As someone who adores France and has come to appreciate its quirkiness and differences, I can tell you that isn’t always the case when I talk to people in both my real life and my Internet life. I am still perplexed and disappointed when I run into people who tell me they don’t want to go to France because the French are rude. Mind you when I press them, most times these people haven’t even GONE to France. They had just heard it from a friend of a friend and so on and so on.
For the record, I have never been treated rudely in France. In fact, I have many examples which serve as memories to the contrary. But I also try my best to fit in, understand the culture and etiquette, smile and be positive.
Understandably, I’d like the RIGHT people to visit France. Those who can appreciate all the wonderful gifts the country has to offer; the food, the culture, the jaw dropping scenery, and yes, the people. Travelers who won’t be negative and won’t spread nasty rumors. So I’ve decided to list some things you should consider before making the decision to travel to France, to help determine if it’s the right fit for you.
- The French sure do love their cigarettes. If you don’t like cigarette smoke, France may not be for you.
- If you expect to be fussed and fawned over at dinner by wait staff who act like your new best friend and offer up their name, France may not be for you.
- And if you may become upset and impatient when said wait staff let you relax and enjoy your meal rather than shoving you out the door, France may not be for you.
- If you need to touch and riffle through all the merchandise when you’re shopping and you think the customer is always right, France may not be for you.
- If you expect the French to smile, hold the door for you (a complete stranger) and speak to you in English, France may not be for you.
- If you don’t like cheese - the smell of cheese, the taste of cheese. It’s a country of over 365 cheeses and if you can’t handle that much cheese, France may not be for you
- If you prefer Paris sidewalks to be free of doggie doo, France may not be for you.
- If you’re not big on etiquette, using your manners, or going out of your way to be polite in a foreign country, France may not be for you.
- If you like mega-sized portions and leftovers, France may not be for you.
- If you thing aloof, private and reserved translates to rude, France may not be for you.
- If you have no desire to learn a bit of the language or culture before you go, France may not be for you.
- If you’ll be highly offended when you try to speak your best French, but you’re answered back in English because your French isn’t good enough, France may not be for you.
- If you’ll throw a hissy fit when the classy resto you’ve been looking forward to dining in won’t serve you at 3:30 for lunch or 5:30 for dinner. France has set hours for shopping, dining, banking and other services and if you can’t grasp that, France may not be for you.
- If you’ll be uncomfortable when Parisians blatantly stare at you while sizing you up on the Metro, especially if you’re dressed in a sweat suit, white sneakers and a fanny pack, France may not be for you.
- If you can’t sleep in anything less than a king sized bed or stay in a hotel room the size of a house, France may not be for you.
- If you might ask a waiter for a phone book to call the health department to report the women sitting at the next table in a bistro who’s dining companion is her dog, France may not be for you.
- If you’re not greeted with the same sense of urgency as you’re used to in other parts of the world (ie, the U.S.), France may not be for you.