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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm headed to Paris this weeks for my wife's birthday. Its the first time I wont have my carry with me and I'm pretty paranoid about it. I know its decently safe city but with all the anti-American stuff coming out of France and the large Muslim population its got me just a little worried. I'm not taking any check baggage so no pepper spray. I'm a pretty large guy at 6'2" and 260lbs. Any suggestions to keep me and my wife safe? And to keep all our credit cards and passports safe?
 

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Thanks for all the replies and advice. I'm off this morning on my trip. I've been brushing up on my French since its been years since i've used it and am going to try and blend in as well as possible. Thanks again all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I've been back for a weeks and now that I'm caught up on everything I thought I would post up how things went. Blending in didn't work at all. I was a good 6"-10" taller than everyone and an easy 80-100lbs heavier. Also having blond curly hair in a country full of brunettes didn't help. So I gave up on that idea after my first subway ride. I ended up being the dominant American without any effort and may have scared a few people from sitting near us on the trains just by making eye contact and staring people down. Which was fine cause they don't freaking bathe or use deodorant and we didn't want their stinky butts next to us anyway. My French came back really quick and I had no problems getting around or communicating.

I will say that Paris was full of sheep though. I really felt like the only sheepdog around. Everyone just went about their own business and never noticed anything going on around them. I noticed a pickpocket on the metro and some beggars who gave off a bad vibe and was able to avoid them by going into a shop for a bit or crossing the street. Gypsies are everywhere begging for money and they would always come up to us. One girl gypsy at the Eiffel tower even demanded a bite from my wife's sandwich but left quick when I stood up and moved between her and my wife. I keep my cash and credit cards in my coin pocket where you couldn't see them or get to them. I didn't notice or get the feelings like I get here when I see someone else who is on guard or who is being situationally aware except from the people who gave off a bad vibe.

About the only time I didn't feel safe was on May day. Their worker party/labor day/communist rally was in the square right in front of our hotel. The door man who I had made friends with told us not to go far from the hotel or to stay in the lobby or our room during that day. They had trucks and vans with signs and loud speakers driving around the square with the hammer sickle and star of the old Soviet Union. Also a bunch of anti Bush, American and anti Iraqi war signs. Most of the rally was people screaming through the loud speakers in Arabic or Persian while banging on drums and groups of people chanting. :nilly: Real eye opener or me and my wife.

Oh and we went to a "western" BBQ restaurant to see what they thought western was. It was like 1970's rhinestone cowboy mixed with old black and white western moves. We laughed through the entire meal.

Other than that one day in the hotel we bummed around Paris on the metro eating crepes and baguette sandwiches. I don't think we will be going back anytime soon unless the dollar rebounds a bit and can go with family or friends.
 
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