Sunday, September 02, 2007


France has slipped to number three on the tourist destination list. Hoping to reverse the downward trend, the tourism minister offers has some tourist-friendly suggestions for the hospitality sector:
Be the first to say 'bon jour' when faced with a tourist.

Do not throw the change on the counter. Be patient in transactions.

If you do speak some English, do not pretend you don't - be brave, and generous, and use it.

If tourists try to speak some French, be patient.

Postal counter workers should wear flags showing the languages they speak.

Hang a 'bienvenue' sign on your shop door. An added 'welcome' or 'willkommen' doesn't hurt.

If none of the above is possible, then smile.
The French being civil to foreigners? Ain't gonna happen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about: If a tourist parks their hire-car outside your venue, ensure local Muslim youths do not set it on fire.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After spending five weeks in France I can only disagree with the generalisation that they're rude. I struck just one rude waiter (in a chateau outside Bordeaux) in the whole trip. We did make an effort to improvise on our high-school French though.

In Paris, the waiters can't be stuffed talking to you in French, so they instantly reply to your clumsy "une table si vous plait" in English to set the protocol for the meal. That's in the touristy areas at least.

The single rudest thing in Paris is the Metro, which is fabulously unforgiving. You're very likely to end up in a carriage with your suitcase stuck outside. If you're lucky the locals will haul the door open and pull you inside.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Geoff said...

I'd agree with anonymous. My wife and I spent a few months in Europe recently, 3 weeks of which was spent in France. We even found the Metro officials helpful. Waiters were usually also very helpful, either using English or being patient with our French. In foreign policy the French might have left something to be desired, but we found them to be courteous and helpful as individuals.

10:58 AM  

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