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Visiting Paris 2005

Posted by AnnaLeeF (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 24, 05 at 13:18

Just wanted to mention that we were in Paris this month for the first time in 16 years and we were impressed with the change in attitude from Parisians compared to our last visit. Everyone was so very friendly that we encountered.

They were nice to us on the earlier trip, but often only after we attempted to speak French. Now they are even more eager to speak to you in English than before, almost before you can try your French.

Also, it was a surprise to us that people are dressing in a much more casual style in Paris than 16 years ago, when we felt we had to dress up just to blend in.

It was altogether a wonderful trip and much easier now.


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RE: Visiting Paris 2005

AnnaLee-
Maybe you've mellowed! I firmly believe that you get back from people what you project. I've never bought into the "rude French" stereotype, and I've generally been treated fine throughout France. Yes, I do speak a little French, and I don't go to Europe expecting everything to be like it is here in the U.S. Overall, I'd say I've had ruder experiences travelling around the U.S. than travelling in Europe. And, fortunately, most French are discerning enough to view Americans as individuals and not as...well, I better not get into politics.


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RE: Visiting Paris 2005

I must agree with both the previous posts. We were in Paris, and drove all over France, in 2002 and 1998 (during World Cup) and found the French people to be very warm towards us. I too dislike the "rude French" stereotype that Ive been asked so much about, but have never encountered! I do believe Parisians are "cooler" than the rest of their countrymen, but New Yorkers are categorized as "cooler" than people from New York State too. I consider it to be a city vs country issue and most likely found all over the world. Yes, historically there has been an issue with Americans going to France and expecting the French people to speak English, but think that issue has subsided. Americans are also generally less formal than the French with their speech mannerisms. When entering a shop in France, or driving up to a tollbooth for that matter, the French offer the shopkeeper a simple greeting before starting any transactions. A simple bonjour will do. We have had the same custom in the past, but a good deal of Americans no longer take the time, and I observed this a number of times during our 1998 trip.

I speak very, very little French, but was treated wonderfully and with humor when I attemptedI believe they felt sorry for me!


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