So many people obsess about not wanting to look like a tourist when they visit a city such as Paris. What a stupid idea! Being a tourist is one of the great joys of life, and there is no point in ruining one's holiday by pretending to be anything other than what you are.
And frankly, a city like Paris has seen it all -- nothing will shock us anymore.
Tourists with cameras are a constant joy. It is nice that people want to take pictures of the city (or each other in front of the city).
We admire how well the visitors wear their houses on their back. It's really important to keep all of that stuff on your back at all times. I'm not really sure what that stuff is, but it really seems bulky -- passports, snacks, guidebooks, water, flashlights, sticky tape, nail clippers, extra clothing, sunglasses, tissues, trinkets purchased, extra sandals -- wow, some of those packs really look full!
Except for the clicking cameras, many of these people look no different than the ones crossing the street in your most recent Paris fashion spread. Ha! Have you ever thought you're being taken for a tourist when you're out and about finding all these great photo-ops to show us here?
I really don't get the backpack thing. Lumpish as fanny packs are, at least you can whip out your camera quickly for a good shot, you won't take up more than your share of space on public transportation, and you won't go through the world knocking merchandise off shelve and hitting people in the face when you turn around.
I don't get the backpack thing either. In NY you would get a serious glare coming onto the subway with one of those . The people wearing them generally don't seem to be aware that they have the equivalent of a small child on their back smacking everyone in their path.
The large white tennis shoes are what gives away American tourists, or so they say. I try never to wear them while traveling outside the states, but my husband and travel partner always does.
They do come in handy, though, like the time in Millau, France, when we had an argument about where to eat dinner and stomped off in different directions to get a break from each other. After I'd cooled off a bit I wondered how I'd ever find him again. Not to worry. I caught a glimpse of his big white clodhoppers in the gathering dusk, and we were reunited in time to share a lovely meal at the Moroccan restaurant of my choice.
I think I disagree, Bixa. Most of those people don't look like those in Kerouac's neighbourhood, although I'm sure that some of those tourists are French. What I found amusing when digital cameras became popular was that people held their arms out to take photos, rather than looking through the viewfinder as they had done for years. Now, of course, it's unusual to find someone who looks through the viewfinder. I always walk a lot when I visit a place, but I also walk a lot at home. When I'm in Paris or in other very touristy places, I see many people walking who visibly never walk anywhere at home.
Yes, I'm sure that some of the tourists are indeed French -- and I would estimate that, since these pictures were taken in May, at least 90% of the foreign tourists are from neighboring European countries. For a gallery of tourists from the Western Hemisphere in full splendor, I would have to do this sort of thing from about June 10th to July 14th. After that, they mostly disappear again, except for retirees.
After walking around a little bit, a lot of tourists feel the need to sit down for some reason.
One of the things that frightens tourists the most are the evil gypsies who are clearly plotting against them.
For safety reasons, a lot of tourists prefer to stay grouped together. This makes them invisible.
But my heart will always go out to those tourists who look a little bit lost or who stop to read a map when so many tourists say they want to look like "the locals". (I have no idea why.)
Bon voyage to all of you. For those who would like to play a little game, I have put a photo of a pickpocket among all of the other photos. The person did not succeed in this endeavor while I was present, and left quickly when it was noticed that I was hanging around and taking pictures of the people instead of the nearby monuments.
Can anybody find the pickpocket? Was the person working alone?
I will take your photograph in front of a place that a Middle Eastern tourist asked me today as I was leaving work. He walked up to me and asked "Evil?" My mind immediately went to the movie I had seen yesterday on the Champs Elysées (while Tod/Tod2 was yelling my name in front of my apartment), Sam Raimi's "Drag Me to Hell." I squinted and said "huh?"
"Evil," he repeated. "EVIL!!!" he exclaimed as he saw my confusion about such an obvious question and made a triangle with his hands. The lightbulb finally lit in my head, and I pointed to the end of the street. "Go there and you will see Evil."
So, yes, I promise to personally take a photo of the winner in front of the famous monument of Paris, the Evil Tower.
HW, apparently, they target people who are lost in their thoughts, people who are distracted for one reason or another. So, walk with intent, concentrate, keep your values safely away from any pickpocket's hand.
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
Once in Kunming in China, talking with my mother, my whole wallet was taken, but without important papers or documents (passports were at the Lao consulate for visas, money was wisely spread all around our bags). I didn't notice until I needed to pay for something.
The second time was right here in Phnom Penh. It was at Wat Phnom, one of the main sights and there was a festival. Also only noticed when I wanted to pay for something.
Brilliant, Kerouac. Next time I go to Paris I plan to be carried about in a sedan chair by four reformed pickpockets. My livery will be orange and gold, and as usual I will carry paints and canvases, not cameras.
I saw him trying to maneuver into position several times among the people photographing the Arc de Triomphe, but he couldn't find the opportunity. And when he saw that I was standing there and watching him, he felt it was best to leave instantly.
Okay I think I got this one! is the pick pocket the duck? Did you take any pictures around the Avenue des Champs? that's where I have been, did you find it in places to see in Paris? I hope you did. Do I get a prize for the duck?