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Friday, July 1, 2005

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Metro Entrance St. Germaine

Paris is the Sister City of Chicago…

Perhaps that’s why I felt so at ease and wonderful while I was there…

Perhaps it was because I stayed there once before, in the exact arrondissement (11th), that I felt like I was a citizen, a worker, a neighbor…

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Perhaps it was because of teenagers like this lively fellow that I felt right at home!

Vive la Difference #1: He was skating right next to Notre Dame Cathedral…

Perhaps it was because I saw this little pup one day and it reminded me of none other than NY’s own Buddy the Wonder Dog!

Vive la Difference #2: This dog was in a cafe and had wandered over to our table for some props while we were lunching…


Vive la Difference #3: Not only do little friends sometimes visit the restaurants, (I didn’t see any big dogs in the City), you might catch a glimpse of one nestled next to its owner on the subway or busline like this:


As long as your dog was encased in a nice, and fashionable, I noticed, sack, it was welcome on the subway and bus lines…

A different sort of domestic sackage took place in the subway near St. Germaine, when I was boarding a train with Becky and Jackie

After a fine lunch at Les Deux Magots, we repaired to the Metro to return to Bastille. It was Rush Hour – people were running for the train. (This surprised me because the trains come every five minutes or so…)

Before I knew what was happening, a very large woman had shoved me into the door frame as she ran onto the car. I felt a tickling sensation under my arm!

Someone was FISHING in my bucket bag! Instinctively, I reached under my arm and grabbed the hand and twisted it and its owner around, slamming him into the subway doorframe. I grabbed him by the throat screaming into his face, "Don’t you ever put your Mf’n hand in my Mf’n purse YOU Mfer!!!"

I had no idea where this horrible language came from but it must’ve been those times my friends and I sat around drinking wine and discussing theatre. On those occasions, we would make up fantasy David Mamet dialogue and the person who could insert the most Mf’ers in one sentence was feated for the night…

PICKPOCKETS! They’re all over the place in Paris! I had lured one right to me with my gaping bucket bag, which was molested unsuccessfully for its maps, camera and makeup…

He and his two accomplices rode with us until the next stop – total elapsed time – 2+ minutes? Those trains are FAST… It was repulsive but fascinating to see him shaking after the loud blessing I had given him. They ran off when the train stopped. No Parisian spoke a word.

My faith was restored in Mankind, when the next day or so on the bus home from Musee d’Orsay (where we heard a recorded loudspeaker message in 5 languages warning of pickpockets on the premises), I spotted this handsome gent, also in St. Germaine…

OOOhhh LA La ladies – this photo does not do him justice but had me panting. I told my travelmates that I might have to hang the sock on the door and…



Retire for the day with my vapours…

Vive la Difference!~

NEXT: Street Scenes GALORE!

19 responses to “Friday, July 1, 2005”

  1. Chris in MN says:

    That’s a terrific Paris story! I love the way you let you’re latent raging female come flying out.

    And the guy. Hot.

  2. TAMARA says:

    That is the best pickpocket story EVER. You are awesome. I bet they’re still talking about the red-headed American lady with the bucket bag. I am reminded of Obiwan’s line in the bar when he tells the young man “you want to go home and rethink your life” (Episode 4 or 5?, my daughter would know but she is asleep right now).

  3. Laura K. says:

    You go, girl! And that man…!ay, dios mio!

  4. terry says:

    That’s great – you didn’t take the passive stance on the metro. I like the pic of the bus signage (decal) for dogs – did you ever notice the one about open/closed windows? I saw it a few times a couple of years ago, it pretty much states that whomever was there first has the right to how the window is (open or closed). Quite a civil way to settle things.

    I am enjoying your Paris notebooks – and the pics!

  5. lomara says:

    Wow, awesome way to manhandle the pickpocketers! A coworker of mine warned me about the “gypsy paris pickpocketers” on the metro, and offered a similar story as to how he handled one. Only in his case, the pickpocketer actually stuck his hand down into the front pocket of my coworker’s pants! He then launched the pickpocketer out the door in a much similar fashion.

  6. Liz says:

    Go Bonne! That’s right, that MFer deserved it. I’m surprised you let him have it like that though, I just envision you smiling that big smile while doing this, lol!

  7. claudia says:

    My hero.

  8. jeanne says:

    It sounded like you were channelling a bit of dialogue from “The Usual Suspects” – that’s heavy on the “Mfer”s, too! Of course, it was no more than the Mfer deserved.

  9. Andrea says:

    You and my mom should travel together! She accosted three young female teenage pickpockets in Florence, grabbed ahold of them, and started yelling for the police. Which got her wallet back, unhappily sans some of the cash.

    I love the sneaky picture of a beautiful man. Or maybe it wasn’t so sneaky?

  10. Chelee says:

    Way to go BM! You are my super-hero!


    Now I got the vapors..LOL

  11. Laurie says:

    I had a similar experience in London. I watched a guy try to pickpocket my step father and to my utter shock I grabbed him, yanked him around and realized that I really wanted to hurt him and he was in danger from me!

    He didn’t know what hit him but when he saw me turn to my ginormous 6’7″ brother with the shaved head and goatee I think he might have peed his pants a little and ran. (I’m fairly bit at 6’0″ myself)

    I just couldn’t get over my Dirty Harry response and the MASSIVE adrenaline rush. I’m a pussy cat the rest of the time!

  12. Kim says:

    YES, you go Girl!!!! I plan on doing the same thing if I ever catch somebody in my pocket!! Love the naked Angel. Sigh.

  13. Barbara says:

    Last spring my husband and I were in Paris. I had gotten him a backpack to carry under his arm with his wallet but he filled his bag up with maps and such. We were boarding the Metro outside le Louvre, when we found ourselves in a mob of school girls. As hubby went through the turnstyle; he thought his pocket was caught on the gate; as he reached down, he found someone else’s hand in his front pocket! He turned around to find a young man in a NY Yankees ball cap who just shrugged and walked away. The rest of the trip he kept his wallet inside a zippered pocket inside the zippered bag, carried in front. Your Paris stories have really made me relive our trip. I hope to go back someday.

  14. freecia says:

    You Rock.

  15. Sandee says:

    Dang! You GO, girl!

  16. Becky says:

    I swear that your pickpocket story has been told and retold all over the city of Lyon, my friend. I can’t stop sharin git! The image of that smarmy little pickpocket shaking in his boots after you busted him is forever in my brain. YOU ARE MY HERO.

  17. Marlena says:

    You rule! Perhaps people there keep dogs in their bags to ward off pickpockets? ;)

    That guy is seriously hot. Before I read the caprion, I thought it was screenshot from a movie!

  18. Bonne Marie says:

    The MAN: this fellow was sitting a couple of seats in front of us.

    I had my camera up to my eye at the ready – when he turned around, BINGO!!! :)

    But of course, he probably felt my eyes boring a hole in the back of his head – have you ever known someone was staring at you even though you couldn’t see it?

    I was also mentally chanting: “Look at me baby, look at me now…”

    I learned that trick from a girlfriend when I was 13…

  19. stephanie says:

    You Go!

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