Courteous in France

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We took a 2-week tour of France, Oct. 7-20, 2006, with Trafalgar Tours (Long Island City, NY; 866/544-4434 or www. trafalgartours.com).

The flights both ways from Philadephia were with Air France. The aircraft were very clean, the crew was courteous and friendly, and the food was the best I’ve ever had in some 30 years of flying. Charles de Gaulle Airport was a little confusing, but the routes were well marked in English, and the security staff was also very professional.

We had a very good time on our 2,600-mile tour “The Best of France,” and I never once encountered anyone in France who was not friendly and courteous. I speak a small smattering of French, and just the fact that I was trying to communicate in French brought smiles from the people I was trying to talk to.

Anyone who bothers to learn even the smallest amount of language and courtesy will be rewarded with good service. It’s a requirement to say “Hello” whenever you talk to someone, whether he or she is a hotel clerk or a bartender. “Bonjour” isn’t that hard to learn.

I ate everything from snails to roast duck and lamb and had a lot of very good meals. Nowhere in my travels did I ever see an obscenely obese French person. It would seem the French people eat and drink sensibly and walk a lot.

I’ve read a lot of things on the Internet about how bad Air France is and how unfriendly the French people are. I want to say it’s all in our attitude, and it’s up to us as visitors to France to make the effort to be friendly. The rewards are more than worth the effort.

DEAN AB-HUGH

Southport, NC

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

We took a 2-week tour of France, Oct. 7-20, 2006, with Trafalgar Tours (Long Island City, NY; 866/544-4434 or www. trafalgartours.com).

The flights both ways from Philadephia were with Air France. The aircraft were very clean, the crew was courteous and friendly, and the food was the best I’ve ever had in some 30 years of flying. Charles de Gaulle Airport was a little confusing, but the routes were well marked in English, and the security staff was also very professional.

We had a very good time on our 2,600-mile tour “The Best of France,” and I never once encountered anyone in France who was not friendly and courteous. I speak a small smattering of French, and just the fact that I was trying to communicate in French brought smiles from the people I was trying to talk to.

Anyone who bothers to learn even the smallest amount of language and courtesy will be rewarded with good service. It’s a requirement to say “Hello” whenever you talk to someone, whether he or she is a hotel clerk or a bartender. “Bonjour” isn’t that hard to learn.

I ate everything from snails to roast duck and lamb and had a lot of very good meals. Nowhere in my travels did I ever see an obscenely obese French person. It would seem the French people eat and drink sensibly and walk a lot.

I’ve read a lot of things on the Internet about how bad Air France is and how unfriendly the French people are. I want to say it’s all in our attitude, and it’s up to us as visitors to France to make the effort to be friendly. The rewards are more than worth the effort.

DEAN AB-HUGH

Southport, NC