Unforgettable Visit to Paris

Pickpocket
@Shiva49 (9029)
Singapore
September 8, 2016 5:25am CST
My visit to Paris was made unforgettable in more ways than one. I was taken to another world, went back in time, to see buildings that have stood the test of time; a real wonder that they still look good and resplendent in full glory. I traveled by Euro rail from London and chose to go to the hotel by local train. That turned out to be almost a disaster! I was being eyed at by few people as I was waiting for train and with two pieces of luggage to manage I became an obvious target. My wife was warning me that some were on the prowl and we were distracted while boarding the train with one trying to go for my wallet inside my pant pocket. But I had a “deep” one and he pulled out my handkerchief instead! I cannot understand why they choose this profession as there are obviously better options to make a living and also why they are allowed to thrive going by continuous announcements of their hideous presence. Obviously, there is lack of supervision as few were also avoiding paying fares by going under the turnstiles at the metro. They should take more care to safeguard tourists. Have you also had a scare like this, or even fell a victim, when least expected? I will follow up with the sweet memories of the visit. Image from Wikimedia
23 people like this
28 responses
@JudyEv (91945)
• Bunbury, Australia
8 Sep 16
Vince had his wallet stolen in Vienna. We have no idea how it happened. You have to admire their skill.
7 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
It is so troublesome to lose our wallet. I was warned to be careful while in Rome I was really lucky as I had my identity, credit and bank cards inside. The gangs are clearly on the prowl. Though we are warned of their presence they are allowed sort of a free ride - siva
7 people like this
@JudyEv (91945)
• Bunbury, Australia
8 Sep 16
@Shiva49 We thought we were being very careful but the thieves are very clever and dexterous.
5 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
@JudyEv They obviously target tourists who are easy prey. In my case, I had to carry luggage in both hands; they offered to carry the one my wife had obviously to distract her. If they had succeeded, they would have passed on my wallet to others and tough to locate! Though people take care in London by not walking alone in lonely areas at night, I was not feeling vulnerable there. Even Rome, which is mentioned as not safe, was no issue at all. But Paris seems to have some seedy characters in touristy places and the authorities are obviously aware of them! They need to install CCTV and monitor critical areas - siva
6 people like this
@epiffanie (8351)
• Australia
8 Sep 16
I guess there are more opportunists in cities where are many tourists ...
7 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
I think they are veterans on the prowl. Lucky my wife warned me that they were around us and up to no good! They were young and should earn an honest living for sure - siva
5 people like this
@epiffanie (8351)
• Australia
9 Sep 16
@Shiva49 Yes they should.. but young people these days think that the world owe them so they just take advantage on other people..
5 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
9 Sep 16
@epiffanie Without jumping to conclusions, they are obviously immigrants and that is indeed a disgrace to their tribe - siva
5 people like this
@DianneN (54798)
• United States
17 Sep 16
I'm always wary when I travel, especially in Europe. I had a scare in Rome by a gypsy girl and another one in Budapest by an old woman who tried to pin a rose on my jacket while her daughter tried to get into my handbag. Thank goodness a man came out of our hotel and chased her away!
5 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
18 Sep 16
Quite blatant obviously like the gang that targeted me as I had both my hands full with luggage. It is a challenge to decide what to take with along as we require some and also where to leave the rest as we do not know how safe the hotel safes are. It is not good for the image of the country when they are allowed to roam around - siva
3 people like this
@DianneN (54798)
• United States
18 Sep 16
@Shiva49 You have to travel lightly, not wear valuables, and be wary at all times. We have been warned so many times. We met a couple from Capetown in Rio who were taking photos at sunset on the beach. Three men ran towards them, sliced the man in the head with a knife, another stole his camera, while the third tried to grab the woman's handbag. She threw it away from her. The man didn't go after it, since they all get running in a straight path. Such planning and deceit! The governments of these countries are not struck enough.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
18 Sep 16
@DianneN Sometimes we are plain unlucky to go through such viciousness. Yeah, better to take maximum care and not tempt anyone that we are easy picking. What a shocker to lose our belongings - there is no greater dampener than that during a holiday. I have to plan better in future with layers of backup - siva
3 people like this
@skysnap (17578)
8 Sep 16
looks like you had a good time in france.
5 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
Yes, except for the scare I have detailed on arrival at the metro - siva
3 people like this
@skysnap (17578)
8 Sep 16
@Shiva49 yeah that happens in most of the new places.. sometimes expected sometimes it doesn't happen like that.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (49067)
• United Kingdom
10 Sep 16
Oh my goodness, I'm sorry that happened to you, but glad that they didn't manage to get your wallet. Pickpockets seem to be a real danger in tourist spots - I know that on cruises we are always warned to only take ashore what we need, and not to wear jewellery. Also to keep our hands on our bags.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
10 Sep 16
Though we are warned and have to be careful this gang was sort of hovering over me to the extent my wife was warning me that they were targeting us. Then with luggage in both hands I was sort of a sitting duck for them! I think these gangs are quite visible and obvious; authorities should have better surveillance especially through plain clothes CIDs and CCTV monitoring - siva
5 people like this
@jaboUK (49067)
• United Kingdom
10 Sep 16
@Shiva49 As you say, the authoities are aware of the problem and should do more to safeguard people.
4 people like this
@TheHorse (50120)
• Pleasant Hill, California
20 Sep 16
@Shiva49 What to the look like? Do they dress in a particular way?
3 people like this
@BelleStarr (30037)
• Portland, Connecticut
8 Sep 16
I have not had the experience but my friend did in Poland and other friends in Spain. It can happen anywhere these days.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
Agreed, years ago my friend traveled to Rome and was advised to be extra careful. People from less developed countries tend to think other places are so much safer. Ironically, my friend took his eyes off the ball and lost his bag containing all his valuables right at the airport upon arrival! He had to be bailed out of his predicament - siva
4 people like this
@BelleStarr (30037)
• Portland, Connecticut
8 Sep 16
@Shiva49 yes my godson lol at his stuff on the subway in rome
4 people like this
• Australia
9 Sep 16
@Shiva49 Of course these types of folk have been around since Adam was a boy. I remember my Uncle telling me about them when he travelled to these places back in the 1960's. He had his handkerchief in his back pocket, and he felt a razor blade cutting his pocket from behind, but he allowed them to take the handkerchief, as his money was elsewhere.
@hereandthere (21874)
• Philippines
18 Sep 16
your deep pocket was like a magician's hat. they got a hanky, instead of a wallet! that picture shows pickpockets' devious methods are as old as time. i agree about the expectations that other countries are safer so it's a disappointment when you just hear repeated warnings, but no one watching and apprehending.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
19 Sep 16
Yes, I was rather naive to keep my cash, credit and bank cards, identity and other needed papers inside my wallet! Had I lost them I would have been in lots of problems to say the least! We know countries like India are not safer but they know people will mete out instant justice when they are so blatant - siva
4 people like this
• Philippines
19 Sep 16
@Shiva49 maybe something that can be hung around the neck, concealed by your collar and slipped inside the shirt
3 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
19 Sep 16
@hereandthere Yeah, some carry them in waist pouch bags though I am not that comfortable wearing them! siva
2 people like this
@Shavkat (43805)
• Philippines
8 Sep 16
That's a great travel. I wish I could able to visit the place in the future.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
I hope so too. Best of luck. I visited the Vatican and marveled at the painting of Michelangelo on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel - siva
5 people like this
• Australia
9 Sep 16
@Shiva49 That's a funny typo to make, for sure his painting would have been "paining" for him at times too, LOL....
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
9 Sep 16
@innertalks Thanks, I know your keen eye does not miss anything and you spotted one real fiasco on my Mandela post few years ago. Yes, the guide told us he was obviously paining, painting and sculpting right up to the end of his life - 86 years. He stayed below the ceiling for even days together to complete his work and the Pope proved to be a hard task master. When the Pope commands you just obey during those times - siva
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (113328)
• Switzerland
8 Sep 16
I have been a victim but not in Paris, in Miami (FL) United States. In Europe I have too much the habit to watch my back.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
I recall your statement where to keep some valuables really safe - inside our boots! Yes, we can be unlucky anywhere and it is a trade off - and not to get paranoid about safeguarding what we have to carry. And then how to recover and regain our balance with proper planning - siva
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (113328)
• Switzerland
8 Sep 16
@Shiva49 I try not to bring too much cash with me when I travel and to keep my credit card in a safe place. We can never know what can happen when we are away from home.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
9 Sep 16
@LadyDuck I was not comfortable in leaving my valuables inside the hotel safe either but we have to compromise. Yes, prevention is better than cure always - avoid disaster by not keeping all eggs in one basket - siva
4 people like this
@silvermist (15385)
• India
16 Sep 16
@Shiva49 Now that we are warned,we would definitely be on guard against pick pockets especially in Paris.(Having deep pockets would help) I am looking forward to seeing the posts about the buildings and tourist spots you visited in Paris.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
16 Sep 16
Though pickpockets are everywhere I was surprised to be targeted in broad daylight by a gang who were clearly on the prowl. Paris is such a great tourist place but authorities seem to be lax in terms of supervision. Yes, I want to share them too. I had a great time to savor for a lifetime - siva
3 people like this
@silvermist (15385)
• India
16 Sep 16
@Shiva49 To borrow a phrase common there,when such people are on the prowl,the authorities close their eyes.
3 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
17 Sep 16
@silvermist Yeah, if they do so they only encourage the rogues to cast their net wider with impunity - siva
2 people like this
@SIMPLYD (73924)
• Philippines
19 Sep 16
I am sorry you had a bad experience of being pick pocketed . Though the attempt was a foiled one because he got your handkerchief instead . How nice that you had a deep pocket . Served the pickpocket right ! So , next time be careful . Don't put all your money in your wallet .
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
19 Sep 16
Yes, I did learn a lesson for free except for the fright I feel even now! I have to be more careful obviously - once (almost) bitten, twice shy! siva
3 people like this
@bunnybon7 (31619)
• Holiday, Florida
12 Sep 16
oh my. would laughed to see his face when he came out with a hanky. lol. here also they at times certain places outside the doors, not enough security. like at bus stations and such.
3 people like this
• Australia
8 Feb
@Shiva49 At least it was a clean hanky, and not a soiled one, that foiled the attempted robbery, LOL....
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
13 Feb
@innertalks Yes Steve, I am used to having them as I live in humid places.I came to appreciate them more afterwards! I use them now more to protect my wallet! That hanky was thrown across the floor but I picked it up nevertheless! I was in Vietnam couple of days ago and was advised to be careful while visiting a crowded night market. I became extra sensitive when people came near me! I am still trying to figure out how to enjoy my travels without getting paranoid about losing my possessions after that narrow miss in Paris - siva
2 people like this
• Australia
13 Feb
@Shiva49 Yes, I would not like to visit foreign places anymore, unless I am with a tour group. The world is too risky to go out on your own now, even in the neighbourhood where I live, I would not walk out on my own on the street at night anymore either. How was the viet food, I hear the street food is very good.
2 people like this
@mavlana (1037)
• India
9 Sep 16
This type of people happen to be everywhere. ...perhaps it is an easy method to earn bread...stole bread of others.
3 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
9 Sep 16
Yes, they are everywhere but more so where there are easy pickings and less of security surveillance. The tourists have to take care of their vital possessions - siva
3 people like this
@mavlana (1037)
• India
9 Sep 16
@Shiva49 yeah...travellers need to care of his luggage.
3 people like this
@AkoPinay (10283)
• Philippines
13 Sep 16
Wow I thought it happens only in big cities of the Philippines
3 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
13 Sep 16
It happens everywhere but what I went through was blatant attempt to rob a visitor in broad daylight. It looked as though they were fully aware they can get away scot-free - siva
3 people like this
@ms1864 (6978)
• Bangalore, India
8 Sep 16
I visited paris when I was in college. Since we were Fashion Design students...it was called a "educational trip". But before we left with the tour, we were forewarned of the different ways pickpockets approach people who look like tourists. Something almost got stolen from me at the Eiffel Tower elevator...it was really crowded ...and my handbag had a slit in it after we came out of it. Lucky nothing was stolen.
3 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
We get complacent that these will not happen in developed countries but we are in for a rude shock if we get carried away. These gangs should be on the radar and every effort should be made to nab/curtail them. I was surprised how some blatantly evaded paying train fares by ducking under the turnstiles. Enforcing rule of law is a must for democracy to be meaningful to the law abiding - siva
2 people like this
@Macarrosel (7650)
• Philippines
8 Sep 16
Paris is one of the places I want to travel with my family. Good to k ow you had an enjoyable travel.
3 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
8 Sep 16
Worth a visit for sure including Rome. Overall it was like a dream but the nightmare that I avoided stayed at the back of my mind! It would have have been a hit between my eyes had I lost my wallet with all the valuables - siva
2 people like this
@allknowing (54667)
• India
17 Feb
Who are these 'they' you are talking about. Are they immigrants? I did go to Paris as part of my Europe package holiday and have great memories. We were even taken to the Lido topless show which by all standards hardly looked vulgar. Your eyes go to see their great performance with waterfalls in the background and such great stage props.
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
17 Feb
They are obviously immigrants or those on temporary visas. Apart from that incident, I did enjoy my five day stay in Paris and visited most of the sights but not the Lido topless show. After my experience many others happened where tourists were targeted. I feel CCTV monitoring would help to curb such activities along with plain clothes detective surveillance - siva
1 person likes this
@allknowing (54667)
• India
17 Feb
@Shiva49 We thought these things happened only in India.
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
18 Feb
@allknowing Yeah, we take it won't happen outside India but those too trusting come to grief anywhere.. One of my friends in Indonesia was forewarned of theft when he went to Rome. And right at the airport, on arrival, he lost his wallet while he was busy filling in documents! And we teased him later that he did reach the right destination! Many Chinese are targeted as they carry wads of cash. After me, there were a host of incidents in Paris; the victims included Kim Kardashian, a rich Arab family losing USD 5 million in jewelry, and Mallika Sherawat. Obviously security is lax in a much acclaimed tourist place - siva
1 person likes this
@salonga (27961)
• Philippines
20 Sep 16
I am surprised to know that even in first world country, pickpockets do exist! How disgusting!
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
20 Sep 16
Frankly, they are not doing enough to curtail them. And to think they roam around scot-free anytime anywhere! siva
2 people like this
@salonga (27961)
• Philippines
21 Sep 16
@Shiva49 That would discourage tourists to come back somehow.
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
21 Sep 16
@salonga As long as they move around with "nothing", except for the bare essentials, it is okay! But how then to shop? Most countries are same and few notorious are a no go for tourists, but Paris is not in that category - siva
2 people like this
@amandajay (17826)
• Sri Lanka
19 Sep 16
I wish I could visit Paris one day
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
19 Sep 16
I feel one should and plan for it early. I did it when I was not young but better late than never! siva
2 people like this
@amandajay (17826)
• Sri Lanka
19 Sep 16
@Shiva49 yeah Siva. From today I have plan for that. Thanks
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
20 Sep 16
@amandajay A hard-earned trip is double the joy! siva
2 people like this
@TheHorse (50120)
• Pleasant Hill, California
20 Sep 16
I've never been victimized while in Europe. In Chicago, when I was younger, naughty teens would "jump" us for our lunch money or bicycles rather often.
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
21 Sep 16
That is a stage of growing and can be forgiven but this seems to be organized crime right under the nose of the authorities who seem to turn a blind eye - siva
2 people like this
@TheHorse (50120)
• Pleasant Hill, California
8 Feb
@Shiva49 If you lose a bicycle here, the odds of getting it back are very low.
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (9029)
• Singapore
13 Feb
@TheHorse Bicycles are easy targets In Singapore as they can be disposed off easily without owner identification documents. And mobile phones are par for the course for easy money for those with no scruples - siva
2 people like this