I spent 10 days in Parisafew years ago, walking and tubing all over town, and during that time only one French person was rude to me (and even she wasn’t that bad —asnippy department store clerk). Every other French personIinteracted with was polite, and many were super nice. Maybe it depends on how you define rudeness.Acouple of people corrected my pronunciation in conversation, butIdidn’t mind because they were nice about it andIwanted to speak correctly.Ifound it to beamore formal culture, andIthink some Americans don’t like that about France. “Please” and “thank you” goalong way anywhere, butIwould say that in France they’re more ofanecessity than they are here. And the French think it’s polite to say hello and good-bye to staff and patrons when you enter and leaveashop. So if you walk intoacafé and place your order without observing the ritual pleasantries, they think you’re being rude, and they’re more likely to be rude right back. France certainly isn’t America, and that’s whyIwent there to begin with: becauseIwanted to experience something different.Ican’t wait to go back.
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