Global Media Seminar: France and Europe
Paris There is no city other than Paris has been exaggerated hyped. “The center of fashion,” “the palace of art,” “the gourmet paradise,” and “City of lights” are some famous ones among its nicknames. Everything in Paris makes people think either cultural or artistic, or either fashionable or romantic. In short, Paris is absolutely a beautiful and wonderful paradise on earth. Especially in recent years, these kinds of praise for Paris are all over the places. Paris is the most popular destination for travelers all over the world according to the
UNWTO Highlights from the World Tourism Organization in 2013. In fact, most visitors who come to Paris for few days just come here for a cursory trip. They often like to take a picture while pretending to hold the spire of Eiffel Tower, shop on the street of Champs Elysees, take pictures in front of Mona Lisa in Louvre
Museum, or order some snails and foie gras for dinner. Afterwards, they would show their pictures that they take in Paris to their friends in order to prove that they have been to Paris.
This phenomenon happens to the majority of visitors. They are like grasshoppers, which take over other people’s home and jump around irregularly. However, those visitors seem
to have a uniform dress code. They normally like to wear sports shoes, carry shoulder bag packs, and holds maps or Google maps on their hands. Their gazes are always blurred and unfocused because they have to figure out where they should go next instead of settling down and enjoying in one place. The liquidity and uncertainty of visitors provide thieves great opportunities to steal in Paris. There are two types of thieves in Paris: one works on the ground and the other one works in the underground. The underground thieves can also be divided into two groups: three to four gypsy ladies who commit a crime inside of the subways and two North
African young men who commit a crime at the end of escalators in the subway stations.
Those gypsy young ladies normally like to target at someone, who is normally a rich woman or a foreigner. As the subway’s door opens, the gypsies surround the target and prevent the target to get on the subway by pushing around the target. During the artificially chaotic situation, the “main chief” starts to pickpocketing. After they successfully get the target’s wallet, they would suddenly break up in a hubbub. If someone keeps his wallet in his back pocket and ride the subways for an entire day without losing his wallet, then that day must be the pickpockets’ holiday. Luckily, unlike other places’ chiefs, who might have tools or weapons, the pickpockets in Paris seem to have a simple motivation and wouldn’t hurt you if they don’t steal successfully.
However, those visitors and pickpockets don’t seem bother the people who live in
Paris too much. The locals always stay away from the tourist places and the pickpockets who come up to them. Instead of holding maps on their hands, locals always have books in their hands while they wait for the subways and sit in the subways or they would have huge headphones over their heads. In other words, they would enjoy their own worlds instead of wondering around. Walking in the crowded streets and bump into someone is not a big deal without say sorry because Chinese people are so use to these situations everyday. In United States, bumping into someone, both sides would say, “excuse me.” Even though they don’t feel any sorry, it becomes a conditioned reflex for them to say. For Americans, having a physical touch with strangers is not a usual practice. They have their bottom line. However, compared to Chinese and Americans, Parisians would have a much lower bottom line of body contact. When someone meets their friends or even their friends’ friends, he would kiss them on their cheeks twice. This