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Just home from 8 days in Paris--Pickpockets threat--Rude French people

Just home from 8 days in Paris--Pickpockets threat--Rude French people

Old Jun 13th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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BTW, After the trip to Paris where everyone was rude, I would intentionally send someone in the wrong direction if someone with a French accent asked for information. Unfornately, I cannot discern the difference between a Québécoise accent and a French accent. And although I have not sent anyone in the wrong direction intentionally in 25 years those with a French accent are among the rudest visitors to NYC.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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I agree with AlessandraZoe!
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Sorry for your sour experiences, gram. The pickpockets are certainly not unique to Paris, and your post underscores the importance of vigilance in crowded public areas. Especially at this time of heavy tourism, the evildoers are active.

As for what you sensed as rudeness, I wonder how much is attributable to different cultural styles. Just as virtually every woman in Texas seems to start a conversation with something like "Love that color on you" every Parisian, including shopkeepers, expect to start an interaction by being greeted with "Bonjour, monsieur/madame." If that opening script is not followed, it is a faux pas which results in a cool response.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 03:51 PM
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Being an American and calling the French rude just shows a total lack of respect and knowledge for a foreign culture. I sense that France, Spain, Portugal and most of the rest of Europe is not meant for those who do not or cannot, for some reason, understand that you will encounter major cultural differences as you move from place to place.

I've overheard people remaking about how rude the French are, while sipping a good Bordeaux, but when asked if they had ever been to France, said no, it's just something they heard and often repeated. Ignorant? Of course.

If you want rude, wait until you run into a group of Chinese on tour in Europe, or just about anywhere else.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 04:12 PM
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Being an American and calling the French rude just shows a total lack of respect and knowledge for a foreign culture
______
What do you call a Frenchman in the US when he is rude, practicing his culture?

Do you think it is rude when a Parisian ignores you because your French is awful while the Italians, Portuguese, and Spanish are thrilled you make an attempt to speak their language?
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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<I live in NYC, the safest city in the world I'd agree>

Really Aliced..? Since when?

Honolulu is the safest city in the US and is number 15th of the safest cities in the world..

http://americanlivewire.com/safest-cities-in-the-world/
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 04:41 PM
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We really did try to always say small greetings and thank you's in French as much as possible-- but many times, for whatever reason, the waiters just spoke to us in English quickly. (our Texas accents on "Bonjour" is probably pathetic!) The restaurant prices were very high, but we tried not to express surprise. We tried not to speak loudly or smile too much. We really did try to dress in dark colors and try to fit in with others while traveling because I read about that in the Fodor's travel books. Once we were climbing a dark stairway up the bell tower of Sacre de Cour and heard some French speaking people behind us. We were about on the 200th of a very very steep stairwell, and we offered with hand gesture to let them go ahead. They probably had heard us talking English, though, and they quickly started speaking English. Quickly, they began asking friendly small talk questions as we were all climbing up a very difficult stairway. We thought, "Now these are really nice French people", and soon, we learned they were from Quebec! We laughed at our mistake. We will try to travel in Paris again and France of course! But we have very different expectations now.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 04:54 PM
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Heading to Paris in a few weeks. The last time I was there was in the 80s. I thought the people were very cold on my visits back then. Loved the city...... Could have done without the people. Hoping I don't feel that way yet again. I do not recall such big problems with pickpockets back then.....

Regarding the cultural differences...... IMO they are quite minor compared to my travels to Asia! When I meet foreigners in my own country I try my best to understand their differences and give them some leeway. Happy to help when I can. I did not find the French to be that way. More annoyed than anything!

Love Texas! Could easily live there. I smile at people I meet all the time. It's nice to get a smile in return.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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The restaurant prices are high because you chose restaurants with high prices.. it can be that simple.. I don't find the prices high because I choose restaurants within my means. The law in France requires all restaurants and cafes to post their menus OUTSIDE so anyone can check out prices before sitting down.. guess you didn't know that or you wouldn't have been surprised.. bet you also paid 4 or 5 euros for a coke, lol and bought bottled water, I don't do that either..

next time do more research it really does pay off..

Its ok to smile and wear something other then black .. its more about general behaviour and your expectations.. in the States I realize its fairly common for a waiter to come up to the table, smile widely and proclaim "hello there , my name is bobby and I am going to be serving you tonight, so you just let me know what I can do for you, etc " A French waiter would never do this( thank goodness I hate that sort of service) They will say bonjour, take your order and that's it.. when you want the bill you often have to catch their eye and motion for it etc. They won't chat, they are not going to ask "so where are you from "( generally) etc.. in other words it may really look unfriendly to you, but its normal there..
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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The restaurant prices are high because you chose restaurants with high prices.. it can be that simple.. I don't find the prices high because I choose restaurants within my means. The law in France requires all restaurants and cafes to post their menus OUTSIDE so anyone can check out prices before sitting down.. guess you didn't know that or you wouldn't have been surprised.. bet you also paid 4 or 5 euros for a coke, lol and bought bottled water, I don't do that either..

next time do more research it really does pay off..

Its ok to smile and wear something other then black .. its more about general behaviour and your expectations.. in the States I realize its fairly common for a waiter to come up to the table, smile widely and proclaim "hello there , my name is bobby and I am going to be serving you tonight, so you just let me know what I can do for you, etc " A French waiter would never do this( thank goodness I hate that sort of service) They will say bonjour, take your order and that's it.. when you want the bill you often have to catch their eye and motion for it etc. They won't chat, they are not going to ask "so where are you from "( generally) etc.. in other words it may really look unfriendly to you, but its normal there..
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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The French people who sit on the benches outside Balthazar are pretty grim looking, I agree. They probably can't get a table inside.

The French people who come into L'Ecole at the French Culinary Institute are also rude with their flip-flops, dirty feet and Muji shopping bags.

Quelle horror!

Soho is sooooo overrun with French people acting rudely whilst looking for Crate and Barrel.

I say Send Them to the Guillotine!!!!!


Thin
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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<Love Texas! Could easily live there. I smile at people I meet all the time. It's nice to get a smile in return>

Well said Simpsonc510..
I am European but I live in central Texas. The Friendliness of the people,their willingness to help their neighbors when is needed, their smiles and their hello when they see you even if you are a total stranger, always make my day more pleasant.As the old saying...

<The Magic of a smile..>and is so true especially if you have a bad day and feel blue.

I have been to Paris since I were 18..My sister and some members of my family live in France..

Some Parisians are indeed rude , very indifferent and arrogants..is true..

Luckily these people are only a minority because the majority of French in general are very nice.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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The French people who sit on the benches outside Balthazar are pretty grim looking, I agree. They probably can't get a table inside.
_____
Or could be that Balthazar is tourists looking for celebrities that left 15 years ago.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 06:05 PM
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We were in Paris just a few years ago. We saw some scams and avoided a few others by dumb luck really. I did not find the people rude. I didn't find them overly friendly either. I speak only the please and thank yous in French. We are usually obviously Americans on our travels and probably dress that way as well.

We were just in Switzerland and Italy for two weeks and I found the Romans were more cold and spoke English immediately to us. People were friendlier in northern Italy and Switzerland. I think in Switzerland, we were taken for Germans quite often which probably helped us.
One woman said something rude to me in English in a store about not giving her the proper pleasantry upon entry. I was preoccupied at the time and I just looked at her and walked out of her store. I didn't need to be corrected and I am usually a friendly person. I found her rude in trying to teach me her ways. Oh well.

Life in Europe is definitely different from the US. For some it may seem better, but I felt it made me appreciate what I have here and learn from how others do things. Travel is a learning experience.
I think like any other city, people are colder in big cities, New York too. I found I liked the smaller cities on our latest travels much better than Rome. So, maybe that is a lesson learned by me. I found the people friendlier and less likely to want something from me.
I wouldn't give up on France, I would try a smaller city and see the country. Paris is like NY. Just in NY, you speak the language and can tell someone to get to the back of the line.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 06:12 PM
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Well, Abilene Gram, I will say something – you certainly got a response to your post, eh? In one day – 73 and counting. Sorry about your experience though. Glad to hear that you may try again. Let us know…
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 06:22 PM
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MaisonPlague : Yes they exist. They are issued by the CAF, a government body (Caisse d'Allocations Familiales). There are priority lines in most supermarkets for people who have mobility issues and for pregnant women. There are also priority cards for pregnant women at Disneyland Paris. It seems that contrary to some, they do take local customes into consideration.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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I think that Florentines can come across as haughty and Romans can be quite sarcastic (in a funny way). So what. I'm not out to make friends with everyone who crosses my path in a big city that I am visiting as a tourist. And once you understand that people operate according to a completely different code of behavior than you do, you'll have a much better experience--anywhere.

I think I've been to Paris about seven times now and I haven't had any Parisians be rude to me except for one late-teen guy working in a shop once and he was just a snotty teenager. I can get really haughty, snotty and snobby myself and gave what I got x10.

Luckily, haven't been swindled in Paris, a beautiful city with loads to do and see, and lots of courteous, formal people. Excellent.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 06:45 PM
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Oops, I got carried away with my self-important blathering and forgot to address Gram! I am sorry you had a bad experience, and I hope you give France another chance.

And AjPeabody, Apple picking I've not heard. Here they used to call it iJacking.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 08:04 PM
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Responding to some people on this forum is pretty much a waste of time. They are set in their ways and unless you fit their mold of politeness, you are rude, which includes most of the known world outside of NYC, but thankfully they do not reflect the city, only their narrow mindset.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 08:31 PM
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What Robert3533 said. I don't much care if the OP ever goes back to France or just stays in Texas (which scares the hell out of me personally). I don't waste time responding to these zenophobic, narrow-minded posts any more. I've seen thousands upon thousands of clueless Americans in France and wondered how the world got to be a place where anyone with a few thousand dollars could venture abroad and hope to be entertained in the way they're used to at home without any language skills or appreciation for differences in cultures.

So be it. Carry on. Stay away from France. It's too weird. Go to Vegas.
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