternate universes.
AZ
AlessandraZoe is offline  

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