Tipping and 10 Things You Didn't Know About France
On today’s Join Us in France, the 10 things you didn't know about France, even if you've visited before. There are so many great things about France, and several will surprise you!
This episode is for anyone who wants to learn about French customs and about everyday life in France. I argue that this stuff is important even for casual visitors because once you understand how a country ticks, you won't fall prey to misunderstandings and will have a better time on your vacation.
[2:12] #1 Tipping in France: When and How Much?
Here are the 10 things we tackle in depth in this episode. You can also view the detailed notes and timestamps so you can jump directly to the part of the discussion that interests you.
Tipping. Who Do You Have to Tip and How Much?
Waiters in France are paid a decent wage and do not rely on tips for their living. Do they like to get tips? Of course they do! We explain when and how much. We also go into tipping tour guides, taxis, hotel personnel and bathroom attendants.
[7:03] #2 French Restaurant Etiquette
- Don't ever use the term "garçon" to call a waiter
- If the bill is too slow to arrive, go pay at the cash register
- Don't expect friendliness from waiters in France
[9:05] #3 You Like to Patronize Small Business? Come to France!
Store hours are shorter in France than they are in America because so many businesses are family owned.
- Butcher shops
- Tobacco shops
[14:31] #4 Plan Vigipirate in France
We explain what happens when France goes on high alert due to terror attack threats. We go into more depth in this episode Making Sense of Terror Attacks in France, Episode 92
- Garbage cans are removed
- The number of entrances and exits are reduced
- Police may restrict access to some streets
[15:49] #5 Dogs Are Treated Like Kings
- Dogs are allowed in cafés and restaurants, but sometimes only on the terrace
- What's the deal with dog poop in France?
- What to do if you're afraid of dogs
[18:58] #6 French Children Are Allowed to Do "Dangerous" Things
- In France you will see kids going places without parental supervision
- Don't be alarmed, these children and young teens know what they are doing and France is safe!
[20:10] #7 French People Don't "Get" Vegetarians
In some restaurants, vegetarians will need to explain what they eat and don't eat.
- Things are getting better slowly, but there are still places in rural France where they think vegetarian means you eat fish
- Vegans need to plan where they'll eat using Apps such as Happy Cow
[22:08] #8 France's Bathroom Problem Is Getting Better
And not a minute too soon! These are our tips for finding a bathroom in France.
- How do you find a bathroom in France?
- What if it's not clean?
[24:51] #9 The Best Way to Make Friends in France Is to Ask for Help
French people will be suspicious of anyone who comes across as "too friendly". But if you ask for help and they get a chance to interact with you that way, they will probably become your friend.
[28:04] #10 What's Up with Nakedness on French Beaches?
There are a lot of details about French beaches that Americans don't understand.
- There are bikinis on French beaches and some women go topless
- You have to cover up as soon as you're on the boardwalk
French Tip of the Week
- [3:02] "gardez la monaie" (keep the change)
- [27:16] "excusez-moi, je ne parle pas bien français" (I'm sorry, I don't speak good French),
- [28:08] "pouvez-vous me faire une omelette s'il vous plaît ?" (can you make me an omelette please?)
- [6:15] “Merci au personnel de nettoyage” (Thank you cleaning staff)
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If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s):
- Are French People Rude? Episode 9
- Table Manners in France, Episode 93
- Making Sense of Terror Attacks in France, Episode 92