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France Travel Do's & Dont's

Travel Dont’s
  • Do not shake hands if you should exchange ‘la bise’ , the kiss on the cheek. After the first kiss on the cheek , the maneuver is repeated at least once on the opposite cheek.
  • Do not address anyone using ‘tu’ if you should have used ‘vous’. Tu is the familiar you. which demonstrate a certain closeness and informality, whilst vous is the formal you it is used to show respect or maintain a certain distance or formality with someone.
  • Do not try to get things done between noon and 2 pm, do not call anyone at 11:55 either. the French will not accept your trying to push work into their lunch break, which is sacred . try to have lunch earlier, as the restaurants in France general closed at 1:30 pm and after that time you can only eat some sandwich or crepe in the stands by the street.
  • Do not try to impress others with your wealth, which would be seen as bad taste, and it’s not an accepted measure for social status. typical discussion subjects are culture, food, vacation, politics, family, office gossip etc. not money.
  • Do not present red carnations to your friends as this flower is believed to symbolize bad will in France.
  • Do not complain about how long it takes for your orders in cafes. For the French, social aspect of lingering over a coffee is the relaxing experience and part of the pleasure. if you’re in a rush , order a cafe at the bar and you’ll be “in and out” in no time.
  • Do not dig through a stack of sweaters to find your size when shopping. Let a sales person help you to find a size or a color, and pick it out of the pile for you.
  • Do not sit with legs spread apart as it is considered impolite in France.
  • Do not start your eating in France until the hostess says ‘bon appetit’ do not eat too much of the first of course and avoid leaving food on your plate. do not eat food with your fingers which is strictly limited when you are at the dinner table.
  • Do not order only one dish at a restaurant do not drink soft drinks or coffee with a good meal never ask for doggy bag.
  • Do not expect ice when order a drink as the cafe won’t have it Parisians does not add ice to their drink.
  • Do not take a cab when you explore the city walk or use metro instead no building in Paris is more than a few hundred yards from a metro stop the cabs in Paris are expensive and you pay by distance and the amount of time in traffic jam the cost of short up can be astronomical.
  • Do not paranoid about pickpockets carry what you need and leave excess cash and valuables in a hotel safe.
Travel Do’s
  • Do learn some key French phrases before travelling to “break the ice” ‘bonjour’ means ‘hello’ followed by monsieur (male) madame (female) mademoiselle (young female) ‘merci’ means ‘thank you’ ‘S’il vous plait’ means ‘please’ je ne parle pas francis. En anglais, s’il vous means ‘ I do not speak French, in English please,
  • Do bring a present to your friends and relatives for flowers present in odd numbers but not in 13 which is considered unluckily.
  • Do place napkin in your lap immediately after being seated and do keep your hands on the table it polite to make eye contact as you say “Sante” which means health in English.
  • Do tear your bread into a bite–sized piece before eating it. It is very impolite to take a bite from the whole piece of bread after each course you should wipe your plate with a piece of bread.
  • Do dress well as the French are very fashionable people.
  • Do shop in Paris and do say “bonjour madame” and “Au Revoir” the French view their shops as an extensions of their home so remember to say hello and goodbye in Paris.
  • Do not ride the metro and hold your ticket until you exit the station if you do not have your ticket when the metro police inspected by the metro police you will be fined euro 35 on the spot.
  • Do get ready to pay for everything in Paris even using the toilettes in the bar will cost you 2 francs. be ready to pay 20 to 30 francs for a 1/4 l. bottle of water coffee is about half that price.