I'm a bit surprised all the backpacking tourists aren't Americans. I know my first trip, coming from so far away, I made the mistake of dragging too much around with me. Just accustomed to having my car nearby to hold emergency sweater, bottle of water, etc, etc. Wasn't sure how we'd manage on the public transport. Did not realize until we'd trekked around a couple of days dragging too much with us how available and reasonable all the things, except perhaps the sweater, would be around town. Now I get by with as little to keep track of as possible. Have not yet been lightened of any valuables, but have had the amusing experience of placing hand in pocket and discovering another hand already there. I suppose I must have felt something thus felt the need to slip hand in pocket, though I don't actually recall having that thought. The pickpocket was quite dismayed not only did he get nothing of value, I also called out loudly "Why are you picking my pocket? Get your hand out of my pocket I don't know you!" so he was forced to move on.
Here in the US where everyone drives, when we see a woman with a tiny purse, we look at each other knowingly and wink because we ladies all know her "real" purse is likely in the car, fat and happily holding all those little "might needs" - tissues, makeup, asprin, pens, paper, scarf, pair of earrings, comb, little daub of perfume, and the endless list of other "in case" items we all seem to collect.
I'm now down to a tiny purse that just holds my camera, a little cash and a few cards, perhaps a spare pair of batteries (why are they always so expensive everywhere in the world that tourists want to go?), some lip balm, and a tiny half pack of kleenex when I travel.
Great shots of 'the Paris tourist'. This will be reassuring to those people who worry about how to present themselves. Since I walk so much when I travel, only two things are important to me, comfortable shoes and my purse is a shoulder bag, just big enough to carry the essentials. My camera (small), my visa and debit cards, metro pass, journal and pen, a tiny brush, lipstick, cash and a rough guide. I don't even carry a wallet (too heavy), I put some cash in a small ziplock bag and in another ziplock bag, I have the torn out section of a guide book that I have decided to sacrifice for the trip. I take the section for the day.
I never carry a backpack, I hate them...too heavy and they get in the way. (whacking innocent passersby) I think I must be nondescript ;D...most places I go to, I am addressed in the language of the country. If there is a certain etiquette that is important to the people of the place that I am visiting, I try to be conscious and respect this. In Turkey, I always had a light headscarf in my bag for the unexpected visit to a mosque. Or, in Paris, I would 'dress' a touch for visiting certain places. I try to find the most un sneakerlike-sneaker possible, and wear it everwhere. Unhappy feet mean an unhappy jazz.
My first report was done well before "American tourist season." I fear that it would be cruel to do the same thread in June, which is "American tourist month." And why does the largest number come in June? I find that really strange.
Why? Because school lets out in June? That's why Mr. Kimby and I travel in October or November. Don't have to tangle with all the other tourists.
Also, most people have heard not to travel in August because "all of Europe goes on a one-month holiday then", and perhaps July is less favored because we 'Merkins like to celebrate the 4th of July at home, and a lot of family reunions take place around this time...
We watched as this group of young Japanese tourists took turns taking group pictures over at least 15 minutes. Every picture for every camera had the same hand gestures.
They never get tired of posing for group photos. At least this one has a nice backdrop. Often the location is ignored in the interest of taking yet another photo of the people they are travelling with.
I regularly peruse the travel forums and, as usual at the approach of the high season, people are freaking out again about what sort of clothing is acceptable in Paris. I don't know what is wrong with them. Most of the people below might be dressed atrociously but at least they are comfortable and the imaginary fashion police have arrested nobody.
Kerouac, please tell me these photos weren't taken a few days ago?? Surely the weather can't be that warm I'm almost ready to start throwing things into my suitcase - I've always found April/May a bit cool...
Kimby, I have one and the same, accept I am doing a Vanna White pose beside it.
We were in Thun, Switzerland, 2005 I think, up at the Schloss and outside there was a Smart car, first time I had seen one. My husband really disliked it but I loved it! He said, okay when they come to Canada you can have one. He thought they would never ever come, but they have...
The reduction in Smart vehicles has dropped from half a dozen in our city to zero. I would love to drive one just for a few miles to feel the experience but as for buying one as my permanent car - not a chance where we live! I would feel as Kimby points out - vulnerable and scared of being on the loosing end of any vehicle collision. That being said, I wouldn't mind betting that Mercedes have built in more strength to that little car than probably any make on the showroom floor! Still wouldn't make me feel any safer ( airbags to boot) driving in amongst these crazy combi minibus taxi's. They have increased their size so they are even bigger and higher and don't heed the speed limit they're allowed - (100km per hour), as they swerve in and out of the traffic.
If I were to hire a car, say in Paris, the Smart would be my choice simply for it's park ability
I came across this article, which is either straight reportage or the kind of poorly researched crap sometimes generated by English-language outlets in non-Anglophone countries. Whichever, I'll let those who truly know Paris pronounce on it.
When I saw the article I remembered that there was a thread on anyport with a find-the-pickpocket picture in it. A search led me to this thread, which is indeed the right one, but which is also full of other joys. Joy #1 is that there is not a single selfie depicted in it because there was no such aberration at the time the thread was made. In fact, everyone is using a camera, making this thread a genuine historical artifact.
I vote for poorly researched crap. Pickpocketing will always be a problem in cities like Paris just because people set themselves up for being victims. For example, is anybody who is posing for a ridiculous selfie paying sufficient attention to their possessions at the same time?
I am glad that this thread was brought up, though -- I have been wanting to do a new version for quite some time, and this will motivate me. But I will wait until spring.