A random photo from the archives finds us in Paris in the Jardins Tuilleries, between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. There used to be a palace here but it’s long gone. Shortly after this photo was taken, we encountered a tourist scam.
We were walking just off to the left of this photo towards the Seine when a woman stopped us and held out what appeared to be a heavy wide gold ring. She spoke French but from what I understood, she seemed to think we had dropped it. No, I told her, not ours. Ah but she then seemed to be saying that by finding it and giving it to us, it would bring us good luck. Now, I’m only catching every fourth or fifth word, so I’m making an uneducated guess. She wouldn’t go away until we took it so we did. She walked away.
Then she turned around and came back and seemed to be asking for more good luck, for herself, in the form of cold, hard cash. Oh, I see. Well, to get rid of her, I reached into my pocket and handed her a handful of change, probably less than a euro in total. She wasn’t too happy with that and asked for more. Nope, Sorry, and we walked away firmly and that was the end of that.
I wasn’t sure what that was all about, frankly. Later, we were in a cafe and I pulled out this ring and could tell then that it wasn’t real gold. The waiter spotted it and though I didn’t understand most of what he said, I did pick out the word “Pickpocket” or… “peekpocket”. We looked at each other and it dawned on us. She was probably watching to see where we took out wallets from. There was nobody else around so she wasn’t trying a distraction for someone else to slip in and rob us, but she must have been hoping to spot an opportunity. She didn’t get one, thankfully.
An hour or so later, as we walked across Place de la Concorde, I heard Graham chuckle behind me. He said someone just came up to him with a gold ring, trying to give it to him. He said he’d laughed at the guy and said “No, thanks, mate, we’ve already got one of those!”