Monday, July 19, 2010

River Siene Boat trip in Paris

River Siene Boat trip in Paris

How about somebody shouting at you & calling “thief thief... you stolen my wallet, I’m calling police.” in some unknown foreign language. In reply back you are just smiling & saying “hi, hello, how can I help you?” Etc etc …

It actually happened with me & my friends in Paris while we were waiting in La Seine river boat trip queue. It was dramatic. Let me share this eccentric experience with you all.

It was beautiful evening in world's most beautiful city, Paris. Temperature would be just less than 10 degree Celsius. We planned to go out to have some fun in cold, so decided to have boat trip on Seine River. Boat trip offers nice details for tourists. Ticket charge is some 11Euro, but its worth. I was accompanied by 2 friends, Vineet & Niranjan. We left office on time & took RER to Pont d’Alma & walked to river side near Eiffel tower. It was weekday so less tourists to get tickets. We were lucky to get ticket on the spot. We had no snacks after lunch time so were hungry. So we thought to have something after taking tickets. We took some chocolates & sandwitch at port restaurant. Ladies cook & servants were new in task of making the sandwidth, somehow they managed to make it for us. They were also serving warm wines & coffee to get some warmer feeling for open deck boat visit. But we decided to stick with only sandwitches + water bottle & chocolates. We moved in queue while eating the stuff.

We were only Indians in row on that day. We were chatting about generic French stuff while eating. We were enjoying the good time. Being fast eater, I finished my stuff bit early. I dumped the wastage paper to nearby dustbin. Then had sip of water & enjoying eye sight. Other two also finished their stuff & were ready to join me. We use to do most of conversation in Hindi or Marathi to add some privacy & encryption. I had water bottle which was left with last sip of water. I finished it & dumped the empty crashed water bottle.

There were 2-3 Chinese people in front of us. We didn't even bother to notice them as we were gossiping in our own language & mood. The small Chinese guy started shouting all of sudden. He started checking my pockets. He was checking the crashed water bottle in dustbin. He was totally acting as mad, psycho man. I thought this guy want to have cigarette & is asking for something to light to cigarette. It’s very common in Paris to share lighter in public places. But none of us smokes so I said,”Pordon, no light.” Another tall Chinese guy came in front & started checking my jacket’s pocket. They were looking more aggressive now! None of us understood their language. There was huge group of Chinese people in queue. All of sudden they all started shouting. Even the tall guy got grip of my arm. Small Chinese guy took on Niranjan. Now we were furious. We started calling for help!! I also escaped my hand from that thin tall man's grip. Chinese public were shouting loudly so we were like in huge group of Chinese. We were always saying, “Can some translate what they are saying in English??”

There was a couple behind us in row who were looking like Chinese. I asked them, “Do you understand what this man is trying to say? Can you please translate this for us? It seems they are shouting non-sensibly”, Fact was couple was Japanese & they didn't understand anything what Chinese people said.

Here were we. All trapped in group of Chinese.

None of them actually understand a word of English or French. I had tried few words in French too.

They were hold each of use on arms. Although they were thin looking, quantity was more than quality fighters. If we would have gone for fight, I was sure to kick 3-4 with my pace & the adrenaline which was paced up at that moment. But we were bound to French laws, so we kept our calm & temper to coolest possible level. Hell!!

As all Chinese gang started shouting, we also started shouting & called the security nearby. One of the Chinese interpreters came to the scene. She was saying, “We have a problem here!”. It was like movie scene, a beautiful French security girl came up like an angel. She was amazing. For a second, we were (all of us 3 guys) starting at her, no matter what situation was but we were deep somewhere else on bank of river Seine. I can't imagine if such so angle looking girls ever go security. Important thing was she knew English.

Angel started talking, “Guys, don't worry.”

I said, “We don’t understand, what’s happening. What these guys are saying?”

Little Chinese guy still had grip on my friends arms. He was not listening to us. I help my friend to get rid of him.

Angel said, “Chinese guy has lost his wallet & his passport from his bag.”

We were surprised. We said, “But then why he is pulling us in this”

Angel again kept the calm, “I’m really sorry for the inconvenience. But these Chinese guys doubt on you guys.”

Chinese lady interpreter was now listening to Angle carefully. So, we were also catching here words.

She continued after looking at Chinese lady, “See. You have to understand this thing. We can do complete checking of these guys (mean we 3) if little Chinese guys is sure that these guys have stolen the wallet. There are no video cameras around & we don’t know what had happened. But to clause to this is, they have to call police before they do checking. Calling police also means, if the blame is false, Chinese guys have to pay 1000Euro to as fine.”

Chinese lady carefully translated whole story to those 2 Chinese guys. As soon as they heard 1000Euro, they released my friends arm. They were shocked & much calmer then before. Poor guy was not sure who exactly did this to him.

Meanwhile, another man from security came up & said, “I’m very sure, there 3 guys have not done anything. I'm sure of this. They just finished their sandwitch & dumped the waste & water bottle in dustbin. Are these Chinese guys sure if they have really stolen his wallet? Then & then we should call police.”

Now I was happy from inside. Let’s call police & make things more troublesome for these Chinese guys. I started removing my leather jacket. I said politely, “Do you want to do my checkup. Please do it now. I don’t have any problem”. I removed the jacket & kept in my hands. I also shown them my wallet & said, “Is this wallet belongs to this guy?” All of us were furious now. We got charged all of sudden. What the hell is this? This guy is not sure, when he lost his wallet & now he is shouting at us. It’s non-sense. I was charged enough to hit that Chinese guy. As it would have been my obvious reaction if same thing would have had happened in India!!

Angel again came in to discussion,”Please sir, we apologies for this mess. We are really sorry for this! Please wear your jacket”. I wouldn't have minded if she would have asked me to remove the shirt :D . Although, the temperature was below 10 degree & just removing the leather jacket would easily make you feel that cold. I put on my jacket & tried to calm down. All of us were angry on Chinese guys! They had changed these ways. Both Chinese were asked to go out of line. Their interpreter took care of them. They were also asked not to harm us by any mean.

Security girl & man repeated asked for apologies to us. We said, its ok ma’am! But we were actually feeling bad, damage was already done. We had lost the mood of fun. Chinese guys never came to boat for sightseeing. We hardly enjoyed the ride. had also lost the mood of trip. We hardly managed to take some pictures and then moved to our place.

Paris is really beautiful at night view. I was listening to boat trip dictation story of Monalisa painting. It’s said that, servant of king was asked to keep the painting with him as per Queen's order. Queen was jealousy of King’s attraction towards painting. Servant kept the painting below his bed for 3 years!! He was caught & painting was again placed in King's prestigious paintings. Same story repeated by a curator. Curator fell in love with Monalisa & he replaced the painting with fake one. It is said that, he was caught & paintings originality is verified & it’s placed again in Lourve museum. So was the Monalisa. Still many historians are not sure if the painting is real or fake. But fact is we just love to see her. It’s most crowded place in entire Lourve Musee.

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