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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
First-come, First-served — When They’re Gone, They’re Gone…
Dear Parler Paris Reader,
As a result of Monday’s newsletter, “To Catch a Barcelona Thief,” so many of you had a story you wanted to tell about some thievery while traveling or a suggestion on how to avoid it, that I am compelled to share them with you. (To read Monday’s issue, visit /parlerparis/issues/readpastissues.html)
A while ago, we created the Parler Paris Reader Forum, meant particularly for that reason — so that you could share your comments with me and all the Parler Paris readers. When you hit “Reply” to a Parler Paris newsletter, it goes to a customer service email address which I may never see! And I’d hate to miss your important comments! So, please take this opportunity to use the Forum: /parlerparis/forum
One story worth sharing with you from Adelbart B. will be helpful next time you’re taking cash from an ATM: “I was in Paris at an ATM trying to get money and was having a problem. A helpful person came up and tried to assist me. While he distracted me with reading the screen, he cleverly removed my card and quickly disappeared.”
Scott K. wrote that “You should follow my wife’s practice of getting a leg pack, which we buy at AAA in USA and always carry ALL credit cards, money, etc.”
The sad part is, that we really shouldn’t have to go to such extremes or be so concerned about all those misguided people out there who chose to make their vocation methods of praying upon others. At the Barcelona police station, it was such a matter of routine that not only was there a line of tourists making the same complaint, but the forms to complete were lined up along with pens ready to hand out. We wondered why they weren’t making more of an effort to stop the pickpocketing, and what kind of effort could they really make? Here in Paris, you will often hear announcements on the Métro reminding you to watch your personal belongings. Shouldn’t all heavily touristed areas post some sort of warnings? And shouldn’t the police be on particular look-out? Or are they and it doesn’t much matter?
Recuperating from the theft the last few days has been both a nightmare and a blessing. American Express had an emergency credit card waiting for me at their rue Scribe office — but it didn’t do me any good when I arrived directly from the airport with all my luggage to be told the “résponsable” (supervisor) had gone home 30 minutes early leaving no access to the card!
Frustrated, I hopped on a bus to head home stopping first at SFR at Place de la République to try to replace the cell phone. (How did we live without cellular phones!? SFR has a special site for International travelers in English to learn how to use your cell phone while you’re traveling here: http://www.sfr.com/en/index.jsp)
Here the personel were particularly nice and helpful. Thanks to an accumulation of “points rouges” (frequent user points), for a whopping 9€ I could treat myself to a new mobile with email and WiFi/Internet. The only problem…they wouldn’t accept the police report from Barcelona in Spanish. That sent me
treking to the “Commissariat” of the 3rd arrondissement — the police station at 4Bis rue aux Ours (01.42.76.13.00). (http://www.PagesJaunes.fr lists 21 Commissariats in Paris [department 75]– just in case you ever need to report a crime, find the one in the district where the crime took place, at just about any hour.)
While the French police could not have been nicer or more understanding, the process took well over 2 hours and still, the report was not complete, missing the “IMEI” number from the stolen cell phone, which of course, I wouldn’t have had! By now the long day turned past midnight scouring the closets for the original packaging which would have this important serial number.
The next morning, a trip to the bank (CIC) was in order to unblock the checking accounts and stop payment on the checks lost. There is a steep charge to do this — more than 32€ per two check numbers. Ugh! Mission accomplished, the next stop was again SFR, which almost didn’t accept the report without the IMEI number written directly on it and verified by the police stamp. Begging, pleading, crying and having the original phone box along with my passport and the checking account from which the payments are extracted elicited a positive response. Within moments came an explanation of the various phones available with Internet and email; not a difficult decision to make, but with my luck the way it was, it’s no surprise that the store was out of stock. That sent me down to another branch on rue de Rivoli…yet another hoop over which to leap. Help!
“Darty” is an appliance store to which I’ve become quite “fidèle” over the years, so it was there I quickly purchased a new digital camera. My daughter’s advice was…”buy a Sony Cyber–Shot — it’s simple enough for you to handle!” And so I did. It’s tiny, sleek and no joke — simple. The instructions come in several languages and are for “Photography for Idiots”…”To turn on the camera, press the Power button.” Even with this simple camera and armed with the photo guide, “Big Bucks for Snapshots: 53 Can’t Miss Techniques for Becoming a Money-Making Freelance Photographer, I should be on the road again to great Paris photos. (This is your last chance to get a hold of this popular photo guides — click here for more information: http://www.thephotographerslife.com/bgb/09. And if you don’t already know about Darty, you should if you plan to purchase any electrical device here — they guarantee everything for at least one year and their service is top notch. Recently they introduced “Dartybox” — Internet, Television, Telephone with guaranteed installation. Visit http://www.darty.com for more information.)
With still a few more things to complete the recuperation process, I learned that my medical insurance was not up to date and therefore wouldn’t cover my lost eyeglasses! If this hadn’t happened, I would never had known! So, since there is a reason for everything in life, perhaps that was the real reason to have lost all my personal goods…now I can reinstate the medical insurance and be prepared for something really serious — much more serious than separation from a few possessions.
A la prochaine…
P.S. Come to Patricia Laplante Collins Paris Soirées this Sunday night April 1st at 6:30 p.m. for her 8th Anniverasry Celebration and Soiree Gastronomique: “The Cuisine Of India” prepared by Chef Jonathan Robert Frost, with a short talk: “What Is India To Me” by Indian Designer Katrina Neal and I’ll bring along some of Erica Simone’s best photos from our recent trip to India. For more information, visit http://www.paris-update.com/fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=512&Itemid=18 or http://www.parissoirees.com
The Parler Paris Weekly Community Calendar is a partnership with http://www.Paris-Update.com to provide you with the most up-to-date information about upcoming events related to the Anglophone community in Paris.
We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to be listed, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to: Calendar@ParlerParis.com
We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the calendar format as your guide.
Thank you, Adrian
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You spend months or years developing your screenplay and then, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to pitch it to someone who has the power to make your dream come true. Learn how to tell and sell an idea, make it clear, communicate a story in dramatic and visual ways, and describe a full length work in a few action-packed verbal minutes. Get the inside information on the rules and customs of the pitch meeting and how to make the listener say “Great, I want it.”
Led by Judith Merians and sponsored by Adrian Leeds and Parler Paris, join us for this 3 hour session, Saturday, April 21, 2007 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais, only 30€ per person!
American trained psychotherapist is now taking clients interested in Life Coaching sessions.
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.
Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!
Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
ENJOY SPRINGTIME IN PARIS!
on, Burgundy and more! Email: Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com
We cover specific, niche-interest topics that are difficult to find anywhere else. Get an insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…
For more information, visit http://www.insiderparisguides.com
The next gathering is April 10, 2007
So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.
Special Note: The May session will be held on May 15th due to holidays.
Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR OUR NEW SATURDAY LOCATION AS OF APRIL 7, 2007
Parler Parlor is open all year long except for national and religious holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year’s
Closed May 1 for Labor Day.
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