Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sur Place

So, I've been in France 2 days and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good: a splendid concert of Mozart flute sonatas in the Sainte Chapelle: what a venue for a concert! The bad: ridiculous bureaucratic inefficiency with an Air France bus whose ticket validator wasn't working: result--paralysis. The ugly: I was robbed at an ATM by a gang. Vive la France! Despite the adage that a neocon is a liberal who has been mugged by reality, I cling to my old politics, since I lost nothing but money.

Oh, and I had dinner at the same restaurant where Obama dined a few months ago. Delightful.

12 comments:

Kirk said...

Wow, that sucks! Getting mugged in Paris!

Also, there's been heavy weather in Nice, where you're off to soon - there were severe waves that took out all those "plagistes" on the beach, and also ravished many other towns on the coast

CJWilly said...

Sorry to hear you got mugged! Any chance we will be seeing you down south?

Alison said...

Bummer about the gang, Art. Sorry to hear this. Hope you're able to enjoy yourself all the same.

Boz said...

That's terrible, I'm sorry to hear, although I guess it's a good sign if one is nonchalant enough to blog about it. I'd be much more bent out of shape.

tf said...

Mugged? Where? Kindly tell us about it. Mugging is a fairly rare occurrence in Paris. This is newsworthy, or at least blogworthy.

Anonymous said...

damn Arthur I'm sorry to hear that!

Chris P

Arthur Goldhammer said...

It wasn't a mugging, exactly. More like a pickpocket operation made possible by distraction. I was at an ATM attempting to withdraw money and had entered my password when two guys approached from either side. They kept putting newspapers in front of the screen so that I couldn't see what was happening, and while I was attempting to swat them away, they apparently withdrew money. I snatched my card back from one of them and pressed cancel, and I didn't actually see them get the money. I thought I had gotten out of it OK, but when I got back to my room, there was email from my bank telling me money had been withdrawn. In addition to the two who attacked me, there were two other guys behind us, keeping watch on the street. This was at a BNP on Bd. Haussmann, quartier huppé. Not very street smart of me to draw cash on the street, but it was broad daylight on a busy boulevard, so I didn't think twice about it. I will now.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a gang of efficient thieves - at least there was no violence involved. Argh. Your experience will make me that much more aware, but if you don't withdraw from an ATM in the middle of the day, where can you get money?

Passerby said...

Sorry to hear that. Did you register a plaint with the police?
That could be an interesting experiment as well.


On a totally different topic; French politicains & celebrities for sale:
http://www.slate.fr/story/20859/segolene-royal-conference-prix-speakers-academy

Nothing new, but now we can see the prices.

MCG said...

Art,

I think I recall posting earlier to ask whether you were going to tell us who had mugged you. Now, if it wasn't exactly a mugging, can you tell us who did whatever it was? Did I forget to press the correct key?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Pickpocketing is normal, but I have never heard of anything like that. Bd Haussmann, too! Maybe you should stick to Quartier Latin.

tf said...

Interesting. Something similar happened to my partner on Boulevard Magenta, but it was kids.

I was pickpocketed by a clever team in front of the Gare Montparnasse. They made it seem like I'd bumped into one of them, rather than the other way around.

There's actually a police station inside the train station, but they were uninterested in handling the case since it happened just out front. (Not their jurisdiction.)