Common Tricks to Un-Follow before you visit Paris
Every time I hear or read the name “Paris”, I get swooned over the memories I made in this beautiful city of Love. Paris for me is another wonder existing in the world. I close my eyes and just even remembering the walks in the alleys, the inviting aromas of the French Patisseries every corner, the beautiful architecture clad with masterpieces of artworks, the beautiful mornings urging you to step out in freezing cold just for cup of coffee and fries in cafes , and that cold clean breeze of air over my face, makes my heart want to go there and stay forever.
Paris was my first Holiday destination outside India. When I visited it was during the eve of Christmas which made the already beautiful Paris to be illuminated by the festive joy and celebration, giving this Holiday a special place in the heart. I stayed in Paris for almost two weeks. During the course of my vacation I wanted to live in the city like a local, so opted to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel, and transit everywhere using the Paris Metro. And I would recommend you to do that. You will fall in true love with this city and will know this city better only if you spend enough time here. Passing by just for two to three days will not give you a chance to feel that pulse!
Before you visit the city, I want to give you a word of advice. While the city attracts tourists, it also attracts different types of con artists, muggers trying to play the innocent tourists. And we have been a victim in few acts. It is very common in Paris and surely you are bound to be tricked by one or two.
Some of the tricks to be careful of :
1. While sitting in restaurant or a Cafe outdoors, please be extra careful of all your valuables – jewelery, mobile phone, hand bags. You never know when a stranger would come from street and steal your stuff immaculately.
2. While buying tickets for a metro, or withdrawing money from a roadside ATM, there is possibility of having a group nearby who is keeping an eye on you. They will be looking at you to know the location of your wallet, your bank cards, and even the pin number. After that they will follow you and wait for the best opportunity to be able to rob you off your belongings. Tip : Always keep your credit card blocking hot line numbers handy as a backup plan.
3. This one is quite famous when you are visiting Eiffel Tower. You will see a large group of people standing around a person who is playing the game “Guess which cup contains the ball from the 3 cups, and then rotating the cups in front of you”. It is quite amusing to watch people play. But what you don’t know is that the other people playing the game are accomplices in the act and are waiting for tourists to get amused and invoke their interest to play. Looking at the game looks so easy, the other people are playing, they bet 100Euro, they guess correctly and double their money to 200Euro everytime. By this time your greediness increases and you are already dreaming of doubling the money and later spending in a nice French restaurant 😉 So here is the moment of truth, you play the bet, and to your surprise the seemingly easily game makes you lose. The ball isn’t in the cup you mentioned. Well if you look with attention, you might be able to catch that when you play the game, the guy is so trained that he removes the ball from cup and at the end ball is not present under any of the three cups. So my advice is just don’t stand there, Don’t be another prey.
4. You will see plenty of people sitting roadside with a cute animal. And strangely every time the animal is so numb as if its been drugged. However kids or even some of us get sympathetic and want to touch the animal, cuddle it. Of course you have to pay few cents to play with the animal. But trick here is while you are being sympathetic to animal, there might be another accomplices waiting nearby for you to get engrossed in the animal and seize the opportunity to rob you.
5. Don’t ever accept any sort of favor in Paris. For example sometimes while visiting a Church, some group of big guys will approach you trying to be friendly and give you a band to wear on wrist in name of some cultural African traditions. They will insist that its free of cost. So you be happy and take the band with your eyes showing feelings of brotherhood :p Later once you take it, they play the trick and harass you to donate money. They will encircle you, and given their size, you will be intimidated. So at the end you are so frightened that you pay money in name of donation. So my advise is to refuse or ignore in the very beginning.
6. There are few areas in Paris which are defamed for having more number of cases of pick pocketing, snatching etc. To name a few – Gare du nord, chatelet, La Courneuve. And avoid going there in the night time unless very urgent. Even in the much famous Louvre Museum, since its crowded, many number of pickpocketing cases have been reported.
7. While you are waiting on a bus stop or sitting in a cafe, there are instances when a large group of people carrying one large map will come to you and ask for directions. While you try to be seemingly helpful, the group of people will try to play their trick and rob you off.
Everyday these muggers are coming with new ideas to exploit the tourist. So please be alert at all times.