A friend of mine who had come to Finland from Nepal to participate in a program showed an enthusiasm to visit Paris. Accordingly, we planned to have a 3-day-visit to Paris this August. Not long ago, I had been to a distant South American country, Brazil. So, I am used to such a trip but the friend who had come to Europe for the first time was excited about the plan.
I booked two-way tickets from Helsinki for both of us. As it was not possible to take much office leave, I had to go on Saturday morning and buy a return ticket on Monday evening, which was a little more expensive than usual.
We left the room on Saturday morning and arrived at Helsinki Airport. After a general safety check, we boarded the plane. Since both France and Finland are Schengen countries, visa and passport checks are out of the question. The plane, which took off at about 7 a.m., landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at 10 a.m.
Airport being at the center of the city was about 40 kilometers away from the hotel we booked. Taxi and Uber service being expensive in Paris, we bought train and metro tickets with the prospect of experiencing public transport in Paris. After half an hour of a train journey, we had to catch the metro.
4/5 people boarded the metro station. In the crowded metro, two people stood in front and two or three behind of me. I felt as if someone had touched my back pocket. I realosed that a person had touched Zipper. It was not difficult for me to identify the person.
He shouted at me to move forward in an unnatural way. I replied in English not to put hand in my pocket. Another person (should be his friend) started saying something in French. I decided not to reply.
There are many foreigners of different origins in Paris. Before we went to Paris I had enquired a friend who had just finished his visit to Paris a few weeks back, he straight away had warned me of theft. I didn’t take his advice seriously thinking this would not be the case in the world’s famous tourist destination and country full of security.
I had bought purse when I was in Peru. The purse, made from the skin of an Alpaca (animal found only in South America), was used for only a month.
They fell at the next stop. I put my purse in a more secure place, my blazer pocket. At the station, we could hear the announcement – ‘Beware of pickpockets!’
Then it seemed appropriate for us to pay some attention as places like Eiffel Tower, the museum with the Mona Lisa, and other places would be crowded and a little tidy.
Beware of pickpockets whenever you go to Paris.