Monday, August 1, 2016

Tourists in Paris (Photo: Thinkstock)By Kate Robinson1.
Fail to Say
"Bonjour."French politeness is predicated on the use of formulations.
You
don"t need to talk extensively (in fact, you shouldn"t unless you know the
person), but you must always say "Bonjour." When you walk into a tiny boutique
and you are only interested in looking; when you arrive at the office with a
hangover and no desire to speak to anyone; when you ask for directions on the
street; when you buy a bus ticket; and yes, when you walk into the waiting
room at the dentist"s office.
In fact, nearly every conversation should start
with "Bonjour" or "Salut, ça va?" if you don"t want to develop a
reputation for being antisocial and mal élevé.2.
Ask for ketchup or
ice."Did your mom ever get really irritated when you squirted ketchup all over
her homemade meatloaf? Imagine that, only ten times worse and that"s what
French people think of slathering good ol" Heinz 57 on everything from
saucisse de Toulouse to frites.
While the rise to celebrity status of the
American-style hamburger has somewhat attenuated this distrust of
transatlantic condiments, la moutarde remains a more culturally appropriate
choice.3.
Speak loudly in public places.France"s metropolitan centers are more
open and welcoming to international influence than ever.
But while the French
are happy to find foreign accents in their plates, they are not so enthused
about having to endure them at maximum volume while trying to enjoy a
tête à tête in a bistro.
Unless you"re in a small, crowded bar
where everyone is shouting across tables at one another, take it down a
notch.
If you need to talk to someone across the room, just get up and walk
over to them already.Related: Cheap and Chic Paris4.
Drink too much.Drunk in
Paris (Photo: Thinkstock)The French like to drink.
A lot.
Not just wine,
either.
They"re the world"s top consumers of whisky.
What they do not like to
do is binge drink.
You might encounter bottle after bottle at a party, but
more often than not, each pop of the cork is accompanied by a shared moment
following the collective "Santé!" when glasses twirl, lips smack, and
someone declares it plutôt fruité or plutôt sec.
Accidents
happen and there"s always that friend who has le vin aigre and ends up crying
in the bathroom, but these things take place with discretion and are not
flaunted as achievements.5.
Cut the cheese inappropriately.No, this is not
scatalogical humor.
There is a correct method to cutting each shape of
cheese.
For example, a tranche of Roquefort should be cut in wedges emanating
from the center of the thin edge, so what you get is essentially a core sample
of a round of cheese.
If you cut straight down the inside edge where the
creamiest, most pungent bit is, your French boyfriend will confiscate the
Opinel and reconsider your relationship.6.
Take the bait."T"es
américaine? T"as un flingue aussi?" Don"t fall for it.
Whether or not
your questioner has ever been to the United States or has any clue about
federal arms regulations, he doesn"t really care if you personally own a
gun.
When discussions veer into politico-religious-philosophical realms that
often get non-French blood boiling, remember le second degré, the irony
that underlies much of French humor.
Also, many French people simply enjoy the
debate — and teasing you.
After all, qui aime bien, châtie
bien.Related: How to See Paris in One Day7.
Order your steak "well
done."
Photo: ThinkstockIf you think French waiters are cold and unpleasant,
try asking for your steak à point.
It"s insulting on so many levels they
may ask you why you"re even bothering with the entrecôte.8.
Ask personal
questions.Being friendly and chatty in France can sometimes come across as
invasive.
Many Americans, for example, show interest in others by asking
complete strangers a slew of personal questions, in addition to sharing their
own life story, including details of their recent divorce and the neighbor"s
daughter"s drug problem.
Unless you"ve taken the time to develop meaningful
relationships with French people, don"t pry into their personal lives and
avoid over-sharing yours.
And whatever you do, don"t ask how much money they
make.9.
Leave the house in your pajamas.Wasn"t it cool how in college you
could walk around town in your sweats and flip-flops? Well, you"re not in
college anymore, you"re in France, where people tend to avoid inflicting their
unwashed hair, baggy pants, and yellow toenails on the rest of the world.
You
don"t have to wear Louboutins or slather yourself in makeup (in fact, that"s
another great way to embarrass yourself), just be respectful of others
— they have to look at you, too.10.
Eat in public.Sometimes you just
can"t avoid being late, and those baguettes poulet-crudités are so
practical for scarfing down while running to the metro.
That"s fine; just try
to finish before you actually get into the metro, unless you want to attract
sideways glares from your seat mate.
Eating is part of the personal sphere; if
you decide to chow down in certain public contexts, be prepared for
unsolicited attention."Quelle belle tarte": was that old man referring to you
or your tarte aux framboises?11.
Snack.It isn"t true that the French don"t
snack, they just don"t make a day-long habit of it.
The officially acceptable
snack times are 11 a.m.
and 4 p.m.
Diverge from the norm and depending on
where you work, be prepared to laugh off a few soi-disant jokes about your
gourmandise.More from Matador:10 Signs You"re Never Been to Seattle"6 Craft
Beers You Have to Try in Wisconsin30 Signs You Grew Up in BrooklynWATCH: How
to Eat French Food Like a French PersonLet World traveling club Travel inspire
you every day.
"Watch World traveling club Travel"s original series "A Broad Abroad."
Tourists in Paris (Photo: Thinkstock) By Kate Robinson 1.
Fail to Say
"Bonjour." French politeness is predicated on the use of formulations.
You
don't need to talk extensively (in fact, you shouldn't unless you know the
person), but you must always say "Bonjour.".10.
Eat in public.Sometimes
you just can"t avoid being late, and those baguettes poulet-crudités are
so practical for scarfing down while running to the metro.
That"s fine; just
try to finish before you actually get into the metro, unless you want to
attract sideways glares from your seat mate.
Eating is part of the personal
sphere; if you decide to chow down in certain public contexts, be prepared for
unsolicited attention."Quelle belle tarte": was that old man referring to you
or your tarte aux framboises?11.
Snack.It isn"t true that the French don"t
snack, they just don"t make a day-long habit of it.
The officially acceptable
snack times are 11 a.m.
and 4 p.m.
Diverge from the norm and depending on
where you work, be prepared to laugh off a few soi-disant jokes about your
gourmandise.More from Matador:10 Signs You"re Never Been to Seattle"6 Craft
Beers You Have to Try in Wisconsin30 Signs You Grew Up in BrooklynWATCH: How
to Eat French Food Like a French PersonLet World traveling club Travel inspire
you every day.
"Watch World traveling club Travel"s original series "A Broad Abroad."
Tourists in Paris (Photo: Thinkstock) By Kate Robinson 1.
Fail to Say
"Bonjour." French politeness is predicated on the use of formulations.
You
don't need to talk extensively (in fact, you shouldn't unless you know the
person), but you must always say "Bonjour."

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