Safety versus Appearance in Paris

Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:09 AM
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Safety versus Appearance in Paris

So something has to give. My wife and I are flying on points to Paris in May for our anniversary - I think it's our 22nd. I have a purple fanny pack which I have mentioned on other threads. I will use that because petty street crime can be bad in Paris. On the other hand I like to wear tennis shorts, white tennis shorts, when I am travelling. Very roomy and comfortable. And I am a big tennis fan dating back to Rod Laver days.

Some friends were saying that I look like a dork wearing white shorts and a purple fanny pack. If I am going to do that they are insisting I put a small US flag on my fanny pack, sort of the reverse of what usually happens with Americans putting a Canadian flag on their backpacks. But I don't want to misrepresent myself. Personal integrity is important to me.

So something has to give. Should I leave the purple fanny pack or the white tennis shorts behind (rather than on my behind) on this trip?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:14 AM
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I think if you wear a beret and phony mustache you will fit right in. Or you can wear your Rod Laver left-handed shorts and tell everyone you name is Roland Garros. And if you need the bathroom just say wee-wee.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:16 AM
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Adu - I suspect you're kidding.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:23 AM
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I think you should dye your shorts purple to match your fanny-pack, and wear a US flag as a cloak. and don't forget the big white tennis shoes as well.

People in Paris expect US tourists to dress like that. If you wear a beret they will think you are trying to mock them by trying to fit in.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:28 AM
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Have you thought of a striped jumper and a string of onions around your neck, you could even push a bike?

Street crime can be bad in Paris. Nah, just don't have so much "stuff" (fat wallet/credit cards/passport/Jewels/shiney watch/ mobile phone/ kindle/MP3 player/ guide book/umbrella/ etc etC) to pinch and avoid getting into a squash with gipseys/columbians on the Metro
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:49 AM
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There is no dress code in Paris. You may wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:54 AM
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You're not going for either safety or appearance with that outfit.

You'll stick out a mile and be a target for every pickpocket in Paris. They'll all be thinking: "look at that rube - he doesn't have a clue - let's get 'em!!"

The fashionistas will be thinking: "look at that rube - he doesn't have a clue - let's get 'em!!"

Other than that, I think you should combine Adu's and Bilbo's ideas - beret, mustache, striped jumper, and onions! Then your white shorts will fit right in.

No matter what you wear, have a wonderful anniversary trip.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 03:18 AM
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Adrienne - That was mother's name. She would have given the same, sound advice without the best wishes. I should point out that Paris is my wife's idea. Just me and her, dinner, dancing etc. Though I doubt the tennis shorts would work in formal restaurants.

My own idea is to hike in Nepal in August with the kids. I think Paris would be better for our 50th anniversary. Of course it's 50/50 we'll still be married then.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 03:47 AM
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Just take along plenty of nylons and cigarettes to hand out to the locals and you will be fine. And be sure to remind them how much better things are back home.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 04:25 AM
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How's about leather chaps, a Muir cap and a disco harness.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 04:27 AM
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Do post pictures!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 04:39 AM
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I'm there in May as well.....will look for you.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 04:42 AM
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I work at an airport. I had a biker looking dude check in the other day. He was dressed to the nines in Harley Davidson gear. He handed me his passport ans spoke with his heavy French accent at the same time. You all would have loved it! 90% of the French all leave with a baseball cap on their heads and new nike sneakers on their feet.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 06:03 AM
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"A rube and his purple fanny pack are soon parted" - I don't know who said this (probably a rube) but it is excellent travel advice. If you're not street smart you shouldn't stray too far from your hotel on rue Cler. However, that would mean you'd be pretty far from most of the best restaurants in the Latin Quarter on rue de la Huchette and rue Saint-Séverin. I'll have more advice for you later once I've returned from the jewelers. I'm having my collection of gold rings appraised.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 06:14 AM
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I heard that if you speak louder they will leave you alone ??
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 06:46 AM
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Cold: More important you remember to always say mercy bo-koop every time you thank someone...and parless voos English if you hope to find an English speaker. That and the outfit will see you safely through the mean streets of Paris. Just hope othercelebi doesn't see this thread!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 06:59 AM
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Wearing shiny reflective vests will allow your group to maintain visual contact with one another while drawing a pickpockets gaze away from your fanny pack. These vests come in many stylish colors but get something that doesn't clash with purple.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Tower - the good news is that we speak French, but it is a franco-Ontarien (Ontario) French that tends to drive Parisians around the bend. In fact if you speak franco-Ontarien French in Paris stores the merchant will usually give you a discount just to get you out of the store. I gather it sounds to them like fingernails on a chalkboard.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:10 AM
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I recommend that you also have someone in your group carry an umbrella in the air, so you can stay together. Strangely, I will also be in Paris in May, but promise not to wear a purple fanny pack or white tennis shorts. Really wouldn't be fair to cold...
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:12 AM
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Some friends were saying that I look like a dork wearing white shorts and a purple fanny pack>>

only some friends, cold?

sounds like you have kind friends.
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