F.A.Q. for Americans travelling to France.

(This is NOT an anti-american page)

(A humorous list with a hint of truth, not anti -american)


0 - Is the Marschall plan over in Europe?

For those who knows what it is, yes it's over and we thank you.

- Are the French arrogant ?

No, if you politely say 'bonjour' et 'merci' when asking for something, and try to speak Queen's English slowly.(We don't even expect you to speak french!).
These animals usually don't bite.

2 - Why french does only speak french?

You may understand that English or American is not the worlwide language so far (except for buisiness).
English is only the third spoken language in U.E. (after German and French)

3 - Why did I get bothered by Authorities?

As you may not know, American Constitution does not apply worlwide, but only to U.S.A..
Elsewhere you have to follow the national and european laws, and make sure you don't think Europe is an other state of the USA.

4 - Am I at home outside the US?

You will be welcome everywhere if you behave like a visitor, not like a conquerant.
U.S. is not the center of the World. (you may have been told that at school). Ask the Chinese…
Also you need to undertsand that Europe is an Ooooold continent with social traditions based on mutal respect and friendship, not on how bif is your car, your house and how much money you are making.
Our neighboor is likely to be a friend, not an ennemy or a competitor.
If you see somebody falling in the street it's welcome to help him back on his feet, not step on it or act as you didn't see it.

5 - Is that true that french have stinking fridges and rotted teeth?

It was maybe the case after Wolrd War II, so so far we have a social wellfare for everybody, which allowes richs and poors together to have a complete access to care. Livespan in France is second highest in the world after Japan. and state of the art fridges (smaller than US one, because our homes are smaller).

6- how big is France?

About the Texas size, roughly (1000 km x 800 km - sorry no antique miles here but for you : 1 miles = 1.6 km)

7 - where to find Americans in Paris?

In every american restaurants (doesn't it seems strange?), as they need to feel at home (it's really worth travelling then!)

8- how much money the french are making a month?

It's a question we don't need to ask because we don't judge people on their bank account, but more on their human relationship skills.
Further more , we used to be till 1905 a catholic country, and it screwed up our relation to money.

9- why do they have different currencies?

We used to, but in a couple of years everybody in the EU (except U.K.) will use the Euro (about 1 USD).
(We understand that US doesn't like this idea of a strong currency and a single market of 500 millions people in competition with the $-tough shit!)

10- Does Pollitically Correct applies over here?

Not really. You can cruise you job collegue (same or opposite sex), joke about blacks, jewishes, belgians, gays, swisses, englishes, american people...
That doesn't mean we don't love or care for them.
"You can joke about everything but not with everybody" (Pierre Desproges, french humorist - died of a cancer (IRM at Christmas, R.I.P. for Easter).

11 - why does french spent so much time eating?

Eating out here or at home is a 'social' thing, not a biological need.
That's also why when eating together, we wait for the last one to get his plate..and don't rush as soon as we have ours. (otherwise why getting together for eating if you eat out of sync?)
For the same reason, you will not get the bill until you ask for it. The idea is not to rush people out to free the table and make buisiness, but to let them enjoy this moment.Never ever use fingers while eating, just fork and knife (since 1500 in Europe) as any civilized people.

12- Why french doesn't want American beef (chemical enhanced)

Because we don't want to risk our health to increase profits of Companies shareholders.
Remember : profits are short term, health effect are long term. By the time you find out your health is screwed, the managers will be retired and rich.

13 - How many baby food can can I bring to France for my 3 months trip? (based on a real fact)

Believe it or not, we are feeding are babies too.

14 - Am I allowed to bring coke cans in France? (based on a real fact)

Yes you are, but you can get that poison too here.

15 - Do our President believe in God ?
we don't give a fuck since the presidency and chruch has separated yeeears ago...It would be a major scandal if he would be swearing on the Bible...That's also why you don't find bible in hotel rooms (too much a waste of paper), it's not because we are cheap.

16 - Why service is included in French restaurants?
It's because people working needs a salary, not a coin thrown at them..In that way they also pay taxes on what they are amking, like everybody. (it's called equality).
It would also be a the latin way not to leave anything, even if teh service was the best. If you are happy, you can still leave tips.

17- Why do I get such a shitty service in French restaurants?
Question 4 maybe the asnwer.
I also did get a shitty service in the US, though they were still smiling not to please me, but to get their 15%. They got then 1 cent.
I prefer honesty.




Contributions welcome here.

This idea was born on lunch Nov 11th 99 with Pierre-Yves and Olivier, and Bernard. Thanks for the laugh.
See.. eating is VERY social...