March 17, 2018

Traveling to France? You will adore the French


Any travel plans to France this year, the most visited country on Earth?
Anytime I find an opportunity to go, I’m off. So, when I was asked "Could I bring you to France, to help me antique for furnishings & decorate my newly renovated home there?"
 I leaped….Pince Moi, (pinch me) 
Never could I have imagined such an opportunity, really loving my career at the moment
We will get back to that dream, but first…..
"HOW TO GET ALONG WITH THE FRENCH?"
You have heard the horror stories, "they are rude, will not even try English, they are rude, ignored us, they are rude……."

As my husband and I readied ourselves for the first trip over we were inundated with the above in a remarkable series of versions, we second guessed ourselves. "maybe we fly there and go elsewhere?" Mind you we were quite young & impressionable. Then I spoke to someone in the know. "They are rude because YOU are rude" WHAT??!!?? 

You see it is a country of deep seated social mores of graciousness. How so?
             
-never walk into a shop, cafe, anywhere, without saying Bonjour, followed by the appropriate title of Madame, Monsieur, or Mademoiselle to the clerk, staff, anyone in the establishment,.When entering In the evening (after 6pm) instead of Bonjour, it is Bonsoir Madame, monsieur…..
When leaving it is Au Revoir, madame…….
All while looking them in the eyes.
-use Merci (thank you) liberally followed by Madame, Msr…….

-never walk up to someone speaking English, the height of rudeness! Imagine someone walking up to us prattling on in a foreign language…NON!  Practice a few words & sayings to get along. The most important being "Pardone, Madame, Monsieur, Mme, Parlez Vous Angalis?" (Pardon me, Madame, do you speak English?)
See the constant use of Madame, Monsieur Mademoiselle? Everything must begin or be followed by that sentiment
-Control yourself in public. We are noted for being loud & boisterous. I can always tell when a group is from the US, by the decibel level! This too is considered rude & inconsiderate to fellow diners/participants…..
Once there, do partake & enjoy the fruits of this country, they do know how to live 
Does all this sound off putting? When I share this with participants of a France tour by Sylvia and I, a look of exasperation looms over everyone, however once there, and put into practice, everyone exclaims, "This is so civilized, I forgot what that was like!" Viola!!
With this knowledge, I have never had an issue and find the French so charming, more so outside of Paris, however, that is with all large cities, 
n’est-ce pas?
So…..back to my journey, leaving tomorrow, arriving in the morning and off on a train…..this is where I could really mess up……then deep into the countryside. To market we go! Treasures from France are a perennial favorite when brought back to the shop

















This reminds me, I will have to do a post on negotiating antique shopping in France, which will apply to most other countries too. All such fun! 
If you want to "come on this journey", follow me on my Instagram page;

Stay tuned, Sylvia and I are planning our tour to Provence in September, 2019. 
Ohhh la la!
Speaking of tours, we have a spot for one more on our English countryside tour this September. 
If interested email me.
Merci
  Madame, Monsieur, Mademoiselle,

Debra 



































14 comments:

  1. Also: a waiter who brings the check too quickly or who hovers over your table is not considered attentive but rude. That waiter who seems to be ignoring you actually is doing what is considered to be polite.

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  2. Absolutely France Taste!
    isn't it a pleasure being allowed to linger? Thank you for contributing an important point
    Debra

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  3. What a wonderful opportunity! I know your client/friend? will be thrilled with your help---you are truly so talented. Safe travels and enjoy your time in France. I'll be following along on IG.
    xo,
    Karen

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  4. Excellent advice. Works every time.

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  5. thank you dear Karen. far too excited over here!
    xo

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  6. Wonderful advice that, of course would apply to any country we visit ! May I ask how do we find out about your trips ? They sound amazing !

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  7. sooo true Patricia, the French however insist we adhere, well most. but we should be good citizens anywhere we travel.
    I would love to forward trip information. in the body of this post is my email, drop me a line
    best
    Debra

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  8. Soooooo wish I were going with you!! Perhaps next fall?!!

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  9. CINDY, I WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SPOT FOR YOU!

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  10. I was going to say CALL CINDY!!!!!!!!!
    I guess GRANNY DUTIES come before ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE!
    BEAUTIFUL POST on OUR LACK OF MANNERS!!!!!!!!!
    XX

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  11. Excellent advice. I found that Parisians will switch to English if politely asked, but that most inhabitants of the Loire Valley, for example, do not know English, so there's no reason to ask. Also, Paris gets a bad rap as rude, like NYC and London and any big city, but most of it amounts to visitors not being used to getting around in urban centers. City folks don't have time to chat in any language! The pace is part of the pleasure. I wish I were going!

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  12. I love France and have been traveling there every year since I was 16. In all of my trips I have never ever met a rude French person. In fact I have made many many life long friends while traveling in France, people I have met on the train or in stores. This excellent advice Debra for anyone traveling to France or any place. Courtesy and good manners will get you far.

    Have a fabulous trip! Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about it.

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  13. Bonjour, Madame. Very good advice. There was a book called "Bloom Where You Are Planted" that I read when we first moved to Paris that had the same tips. We are going to Provence in June with a brief stop in Paris. Have a great time.

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  14. I was there for a time this winter (not in Paris) and found that everyone was more than willing to meet me halfway in my imperfect attempts to speak French. A couple of people even coached me on pronunciation.
    That, plus morning croissants, and excellent wine and cheese--blissful.

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