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Monday, April 1, 2013

What's new in Paris - 2013

Just back (again) from taking a small group to Paris and beyond. Here are a couple of things that you should watch out for or at least take notice of:

Short-Changing - Whether by accident or on purpose, I was short-changed twice. The first time was at a kiosk selling postcards and other items near the Eiffel Tower. This was a French woman in her thirties to early forties. I lost five euros as she gave me a five when she should have given me a ten. After that, I made sure to calculate my change back before I handed anyone over the amount. The second time was at cheese store at Metro: Maubert-Mutualite, and she had to count it back twice before acknowledging she made a mistake which was ten euros.

Metro Tickets - I have always bought a carnet of ten tickets. It's a little cheaper, but more often than not, I found the tickets have de-magnetized themselves and don't work. This has happened before, and half the time the ticket person insists you try it again before checking it and seeing that it hasn't been used, and then handing you a new one. You do have the option to buy a weeklong pass, but remember to bring a passport sized photo with you as it's five euros to use the photo machine for pics. Also, if you're American, and you want to use your credit card in the machine to buy tickets, it may or may not work as we do not have what is referred to as the 'flea' or the microchip that is in European credit cards. This means you cannot rent the free bikes either and parking lots with the self-pay. Make sure you have exact change. Remember everyone wants exact change, so that's a problem as well.

Musee l'Orangerie - Most of the main exhibit is closed, meaning the top floor with the Modiglianis and Utrillos, but the bottom floor with the giant Monets is open.

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