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Is shopping alone safe?

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Is shopping alone safe?

I'm getting quite anxious about the safety issues that seem to be coming up regularly here on TA. I'm going to Paris with my husband who's got a conference there, so he'll be stuck at the conference the whole day 9-5pm and I've got the whole day to occupy myself. I would love to go shopping during the day and only do the touristy stuff with him in the evening. I read that the affordable shopping would be near Les Halles, Rue Rivoli area. So how safe is it for me to wonder around that area by myself during the day? My biggest worry is not being to speak any French and being alone! Is it more advisable to stick to the big department stores instead??

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41. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

In any case, it is very common to see children about 10 years old taking the metro to school by themselves. I certainly don't give it a second thought, because you can see they have been raised to be independent and careful.

Kaua'i, HI
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42. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

Just to chime in here - I've been to Paris twice (going back this Sept.) and I have never been in a large city where I felt safer than Paris.

I would have no hesitation whatsoever in heading out by myself for a day of shopping - the "danger" would be when I came back to the flat after that day and my husband saw how much I purchased! LOL

But truly - I can't think of anywhere that I've visited that I'd be concerned about being by myself - I go out in the pre-dawn hour to walk in the area around our flat (in the 12th) every morning and have done laundry by myself in a laundromat on a side street closeby - again just as dawn was breaking. The homeless man who was in there made me a little nervous until he ended up helping me figure out how to use the machines very politely (I gave him 2 euro) and then asked permission to sit in the back of the laundromat and smoke if it wouldn't bother me.

Malama Pono (take care)

Janet

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43. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

I always feel very sad for children today. When I was young we were allowed out at age 7-8 to play on bikes, go to park etc and my friend and I would cycle across town to the library pool etc. We had no phones, no parents with us and complete and utter freedom (although god help us if we were later than the alloted time) its sad that children today are constantly driven around, warned repeatedly about paedophiles and generally mollycoddled. There were 'strange' men locally but in our innocence we knew no more than to never talk to strangers. I'm sure paris in the daytime is safe enough for any teens to wander, esp as phones allow constant reassurances (or freedon-inhibiting!)

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44. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

Shopping alone is safe, there is nothing to worry about but do keep money and/or credit cards stashed, especially in crowded places.

As to children not being free to play outside, worried American parents, etc, etc -- no, it's not limited to American parents. And it is very individual, some accompany their kids longer, others are less concerned or not able to do so...

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45. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

I agree that it is not at all an American phenomenon. Having worked with the same team for more than 30 years, I have seen all of the children of my colleagues grow up and become adults. The two children who were under the greatest control of their parents turned out to be the most adventurous. One girl went to university in Montreal and then moved to Australia to be as far as possible from her overwhelming parents and the other one went on a one year solo bike trip to South America after university in Italy. She met a Belgian in Peru and now they are living in Morocco, so that the girl could escape her psycho mother. Meanwhile, one of the boys has chosen engineering studies in Lithuania to also find freedom.

All of the children who were offered complete freedom by their parents seem to have remained in France.

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Montreal
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46. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

"She met a Belgian in Peru and now they are living in Morocco, so that the girl could escape her psycho mother."

There must be a lot of psycho mothers in France, judging by the number of young French moving to Montreal ;))

Often it's a matter of availability of public transport, my daughter was taking bus and metro everywhere by age 12, and some of her suburban peers (now in college) still need parents to drive them places. From what I noticed, the ones starting to get into trouble either have very strict or indifferent self absorbed parents.

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47. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

Someone told me long before I was old enough to have children of my own that raising children is much like holding a bar of wet soap -- too tight and it shoots out of your grasp, careering off of everything else in the bathroom; too loose and it slips through your fingers.

(and this was long before it was ever featured in a book, so I'm not going to attribute it to someone who didn't think it up)

here's an interesting article: webmd.com/parenting/…free-range-parenting

Edited: 18 April 2012, 23:35
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48. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

To the OP -- please also remember that while there's a lot of over-the-top gasping about pickpockets and scam artists, the is also very, very little talk about physical harm -- because it's very, very rare.

We've also never talked about anyone being in physical danger during daylight hours in busy commercial areas.

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49. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

fffpbeads, I think you will find Les Halles to be very similar to some of the shopping malls in Singapore, but larger and perhaps without as many of the very high end designer stores. Les Halles is also similar to the very large shopping malls in Hong Kong, if you have been there.

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50. Re: Is shopping alone safe?

Honestly, I think my 11 year old is safer going around the corner to the Paul in Paris than he is going around the corner in my somewhat rural American subdivision. (a) we have a lot more violent crime here and (b) at least in a city there are other people around who can help in an emergency.

But an 11 year old *wants* the freedom and responsibility and you have to just hope you've taught them what to do in an emergency.

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