Got Scammed Today in the 12th

. . .more on that later.

I left the apartment a little after 8am and didn’t return til almost 1. I figure I walked between 10 and 11 miles this morning. I planned to have a light day because the 12th arrondissement was supposed to be somewhat boring. NOT.

I got out early because I wanted to observe people going to work. The first thing that was immediately apparent was that every woman I saw had on black pants. Yes, black jeans, black leggings, black suit pants, black whatever. Secondly, I was struck by the amount of people, all ages and stages, who rode bikes or scooters to work. And not one of them wore a helmet.

The crown jewel of this area is the Viaduc des Arts and the Promenade Plantee. Similar to the High Line in New York, this old elevated rail bed has been converted into a park-like walking trail. Underneath, between the trestle arches, are artisan shops – everything from china painters, violin makers, jewelry designers, even needlework designers.

I walked all the way to the Bois de Vincennes, the huge park just outside the city limits. It’s a very natural park, parts of it a bit disheveled looking. I must admit, though, that as I strolled over a curved bridge and looked across the lake, images of the great Impressionist paintings seeped into focus. I could only imagine the picnics they had in this great park, alongside the lake.

But today’s best vignette was the group of college kids I came upon. Seems the upper classmen have a tradition of hazing the newbies. They put diapers on the freshmen’s heads, wrapped them in garbage bags, taped two of their legs together, painted their faces, and the girls donned tampon earrings. All this to raise money for a philanthropic cause.

Yes, I gave them a few bucks. But as I walked away, I realized I had just been scammed. Hell, I have college-age kids. The only philanthropy that money is going toward is the beer pong kitty.

So much for the 12th.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  If you’d like to follow my 30-walk across Paris, be sure to sign up for email alerts or join my Facebook page. I plan to find some real surprises while there – stuff you never read about – and I’d love to share them with you.


  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 10:19h, 03 September

    Be sure and click on the photos so you can see them better.

  • Kristen Leigh
    Posted at 10:31h, 03 September

    Maybe it wasn’t a scam. But, even if it was, they really put a lot of effort into that ridiculous get-up. It was worth its entertainment value. 🙂

  • Joanna
    Posted at 10:32h, 03 September

    After reading all these wonderful Parisian musings, am I going muddy my memories with yours? I mean, when I tell my stories about Paris, will I put in your stories thinking they are mine? Will I be plagiarizing your thoughts? My brain doesn’t work as well as it used to.

    I bet one day I tell you my Paris stories and it will one of yours.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 11:29h, 03 September

      I can solve that, Joanna. Let’s you and I BOTH come over here again…a good reason for another trip.

  • Jim
    Posted at 10:33h, 03 September

    If US government policies continue to follow the Socialist model of Western Europe, you will see vast numbers working people riding bikes and scooters here.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 11:32h, 03 September

      I am sharing an apartment with a far right winger and a far leftie. So far no ugly words. So far.

    • Sally
      Posted at 13:35h, 03 September

      Gee….smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles or just more exercise. That would be bad because…………why?

    • Susan Burns
      Posted at 10:18h, 05 September

      Isn’t that the truth!

  • Constance Trover
    Posted at 10:34h, 03 September

    I find it so phunnie you fell for da kids…I imagine they enjoyed their “american”bought wine very tasty! Am loving your Paris trip, have not been there since 1968:) So much easier living vicariously through you lol<3

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 11:30h, 03 September

      this is all yo’ fault!

  • Alicia
    Posted at 10:49h, 03 September

    I was at the Promenade Plantee today! Didn’t see you and, damn, I coulda used a few of your free Euros.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 11:30h, 03 September

      Yeah, but you weren’t wearing tampon earrings.

  • Megan Broutian
    Posted at 12:11h, 05 September

    Oh my God that takes me back to my own “bizutage”! On my first day as a freshman, I came home covered head to toe in ketchup, mustard, chalk, flour and whatever else the seniors doused us with. It wasn’t done for philanthropic reasons then, just a rite of passage that, once you really think about it, doesn’t make sense at all (I was an engineering undergrad, not a Cordon Bleu student)