Why We Were Mistaken for Paris Prostitutes

 Paris Prostitutes

Surprisingly, though we absorbed the French culture during our high school Paris trip, we also learned about Paris prostitutes and brothels. Not only were some of us mistaken for Paris prostitutes, but we were lucky enough to see firsthand where call girls took their customers.

Are you wondering how this happened to high school girls and their chaperones?  If you read this post and Booked in a Brothel, you can learn what not to do. Plus you will find some basic travel tips that will help you avoid our tourist mistakes.

Booked in a Brothel

Our trusted travel agent didn’t book us in a hotel. Instead, she had confirmed us in a brothel, and we toured it to ensure that it wasn’t our first hotel choice. Fortunately, this educational experience convinced us to choose another line of work when we graduated from school.

Biggest Travel Mistakes

Our parents agreed to let us travel to Paris because our travel agent had put together an excellent money-saving travel package. This bargain travel package was too good to be true, and it was one of our biggest travel mistakes. In defense of our parents, this incident took place before access to the internet, and you trusted your travel agent.

Travel Tips

Travel Tip

Know Your Travel Agent

Sacre-Coeur offers a vista view of Paris, France.

Another one of our biggest travel mistakes was that we were unfamiliar with the Paris culture as well as our surroundings. As a result, this is what happened to us.

My roommates in Paris were my friend, Mary, and her mother, Lynn, who went on the trip as a chaperone. Lynn was a model and a head turner, and she dressed with elegance.

Montmartre is known for art.
Montmartre in Paris, France, offers spectacular views.

One evening, the three of us left the hotel hoping to find a restaurant nearby. Without a map, we walked the Paris streets. We headed down a side road and spotted a quaint local’s cafe. We thought that it was the perfect place to mix with the residents.

Travel Tip

Know Your Surroundings

As we entered the restaurant, we couldn’t miss the four women sitting at a table sipping red wine and smoking cigarettes. Their skirts barely covered their hips, and their necklines plunged exposing the top of their breasts. Moreover, an overpowering smell of ginger-rose perfume hung in the smoke-filled air.

The ladies looked like they had dunked sponges in orange-tinted makeup and slathered it on their faces but had forgotten to cover their white necks. Moreover, heavy black lines outlined the top and bottom of their eyes and fat black wings looped up from the outer corners. We assumed that they were Paris prostitutes.

Paris Prostitutes Overreacted

From the time that we had ordered until we had finished our meal, we noticed the Paris prostitutes glaring at us. Moreover, they placed their hands over their mouths and whispered while they looked our way. Unbeknownst to them, they had overreacted to conceal their conversation from people who didn’t speak French.

We whispered too. However, we whispered because we felt threatened and tried to avoid drawing additional attention to ourselves. Furthermore, I figured that the Paris prostitutes were jealous of Lynn.

Throughout our dinner, the hookers pointed at us and continued staring our way. Consequently, we rushed through our meal, and we quickly paid the bill and left.

Travel Tip

Know The Culture

When we returned from dinner, we ran into our French teacher, Mrs. M, and the rest of our group in the hotel lobby. Mrs. M raised her eyebrows and stared at Lynn’s white boots.

“Did you wear those white boots to dinner?” Mrs. M. asked.

“Yes,” Lynn said.

“Well, I’m sure that you received some interesting looks while you were out. White boots are a sign of prostitution in Paris.”

That explained everything. We understood why the hookers pierced us with their black eyes. As a group, we had concluded that the Paris prostitutes might have thought that Lynn had brought young girls to the neighborhood to infringe on their territory and income. I believe that the hookers had planned to intimidate us hoping that we would leave.

Travel Tip

Know the Dress Code

Who would have thought that the classy cutting-edge fashion that Lynn wore in the United States would have been perceived differently in haute couture Paris?

Most importantly, without the internet, it was difficult to know the cultural rules including proper attire in foreign countries like France.

A Haven for Paris Prostitutes

Additionally, we learned that we had dined in a haven for Paris prostitutes. So we were not only on the wrong side of town, but we unknowingly dressed the part.

However, this incident made for an unforgettable trip, and in retrospect, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

These locks of love dangle from a gate by the Seine River.

Travel Tips

With access to the internet, you can avoid travel mistakes like ours and learn valuable travel tips.

  • If a money-saving travel package sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Before traveling, thoroughly research the country and the culture and abide by their rules of society.
  • Learn how to say a few basic sentences in the language like hello, goodbye, please, and thank you. If you attempt to speak the language, the locals will receive you better.
  • Study a map of your surroundings and talk to the hotel concierge about the city’s highlights and the places to avoid.

Chances are, like us, you were never mistaken for Paris prostitutes or held a confirmed reservation in a brothel.

 Best Travel Tips or Worst Travel Mistakes

But, please comment with some of your best travel tips or worst travel mistakes that will help us to become better travelers in the future.

Travel Mistakes we made in Paris

 

Related Posts:

Travel Tips and Tricks

Best Things to do in Paris

Booked in a Paris Brothel

Two Traveling Texans

23 thoughts on “Why We Were Mistaken for Paris Prostitutes

  1. Great tips! It is amazing to think how much easier the internet makes traveling. How did we survive without it? I had no clue that white boots were what prostitutes in Paris wear. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. I don’t think that is the case with white boots these days, but according to my French teacher that was the situation years ago. Thank you for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  2. I had the reverse. I went to a place and was telling my friend about it and he said ‘That’s dangerous, you shouldn’t go there by yourself at night.’ I expressed surprise as there were so many people about. He said ‘Didn’t you see all the prostitutes?’ and the penny dropped. I thought it was just the fashion…ha! #WeeklyPostacard

    1. Lydia, that’s pretty funny, I guess they were fashionably dressed! Thanks for your comment, #TheWeeklyPostcard

  3. Glad it ended up being just a funny experience, though I’m sure it was uncomfortable at the time. Traveling was a different experience before Internet, in some ways more interesting, I think.
    White boots are interesting though, for some reason I always associated themw ith raised eyebrows (no, I did not grow up in France ;). Thanks for sharing your experience. #TheWeklyPostcard

    1. Emese, yes we were lucky that it was a funny experience and it didn’t turn out poorly. Thanks for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  4. Hahaha! This post had me splutter coffee allover my screen. White boots are a bit of a nono in many European countries. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. That’s funny but I can see how the experience could have easily turned really bad had someone actually solicited you and your friend for services. It’s interesting to note cultural differences and I agree, better to research before you go. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Alice, thanks for your comment. Luckily it worked and we learned some valuable lessons.#TheWeeklyPostcard

  6. LOL It was really fun to read: I had no idea about the white boots – alhough it´s true that in most of the european capitals (with so many different neigbourhoods) you need to reserch where to go! And not knowing the area, the culture and the dress code could get you into troubles #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Anna, To be safe, I research what to wear before I travel, thanks for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Ladies What Travel, thanks for your comment. It was scary but thankfully everything worked out. #TheweeklytPostcard

  7. Dorothy, it must have been difficult at the time, but priceless now as a story! One of my worst travel mistakes also involved Paris. Somehow booked the hotel starting on the wrong night due to the time difference. Ended up getting in but had to sleep in a different room every night. I think your tips are perfect to avoid most common problems.

    1. Cynthia that sounds like a travel nightmare sleeping in a different room every night. Since you couldn’t unpack and settle in, it must have been on your mind daily. Despite the inconvenience, it sounds like it worked out, and I hope that you still enjoyed your trip.

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