I was out for St Pats with a friend of mine that is here for work over from the US until the O’Malley pub closed last night. So far, so good. Unfortunately, there was an initial strategic mistake made: when you get out of the bar in Paris at a few minutes before 2am and you see some empty taxis rolling by – YOU GRAB ONE! You don’t wait to say goodbye to the stragglers still topping off their last drinks, you just cut and run. The reason: because from 2:00 to about 7:00 there are absolutely no more free taxis. Oh, you’ll see 100s of them zooming by – but with drunk folks other than yourself in back.
So, since my friend wanted to be polite, we missed the last wave of free taxis and headed up to the Grands Boulevards where I mistakenly thought that there was a microscopic but still realistic shot at grabbing a free cab. Well, besides getting held up at gun point or forced to listen to Lady Gaga in a shitty bar, about the worst thing I could imagine happening actually happened to my friend – his iPhone 4S was stolen out of his (open, despite having a zipper) jacket pocket. It was a classic bump and run which – as planned – surprised him so much that he didn’t turn to see who it was. We tried using my iPhone to call his and try to pick the robber (or robbers) out of the crowd, but there was no luck there at all. We tried using the Find My iPhone from mine, but since he didn’t have data roaming and that is required for the tracking to work, we were basically SOL. The next morning, we tried to file a police report, but were rebuffed because we didn’t have the IMEI number. So, a few lessons here: Keep your phone in an inner pocket of your jacket – or, as I do – in your front pocket with your hand on it. Now, as I know on the wood of my desk, I have not yet been pick pocketed, but this reminded me of how we are all vulnerable to criminals and the moment we let our guard down – particularly after drinking and in a crowd – we have a good chance of getting ripped off. Second lesson, Find My iPhone is useless when you are roaming internationally. My friend actually has some contacts at Apple and you can be sure that he will be letting them know how disappointed he was to discover that last night. At least the Remote Lock command worked because he got a confirmation of that. He didn’t tell me yet whether Remote Wipe worked.
So, when out drinking in Paris: don’t ever let a free taxi go to waste in the wee minutes before 2am and be damn sure that you keep your phone (and wallet) very carefully concealed – preferably with a hand on them – when in a crowd.
I found a nice guide here on wikitravel for you as well.