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What was the most nice/fun/romantic experiences with the French and other Europeans?

What was the most nice/fun/romantic experiences with the French and other Europeans?

Old May 13th, 1999, 03:22 PM
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What was the most nice/fun/romantic experiences with the French and other Europeans?

What was the most kindest,helpful, romantic, fun thing that the French did for you? I read the "help with a paper" thread and it did make me think, that, as Americans, (In general) we as a country, tend to sterotype a lot. So, lets' break free of these and share our best experiences.

(I hope this makes sense!)
Old May 13th, 1999, 04:57 PM
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Hi Becky: I have lots of positive experiences to relate. In Tours: The only hotel we could find at a late hour offered no parking so we parked in front of a cleaners and the space was metered. The next morning we wanted to leave the car and walk so I calculated the amount of francs needed, went into the cleaners with a sweater to be cleaned and asked the lady if she would please put francs in the meter. She replied "pas de problem". When we returned, we noticed the flag was up but no ticket was on the car. I picked up my cleaned sweater and as I was leaving, the lady called me back to return the unused francs. She had been keeping an eye out for the gendarmes and put francs in the meter only when the police approached. In St Laurent Du Var: We had a difficult time navigating around this city (close to Nice) and when we stopped a French motorist to ask the way back to our hotel - he said "suivez-moi" (follow me), I did and he led us to our hotel and waved to us as he drove away. In Paris: A Sweet lady offered us help with directions without our asking. She saw us reading the metro map and explained the best way - even walking us to the metro stop. There are many, many stories of how lovely, accomodating, and thoughtful the French are. We can't forget that we are their guests. I'm proud of where I live and hopefully I'm as helpful to those who visit here.
Old May 13th, 1999, 05:55 PM
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We had no voucher from our travel agent for the hotel (L'Hotel de Mericourt)when we checked in. No problem. We had a wonderful stay, and the hotel staff was terrific. Great breakfasts, lots of clean linen and super clean room and bath. They called cabs for us when needed. No charge for phone calls (!?). When we left the concierge suggested we leave our unused Metro tickets for the maid as a tip. (We also left cash -- she took wonderful care of our room) Turned out our agent forgot to bill us (pay them?) until several weeks after our return. But there were no added charges to our $80 per night charges. I've had far "worse" treatment from US hotels when traveling on business at $200+ night.

Most fun we had was at the Old Recruiting Sargent on Ile St Louis. They seat you along a long wall and you share giant baskets of crudities, bread, cheeses, etc. with the couple at the next table. We met a wonderful couple from Germany. The whole set-up encouraged socialization and no one hurried you to finish your meal (or conversations!).
Old May 13th, 1999, 10:54 PM
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I've been to France (mainly Paris) several times and, despite knowing no more than a few French words, spoken with a Southern accent, have consistently been treated with courtesy and civility. Surely there are exceptions, as there are anywhere, but it's obvious to me that almost always one is treated as one treats others. This is ancient, and it is universal.
Old May 14th, 1999, 12:29 AM
Martha B
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This is the story I always think about when anyone mentions rude Parisian waiters. In a modest place on the Left Bank, my husband and I had ordered the cheapest menu for dinner. For dessert, I ordered chocolate mousse, pointing to the beautiful fresh-strawberry-and-chocolate dessert on another table and saying how much I loved strawberries with chocolate. Imagine my embarrassment when the waiter explained that that was a much more expensive dessert than the one which came with their budget menu. But that was nothing to my embarrassment when the waiter brought out my little metal bowl of mousse and set it before me with a flourish. On top of the mousse, he had filled it to overflowing with fresh strawberries! More of them than on the expensive dessert, and absolutely yummy! (Do I even need to add that there was no extra charge?)
Old May 14th, 1999, 01:32 AM
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I am happy to see that sometimes tourists (wherever they come from) can experience nice events in France...
Nous ne sommes pas si mechants que cela!
Old May 14th, 1999, 03:57 AM
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When we arrived at the airport out side Paris, we planned to go by train and then metro to our hotel, not realizing how jet lagged we were.
The train was okay, but when we got to the metro, we were totally confused.A very nice French man who spoke very little English( I speak a little French) took us to the correct line and rode with us , helped us change to the next line,and told us where to get off for our hotel. We thought he was very kind, a real Samaritan! After we were rested, we had no more problem with the metro and used it to happily go all over Paris.
Old May 14th, 1999, 06:35 AM
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I had always heard how rude the French people are and I, therefore, never had any desire to go to France. My husband had an opportunity to go to Paris a few years ago so I tagged along. I can say that to my surprise I had the best time. The French people were VERY kind and helpful. We did not encounter one rude or grouchy person which is unusal in any city. Co-workers and friends are always surprised that the French were so nice. I am happy to tell them the French are not at all like we (Americans) have always heard. I can't wait to go back!
Old May 14th, 1999, 10:53 AM
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My wife, a wonderful woman with a great sense of humor,who was getting fed up with my gourmand tendencies, and was getting a bit fiesty during another stuffy lunch (Jules Verne). As I was very much looking forward to the dinner planned for the following evening, I made a deal with her...Do whatever you like now and for the remainder of the trip, but please, tomorrow evening we will be dining at Michel Rostang and I beg you, for two hours before the meal, during the meal and for two hours following....no nonsense. She agreed and kept her word well into the 3rd course of the wonderful meal the next night.

The food was fantastic, the service and wine were wonderful and I could see in her face that she could hardly contain herself anymore. Surely even her joking couldn't ruin this meal and I said so. "Go on Honey, enjoy yourself."

Just at that moment, a server had come to the table with the finger bowls and wife, without missing a beat, said "Oh Boy, my favorite, lemon soup!" The poor man gasped and almost fainted before he looked down to see us laughing. He joined in the laughter and we watched as he shared the joke with the entire staff. All of whom laughed and looked our way.

Well for the rest of the evening, not a single dish was brought out of the kitchen without my wife and I getting a small serving of it. Our 6 or 7 course set menu dinner became dozens of small dishes and courses. Dessert lasted for over an hour and included 4 or 5 different items. Even the cheese course was expanded to include some of the proprietors own, home-made chevres.

We made friends that night with most of the staff, all of whom have been helpful on subsequent visits. And yes, I give credit to my wife, who previously never cared for fancy meals, for giving me the single greatest dining experience I had ever had.

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