A few years ago, a stranger saved my life. Hopefully you will never encounter what I did. Here’s a little anecdote on how to stay safe in Paris.
Safe In Paris?
On the left bank of Paris there is a famous street: Boulevard Saint-Michel. It is a rather wide boulevard with lovely trees, stores, cafes and restaurants on both sides. There are also at least 3 lanes running one way, from the south, heading north. The intersection with Boulevard Saint-Germaine, just south of the Seine River, is a busy area with a major metro/RER station and a little park which is great for a quick lunch.
On lovely summer day I was ready to j-walk from one side of the street to the other. I know, right away you are thinking: j-walking isn’t safe. Keep reading.
I was on the west side and was heading east across the street so I looked right to see what cars would be coming from the south. Nothing was coming. It was a one-way street. So I started to step off the curb. Suddenly someone from behind grabbed me….and thank goodness they did because a bus was coming from the north, heading in the opposite direction of the rest of the traffic. I thought this was a one way street!!! I almost got hit…and killed. Take a closer look at the photo above.
I thought there were no lanes for vehicles travelling southbound. Was I ever wrong! Yes, on this particular street there are special lanes for busses allowing them to go in the opposite direction. I swear!
So, morale of the story: just as all mothers say, “look both ways when crossing a street.” And better yet, cross at the lights and you will be safe in Paris.
I love Paris, but really didn’t want to die there.