Travel Incidents



Poppyfields


Ivanhoe, Australia
Member: Sep 2013
Gender: Female
Age: 60 years
Paris, France
GOOGLE TRANSLATION George V Metro Station

"PARIS METRO MOBILE PHONE GANG"

You have to be aware of your surroundings and the people around you at all times on the Paris Metro. After the finish of the 2012 Tour de France, my husband and I caught the train at George V Metro, travelling nine stops to Bastille Metro. At George V, I headed for an empty double seat with a young woman in a long gathered skirt. We both sat down and she took out her mobile phone.
After a few stops I glanced sideways and noticed she’d received a photo of a handbag slung over the shoulder of a woman in a white shirt. What’s more, I could see this woman standing alongside the nearest carriage door, beside a skinny girl in tiny fringed-denim shorts, also holding a mobile phone. At the next stop, what looked liked a third accomplice, rushed between the denim shorts and the white shirt, making a lightening exit ahead of the target who was leaving the train, and presumably rifled her bag.


Traveled July 2012, #Couple   #Seniors  
TIP : Avoid unwanted attention on the Metro by blending in with the locals, know which platform you’re going to, walk briskly, avoid speaking English and don’t display cameras.

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GOOGLE TRANSLATION

Paris, France

Bastille Station

"PARIS METRO PICKPOCKETS"

On a summer holiday in Paris, sharing an apartment opposite the Bastille with our daughter and two grandchildren, we had to keep our wits about us at all times. The Metro is the most efficient and inexpensive way of getting around Paris, but Metro thieves have an unexpected bag of tricks for the unwary.

We were targeted in the Bastille metro ticket machine queue on our first day out. My husband had decided against carrying a wallet and divided his notes between two patch pockets with Velcro closing on the hem of his shorts. Nobody could reach down to his knees, he thought: it was as safe as the Bank of England.

When he heard the ripping Velcro, they already had one roll of money and they were after the contents of the other pocket. I say they, because there were two men and a young woman behind us on a very crowded and noisy Monday morning. The French crowd, took no notice whatsoever when he shouted at a neat businessman, wearing conservative leather shoes, ‘You’re nothing but a common thief, you’ve got my money!’

The trio stood their ground and the assault wasn’t over. Ahead of us in the queue was a man with a backpack, and a hand came between us openly unzipping his fastenings, distracting me while my husband fended off another slick hand on the Velcro pocket. Only then did they leave us alone, moving to stand in the adjacent queue with aloof expressions.

Traveled July 2012, #Family   #Children  

TIP: To bypass the pickpocket gangs at the ticket machines, a Metro official suggested we buy batches of twenty tickets: you need a lot because tickets are one-way in Paris, with no returns.

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