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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Frederic Geffroy from Paris is a young Frenchman who has a strong connection with New Zealand. After reading about the Blog4NZ campaign to promote NZ tourism he wanted to write his own article in order to help. This is a intimate article written with love. We thank Fred for his lovely article supporting the beauty of our country in every form!

My experience of “what is the beauty of the New Zealand” is quite small. Actually, I have some difficulties to find a special emotional event. A moment when I just realize how wonderful are the landscapes of the Kiwi’s land. It is obviously. This is not the essential part.

Smell of Paradise - AkaroaI have to confess that I miss some part of the New Zealand history necessary to understand pieces of the  culture. But anyway, I’ll never be a New Zealander. That for sur. Even if I try my best, eat fish and chips everyday and play perfectly the Crowded House songs, I won’t be a truly kiwi.

New Zealand is more than tiny places hidden from the rest of the world, it is before everything people. They are the soul of the country. To be more precise, for me, it’s all about one person. One single special person. I must say the one.

You may guess hearing my accent that I am French. You’re right.

I’m Living in paris, studing art degree and running after the metro everyday. Nothing exceptional.

The special girl decides one day to have a long term holiday out her country. She uses to call that a gap year in New Zealand. France and Paris seems to be an appropriate place for a self improvement period. She was right.

Here she comes for the first day in our classes of 16 students. She’s nice. She’s cute and quite funny. It’s amazing how fast she can integrates herself into the group. Her simpleness and devotion just convinced everyone she deserves a place on the crew. She’s the kind of girl knowing exactly where she’s going, what’s her goal. And She was my aim.

I don’t remember how it happens, but we finally get together. Lovely thing. The more time I spent with her, the more I felt attached to her. Paris was the appropriate play ground for lovers like us. I don’t have enough fingers in my hand to list all the specials moments we had there.

Then, one day, she had to flight back to Christchurch to be graduated. My little kiwi leaves France after one year. I’ll avoid the departure at the airport. Sad as you can imagine but hopeful in the same time. We promise to see us again on the christmas time, five months later. We had to be patient.

I think New Zealand is at the extreme opposite of France on the earth. 20 000 kilometers separate France and New Zealand. That’s what we can call a distance relation.

Thousands of pictures and hundreds of skype conversations later, I started my long travel to New Zealand. Thirty hours of flight. I spent all I had on the plane ticket to Christchurch. That was the travel I was waiting for.

The plane landed smoothly on the ground. I tried to see through the small plane window of What is New Zealand. Nothing except mountains.

People in the airport seems to be nice. They were. Actually, they don’t succeed in saying my name. Instead of Geffroy, they tells  Geffry.

Arrivals are frustrating. You just travels hours and hours to arrive and overcome the new ordeal of border controls before being allowed to access to the pure fresh air.

Moreover, I couldn’t find my luggage on the moving carpet. Honestly, I was so exhausted that I didn’t give a dam about my bags and passeport anymore. My head was already out of the building.

Papers and signatures later, I was now a free man ready to front New Zealand Beauty. In fact, beauty was just waiting for me out of the arrival door.

I remember. She was wearing a lovely flowered dress with pale color. It is the perfect definition of a summer dress. I ran to her and give the biggest huge ever. My head on her shoulder, I smell her skin. I was paralysed. It was such a incredible smell. A smell of something new, a smell of freedom and sun. A smell of attraction and passion. From this moment, It becomes the smell of New Zealand. The smell of paradise.

That’s was my first contact with New Zealand and obviously my best. I’ll never forget my arrival in Christchurch. She’s for me the face of the country and the smell of a culture. I was charmed again by this truly kiwi.

My New Zealand is a lovely woman, beautiful, patient and hopefull.

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I just need a bed for the night!

I hear this comment in my travel business all the time. Well, if you are going to travel to the south of France and find yourself in the beautiful fishing port of Villefranche sur Mer, just 7km out of Nice, and you just want a bed for the night, then don’t go and stay at the Hotel Welcome.

Nearly 25 years ago I brought my wife on a surprise Honeymoon from New Zealand to the south of France. She had no idea where she was going, but soon found out that there was a good 30 hours of sitting in a plane to get used to before arriving in this idyllic location.

This is the waterfront of Villefranche sur Mer. Restaurants on the waterfront. The Hotel Welcome just out of sight on the left of picture.

We hired a bright red convertible Peugeot car and drove up to the door of the Hotel Welcome. I was feeling fairly self-assured as I had learnt French at school, and I had brushed up on a few critical phrases, just so I could impress my new wife. With my wife firmly in hand I strolled up to the hotel reception and proclaimed

Bonjour Madamoiselle, je m’appele Monsieur Reese, j’ai une réservation à votre hotel. Hi, I’m John Reese I’ve got a booking here with you.

Comment ca s’écrit? – How do you spell that. (All good so far!!)

R E E S E – I slowly spelt each letter out.

Blank look across the desk

Errr, comment ca s’écrit?

So what don’t you understand. It’s R E E S E. Again I pedantically spelt out each of the five letters that make up my surname!

No, still a completely blank look, as she looked through the planning chart for the day.

Maybe the receptionist was deaf?

Finally I reached for her pen and wrote my name on a piece of paper.

Aaaah, Air Er Er Ess Er, Monsieur Reese!  Ah, Mr Reese, welcome to the Hotel Welcome! Phew !

(Sadly I never learnt how to pronounce phonetically the letters in French at school!!)

This was our introduction to this very special address. We have now returned to this place almost annually since that time and have been fortunate to experience the unique position of this hotel perched on the edge of the bay of Villefranche sur Mer. From the balcony of each bedroom you can sit and watch the comings and goings of the bay. During the day you can watch the luxury cruise boats sail into port and moor themselves in the bay right in front of you, you can watch the fishermen unload their catch right at your feet. Then in the still of a dark night you can look across the mirror flat water of the Villefranche sur Mer bay reflecting the lights and dreams of luxurious villas on the nearby Cap Ferrat, whilst listening to the gentle rocking of a nearby yachts’ masts moored in front of your hotel.

The Hotel Welcome on the waterfront. All the rooms have balconies.

But the Hotel Welcome is not just my second home. The famous French artist Jean Cocteau lived here for two years in the 1920s, and stayed in Room 22, which you can stay in today! The present owner of the hotel, Gerard Galbois, displays a sketch which Cocteau presented to his father, which carries the words “A mon très cher Welcome, où j’ai passé le meilleur de ma vie” “To my dearest Hotel Welcome, where I spent the best years of my life”. As well Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor stayed here, as well as Somerset Maugham.

I have many tourist who regularly return to the Hotel Welcome. Even without a car you have easy and regular access by train and bus, with places like Cannes, Antibes, Monte Carlo, Nice and Menton all being less than an hour away. One morning you might wake up and while enjoying breakfast overlooking this idyllic port view, you might decide to catch a train through to Italy to visit the Ventimiglia morning market just 40 minutes away – then after a pizza and pasta for lunch you can head back to your home away from home!

When you travel to the south of France you can either choose to have “just a bed” for the night, or you can choose to stay here at the Hotel Welcome – once you’ve been here, you’ll keep returning, just like me!

The view from my bedroom's balcony across the bay to Cap Ferrat. Bliss!

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(Article written by my darling daughter Sarah)

“Love is all around” , Wet Wet Wet first belted out in 1994, and yes, in fact, it is. Whether it dwells in families, friends, places, romances, partners, or pets, the Scottish pop band have a point. Love is all around: people sing about it, paint about it, write about it, sculpt about it, and make movies about it.  Even as a child, I understood that Love in whatever form is the most powerful force and human emotion that exists, even though I had obviously never experienced it in its romantic form. Love defines the way we live our lives; the way we laugh, cry, fear, smile, hope, and dream. It can bring us together, or tear us apart. It can be the most reliable force, or the most volatile one. Love is truly the Zeus-like figure in the Realms of Human Emotions; altering the way we live our life, and sculpting the paths we follow.

Valentine's Day in Paris?

Like every important event in life (the birth or death of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed there is usually a day to commemorate it. Well, what a splendid idea then to commemorate this wonderful thing called Love! Thank you, Saint Valentine. However, as mysterious as love is itself, we know very little about the real Saint Valentine. Interesting. We only know that 14 saints called Valentine were martyred in Ancient Rome, and their personal attributes were often roses, birds, or a bishop with a crippled or epileptic child at his feet. (Sorry, just had to chuck that one in there!) The February 14 celebration of love and affection, which we today know as Valentine’s Day, was in fact created in 500AD by Pope Gelasius (sounds a bit like an icecream to me: “I’ll have a wildberry gelasius in a waffle cone please.”) It was removed off the Roman Calendar of Saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but today has remained a popular mass-produced-greeting-card-way to say “I love you”. I sound pessimistic, but for a very long time I had every reason to be….

For the first two decades of my life, Valentine’s Day was the second-most dreaded day of the calendar year. The first: cross-country. (Obviously.) Bouquets of flowers, chocolates, stuffed teddy bears, rose petals, Hershey’s Kisses, real kisses: you name it, I didn’t get it. For me the highlight of Valentine’s Day was sitting in front of the television with my single friends watching re-runs of Friends or The Notebook, eating calorific feasts of popcorn, Cadbury Caramello chocolate, and downing copious amounts of Pinot Noir to drown our sorrows. (Just to clarify, I’m talking about my late teenage years here not my primary school ones for all those who may have been confused and sliiightly concerned…) Although there were glimmers of hope along the way, I was always alone on Valentine’s Day. And yet, I never ever lost my belief in the thing we call Love. Because, as the old men on the NZ Mainland Cheese ad say, “Good things take time, but they are well worth waiting for.”

It wasn’t until I met my Special Someone In Particular where this wise theory kicked into action. Funnily enough, our first date (or ‘courting session’ as my grandmother might prefer to call it) was in Paris, the City of Love. On Valentine’s Day. Swoon. I got whisked off my feet to a glamorous and decadent Indian restaurant on the Left Bank (a mere three days after recovering from a violent vomiting bug) where I would be wined and dined in pure Parisian style. Despite the stomach cramps radiating to my kneecaps, a flame inside my heart burned brightly and I realized what this wait had been all about.

Excitedly I waited until the next morning before emailing one of my bestest buddies (/relationship counselor) back home in New Zealand. I believe the subject line of the email read something like, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, my BOYFRIEND is so COOL and LOVELY.” I will never forget the response I got back that evening:

Sarah!

Ah, wuv.

In Paris. The city of wuv.

He does sound dreamy. (Sigh)

Could a more perfect potential-future-life-partner exist? Well, probably not short of Mr. Darcy. Or Clive Owen. Or Clive Owen playing Mr. Darcy.

The only real problem I have with all this is that I can see no possible way of us double-dating any time soon. I mean, how would that work? We could start saving now, but dinner and a movie is looking somewhere ’round $3500 for me and Bek, not counting baby-sitting…

Aside from the obvious hilarity of this email and the continuous giggles that followed, the real reason I have treasured it is because it was the first time I have felt complete as a person: I realized I had my precious friends on both sides of the world, my devoted family, and now a loving Special Someone In Particular at my side. Love, in every possibly form, actually is all around.

However, we all know that Love isn’t just fancy dinners, cheesy Hallmark cards and Whitney Houston ballads; I did in fact see something on the silver screen the other night which depicted all this love business incredibly and accurately. French photographer Pierre Thoretton’s first documentary L’Amour Fou (literally translating to ‘Crazy Love’) depicts the lives of Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner of fifty years, Pierre Bergé. Within five minutes of the opening credits, I was an emotional train-wreck. We see Bergé in front of the camera; a man who has just closed the eyes of the man he had loved for half a century. Quite simply, he intimately tells us their love story; they fell in love, move in together within two weeks, and stuck together through turbulent waves of depression, fame, fortune, and the burden of being genius. Spanish literary great Paulo Coelho once described Love as,a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; it’s sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time if we’re doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstasy and agony.” And this is the exact reason why L’Amour Fou affected me so profoundly, as it highlighted the pure existence of Love, embodying all its beauties and its imperfections. Thoretton’s film is also a poignant reminder of the transient nature of life, and the importance of cherishing the one we love so dearly, for we never know what tomorrow may bring.

So…this Valentine’s Day, buy one of those much-loved mass-produced cards, a box of Hershey’s Kisses, or simply just tell your Valentine how much you love them. Although I will be 20,000 kilometres away from my gorgeous Special Someone In Particular this 14 February, we will still both be proposing a toast to Saint Valentine (whoever the heck he was) but more importantly to Love, because without it we’d be nothing. And as the Beatles once cranked out (albeit rather repetitively), “all you need is love.”

L’Amour Fou by Pierre Thoretton is screening as part of the L’Oreal Paris French Film Festival 2011 in New Zealand.

Screening times:

Wellington, Penthouse Cinema: Feb 15, 8.30pm

Auckland, Academy Cinemas: Feb 17 6.30pm; Feb 22 8.15pm; Feb 23 4.15pm

Auckland, Devonport Victoria Picture Palace: Feb 20, 6.00pm

Christchurch, Regent on Worcester Cinema: Feb 25 6.30pm; February 28 8.30pm

To read more of the NZ L’Oreal Paris French Film Festival 2011 you can click here.

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For the last twenty years, France has been my life, both personally and in my business. How did this happen to a young lad living on the other side of the world in New Zealand?

My father died nearly thirty years ago at a relatively young age. I adored my father. I had heard through him that I had a distant cousin living in France with the same name as him – David Reese.

Not too long after my father died I travelled to France with the purpose of finding this man with the same name as my father. I was travelling in the north of France with a friend of mine in a campervan, when I stopped at a phone booth and called France Telecom to see if they could provide me with the number of this man with a very non-French name, Reese. Surprisingly they provided me with the only “Reese” they had who was living in Corsica, an island 30 minutes by plane from the south of France.

I made the phone call, and this stranger on the other end of the phone explained that “if you want to meet me you better be quick because I leave in two days’ time to tour around Europe”. I was in the Loire Valley, and had to find a way to Nice overnight in order to get to Corsica. My travelling companion was told to make his way alone through to the south of France while I raced to Nice. Three trains later I arrived in Nice at 6am. With no time to sample croissants or fresh coffee I raced to the local port to find a boat which would take me to the port of Bastia in Corsica. I made it on to the boat just as the boat was preparing to set off. During my six hour crossing I had time to ascertain from the crew how I would find this man with the same name as my father. This would not be straight forward. On arrival in Bastia I would then need to take the famous narrow gauge railway from Bastia to Ponte Lecchia, and then another train which would take me to the attractive port town of Calvi, where my distant cousin was to meet me.

I was new to Europe, having lived in the comfort of New Zealand, where our oldest buildings were not even 150 years old. So making my way through the port town of Bastia in Corsica was an eye opener for me as I searched for the train station. Constantly passing people sitting on footpaths eating meals and drinking pastis and local wine were sights I had never seen before! I eventually caught the little train “Trinighellu”. The train had open sides, and it began by snaking its way through narrow gorges and tunnels, until it arrived at the rocky mountains running through the centre the island. Then we headed from Porte Lecchia towards the coast where the train continued following beach after beach through to the picturesque town of Calvi. The countryside was glorious, and I soon realised why Corsica was known as the “Island of Beauty”.

This is the train arriving in Calvi - getting ready to meet my man! Photo thanks to http://simplythebest84.centerblog.net

The excitement was building as the little train proceeded along the white sandy beach of Calvi, as I was now about to meet my father’s namesake, David Reese!

The train jolted to a stop on the station platform and out I stepped. The station looked completely abandoned, except that there were two men waiting, with one man at each end of the platform. Hmm, which one is David Reese? One of the men was tall, wearing light cream coloured trousers with a matching shirt which was unbuttoned almost to his tummy button, showing off a bronzed chest that had seen years of dedicated sun worshipping and healthy living, and well coiffured greying hair slicked back off his face. Indeed this man looked like Roger Moore of James Bond fame.  The man at the other end of the platform was short, with holey faded jeans and a faded flowery shirt. This man had a craggy face that had not had the care and attention of Roger Moore, and what hair was left on his head was wirey and it looked like he had just climbed out of his cave after having not washed for a week – he could be referred to as Cave Man! This couldn’t be David Reese?

I was fairly comfortable with my genetic makeup and quickly ascertained who my man was! So I walked down the platform towards Roger Moore and promptly put out my hand “so you must be David”. NO. Cave Man was my man!

David Reese turned out to be an inspiration to me and my family over the next twenty years or more, and taught me that in life you must never let anyone talk you out of anything, that you must follow your heart. Anyway, he took me to his village, Montemaggiore, perched in the hills behind Calvi.

Ten years earlier I was selected to travel for a climbing expedition to Darjeeling in the Himalayas. Before I left I had a dream about a village perched in the hills, a dream that was as vivid as being there. When I arrived in the Himalayas I was so disappointed because the village of my dreams was not this one – I had been certain that my dream was leading me to Darjeeling.

As we drove from Calvi to Montemaggiore, he drove around the valley passing villages with such musical names like Calenzana, Zillia, and Lunghignano. Then as we turned around a bend there in front of me was the village of my dreams – Montemaggiore, and I couldn’t speak as tears welled up in my eyes.

What does this mean? Could I have been here before? Have you ever had any experiences like this? Maybe I was a Frenchman in another life!?

Note: I have since been travelling almost annually to Corsica since 1985, and have escorted travellers through this island more times than I can remember. This year from 19 August I have an escorted tour starting in Ajaccio and visiting of course my village of Montemaggiore! For further information contact me at john@france.co.nz.

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I’ve got a confession to make. Well, I have many but I won’t bore you with them all.

Although I’ve been going to France and Germany for many years my grasp of languages other than English is well… not that good.

The confusion of words - it's not always what you think!

And I think it has something to do with me misusing the French word ‘baiser’ at a family meal. To my partner’s mother. I had wanted to say ‘The meal was so good I could kiss you’.

But I said something that meant something else VERY different. (John’s note – read very bad!)

In my defence I have two things to say.

My comprehension – at least of French – is better than my spoken French and it’s not that I can’t speak French or German (or Latvian for that matter) it is just that ‘I simply haven’t learnt yet’ as one of my more positive-minded friends would say.

Which makes me sound very busy. Which I’m not anymore but like the sound of anyway.

I also like the sound of words.

On a trip to New York I sat on the subway gazing at the adverts inside the carriage. And I learnt something. The Spanish word ‘embarazadas’ means ‘pregnant’. So much more gentle than ‘schwanger’, the German equivalent. Or even the French ‘encientes.’

I imagine a shy young woman looking at the floor and hesitantly announcing her joyous state. And me getting the message wrong and thinking she was embarrassed. Which she might be. In addition to being pregnant and not directly linked to it,

Some words are just a joy to listen to regardless of their meaning.

Words such as ‘quincaillerie’ meaning a hardware shop or ‘pamplemousse’ meaning ‘grapefruit’  and ananas ‘pineapple’. ‘Pomme de terre’ and their German cousins ‘Kartoffeln’ are potatoes. Of course, for many of their vegetables the Germans use the French words.

And many German words are very descriptive. How about ‘Krankenhaus’ and ‘Lazarett’ both meaning ‘hospital’?

I love the vision of people who are feeling ‘cranky’, as they say in America, because they are unwell all being put in a house until they are better. A bit like sending a fractious child to its room. ‘And don’t come down until you are in a better mood!’

And at the other end of the scale people being resurrected Lazarus-like from the Lazarett.

As for ‘Rathaus’. I think it’s an inspired choice for ‘town hall’ with all the political shenanigans that can go on there.

Such wonderfully sounding and descriptive words.

And there’s more…

Mother-in-law and father-in-law become ‘belle-mère’ and ‘beau-père’, proclaiming the aesthetic qualities of your spouse, the prodigy of a beautiful mother and a handsome father.

What about the sound of ‘Un ver de terre en verre vert’?  Although who would find a use for such a sentence is beyond me at the moment.

And as many of you will know better than I, one doesn’t say the ‘Sun was setting’. Rather the sun was sleeping.  (Le soleil se couchait).

And  rivers don’t burst their banks. They get out of their beds. (La rivière sortit de son lit.)

And then there is the strange way in some nouns and titles of organisations have to be the other way around. For instance ‘walkie-talkie’ becomes ‘talkie-walkie’ NATO is OTAN in French and the United States (of America) becomes the Etats-Unis (d’Amérique).

Ah… Vive la difference!

(Article kindly written by Richard Maddox from the UK, a lover of history, words and sounds, and… who knows what else he’s hiding!)

As there are a number of Spanish speakers who read this blog, do you have expressions that are colourful, or where you have to pronounce a word carefully so as not to have the wrong meaning? What’s your word for potato or hospital?!

For another interesting article on languages you could check out:

Formula for Learning

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When I say “French Cinema” what do you think of?

It’s probably not Luis Bunuel’s bizarrely fantastic Un Chien Andalou or the haunting violence bubbling on the surface of Guillaume Canet’s Ne Le Dis à Personne that you’re thinking about, right?

Nope. I knew it!…I know you’re all thinking about all those lovely naked girls on a balcony in the fifth arrondissement, daintily smoking their cigarettes after a strenuous afternoon making love by the open window. You may laugh, but I know that’s how many people see the French cinema. And in some sense, there’s nothing wrong with that…

Whether we like it or not, we all have a certain voyeurism that pulses through our bloodstreams. We are enthralled by the lives of others. We go to the cinema to step out of our lives for a hundred minutes or so and into someone else’s. Whether it’s out of our own insecurities, fear, jealousy, hope, triumphs or failures, we go to the movies to do just that; to take a peek at someone else’s life.

This year the fifth annual French Film Festival bursts onto the New Zealand screens to, quite simply, celebrate the lives of others – the meals they cook, the music they listen to, the people they kiss, the heavy heartache, the happiness, and the bizarre volatility of their lives and ours in this world we live in. The magical thing about this festival is that we can discover a bit about someone else by escaping into another culture. Let’s face it, there’s nothing that a pinch of excitement, emotion, and amour can’t solve.

From Canet’s star-studded ‘dramedy’ Little White Lies, to Michel Gondry’s intimate The Thorn in the Heart, to the sugar-coated chick-flick All That Glitters – there’s certainly a little snippet of life for everyone at the French Film Festival this year. There’s a range of characters to fall in love with (pity Canet’s behind the camera), as well as their love for life, and commitment to family values and living.

I know for a fact that I will never become a Burlesque dancer. But in the dazzling, award-winning On Tour (Tournée) the fabulous Mathieu Almaric gives me a magical two and a half hours to catch a glimpse of what life could have been, had I chosen that particular path. For that mere twelfth of my day I forget about the deadlines at work, what to cook for dinner, and the dire state of my bank balance, and I become a girl transported into the wings of a world bursting with colour, imagination, and exuberance.  That, my friends, is the magic of cinema. So, go and get your tickets to the Festival today to step out of your shoes and into someone else’s. “La France va vous ADORER!”

L’Oréal Paris presents the fifth annual French Film Festival

Wellington: February 8 – 17 at the Penthouse Cinema

Auckland: February 16 – 24 at the Academy Cinema and Victoria Picture Palace

Christchurch: February 22 – March 2 at the Regent on Worcester

Ticket prices and screening times can be found here.

Or follow the Festival on Twitter.

Article written by: Sarah Reese, Festival Coordinator, French Film Festival 2011

Other articles by Sarah just click on this link.

Tournee – On Tour by Mathieu Almaric

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A traveller busy on her iPhone in the Paris metro!

Both the Interior Ministry and the local Paris train company (RATP) have warned that in the Paris metros there has been a large increase in pick-pocketing. An increase of 40% of reported thefts over the last year has astounded the French Interior Minister, Monsieur Hortefeux.

Of the reported thefts the majority of stolen items have been smartphones and in particular the iPhone. The Minister has encouraged the RATP to warn travellers of the risk of pick-pockets in the metros, as well as discussed with product providers whether there is a way of remotely and quickly disabling the use of stolen phones to make them worthless for subsequent operation.

In any major city such thefts are always a major issue and tourists in particular seem to have a “she’ll be right attitude” when touring around Paris. My family and I have observed on many occasions thieves in action. I hear often from my readers and travellers in Paris that they are safe carrying their handbags across their shoulders. However I have personally seen a number of handbags just ripped away from people before the thieves disappear in to the crowd. Once on Blvd St Germain near the St Germain metro stop a businessman was carrying his briefcase strapped across his shoulder and under his arm – a thief grabbed the bag and just continued pulling the man along the road until the strap broke and the thief disappeared with the bag including his computer into the metro never to be seen again!

Not everyone waits for their metro this way!

I always say to people to be security conscious. For men, never carry a credit card or too much money in your wallet – credit cards and excess cash should be carried in a security belt under your clothes. For ladies remember that a handbag is not secure – in fact it would be the least secure of anything! Now that you know that Smartphones are such a target, make sure you keep these well out of way – after all we don’t want thieves picking Apples in the Paris metro!!

But Paris is beautiful – enjoy it safely!

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