What makes people dislike Paris?

Old Aug 27th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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I think Paris is a fantastic city! I disagree that great amounts of planning are necessary. If you pick somewhere central for your hotel, get a good map, you don't even really need a guidebook, just good walking shoes and a sense for exploration.

I never encountered rude people, but it IS a major city and people aren't gushing all over you with friendliness like you might find in a small town or countryside village.

As for the people who hate Paris, my first question would be "have you actually been there?".

As for the language, that is not a problem to me, but mostly I keep my mouth shut. Learn a few pleasantries, then just keep your eyes open and do what others do. A shop or grocery is the same everywhere... they want to sell you something, you want to buy it. It's not complicated. Learn the phrase and get the accent right for "I'm sorry, I don't speak French." said with an apologetic look and a smile. This was my handiest phrase by far.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 02:26 PM
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The people I've heard saying the most negative things about Paris happen to be ones who've never been there.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 02:55 PM
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I personally like Paris a great deal. Some of the French will tell you that Parisians are "hard" akin to what some Americans might say about people who live in New York City or other large cities.

I've always found the people in Paris to be helpful and friendly.

You've undoubtedly also "heard" about the so-called "animosity" the French have toward Americans, supposedly as a result of the refusal of France to participate in the current Iraq affair.

I have never encountered this and have never heard, or seen DOCUMENTED, any instances of this..the only hostility seems to be coming from Americans who are p.o.'d at the French, so don't let any of that foolishness stop you.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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This may not be a popular view, but here goes. In my humble opinion, there are two kinds of people, those who like Paris, and those who do not. Those who like pate and those who do not. Those who believe in God/Buddha/Mohammed and those who do not. See where this is going? You cannot will someone to like Paris. You cannot imagine how it might win your heart, or how it might not. You must try it to find out, and that, my dear, is yet one more qualifier, there are those who are willing to try new things, and there are those who are not.....And so it goes. As for me, I've been many times and each time I remember how much I love Paris.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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I spent 2 weeks there, 1 on business followed by 1 on vacation and had an hysterically wonderful time. I got robbed...and had a hysterically funny scene at a Police Station; got chased for 2 blocks by a hooker in a scene worthy of Peter Sellars (I was laughing so hard, she actually passed me for a second), surrounded by the RER Gestapo (for being on a Class A car with a Class B ticket....NOT my fault...but it WAS quite funny), got terribly ill and laughed so hard throughout the entire thing, I was nearly passing out at any given point.

And creme brulée!!!! OHHHHHHH!!!!!! I had the best meal in my entire European experience (so far) at a little walk-down restaurant on Ave. Kléber wherein I had creme brulée for the 1st time. The wait staff got visibly nervous beliving I was going to scrape the glaze off the bottom of the dish. Tragically, no creme brulée has ever equalled that.

I had wonderful conversations with non-English speaking residents - and even some English speaking ones, and several French dogs and cats and fell in love with about 4000 French girls. And the City. And the Architecture. And the Seine. And the Left Bank. And teh Musée d'Orsay!!!! Sainte Chappelle. Oh!!!! My Heart!!!! My last night was spent at the Palais de Chaillot overlooking the Seine at the Eiffle Tower all lit up in diffused light thru the warm night fog.

I'd go back in a SECOND!!!! I Dream of living for 6 months off Saint Germaine, near Saint Sulpice.

In fact.....excuse me.....I have to go pack.....
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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I am also planning a trip to Paris next May-early June. I too have had many people say- "I've heard that the people are rude, yada yada yada." More often that not it seems like these people have not been to Paris or France personally but they know someone who was there 15 or 20 years ago. Some of my coworkers have been to Paris in the past 2-3 years and have really enjoyed it. They didn't feel like people were rude to them. I'm sure they are not like we are in Texas, but that is difference in culture not rudeness. Basically, I tell people with this attitude that I could care less how "they" think the French are because I am going for food, museums, and culture. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 11:44 PM
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My advice to you would be not to listen to anyone's negativity. Paris is unique and holds many charms on many levels. Go and experience it for yourself. I do have to admit that it is the only city in Europe that I allow myself to be the "Ugly American Tourist" since my French muscle has diminished greatly over the past few years. To tell you the truth, even when my French was almost good, I spoke Italian instead and was understood perfectly. My hope would be that you go and have your own experience and come back and tell us all about it.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 03:13 AM
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The French. Apart from the wonderful Frenchmen who play for and manage Arsenal.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 09:10 AM
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I love Rome. My sister loves Paris.
Two different cities, two different sisters.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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What is referred to as rudeness is often just a cultural difference. Europeans on their first trip to the USA can be baffled by the overly familiar attitude of waiters, salespeople. In France, you just do not ask strangers how they are, where they're from, how long they're here for, etc..... Having a waiter come up several times during a meal to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves is also a little unusual in Europe.
They're not being rude to you because you're American; it's just how they are!

If you've never been to Paris; GO! And make up your own mind.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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I agree with the several posters above who mention the very personal and emotional reaction different people have to different cities. I feel it is like trying to describe why you fall in love with the person you do!

I adore Venice, enjoyed my first trip Paris, was a bit depressed in Amsterdam, am in no rush to get to Rome, would move to Switzerland in a heartbeat if I had the chance. Doesn't make it right or wrong just my visceral reaction to the places and people.
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