At the Four Seasons Sultanahmet, a beautiful presentation of raki, the local anise liquor, to which water is added.

Four Seasons Hotel Perfection—Hotel Oddity #47

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What has the Four Seasons Sultanahmet in Istanbul not thought of? I’ve already written about its coffee delivered with wake-up call, a practice worthy…

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Paris pickpockets: The youngest pickpocket called for a group photo. They posed and clowned, but none of them took photos of their own.

Paris pickpockets – kids you wouldn’t suspect

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“No, no, I won’t steal from you,” the little boy says. “You’re my brother! Family! Family!” He touches his heart, repeating “family, family.” He…

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Bosnian pickpocket on the loose in Paris. Pickpockets in Paris

Pickpockets in Paris

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Pickpocketing in Paris is out of control. Or rather, the pickpockets in Paris are in control. The police arrest them regularly then see the…

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Masked traveler in a lounge in Istanbul airport

Airport survival

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Sometimes an exhausted traveler just has to give in and conk out. You can intend to be productive. You can try to be productive….

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Four Seasons wakeup call comes with coffee delivered to your door.

Wake-up call — Hotel Oddity #46

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Four Seasons wake-up call: great morning! I recently had the great fortune to stay in the Four Seasons Hotel in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district. The…

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Nigerian torture officers

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“Torture has become such an integral part of policing in Nigeria that many stations have an informal torture officer, Amnesty International says. “Both the…

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London smartphone theft bust

Massive smartphone theft ring busted in London

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Pickpockets are free to steal as usual on London’s Tube and trains, but they’ve lost their biggest buyers of smartphones. British Transport Police nabbed…

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Romanian beggars

Romanian beggars

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I recently wrote about beggars on the streets of Stockholm. I observed that an abundance of beggars are now stationed in the streets, and…

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Romanian pickpockets in Romania

Romanian Pickpockets in Romania

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The pickpocket pair was plain as day to us. And we were just as obvious to them: tourists—by definition, filthy rich and fair game….

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Fresh Swedish potatoes

Fresh Swedish potatoes

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In Stockholm, it’s that time of year. Fresh, delicious, Swedish potatoes. Get them in the neighborhood grocery stores, dirt and all. I’ve never seen…

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Hotel Oddity #45

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Window magic at Hotel Luna Baglioni I was happy to discover that all three windows opened in my beautiful room at Hotel Luna Baglioni….

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stealing credit cards

Stealing credit cards on trains

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So, we’re standing at a bar near the train station, drinking espresso with pickpockets in Naples (how we got here is described in Part…

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pickpockets in Naples

Coffee with pickpockets in Naples

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Coffee with Thieves An August Sunday in Naples. Holiday time for all of Europe and most shops were shut. We bought bus tickets at…

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overcharge scam

Overcharge scam or accidental mistake?

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Overcharge Scam “Do you take credit cards?” “Si, signora,” the salesman replied. “How much is this pepper grinder?” “€12.90.” So why was the credit…

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Beggars in Stockholm; organized crime, organized begging

Beggars in Stockholm

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Beggars in Stockholm—everywhere! Just a few years ago, one never saw beggars in Stockholm. Today, one never sees Swedish beggars, but beggars from Romania…

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Hotel Oddity #44

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The mysterious case of the dirty toilet This time, the “hotel” is my own six-star guest room. We’d been away for six weeks and…

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Naples pickpocket warning

Naples pickpocket Angelo sighted

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Guest Post Dear Bob Arno and Bambi Vincent, I want to thank you for your information. Before I went to Naples I searched for…

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pickpockets on rome metro

Pickpockets on Rome Metro

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Hunting Pickpockets on Rome Metro As we rode the steep escalator to the depths of Rome’s Termini Station we marveled at the swirling, pushing,…

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theft deterrent

Theft deterrent?

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Stop, thief! All you have to do is ask. Rather, tell the thief: “Stop. I’m not yours.” Cute. This method hadn’t occurred to me…

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Venetian glass beads

Venetian glass beads, blown live in Venice studio

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Serendipitous finds are one of the joys of travel. In Venice, the rule is wander, get lost, and head away from the unbearably crowded…

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Pickpockets on trains

Pickpockets on trains

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Unfamiliar fingers fiddled with the flap of my bag. I let them. My American Express card was in the purse, along with a small…

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Hotel oddity: bugs in hotel room

Bugs in Hotels — Hotel Oddity #43

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NIGHTMARES, ANYONE? These curtains look ordinary at first glance. Who scrutinizes the design on hotel room curtains? But your eyes have registered the subtle…

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Springfield Il airport luggage scale

Springfield IL airport

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Here it is, 2014, and we are in the airport of Springfield IL, the capital of Illinois. I’m amused to see the actual, in-use,…

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Handicap stall in ladies rooms

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90% of the times I bypass a long line at a ladies’ room, I find an unused, available, extra-wide, “accessible” cubicle. Trained by parking…

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What’s the safest place to carry money?

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The question we’re most asked is… where should I carry my valuables? What’s the safest place to carry money? And the ambiguous answer is……

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Qantas ipad

Qantas iPad for every flyer to use

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Every passenger gets an iPad on Qantas. Yep. Even in economy. Mine never worked, but the airline gets an A for effort. With their…

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Pickpockets in Prague

Pickpockets in Prague

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When in Prague, Czech your Wallet We hit the cobblestones as soon as we had dropped our bags and admired our room in King…

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Banana liqueur in Turkish Air lounge, Ismir airport

Banana liqueur

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You find the strangest things in airport lounges. Fancy banana liqueur? This was in the Turkish Air lounge in Izmir. Let me tell you:…

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Camorra: Bob Arno, thieves, Barcelona, Naples,

World’s most famous pickpocket slams ‘blatant’ street crime rates in Barcelona

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Bob Arno, now a security consultant [as well as a comedy stage pickpocket], is the world’s most prominent pickpocket. Speaking to 02B, Arno lifts…

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Easy stealing: An employee's personal phone left unattended in a shop.

Easy stealing from lax store personnel

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Thieves simply walk into stores and steal the unattended personal devices belonging to employees. This is Courtney’s report from Manhattan last month. She works…

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