The Gypsies were in plague proportion today. With the Musee D'Orsay situated across the Seine we had to walk over a footbridge to reach the main part of town. Our intention being to walk back to our hotel via the scenic route, as has become our habit.
As I tend to be rather accident prone I tend to look at the ground a lot, watching where I am walking. A good thing too as this habit made me twig to another Gypsy scam more quickly than perhaps I might in other circumstances. As we approached the steps to the bridge a Gypsy woman came from the side and offered my a "gold" ring. Supposedly I had dropped it....I knew immediately that a) it was not mine and b) it had not been there half a second before....so I couldn't have dropped it. So I refused to engage in her little game - much to her annoyance.
Incredibly, as we walked across the bridge, and I was explaining to Frank what had taken place, a youth came up to us and tried the exact same thing. Cheeky buggers. Frank launched into his "mad Russian" routine and that was the end of that. The Gypsy people on that particular route were intimidating and we realized we were the only non Gypsies walking that particular route. A good lesson for us.
The other thing is they take over a bus stop, a phone box, a section of street and set up house. Not the best look for a city that attracts so many visitors.
Gypsies are everywhere begging. Most use a dog or cat as part of their act. If they were gainfully employed doing something useful like picking up rubbish, or singing I would be more inclined to be sympathetic.
Their treatment of their animals is not good. The French RSPCA should get onto them. Between the guy with the little black puppy and the one with the little dog feeding her tiny puppies was enough to bring me to tears. Based on that I couldn't even bring myself to visit the shops selling birds and animals along Quai de la Megisserie. It was all too much for me.