On today’s show, Annie and Elyse discuss store hours and credit cards in France: work hours, lunch-time, closing time, how things are different in big cities and in small villages. Another thing we discuss are the things that you will and will not find at a pharmacy in France, and it’s not what you’re used to in English-speaking countries! Also, how do you find a pharmacy in France? Hint: green cross, just like on the photo above. There are no pharmacies inside of French grocery stores. Some of the larger grocery stores have a “Para Pharmacie” but they only sell a limited number of products there.
If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.
Another big topic on today’s show are credit cards. Which ones work in France? And something else you may have never considered: how do you buy gas in France without a chip credit card? There’s also the intimidating store security you find in some stores in France. What’s up with that? How do you deal with store security?
In episode 9 of the Join Us in France Travel Podcast we ask the BIG question: Why Are French People So Rude? Wait… wait! Could it be they’re just unfriendly? Or maybe they just have a bad reputation? Inquiring minds want to know!
Oh, please, grow up! Why are French people so rude is a silly question! What we’re going to tell you in this show is are the magic words that will make French store clerks smile at you with a twinkle of delight in their eyes instead of a scowl. AND it’s easier than you think! We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this subject.
Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
Episode Highlights with Time Stamps
So, anyways, why ARE French people so rude?
1:30′ The difference between being polite and being friendly.
2:00′ How Americans have a rehearsed way to connect and French people don’t.
2:40′ French people are more private. Getting to be on a first-name basis and using “tu” with someone.
4:10′ French follow a protocol on who they can be informal with. How using “vous” sometimes can be a form of distancing one’s self.
5:10′ Where does French politeness come from? Its historical origins.
6:05′ How should visitor to France approach someone they don’t know in France.
8:00′ Strange places where you have to say “bonjour” in France. The doctor’s waiting room, the elevator (eeeeek!), small restaurants, etc.
10:05′ Saying “au revoir”, is that also mandatory?
11:00′ Public bus etiquette.
12:30′ Asian visitors love the fact that French people are procedural and very polite.
13:30′ Americans are spotted right away.
14:35′ Elyse and her mother visiting Carcassonne and the shocking thing that happened in a touristy jewelry store.
17:00′ The four words you must know in French: bonjour, au revoir, merci, and s’il vous plait. And maybe also “excusez-moi”.
18:35′ What IS wrong with us? We don’t stand in line. It’s possible to have something that will feel like a stampede at the movie theater for the best seat.
21:40′ People will cut right in front of you if they can get away with it. French people stand really close to one another in line and if you don’t they might think you’re not in line.
24:20′ Some exclusive stores on the Champs Elysées make people line up to get into the store so they can do better crowd control.
25:20′ New Yorkers understand French attitudes when it comes to being in a rush all the time.
26:40′ Try to use proper etiquette in the right countries. People will be really nice to you if you try a little bit.
Conclusion: we hope we weren’t too unpleasant, we were trying hard!
This week Elyse takes us to the Cluny Museum, also called the Musée National du Moyen Age. This museum is a lesser known jewel, and well-worth a visit. There you will see The Lady and the Unicorn, the Roman Baths, the stained glass up-close and the statue heads from Notre Dame that angry revolutionaries had thrown in the Seine river.