Several weeks ago I asked if Spain was overrun by crooks. Well, I think that perhaps the whole of Europe has been overran by crooks.
Yesterday at the Gare du Nord, en route to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur, I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and immediately a young Asian man, from his accent I figured he was originally from Hong Kong, gave a warning. Pointing to my camera he said that I should place the thing in my bag and not to leave it out. In a moment of naivety and completely taken aback, I asked why.
“There are thieves”, he retorted.
That just about does it for me: Europe is full of crooks! In fact, almost everywhere I went, not only in Spain, there were warnings to watch for pickpockets – in Prague, Germany, even in Austria and especially in Italy. In Rome, they were more blunt about this and pulled no punches about who’s to blame. My hotel back then had a sign behind the reception’s desk telling their customers to pay special attention to a particular ethnic group. It’s completely unbelievable!