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Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

New Hampshire
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171 posts
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Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

What's the deal with the hordes of Gypsy women walking around holding a folded up piece of paper asking "people if they spoke English? We just ignored them since we smelled a scam somehow. Does anyone know the story behind this?

Miami
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21. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

They can be find allover mainland Europe and believe or not also in Buenos Aires ( no idea how they have got there). Argentinians say they got there after the Balkans war and they are a nuisance because they wil insult you if you don't give them money, it is true it happened to me.

You have to be careful with them because they usually move in groups and they are very savvy in pickpocketing, they usually will aproach you begging for money or offering fortunetelling, in Spain they're very common.

Brooklyn, New York
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22. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

I worked for an international human rights organization and I can tell you that the Roma people (also referred to as Gypsies) are among the most oppressed people in the world. Because of their nomadic life-style, there has always been a great deal of mutual distrust between the Roma and their less mobile neighbors, especially in Europe. They were, and frequently still are, popularly believed to be beggars, thieves and kidnappers, unfit for sedentary life and labor, resulting in a great deal of persecution.

In France, Roma are called Bohemians. It is believed that they acquired their name after their emigration from Czechoslovakia, a country also known under the name of Bohemia, when they also carried documents certifying that they were Bohemians.

Originally from India, the Roma migrated through Asia and the Middle East and then eventually mainly to Europe, though some Roma went as far as Africa, others in Afghanistan, Turkestan, Turkmenistan, and other countries. Today, they can also be found in America and Australia.

Irish Travellers (sometimes known as "itinerants" or "Tinkers") are a very small minority group in Ireland. They make up less than 1% of the population with approximately 23,000 people in the Republic and another 1,500 in the North. It is also estimated that there are about 15,000 Irish travellers in Britain and another 7,000 in the USA. Irish Travellers belong to a distinct ethnic group within Ireland. They have their own language, beliefs and social customs which have been made stronger over time due to their exclusion and marginalisation from mainstream "settled" society.

Occasionally Irish Travellers have been confused with the Roma or Gypsies in England, who despite centuries of coexistence, cultural interchange and limited intermarriage, remain a distinct people.

Detroit, Michigan
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37 posts
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23. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

I don't understand why the police and the city tolerate that and don't deal with the problem of Gypsies harassing tourists. They should lock them up if they're stealing from people. How do locals go about their day? or don't they bother them.

irvine
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24. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

The Travlers are world wide and have made there way to the US as well. They are a group of grifters who keep very much to themselves and do not welcome strangers in there midst. They most certainly on "the radar"

Garden Grove...
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25. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

Remember that peice on the news a few years ago where that woman got caught on tape beating her child in th parking lot of either a mall or a Wal-Mart. She was a member of the Irish Travelers.

Mid-Atlantic States
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26. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

Hello, kjford. First let me state that I have no prejudice against people who are Gypsies. This account is based upon my experience in Paris. I was set upon by about three Gypsy teen-age girls and two or three younger children in le Jardin de Tuileries on a Tuesday afternoon. I gave the teen-age girls the pair of cheap sunglasses I was wearing, and when they still would not leave, I exited the park stage right. Take a strong lesson from my experience, and walk past them. BTW, in various subways in Manhattan (New York, NY), the equivalent of this behavior (not of all Gypsies) would be the teen-age boys who sell various kinds of packaged candies in medium-sized cartons, claiming that they are collecting for their school or basketball team. So keep your money hidden and keep walking!

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527 posts
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27. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

Regardless of the nationality or skin colour of the various hawkers, we found this technique to be extremely effective for handling them:

Stare straight ahead above or beside their heads; NEVER make eye contact; act as though you just CANT see or hear them and keep going with a determined attitude. We didn't even have to say anything. All the other wide eyed tourists walking near us (it WAS summer after all) were obviously better targets and we were left alone. As soon as you see them out of the corner of your eye, adopt this approach and don't look wide-eyed and curious as to what they've got in their hands to show you.

It worked in all the traditional problem places from the Arc de Triomphe region; the base of the Eiffel Tower; the artists in Montmartre and the a group of women uner the four horsemen of the apocalypse arch near the Louvre.

I'm so glad we didn't have to get aggressive and this worked very well.

Riverside...
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28. Re: Gypsies at the Eiffel tower

My son and I just came back from Paris last week and we didn't see or were approached by anyone to buy stuff. When we were in the Tulieries on our Segway Tour one day, about 4-5 men came running at our group carrying boxes of sunglasses which were being dropped as they ran! It was quite startling and our tour guide told us that the police had been coming and they were obviously trying to avoid being caught.