Exploring Paris - A Ticket from the French Police and what we learned about buying the wrong ticket

Exploring Paris - A Ticket from the French Police
and what we learned about buying the wrong ticket

 IMAGE BY FRANKIEBOY PHOTOGRAPHY // FOR USE MEETYOUTHERE.ME

IMAGE BY FRANKIEBOY PHOTOGRAPHY // FOR USE MEETYOUTHERE.ME

Recently during our short stay in Paris, France we had a run in with the police at the train station nearest our Air BnB.  During a simple commute on our first evening in Paris, France we ran into some trouble with the rail station police – we got our first ticket for purchasing the wrong train ticket.  As we approached the exit of the station we noticed rail workers waiting for people to exit along with the infamous French Police (who typically carry assault rifles at the train stations).  As soon as we put our tickets in to exit the station the kiosk blinked red and told us something we didn’t understand in French.  Immediately the rail workers and police approached us – nervous and confused as we never have run ins with authority while doing these short commutes.  Originally they told us that we owed them €66 because we had purchased the incorrect train pass.  I went for the ‘stupid American’ card trying to explain to them that it was our first day there in Paris, no one had explained to us how the rail passes worked.  Thankfully for Emily’s swelling tears the rail worker was looking to avoid a scene he dropped our fine down to €33 only ticketing one of us for the mistake. 

 MEET YOU THERE TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY //  MEETYOUTHERE.ME

MEET YOU THERE TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY //  MEETYOUTHERE.ME

In my opinion this was complete bullshit – without a warning we would have handed over €66 all because we made an incorrect train ticket purchase.  I understand they were just doing their jobs and holding down the authority at the train station – I would have understood if for example Emily and I had not purchased a train ticket at all but that was not the case.  Instead we bought two train tickets, that apparently didn’t work for the train we had just rode – but how were we supposed to know this and without a warning to just ticket two tourists was just blasphemy to me.  The rail worker stood there as I fished thru my pockets to collect €33 only to realize that I didn’t have any euros left to hand over – the rail worker conveniently had a credit card machine stashed to his side - we gave him our card reluctantly and get out of there.  The entire situation seemed very sketchy to me, but the police were standing there backing the rail workers who were really just doing their jobs.  Some advice and lessons learned from this ticket:

-Try and find a kiosk that has a rail information attendant inside to make sure your buying the right ticket – we did this the following day and rode the public transportation trouble free the rest of the time in France
-The French police and rail workers don’t care that you’re a ‘dumb American’ but you can try having your sweet girlfriend tear up
-Research the trains your riding on before boarding them and exiting them
-Pay the fine and move on, we were lucky that it went from €66 to €33 but this really thru off our time, budget and our opinion of France in general
-Most the people we encountered in France were actually quite nice – but the police and rail workers are not to be messed with

 MEET YOU THERE MEESY PAINTER LOGO// MEETYOUTHERE.ME

MEET YOU THERE MEESY PAINTER LOGO// MEETYOUTHERE.ME

Stay informed, ask questions to the right people and this won’t happen to you – up until using public transportation in France we’ve never had an issue – but beware the French were the most strict and guarded when it came to using their public transport (don’t try and skip a ticket or you’ll end up with a hefty fine). ~MYT