Sunday, May 22, 2011

Paris's Polite Pickpockets

Prague's pickpockets could learn a lesson from Paris's. My experience in Prague was that a group of people surround you in a subway car, and grab your wallet as they get off at the next station. Bye-bye. Something similar happened to my husband a week ago in Paris but he decided to get off the train with the thieves. As he exited the train, a man turned to him saying, "Sir, here's your wallet." We were back on the train checking the wallet contents and, as the train left the station, we realized that the guy who handed it back was probably one of the thieves (I know, we are gringos). Too late to take his photo. The money was gone and it was an unpleasant ending to the day but at least we had his cards and IDs back and for that we are grateful.

The station attendant says he gets complaints that pickpockets have stolen someone's money several times a day and there is nothing he or the station or the city can do about it. Hmmmm. Sounds like a job opportunity for a bunch of people.

At any rate, here are a few of the more pleasant aspects of the Paris Metropolitan System. The Jules Joffrin entrance with brown tiles and green wrought iron:

Advertisements with interesting art lines a tunnel:

Subway tiles sparkle in a stairway but persons with heavy luggage or baby carriages would surely have enjoyed the convenience of an escalator.

Different construction eras are apparent at various stations:

I don't know if this is a legal way to make money on the Paris Metro but it's certainly much better than the route the pickpockets have chosen. Forgive my awful, amateurish video skills but enjoy a moment of Metro music:

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