Breaking News - Santa Claus has already arrived in Paris!


Today's post titled "Figuring out the Foie Gras and Champagne" was preempted by the early arrival of Santa Claus this afternoon.

Around 4:00 pm, the caretaker of our apartment building rang our doorbell and announced that a woman had just dropped off my wallet, the very same one that had been stolen out of my purse while dining at a restaurant in the 9th arrondissement on Friday. Thinking that I was either dreaming or had misunderstood the French words coming out of our gardien's mouth, I must have seemed confused because he assured me that my French driver's license, Swiss identity card and bank cards were all there. The only thing missing from my wallet was the cash.

Fortunately, the woman (aka Santa Claus) left her cell phone number so that I could call to express my gratitude. After saying that she has had her wallet stolen twice and knows how much of a hassle it is to replace everything, the woman explained that she had found my wallet in the trash can in the bathroom of her restaurant. Not surprisingly, the restaurant is located just around the corner from where I had lunch. I guess that the thief got rid of my wallet while he was looking for another victim.

Having my wallet returned by a complete stranger is one of the best Christmas presents that I've ever received. I hope that Santa Claus leaves something just as special in your stocking!

Merry Christmas!

The police report that I filed on December 22. Next week I'll have to return to the police station to tell them that's there's no need to cancel my French driver's license, Swiss id card, etc. because they were returned to me.

Comments

  1. So glad you got it back - definitely replacing all your documents is one of the worst parts of losing a wallet! How nice of the woman to bring it back, of course there are lovely people out there to balance out the bad 'uns. Merry Christmas to you and the whole family!

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    1. Thanks, Gwan, and a very "Merry Christmas" (very belated!) and Happy New Year to you!

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  2. A good reminder to pay it forward!

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  3. It will definetly be a Joyeux Noël and une Bonne Heureuse Année
    we wish you and your family the best of the season.
    Conrad and Susan

    Also on a good note; you will spending time exploring Paris and blogging about the great adventures you always seem to find. We on the other hand will not be reading about the french bureaucracy`s impossible requirements to get all your documents replaced. :-)

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    1. Best wishes to Susan and you for a very happy New Year, Conrad! It's a huge relief to not have to deal with French bureaucrats - my two trips to the police station were enough to convince me that it would have been a long and arduous process to replace my documents. Plus, it was discouraging to see how many other people were in the same situation as me. There was even an elderly woman whose wallet was stolen while she was riding the elevator in her own apartment building.

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  4. I am so very pleased for you. What a relief to have your documents back.

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    1. :-) I didn't realize just how much of a relief it was until I burst into tears while thumbing through all of my cards, etc in my wallet!

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    1. Truly great! I had given up all hope of ever seeing my museum passes and pre-purchased ice skating tickets again.

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  6. What a nice Christmas present! (I hope the French bureaucracy hasn't been unexpectedly fast cancelling the documents just when you don't want them to be!) GM xx

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    1. The wheels of French bureaucracy turned faster than I would have liked for my Carte Vitale (insurance card) but we were able to stop the process for everything else. Hallelujah!

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  7. What a great Christmas present indeed! Hopefully it's not too late to cancel everything. (But isn't it a bit odd that your gardien was looking inside your wallet??)

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    1. Having a stranger take the time to return my wallet was truly one of the best Christmas presents that I've ever received! I don't know if our gardien looked inside my wallet. Since we weren't home when the woman returned it, I think that he may have just told me what she had told him. It was more to reassure me that everything was alright.

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  8. What a brilliant post and more brilliant action on this woman's part -- once again showing us that the French (and Parisians in particular) are indeed kind and thoughtful! So absolutely THRILLING you don't have to deal with all the time and bureaucracy to replace lost items, and can't think of a nicer Christmas pressie.

    Happy Christmas! Cheers.

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    1. Happy New Year Carolyn! I'll long remember the woman's kindness and will be sure to share the story with anyone who says that Parisians aren't friendly. They are!

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  9. GREAT news!!!!! Merry Christmas to you and the family!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. Happy New Year to you and little Brady!

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  10. Yippeee! That's amazing! I don't think that happens very often, unfortunately. This cafe scan you speak of seems to be the newest thing. Do they actually get seated by the staff, and do they order? I can see this happening more at sidewalk cafes than on places where you have to go in and be seated. And so the lesson is to keep your valuables in your purse and keep your purse in your lap while you eat? What a bother. In any event, so glad you had a happy ending!

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    1. According to the police, the cafe/restaurant scam isn't new. They said that some of the pickpockets work the metro, while others work the restaurants. They also said that it's common for thieves to remove wallets from men's blazers when they put them on the back of their chairs.

      The pickpocket asked to be seated at a table for 4 and said that he was waiting for his friends to join him. That's why they weren't surprised when he didn't order anything.

      As you said, the moral of the story is to always keep your purse on your lap!

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  11. I am so happy for you!!!

    Karene in California

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  12. I'm just so pleased to hear that you got everything back, except the money. My stolen ID once turned up in the mail 4 months later! By then, of course, I'd already had it replaced. Maybe my suitcase that disappeared between Brisbane and Hong Kong in October will still turn up!

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    1. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your suitcase turns up!

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  13. The return of your wallet does give one hope for the future Mary Kay!

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  14. Such good news to return home, turn on my computer and find your wallet had been returned.
    Hope you had a happy Christmas with your family.

    I once got my purse (wallet) back 18 months after a mugging, when police did a drugs raid on a house and found it in the loft!!!(duh! must have been so stoned they forgot to get rid of the evidence)...minus credit cards and cash but all the irreplaceable ID and mementos were there. That was 12 years ago and I still use that purse to this day. Love Denise

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    1. Isn't it wonderful to recover something that you thought was "lost" forever! I still haven't decided if I'm going to keep using the wallet that was stolen or switch to the new one that I received for Christmas.

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  15. This is some happy news. while I have encountered the annoying gypsy mamm is this your gold ring even though it is freezing and I am wearing mitts I have never had bad luck of having anything stolen in Paris. I once had my wallet stolen at a gas station here in the US-It was the attendant-I left my address telling him how I needed my ID given I am Canadian and could not return home-while the money was stolen I did get all my cards and ID back. It is so frustrating-yet wonderful that there are still kind people in the world.

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  16. PS the police report matches the ribbon on your tree-only in Paris.

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