Welcome to Paris!

With the Camino de Santiago completed, we fly from Santiago, Spain, back to Paris on Vueling Airlines a few days before our return flight from Paris to Minneapolis, MN. Might as well look around since we are already here!

When you think of Paris, you think of romance, indulgence, and the sweet smells of perfume.

Um… I hate to burst your bubble, but that isn’t necessarily the case, unless you are Princess Kate or George Clooney. (I’m 60% sure we saw him in the Paris airport)

As we sit with our backpacks on the RER train leaving Charles de Gaulle Airport, Liz warns/lectures us NOT to talk to anyone on the metro subway and don’t be so nice.  A little harsh, perhaps?

We soon find out why.

Scam:  Ticket purchase help

While attempting to purchase metro tickets at a machine, a man speaking broken English acts friendly, takes over the transaction, insisting on “helping.” Forcing his way into our machine, he puts his special credit card in,  pushes buttons with lightning speed and five tickets appear.  Already severely annoyed, Liz notices that the total was 8 Euro. After he thrust the tickets into Randy’s  hand (His culture (Gypsy?), apparently, assumes  the oldest male to be in charge), he says, 35 Euro  – follow me!” and goes towards the metro train we are to get on.  The tiger in Liz raises it’s ferocious head and after grabbing those metro tickets from Randy,  all 5′ 2″ of her chases after the thief (with the four of us following), shoves the tickets back in his hand, scolds him and stomps awayWe then go back to the machine, she and Joan purchase metro tickets for 8 euro total and we go on our merry way. From then on, we keep vigilant with awareness of surroundings and say, “NO,” to every person unnecessarily approaching us. Close call.

Here is a link to a page of security tips when using Paris (or probably any) metro system. The above scam was listed right at the top of the list.  http://parisbytrain.com/paris-security-safety-tips/

Lesson learned:  Be extra careful if you are Minnesota Nice on the Paris Metro.

sncf_blue_green_ticket_vending_machines

Photo from the Paris Public Transportation website.

Welcome to Paris!

 

 

 

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