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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

Jun 15th, 2013, 04:29 PM
  #101  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 173
I'm sorry you had such a bad couple of experiences in Paris, and I hope it doesn't put you off France entirely. The Parisians don't have a very good reputation in the rest of France - they've been accused of being rude for a great many years. But Londoners don't have a very good reputation in the rest of the UK either. People in the north of England think that those of us in the south are very unfriendly, with us Londoners being the worst of all!

It's nice to know that some people at least believe that in the UK we still queue/stand in line for buses etc. It's not true any more in most of London - but whether that's because of the number of foreigners living here, because of the number of tourists, or just because of the size of the city and therefore anonymity of the individual, who knows. Certainly in most of the rest of the country it's still the case that people get on a bus in the order in which they have arrived at the bus stop. Not necessarily standing in line whilst waiting any more, but noticing the number of people who were there before them and getting in line accordingly when the bus arrives. And woe betide anyone who tries to jump the queue.
Grindeldoo is offline  
Jun 15th, 2013, 07:01 PM
  #102  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 730
This is an observation. I have only had good experiences in Paris and France.

Our very dear friends have a small wonderful restaurant in Portugal where occasionally French tourists dine. We have witnessed on multiple occasions our Portuguese friend trying to understand his French customers who do not make any attempt at trying to speak any Portuguese.....not a greeting, thank you or asking for a bill. It seems they are expecting the Portuguese to have to speak or at least understand French unlike their expectation of tourists in their country.
lowcountrycarol is offline  
Jun 15th, 2013, 08:55 PM
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,697
Don't you think it's the same in any big city.
I've never found myself being warm and fuzzy
in anyplace in the major cities.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 02:29 PM
  #104  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 730
Cigalechanta, I am assuming your above comment is a response to my posting about the friends who experience French tourists in their little restaurant as you also previously responded to the post.

Not sure about being "warm and fuzzy" in big cities but I will say that this restaurant where we have seen French tourists only speaking in French, Belmiro the restaurant owner doing his very best to understand them, is located in a small town on the southern coast.

I just think it is interesting that those French tourists just assume the Portuguese will understand them as if this is what is expected of restaurant owners. I do not make this observation with little experience as I have helped them by working in their restaurant many a night over the last 20 years or so. Of all those who are served there I find the Dutch to be willing to speak some Portuguese or al least English which most Portuguese in business understand.

My personal travel style is to speak rudimentary restaurant/hotel phrases in the language of the country I am traveling in as a sign of respect....if not to facilitate service.
lowcountrycarol is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 02:50 PM
  #105  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,023
I think it is extremely rude to write that all American waiters are college kids with cheerleader personalities.

I don't know where you live, nor do I know where you dine, but I can assure you that I frequent many restaurants in the US that have a professional serving staff.

This whole "Europe is much more sophisticated than the US" is a bunch of nonsense.

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 03:16 PM
  #106  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,697
Lowcountry, I don't think It was you I was responding to
Also didn't make myself clear. So many Americans are so adapted to the chain restaurants where the wait person introduces themselves and gets over friendly.
I love Paris and never had a rude waiter.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 05:34 PM
  #107  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Agree that we dine almost exclusively in actual restaurants with professional staff.

However, there are many thousands of restaurants across the US - and not just chain places - but many local inexpensive places - where the staff are college kids who are untrained - except in overly friendly greetings and very poor service techniques.

My father in his later years decided he loved Applebee's - god knows why - and I can;t tell you how many times I was subjected to grossly incompetent - but happy/smiley - waitstaff - who seemed more intent on clapping and warbling about people's birthdays that serving any food (but it's so bad, really it hardly matters). To a lot of people this is normal waitstaff behavior - and professional service is cold and rude.

Yes, there are a lot of sophisticated people in the US - but there are also a lot who think Applebee's is a real restaurant and think waitstaff should act like cheerleaders.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 06:27 PM
  #108  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,023
Yes, and you have versions of Appleby's in Europe.

You also have lots of bumpkins in Europe.

Or do you think everyone walking around Lyon has a degree in Philosophy from Cambridge or Padova?

Was at the airport in Lyon last summer waiting for flight to Marco Polo.

I saw more fitted caps and Bulls jerseys than on the LIRR.

There are Starbucks and Hollister all over Europe.

There is a Hooters in Interlaken Switzerland.

You can't tell the Europeans from the Americans. It is all the same culture.
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 09:31 PM
  #109  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Pepper don't be silly , wearing the same clothing does not make it "all the same culture".. ridiculus pronouncement.
justineparis is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 09:40 PM
  #110  
 
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I know I wear same clothing as many Americans, but I also know our culture is different. I think that's may be part of SOME Americans problems, they don't get its DIFFERENT , even if there is a Starbucks, and the guy is wearing levis.. And , hey they "DON'T ALL SPEAK ENGLISH" ( but just won't to be mean) .
justineparis is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 09:47 PM
  #111  
 
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Culture is only on the surface of a lot of people, not inside them.
kerouac is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 09:53 PM
  #112  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Last year, I was walking down the street in my neighborhood and I hear two guys behind me speaking French very loudly. When they passed me they were both in kick ass gear, complete with their pants below their butts underwear sticking out, their caps ass backwards, and cheap bling. I thought Jack Lang would spinning in his grave, if he were dead.
BigAleinstein is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 10:27 PM
  #113  
 
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"culture" doesn't always mean "cultured" they are not to be confused.
justineparis is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 10:30 PM
  #114  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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culture" doesn't always mean "cultured" they are not to be confused.
____

Yes every society has its morons.
BigAleinstein is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 05:09 AM
  #115  
 
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"It seems they are expecting the Portuguese to have to speak or at least understand French unlike their expectation of tourists in their country…I think it is interesting that those French tourists just assume the Portuguese will understand them as if this is what is expected of restaurant owners."

If you travel a lot, you see that people have more in common than not.

As a general rule, French tourists seek out the best restaurants in Venice, Italy. I often find myself at favorite haunts surrounded by French diners. They often don't bother to speak Italian (very true of the British as well), and most of these restaurants have French versions of the menu (they know who their best customers are). What is surprising to me, the Italian owner (or maître d') often speaks fluent French. It's a joy for me to listen in on all these conversations since I speak both Italian and French.

"I've never found myself being warm and fuzzy in anyplace"

What does warm and fuzzy have to do with attempting to use some words of the native language?

"I think it is extremely rude to write that all American waiters are college kids with cheerleader personalities."

It very much does depend on where you eat. Many chain restaurants in America have training programs for waiters, and a lot of these places force their workers to put forth a fake obsequiousness. They are trained to believe that this is what most customers view as good service.

In a private establishment, you're likely to find professional waiters who know how to finesse customers with a more individual style. In NYC, in the right restaurant (there are many), waiters bring home six-figure salaries. Their personalities tend to be more refined and less robotized.

"I love Paris and never had a rude waiter."

Some people love while wearing rose-tinted glasses. I've been traveling to Paris for over 30 years. I once co-owned an apartment on Place des Vosges. I've experienced rude service in Paris more times than I wish to recall. Some people say the silliest things on the internet.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 07:26 AM
  #116  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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As a frenchman, I just want to add a comment on the behaviour of french people in Portugal. France was a major destination of portuguese immigration during the 60-70's, and it appears that many people in Portugal do speak french. Especially in the tourist business. Some of them were opened by people when they came back.
I remember travelling in Portugual whith my parents 20 years ago : some people there were quitte happy to speak french, and it appeared on different occasions that they had been living in France for a long time. Several of them in the south-west of France, sometimes in my hometown of Bordeaux.

Than, there is a strong connection between both countries an english or dutch person might not be aware of (there are 4 million people of portugueuse nationality or direct ascent in France : 5% of the population)
That said, I have to admit that french people tend to behave in Europe as if french was still "the" international language it used to be
paris15 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 08:02 AM
  #117  
 
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That said, I have to admit that french people tend to behave in Europe as if french was still "the" international language it used to be>>

they wouldn't be alone in that, paris15.
annhig is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 08:40 AM
  #118  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I am very much a Francophile, but I've been made aware over and over again by other Europeans that "THE ATTITUDE" is still one of the reasons the French are not very popular with the rest of European citizens.

Case in point: During the March rugby match in Dublin, the taxi drivers were really angry that the French would not even try to use English, especially since they were well aware that English is part of the French school curriculum. They kept saying non-stop, no matter which driver, that Russians, Poles, Germans, Dutch, Spaniards, Italians (and tongue in check, even Americans) were willing to give the language a go, but not the French. The barkeepers in the hotel were a bit miffed, too.

However, I know I am going to miss being able to communicate in English in the US soon , so I don't think I can sit in judgment of anyone else's need to assert a cultural superiority.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:20 AM
  #119  
 
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And just in case anyone misinterprets my statement above, I DO NOT think WASP culture in the US is superior.
Always a good thought to have is that "Only change is changeless."
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 10:19 AM
  #120  
 
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They kept saying non-stop, no matter which driver, that Russians, Poles, Germans, Dutch, Spaniards, Italians (and tongue in check, even Americans) were willing to give the language a go, but not the French>>

AZ - I have noticed a distinct change in France, or at least in Paris, to the speaking of english in the last 5 years or so. before that, France was different to most of europe in that virtually everywhere else, waiters etc would speak english to you, even if your german for example was better than their english, out of some misguided idea that the english don't like speaking foreign languages.

in France, OTOH, they would let you struggle along with O level french even if their English was far superior to your French.

on our last few visits to Paris, we have found that this has now changed, and it's become much more difficult to find opportunities to practice my execrable french. and at the french open tennis championships, there was the wonderful spectacle of Nadal being interviewed in english and replying in French.
annhig is offline  

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