I need to add a postscript to my trip report. Our last day was really all about getting to the airport. Which we did on the RER train, and which afforded us our last great authentic Parisian experience.
Now, I had read up a lot about the petty theft problem in Paris. I was well versed in the Petition Girls, the Ring Scam, and how to avoid pick pockets. Since we took the train in and arrived in Gare du Nord, I had made plans to get us the hell out of there as soon as possible to avoid said pick pockets (Gare de Nord is one of the hot spots for them).
So, because I was so well prepared, we didn’t run into anything. Until we were on the train out of town. We had boarded on the far side of the line from the airport, so had seats, which ended up having a prime view of the door, and as the train stopped at Gare du Nord, two men pulled the classic one man pretends to trip, blocking the victim so the other guy behind can rifle his pockets scam. The intended victim was a man from China, who was there for a conference with several coworkers, including an Aussie, who had apparently never been to Paris before, because Chinese guy preceded to give him a rather hilarious break down of what had just gone on (apparently, it’s happened before, so he never keeps anything in his pockets – which really should be rule number one in Paris). There was also a running commentary to his other two companions, in Chinese, which I really wish I could have understood, because it was apparently hilarious.
So I did manage to get that final, apparently quintessential Paris experience, and better yet, it didn’t happen to me.