I just got back from Paris and I noticed the first 2 days I was there, the metro was "free". All the turnstiles were unlocked and everyone just walked thru. I had arrived by train at Gare du Nord and bought my carnet and inserted my first ticket to enter the Metro and then I realized the turnstile was wide open. And for the remainder of that day and all of the next day.. same thing. Since I knew no other way, I had assumed that they must just go on the "honor system". ??
And at this same time I unfortunately discovered that there was a strike going on and all the 'attractions' were closed (Louvre, D'Orsay, Arc, etc).
So I was just curious if anyone knows if they "open" the Metro when their striking? Or if it was just a coinidence... as I found this quite odd.
And since I'm mentioning the Metro--- I also noticed alot of people jumping the turnstiles. And I also had some crazy guy running back and forth and hitting me and others on the head as we tried to get into the extremely cramped trains. And I did see the pack of boys waiting to pickpocket the tourists. I walked past an obvious tourist standing in the middle of the Metro tunnels studying his map. I walked past him and saw a boy watching him from around a corner and motioning for his gang to come over. And the whole gang rushed past me (and slapped me on the behind as they went past). Lotsa interesting things going on in the Metro, lemme tell ya!