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My last day in Paris -- a trip to the Bastille by Police Car!

My last day in Paris -- a trip to the Bastille by Police Car!

Old Sep 6th, 2011, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,137
Hey Patrick, no flames here either!
Good to hear from you BTW. John says Hi.
I hope we would do the right thing too.

mms, very good idea
Judyrem is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2011, 08:31 PM
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Wow. Thanks for the report, Patrick. I'm glad you got your wallet back, even if that was part of the scam. Replacing credit cards are certainly a bigger hassle than replacing cash! And good for you for filing the report!
PegS is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2011, 09:13 PM
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Wow, really ended your trip on a bang!! Glad you were ok and didn't suffer anything more than the loss of time and some money.

I bought this for my husband for our trip to Paris in April.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Protege-Ai...older/17119287 It cost $8.

It has a cord that he fed through his belt loop and that secured it to his pants, and then put the wallet in his front pocket. It was a bit too big for the pocket, which he cursed each time he put the wallet in or took it out of his pocket. But we knew that was going to be lifted out, at least without him being aware that an attempt was being made. It had room for credit card, cash [in a zipped compartment]. Perfect for being out and about during the day. I had a neck style money pouch for the other cards, drivers licenses, larger amounts of cash, passport etc. It never came out from it's hiding spot [under my top] in public.
DebitNM is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 12:50 AM
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Well done! You did a great service to the people and visitors of Paris!
Gekko is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 01:39 AM
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Well done, Patrick. You came out of the experience without that helpless feeling of having been fleeced and not being able to do anything about it.
tarquin is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 03:51 AM
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For what it is worth, I close my pockets with safety pins.
ira is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 04:19 AM
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Patrick at the Bastille: a man who keeps his head while those around him are losing theirs.
Nikki is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:11 AM
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LOL, Nikki!
DebitNM is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:25 AM
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Bravo Patrick Take a bow! Do hope you are going to do a full trip report when you get home!!
avalon is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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LOL, Nikki. When they make the film of my escapade, you can provide the soundtrack on flute! I hadn't thought much about the fast ride in the police car, sirens blaring, until we actually rounded the Bastille and the irony of being taken by the French Police to the Bastille set in.

And to think that I started yesterday with "what am I going to do today?"
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:37 AM
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Good job, Patrick!
grandmere is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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Thanks, Patrick. Now we're all envious. Prepare for a series of false reports filed by Fodorites hoping for a ride to the Bastille. I got taken to lunch in the Mountie cafeteria at the Toronto airport once, but I was the perp.

Ira, would you use your boat horn at a sidewalk cafe? Wouldn't a burst of loud and rapid invective accomplish the same thing, cheaper?
stokebailey is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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good work, NP
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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Congrats Patrick for handling the situation so well and not letting it ruin your vacation. It takes courage to admit to having been victimized and you had a very good attitude and reaction about a really negative experience.

I don't think having your wallet in a zipped front (not back) pocket is a bad idea. That's pretty safe but the way most of the pickpockets get to you is by distracting you. If you're not distracted by them, at least in the situation you were in (i.e. not a crowded métro), they probably won't succeed. Your critical error was acknowleding them in the first place because that's where the distraction starts. If you took the time to notice what was written on their "petition", even if you only saw one sentence, then they have already succeeded in distracting you. I have no idea what is written on any of these sheets because I just act as though these people don't exist and they completely ignore me. Don't make eye contact, don't say "no", don't wave a hand at them, don't get angry with them and don't look at their petition. Any of these things is a sign to them that they have your attention, even if in a negative way, and will set the group in motion. They might then become persistent and while one of them focuses on trying to get you annoyed or angry at them another one moves in for the kill, because now you are distracted by the one trying to annoy you. Pretend they are invisible and you stand a better chance of being left alone.

I must say that your very positive and not negative attitude after this happened to you was absolutely the right way to handle this experience. It must have brought you good karma because it's so rare the police just happen to be right there when things like this occur. As I think you can tell by all the comments here, everyone is cheering for you.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 09:01 PM
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Bravo, bravo for the good attitude and all that, but you don't think this exempts you from a real trip report, do you?

<i>I've paid more for activities that were less exciting. </i> Let's hear about these, hmm?

[I do in fact hope that your trip was enjoyable, and I look forward to a longer report.]
Leely2 is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2011, 11:58 PM
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FrenchMystiqueTours, thanks, and I agree about totally ignoring them, not even giving a negative reaction. I did it all week with the "deaf" scammers, etc. But it's a lot different when they approach you while you're walking than when you are sitting alone and they literally put the papers in your face -- two of them at once. It is simply not possible to "ignore" them. Such affrontery of having two people totally in your face simply requires some reaction -- of course, that's what they wanted -- but in this case I really don't see how I could simply ignore them once they were totally "in my space" and face!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2011, 01:28 AM
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Did I just use "affrontery" for "effrontery"? Sorry.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2011, 01:42 AM
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You did, NP, but online dictionaries list affrontery as an alternative spelling for effrontery. My spell checker does not recognize it as such, but what does it know?
nukesafe is online now  
Old Sep 9th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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What a story! Congratulations for handling the situation so well. You did the right thing. I personally would have done more with the police being so helpful. It's unfortunate that these people steal and beg instead of going to school, working, and making an honest living.
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Old Sep 9th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Well done, Patrick. Bravo for your attitude and your responsible actions.

My daughter and I were approached by a similar group with big signs & a few children in the Paris Metro one (bleak) Sunday. I yelled to my daughter to hold her purse zipper, and even though we both did that, they managed to open them a bit. BUT, thankfully, not enough to get anything. I yelled (in every language I knew) even pushed away a little boy who had plaster of paris on his arm....my daughter still tells that story, and I guess I am too.

As MaineGG says, they are good at what they do. And you were good at what you did, Patrick. My compliments.

MarnieWDC is online now  

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