I’m sure plenty of you have heard the stereotypical descriptions about people from France. We hear some that are good, bad and outrageous. There is one generalization I would like to break down right now: that the French are rude.
I have been in France for about a month now, travelling to the countryside and staying in Paris. I’ve gotten to experience both the touristy side of Paris residential area in the 11th arrondissement- what a perfect blend of the local culture!
Coming to France was a little nerve-wracking since all I’d heard from others is that I would encounter an abundance of impolite, distasteful people. Well, they could not be more wrong. From the many conversations I’ve had with French people in restaurants, stores and metros, I’ve come to the conclusion that the “all people from France are rude” stereotype is completely false!
In France, you can expect a polite greeting just about anywhere you go. You’ll receive a smile, a kind “Ça va?”, and a friendly “Au revoir”. Nearly anytime you enter a restaurant or a store, there will be someone to greet and welcome you. The only place I would not expect this is on the metro, as that would be exhausting to greet every single person that stepped on and off the train. But you get the idea. I’m happy to say I have yet to experience a rude or aggressive passenger on the metro here in Paris. In fact, I often see people here carry belongings for complete strangers to help them get up and down the steps.
With all of this said, this does not mean that you are guaranteed to encounter only kind people. This is normal for any city or country! Overall, I can confidently say that when you visit France, you can expect polite greetings and friendly faces, so don’t worry! There is plenty of kindness to go around in this beautiful country.
Tyler McDowell is a student at University of Mississippi and is an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Paris, France.
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