38 thoughts on “In France

  1. And you were expecting?? Not to be tired? I have done that Transatlantic thing about 9 times. And everytime it wipes me out.
    BUT hey!! Scalzi is in France! I an sure Franci will never be the same!

  2. Be sure to tell passport control “Je suis un espion” — that smooths things out every time (NOT!)

    Also, make sure you tell everyone you meet, “Je suis célèbre parce que je lard attaché à un chat.”

  3. I wish we knew what hotel he was staying at… we could have something fun delivered to his room.

    Like a stuffed Moose head, or 12 cans of Nair…

  4. Cured swine flesh, friend chicken embryos and six-packs of beer for trick-or-treat! Mass quantities.

  5. God, I hate the French. At least Parisians. The most unfriendly, unhelping people I’ve ran into, and that includes New Yorkers.

    It didn’t help that it was my first trip out of the States. A now nothing Ugly American. I almost (and should have) made up a shirt for the trip calling for the Ugly American tour, with France and Switzerland on it. I may still do one the next time I travel to Europe. I’ll have to add Italy since I hit that in a unplanned side trip.

  6. #11 Ex-Fed: louder and slower. Like you’re speaking to a retarded five-year-old.

    Also, make sure to ask “How much is that in real money?” when they quote you a price in Euros. (Though that gag isn’t as funny since the Treasury decided to inflate our way out of the trade deficit.)

  7. I love Parisians. Visited twice – once for 10 days, and then for 2 months, and never had a problem other than with the people at the railway station who are professionally rude.

    The secret sauce in any foreign country is to know at least a handful of words in the local language. Even I got sick of Anglo tourists coming up to me and just launching into English without even a Bon hour or Excusez moi.

  8. #11 Ex-Fed and #15 Brett L.

    You can complete the “piss-em-off” trifecta if you adopt a bad French Accent.

    “No, Garcon, I said Le ‘hut-doge'”
    **Aside to Krissy, “Sheeez, these guys are dense.”**

  9. Nathan, Ex-Fed, and Brett L:

    Those are all good suggestions, but if you really want to piss off the French – just ask your waiter for Ketchup….really doesn’t matter what the meal is.

    Actually, I’ve spent a lot of time in France and I had a great time. The southern French countryside beats the cities any day – people are nicer, prices are lower, and the pace is much less hectic – but that’s true anywhere.

    Plus, as much as it embarrasses me to say it – somebody should probably apologize to the French for America, you know, since they were right about the whole War and all. GWB ain’t gonna do it, and since Scalzi’s already there, I figure he gets the job…

  10. Enjoy. I had a blast in Paris last year, and only encountered one ill-mannered Parisian, and he was a cab driver, so that doesn’t even count.

  11. I guess I’ll see you around :) Look for the big bearded guy speaking french with a strong Romanian accent. Bonne nuit!

  12. …somebody should probably apologize to the French for America, you know, since they were right about the whole War and all.

    I not sure about this. I mean yeah, they were right about the war, but telling them so would just make them insufferably pleased with themselves. As if they aren’t enough already…

    And be sure to ask for an American ketchup, such as Heinz 57. You don’t know what the French would put in their own version of “ketchup.” :)

  13. And whatever you do, be sure to tell the “Do you speak German? you’re welcome!” joke. They love that one.

    By the way, if you visit any tourist attractions, try this fun game: keep notes to determine which nationality of tourist is the most supremely obnoxious. When I was there last it was a photo finish between Americans and Italians.

  14. I realize I totally forgot who I was speaking to here.

    You may customize your hot dog by adding, “avec bacon, silverplate.”

    Your Welcome.

  15. Christian Says:

    I wish we knew what hotel he was staying at… we could have something fun delivered to his room.

    Like a stuffed Moose head, or 12 cans of Nair…

    Harumph! As someone who is of French heritage and has a French last name, I’ll have you know that not all French women are so hairy that they require 12 cans of Nair. I, for one, only require 1 1/2. For each limb. Including my forearms.

    TMI? Sorry about that!

  16. For confused looks, you can always use my favorite phrase (it rhymes internally):

    Voulez vous coucher avec mon poulet ce soir?

    Just checking…
    You won’t actually have any chickens with you, right?

  17. My wife has been teaching me French.

    “Ne mettez pas votre Chihuahua dans le micro-ondes, s’il vous plait. Il va exploser.”

    You may find this helpful.

  18. Will a small pet actually explode in a microwave oven? Has anyone actually tried this experiment, outside of an urban legend?

  19. #22 Ex-Fed:
    Obviously, you’ve never had a Japanese tour bus pull up at the spot you’re visiting. I have the pictures to prove it. Something like a quarter of my pictures of Topkapi palace feature one of my family members plus some random Japanese person who stepped into the shot, approximately evenly distributed between front (posing for someone beside me) and back (stepping in my shot to take their own picture). And it’s not like we were discreet about setting up for a pic, nor did we take more than 20 seconds to set up.

  20. Make sure you say “Allo!” to The Thibaut’s at 54 Place D’Italie. They were very influential in 8th grade for me.

    Mme. Thibault was always rather willing to show me her bedchambers. Plus enchante.

  21. Ex-fed:
    In my travels I also find that the Italians and the Americans are by far the most obnoxious travelers. I have seen the funniest scenes unfold at many European airports. And I have seen all of the above communications techniques applied.

  22. I dunno, Finns in St. Petersburg were the most obnoxious travelers I’ve ever seen. It didn’t help that the only reason they were in Russia was to get tanked on the cheap booze.

  23. @16, Mike: The train personnel where the first Parisians I had to deal with, and basically dealt with all day. Although I must say that the cabbie who transported me from one railroad station to another was quite helpful.

    Yes, I was so frustrated (and tired! Business class meant that the stewardess had no problems plowing into my shoulders while I was trying to sleep, and they weren’t sticking our hardly at all! And I won’t go into the person that had the window seat that had to keep getting up and down!) that I had to resort to a cab to get to the train station that I actually needed to be at. To make the second (and last) train to Basil, Switzerland.

    And the one thing that I forgot to get done? Tell Cingular that I was going overseas, and to turn my phone on in France and Switzerland! The plastic worked just fine. I didn’t have my wife’s Swiss phone # to call to let her know what was going on.

  24. “And whatever you do, be sure to tell the “Do you speak German? you’re welcome!” joke. They love that one.”

    I’m sure, Ex-Fed, the French can counter that with a “Do you speak with a british accent? Your welcome!” response.

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