Trip Day 3- Paris Part 2

I have always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. It always looks so romantic in the movies and on TV. Well our experience was anything but romantic. However, I did enjoy that David and I got to see this piece of history together.

Once we got off the bus we were immediately inundated with street merchants trying to get us to buy over priced merchandise. I would not have minded if it were just 3 or 4 but we must have been approached to make a purchase by at least 40 different wondering vendors as we walked through the park at the tower.

We also encountered many people trying to pull scams (Descriptions of the scams) At least we were smart enough to know the people were trying to scam us so we just kept walking. I however, did think that David might loose it and pop someone in the face.

The 1st incident happened as we were strolling under the Tower. A man grabbed David’s hand and tried to put a loop of string around his wrist. David jerked back and told the guy NO- but he tried to grab his hand again. Later I researched this and found that once they get the string on your wrist and then demand payment for the present. If you refuse to pay they follow you and continue to harass you until you comply.

The second incident happened after lunch it was the golden ring scam, using a gold ring. We told the man several times we did not want the ring he “found.” But he continued to follow us and try to get us to take the ring. Lucky for us a local was jogging in the park and he yelled “Bull Shit” and told us not to listen to the man. Well we had no intention of listening to the man or taking his ring, or giving him anything. But the mere fact the the jogger had yelled “bull shit” drew the attention of others and the scammer decided to leave us alone and go find other prey.

Through out our walk around the tower and the park we were approach by many asking us if we spoke English. We just ignored them and continued walking because we had already been harassed by others at the train station with the same Question and the same piece of cardboard with the sad sob story of needing money to help their family.

As soon as we left the Eiffel Tower area we did not see or hear anymore scammers. It was stressful just to walk through that area.

We did find a nice cafe a few blocks from the tower to enjoy a scammer free lunch. But in order to catch our bus to continue the city tour we had to run the gauntlet again. I was glad to be back on the bus. I left the Eiffel Tower area thinking how can anyone think this is one of the most romantic places on earth.

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