Fodor's chat advise saved me

Oct 28th, 2007, 05:38 PM
  #1  
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Fodor's chat advise saved me

Hi

I followed the advise given here about the Metro Strike in Paris. I went out to the Air France bus stop and went to Gare de Lyon instead of trying to get a taxi or the metro.

Something interesting though. When I arrived at the Air Port, I went to the information desk to see about the strike. The first woman, let's just call her "girl 1" told me with strong authority that there was NEVER a bus that went to Gare de Lyon. She insisted that I take a cab. This was puzzling to me because before I left for Paris, I'd recieved advise to go to Gare de Lyon by bus. I felt uneasy about a taxi because of the price, and I also felt that something was amiss. So, I waited and then went back to the information desk to "girl 2". This woman was very sweet. "OH sure there is a bus, just go out that door and catch it". I was happy to hear that, and just as Girl 2 said it, I looked at Girl 1 and she just frowned and looked away. WHATS WITH THAT ???
So, the bus was packed, but I made it for only $14 Euro. The taxi was 45Euro. Thanks to all !
texafornian is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Sound like Mlle. Une had some issues with a) Americans (freedom fries, and all that), or β) people with the resources to travel, or iii) your hat.

Interesting that the AF bus wasn't jammed to the gunwales, though.
Robespierre is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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Or Girl # is an idiot.
Jean is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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That is, Girl #1 is an idiot.
Jean is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 11:21 PM
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Girl no. 1 did not have issues with Americans. She had issues with anyone not speaking French.

I organise European city trips every year for my German Swiss students. The majority don't want to go to Paris because of their haughtiness towards tourists.

If you can speak passable French, I'm sure you'll see the country in a different light.
kleeblatt is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 12:50 AM
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I wonder what would have happened if you had told Girl #2 that Girl #1 had said there was no bus and that you should take a taxi.

Of course, one could understand why Girl#1 might have "had trouble" with "Freedom Fries" and so forth jst as you "had trouble" with her overall attitude.
Dukey is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 12:57 AM
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Calm down...

Do not make an international affair from this incident. You will find girl ones everywhere in the world. And girl twos, too.

And France has improved a lot, and a lot more French people speak English compared to 1977 when I visited Paris for the first time...

This little story tells us that it is really important to get some information before you travel. And that Fodorville helps.
traveller1959 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 03:04 AM
  #8  
ira
 
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Good for you, T.

Perhaps Young Woman #1 was having a bad day?

ira is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 05:57 AM
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Girl #1 has not yet received the memo requesting that the French be more hospitable to tourists.
Travelnut is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 06:07 AM
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It seems the most obvious conclusion was simply that the first woman did not know the facts, that's all. It is surprising how many people working in positions where that ought to know certain facts, don't know them. The ending frown when she found out someone else had told you was probably just because people don't like to be confronted when they are wrong, it makes them look stupid. I agree someone at the information desk should know standard bus drop points by the Air France bus. But maybe she just didn't know them and only knew the final end points (ie, MOntparnasse or the Arc). Many years ago, they didn't actually have a stop at Gare de Lyon.

Now I could be wrong and she deliberately gave you wrong advice, but I guess I've just encountered a lot of dumb or ignorant people in positions of advice/authority, so it seems more likely to me she didn't know what she was talking about. Even if someone doesn't like English speakers or Americans, it's kind of hard for me to think they would deliberately lie about something like that, rather than just be rude or unhelpful, perhaps.

I could be wrong, however, maybe it was deliberate, but at least it's good that the OP had read up beforehand of what to expect.
Christina is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Try calling your bank and asking about fees on foreign transactions. Beaucoup de #1
No need to read anything into this. And yes, that's why Fodors in invaluable. Real advice for real people.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 06:26 AM
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Or maybe she hadn't been trained to say "I don't know - I'll find out for you."

Or maybe her brother-in-law drives a cab and she steers everyone to the taxi stand on principle.
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Or maybe she was speaking in a foreign language and there was a breakdown in communication because of that.

Or maybe she wasa cow.

Glad it all turned out OK in the end anyway
sheila is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2007, 06:33 AM
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I had the same experience with girl #1 in Copenhagen.
Now, I understand why ; I don't speak Danish!!!!
danon is offline  

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