Scared to go to Paris / Bag to bring

Old Mar 20th, 2013, 11:21 AM
  #41  
 
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Some of you ... should tell the OP what to say to beggers. Now those poor souls I SAW A LOT OF.

(I'll confess to sounding like a complete fool, doing my version of Gerard Dipardeau's Cyrano with "Non. Merci!"
Merci? WT... Now that's a memory that makes me blush!)
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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I think some people are more careless with their belongings and kind of spacey and probably do need special measures. I don't do anything special in France but I'm used to being careful with my things and I live in a big city and routinely ride the metro, etc. I don't carry open bags or things like that (ie, anything open or dangling down by my side on the metro). I also don't really have expensive gadgets or jewelry, anyway (I don't even have a smartphone).

I am surprised at the reports of assaults etc as of course there is pickpocketing in Paris like many European capitals, but I haven't read a lot about vicious attacks.

AS for what to say to beggars, I'd suggest one rule is for people to not try to be clever and stop interacting with strangers on the street, or with strangers asking them weird questions or touching them, how about that. I don't say anything to beggars, why should I? I don't get approached or bothered much in Paris because I don't present as a typical tourist, I know, but some of them really ask for it sometimes and that's why they get bothered (ie, I've been sitting in a cafe and seen some scam-ster walking along the sidewalk asking real loudly -- who speaks English? Why any idiot tourist would go up to her and say they do, I have no idea, but I saw some do it and of course, she then tried to harrass them into giving her money or something.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 11:44 AM
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I plan on carrying a money belt with some cash and cards. I really would prefer leaving my passport at the hotel, as I've done every time I went somewhere. I'm going to use the Manhattan Portage bag, and all I'll have it in is my camera, and my phone and that is merely it. I've decided to bring the first bag I mentioned as well, solely for extra storage to bring home souvenirs.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Christina and nytraveler make a couple of good points (as usual) that are worth emphasizing.

In my experience, people in big cities, in the US, the UK, France, and Italy, don't smile much on the street. When you are smiley-friendly, as opposed to polite, it opens the way for interactions you don't want, from "here's an easy mark" to "she wants to sleep with me" or whatever.

All those people in Boston who want you to sign petitions, all those people in Rome who want to sell you a "designer" handbag: you owe them nothing but a simple "Excuse me." If that.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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I haven't read all of this but i did just get back from Rome [high on the list of "dangerous" european cities after Barcelona and Naples] and though I took a money belt, I never used it. We had a room safe where I left most of my money, ATM and passport, and just took what I'd need for the day.

and guess what - nothing happened to me, nor to my 12 travelling companions - yes, there were 13 of us!

go and have fun!
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:22 PM
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"I really would prefer leaving my passport at the hotel, as I've done every time I went somewhere."

There are some places where that is a really bad idea. See:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...prosecuted.cfm
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:29 PM
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If you are afraid to put your passport in your money belt due to any excess heat generated to spoil it put it in a baggie then into your money belt..I'd be more scared of leaving my pp in the hotel than I would be of being robbed.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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Well, I can take my passport with me no problem. I just bought an Eagle Creek money belt so I'm sure I can fit in there, is RFID theft an issue, though?
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:40 PM
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You know when you have a weird symptom and you check it out on
medical sites and after you do you are positive you have at
least one dread disease? You have the equivalent only it's
travel horror stories that stick in your mind and ramp up into
total terror.

I've been going to Paris for over 50 years - alone and with
others. It's a big city and if it gives you peace of mind
by all means wear a moneybelt and a safe purse but remember,
it's a city not an open air prison and the liklihood of you
being attacked and robbed and whatever else you are imagining
is pretty slim. I know I've been unscathed - BUT I do wear
a moneybelt and I don't wear a backpack.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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What on earth is RFID theft?
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:48 PM
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Radio Frequency Identification - the chip in passports.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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Honestly, Paris is no different than London safety wise for tourists. If you are comfortable in London, do the same things in Paris and you will be fine.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:52 PM
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Just wanted to add that people can probably find posts like that on the Internet about any large city in the world...and probably small towns as well. Control what you can by following advice above and have a fun time in a beautiful city!
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 02:56 PM
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I leave my passport in the safe, I don't wear a money belt to sightsee, leave stuff in safe.
I take days worth of cash.

I like the messenger style bag you linked, in fact is similar to the one I have taken to Paris many times..its comfy and pretty darn secure. I don't like Pac Safe bags they are heavier ( who needs metal in the straps that is so overkill) .

I was scared witless taking bus from the airport to the cruise ship terminal in Miami many years ago, it was the first time I had ever seen homes with barred windows,, that is not nice at all, how do people feel safe there!!!
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 03:13 PM
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The info on the RFID chip can be picked up by unauthorised receivers. I might worry about it in airports, but not on the street.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 03:16 PM
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But why worry about in Paris and not other cities? Surely the info could be picked up at your home airport or streets as easy as Paris?
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