Transcript for Episode 91: Tipping and 10 Things You Didn't Know About France

Category: French Customs & Lifestyle

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Today on join us in France, the 10 things you didn’t know about France, even if you visited before. French people are different, some of us very different. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. And number 10 is going to deal with a listener question on what’s up with the nakedness on beaches on the French Riviera? Yes, I’m feeling a little fearless today.

0:53
Join us in France, Episode 91 Hello, I’m Annie and join us in France is a show about all things French, I love France. I was born and raised here. I live in France. But I’ve also lived in the UK and the US for a couple of decades. So I have a unique perspective on my own country. This show is mostly about places you can visit in France. And I love to talk about them because I love to visit them, too. So let’s talk shall we. Today I want to give a shout out to Steve, who has given the show a donation. Thank you very much, Steve. Very helpful. If you would like to donate to the show, you can do it on join us in France. com it’s on the top right hand side of the website and helps pay for expenses. And if you’re a new listener to the show and you liked this episode, you’ll probably also enjoy episode nine, which is all about whether or not fringe people are rude. Yes, one of the favorites actually, that people seem to want to listen to a lot for show notes and photos go to Join us in france.com, forward slash 91. And you’ll see all about this particular episode.

Number 1: Tipping in France

2:11
All right, let’s get going with number one: tipping. Do you have to tip and how much? The word for tip in French is “pour boire”. It’s literally means to pay for a drink. If you leave enough tip to pay for a cup of coffee or a beer, you have been a nice customer. French waiters do not rely on tips to live but they’re not living under a rock. They know that Americans tip so once they’ve got you pegged as an American, if you don’t leave any tip they will probably be disappointed. So if you want to do as the French do, don’t tip. But if you want to be nice tip a little bit. Now how much? Cafes and restaurants if French people are going to tip at all they will just tell the waiter to keep the Change and the way you say that is “gardez la monnaie”. Gardez la monnaie, or they won’t say it, they’ll just leave a few coins behind on the table or on the little tray that they use for payments in France. Even if it’s just a few cents, this is not seen as insulting.

3:18
Okay. I know in America you get, you get conditioned to be a generous tipper that that makes you a better person. And I really do think that in America, it does make you a better person. But in France, it doesn’t work the same way. So don’t feel like you’re being insulting if you are leaving a modest tip by American standards.

You can’t add a tip to you restaurant slip in France

3:40
The other thing that’s different is that you cannot add a tip to a restaurant credit card receipt, like you do in the US. So if you want to tip have some change with you for that purpose, how much you should tip Okay, that depends on how much you spent to some degree. If all you got is a coffee, you can totally leave 20 or 30 cents tip, honestly you can I’m not being I’m not being facetious here. Now if you got a meal, the service was great. Well, a French person might leave two or three euros. If you caused an accident, you broke some glass. You know, you called for some special attention, maybe more would be called for maybe five euros. Okay.

4:21
But it’s not a percentage of how much you spent is what I’m trying to say. Now what about tour guides? Yes, you should tip your tour guide how much? Well five euros per person per day if it was a whole day tour. Two euros if it was a short tour, and let me take this occasion to remind you that this tour guides also accept tips. See, you can see the tip your tour guide button at the top of join us in France. How much should you tip me? Beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup! Just kidding just okay, for taxis, a 10% tip is appreciated but I only tip if I got help with my luggage and if the person didn’t give me any lip about giving me a receipt or whatever.

Do you have to tip Taxi drivers?

5:09
Now it’s up to you. And I admit I have a bit of a bad attitude when it comes to taxi drivers because they keep on going on strike the block traffic. If you live in France, you have many reasons to not like taxi drivers very much. And also the whole Uber thing you know, anyway, if you if they’ve been very nice to you, yes, it is customary to tip your taxi driver 10%.

5:32
What about hotel services, if someone brings an extra pillow or ice to your room or something like that? Do give them a couple of euros. And those two euro coins are very handy for tipping in general, I think because it’s the biggest coin you can give but it’s not a bill you know what I mean? It’s not as much as a bill but it’s it’s the biggest coin you could have picked. So it’s it’s a nice thing to do. Now, a lot of hotels in France will not send someone to your room. If you ask for something. They asked you to come and get it at the desk. In that case, I don’t tip at all. But if a porter helps me with my luggage, you know I do tape a couple euros per bag.

6:09
And something that we’ve done that I think is very nice is we give a tip to the cleaning staff because we’re a messy bunch. So we leave a few euros on top of a handwritten note that says “merci au personnel de nettoyage”. If you want to see it written down, it will be on joinusinfrance.com/91. Now the last person you should tip is bathroom attendants. And yes, you should tip them even if entry to that bathroom is free. You will probably if they will probably put little cap or something for. For tips. I think 1.1 euro per person is plenty. If there isn’t a jar, I don’t leave a tip. You know, but if there is a jar it means that there’s a person there most of the day and then in that case, I do leave a tip It doesn’t have to be a euro. But you know, I think that’s a nice thing to do.

Number 2: French Restaurant Manners

7:03
Number two French restaurant manners. Do not, do not under any circumstances, address a waiter as Garcon. I know you’ve seen it done in the classic French movies of 40 and 50 years ago, but we don’t do that to get your waiters attention. You can say Madame, Madame s’il vous plait! Mademoiselle s’il vous plait! Monsieur s’il vous plait! But do not call them garcon. Okay.

What to do if they don’t bring you the bill?

7:34
If the bill takes too long to come, which happens quite a lot, I’m sorry to say, you can get up and go pay at the cash register. Once you have the cash register, just point to the table where you were sitting and they’ll know what you ordered. Sometimes they even leave a little piece of paper on your table. When they were they keep a running tab of everything you’ve ordered. If you if there’s one on your table, take it to the cash register. This is perfectly cool. We do it all the time, you don’t have to worry about it. Don’t sit and stew there for 20 minutes waiting for your bill, just go and pay at the cash register. French people do it all the time,

8:10
The waiter will not come to your table and your cute with you and tell you his name and say something about nice about you, you know, or what nice hair you have or whatever. No, they they’re not asking you how you’re doing. They don’t you know, they don’t want to know, they will not make friends with you because they don’t rely on tips. So they don’t have to make a connection with you. They don’t feel like they need to make a connection with you. They’re just there to serve you.

8:37
And they also have a lot more table to handle than their American counterparts because French restaurants do have to pay these people a decent salary, so they don’t hire quite as many. Okay, so if they’re busy, you can get their attention by saying Madame Monsieur whatever, but understand that the type of service you get into a French restaurant is very different than the type of service that you get an American restaurant.

9:04
And the one good thing about the French Way is that they are never going to come interrupt you to ask you if everything is okay, that just gets on my nerves in America. So that’s something that won’t happen in France, typically.

Number 3: Mom and Pop Stores in France

9:15
Number three, you like to patronize small businesses. Well, France is the right place for you then. France has a lot of family owned businesses that are staffed mostly by family members. We value personal service over 24/7 convenience. Bakeries, which we call “boulangerie” are a wonderful example of that. Boulangerie Patisserie are everywhere in France, and most French people go to their bakery every day to get fresh bread. You can also buy bread at the supermarket, but there’s some supermarkets that make nice breads. Auchan is one example near me, but most of them do a pretty poor job. So most French people go to the small local bakery. And if you go at 6pm, when people are heading home from work, you will see the walls of cars and people and just everybody stopping by to get there to get their bread.

10:21
And I have not seen a French bakery with a drive up window, which when I first moved back to France, I thought, oh, brilliant idea somebody needs to do that. Well, maybe somebody needs to try it. But I don’t think it would work. People like to get out of the car and go talk to the bakery to the to the person who’s selling the bread at the bakery. So it’s a place to socialize too.

Butcher shops

10:45
The other small business that’s very common in France is butcher shops. Now, this is a bit strange, but we used to have a lot of horse meat butcher butchers in France, and those were called Boucherie Chavaline. They are pretty much all gone by now. And for the record, I had horsemeat in my life when I was growing up, but I haven’t had it in 30 years because I can’t stomach it anymore and I think lots and lots of French people are getting to that point as well. Today boucherie will sell you beef, chicken pork products, including cold cuts, and prepared dishes that you can warm up at home or in your rental or whatever wherever you are staying. Sometimes some of the boucheries also have cheese and wine, which makes it handy dandy. That way you can get a few more things there.

11:41
If you want a more French authentic experience. What I recommend is to do what Matt did, and we talked about it a few episodes back that was episodes 82 and 83 where Matt and his family went from place to place in France in a rental car. And they stayed at gite, or rental homes and they went to the local local butcher shops, you will get a very nice French experience if you do that much. You know, if you want to try your French, it’s a much better way to do it then, you know, for instance, trying to speak French to some guy at the metro station in Paris who these people don’t want to talk to you. They don’t want to mess with you. But the the guy at the butcher shop or the lady has an incentive to be friendly to you and to you know, talk to you. So it’s a it’s a way better experience.

Stamps at tobacco shops

12:37
Tobacco shops. Yes, that’s another type of small business that you find in France. Unfortunately, French people still smoke too much. It is getting a little bit better, but not fast enough in my opinion. Tobacco shops are small operations most of the time. This is where you may go to buy tobacco products, obviously, but also postcards, stamps. They don’t have to have stamps, but a lot Do you can buy small souvenirs you can buy newspapers magazine, that’s that sort of thing.

13:05
And you know what? Here’s a thought a copy of a glossy French fashion magazine, in mint condition will make for a very nice gift for your fashion loving friends. We take some back when we go back to the US, and they people always enjoy looking at those. So just an idea for a gift. Now an important consequence of having so many small businesses in France is that stores are not open as much as what you’re used to in the US or Canada.

13:36
For instance, did you know that it’s pretty hard to find a restaurant on a Sunday night in France? Now, if you’re in the center of a large city, you will have no trouble finding something open and all the chain restaurants are open 24 seven anyway, and they almost always are in the center of the cities but family owned restaurants which is still the vast Majority of the type of restaurants that we have in France, they are often closed on Sundays and Mondays. So if you don’t want to get hungry, don’t get too picky on Sundays and Mondays. Okay? You’ve been warned now it’s, this is a fact of life unless you’re in the very center of the city. Everything’s closed and if you happen to be looking for a restaurant on a Sunday night in August, well, good luck to you, you’re gonna have to go a long way. Or either to McDonalds.

Number 4: Plan Vigipirate in France

14:31
Number 4: Plan Vigipirate in France. This is probably something you don’t know anything about. But you should know because it’ll make your life simpler. Vigipirate is what the powers that be decided to call the terror alert system in France. There are five levels. White, that’s no danger. I have no idea how they know there’s no danger, but nevermind. Then yellow, orange, red and blue. Scarlet.

15:01
When it gets to red and scarlet, you see some strange things happen in France, for instance, garbage receptacles will be removed from the streets to eliminate obvious place where a person could drop a bomb. You know, sometimes if the garbage can cannot be removed, they just bought a big lid on top of that, on top of that garbage can. entrances to places will be closed. For instance, at a train station, they’ll close off most of the entrances, and they keep just a couple open. This is so that they divert traffic to points where they can watch the reduced number of entries and exits. They will sometimes police barricades and restrict access to certain places. We don’t like these measures any more than anybody else but they’re a fact of life.

Number 5: Dogs in France

15:49
Number 5: pets are treated like kings in France. Yes they are. French people have a lot of pets and they are treated like family. dogs get taken places where you wouldn’t take an American dog unless it was a service dog. And by the way, please don’t pretend that your pet is a pet service dog, just so that you can take it places makes the life of actual service dogs much harder. So anyway, I digress. But in France, it’s okay to take your dog to the restaurant for instance, they’ll probably ask that you sit at a terrace outside but they won’t mind. dogs get taken to train stations, the SNCF the local the French train service has very generous pet rules. I’ve taken my dog to the airport to welcome a family member who’s coming back. They are on the streets everywhere.

16:47
Now, these dogs are very well socialized and they cause no trouble at all generally, but if you’re afraid of dogs, you know, you need to be aware that this happens in France, but also the others Is the other the bad side of that equation is that because French people like dogs, homeless people, young men mostly, almost always have a dog or two or 10. You know, they’re hoping to elicit sympathy. And this is getting to be a problem because those dogs are about as ill suited for society as their owners are. And I really recommend that you stay far away. If you see a gathering of homeless people with dogs just cross the street, you know, get away from them, because they’re a little bit unpredictable. And the police is trying to do something about it, but they’re not everywhere all the time. So just better be safe than sorry.

The dog poop problem in France

17:44
Now I know you’re going to ask I’m talking about dog so you’re going to ask about dog poop. I know I know. Now. Dog poop on sidewalks used to be a huge problem. It’s gotten a lot better in all big cities because they have staff to deal with it. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen those. The vacuuming the poop vacuuming machines that they have in Paris. They’re pretty cool looking. The mentalities are changing. But you know what? It only takes one idiot who doesn’t pick up dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk to make it really nasty for 100 pedestrians. So, yeah, France is going in the right direction, but it’s slow. And I can’t guarantee that you’re not going to run into it.

18:27
But the place where you will almost always find a line land mines is grass. If there’s a patch of grass in the city, around the tree or whatever, don’t walk on it, not because it’s forbidden to walk on it. But because no one but no one picks up after a dog that went in the grass. So don’t walk on the grass. It’s full of landmines. Nuff said Nuff said.

Number 6: Surprising Things About French Children

18:58
Number 6. French children are allowed to do dangerous things and I’m doing air quotes around dangerous. Yes, for instance, French children climb trees, and they go places without parents. This comes from a cultural acceptance that children need to experience all sorts of things in order to grow up and be competent adults. Now, you will see surprisingly young looking kids alone on the bus or in the metro or walking places in the city. And I know you will wonder where the parents are. The answer is, the kid is alone and it’s okay. Some French kids are also smaller and skinnier than similar age kids in America so they look even younger than they really are, which makes it worse for the visitors. So just remember that France is a safe country parents do not have to worry about child abductions and shootouts and stuff like that. The most dangerous thing you will probably do while in France is cross the street, or get in a car, so don’t trust the taxi drivers, but for the rest, you’re probably safe and so are the children. Don’t be alarmed about that.

Number 7: Vegetarian and vegan in France

20:10
Number 7: French people do not get vegetarians. I kid you not this is terrible. You ask for a vegetarian meal. And they asked if you like fish, you know, they point to the fish dish and you’re like, I’m a vegetarian, you know, but most French people don’t understand that fish is a form of meat, you know, to them, like fish is the least you can do like, come on. We’re that behind. Generally speaking, French people don’t eat as much meat as Americans, but we put a little bit of meat in a lot of things. So and most restaurants don’t necessarily have a vegetarian item on the menu and you can ask for, you might have to ask for a custom order. Most restaurants can make you an omelet for instance. You have to ask in French negotiate a little bit. Sometimes you might get lucky to have a waiter who speaks good English. But in French you could say, “pouvez-vous me faire une omelette s’il vous plait?” And can you make me an omelet? I’ll write it out, you’ll see it written out on the website.

21:16
Now, new and trendy restaurants in big cities do tend to have a few vegetarian dishes on the menu, as do restaurants owned by younger people who understands that there are vegetarians and even vegans, oh my goodness. But it’s, you know, it’s not the majority of restaurants you’ll find in France. And if you’re vegan, you really have to be prepared to make your own meals. Even if you’re just going to the grocery store. You know, or do a little research on Yelp to find one of those rare places that can can cater a concert you have vegan meal. What happens when vegans come to France is that they end up eating a lot of bread and french fries and yeah, not that nice. So plan a little bit if that’s if that’s your situation, I know people who planned it out and done great, it’s but it just needs a little bit more work.

Number 8: Public Bathrooms in France

22:08
Number 8: France’s bathroom problem. It’s getting better. Yes, it is. We’re not perfect, but it’s going in the right direction. It used to be so much worse 10 and 20 years ago and even longer. It’s still not great, but it’s better. Now I, you might be a little queasy here because I’m going to talk about a couple of things that are if you’re eating, pause and skip, but French people now seem to understand that tourists need a place to go.

22:42
You see for your traditional French person. It’s quite simple. You’ve learned to hold it all day, right? If you haven’t, what’s wrong with you? But but most of the people who think like that are getting older themselves and realizing that oops, maybe They can’t hold it all day either. So that’s why it’s going in the right direction. I’ve got to be honest with you, because I want you to understand France, we still have bathrooms that are a hole in the floor. And by bathrooms I mean toilets. Those are not so common anymore, but they exist and they should all be torn out. If you put me in charge of France I’ll put that on my on the very top of my list, get rid of those hole in the ground toilets. They came from a belief that since you squat and you touch nothing, it cleaner. The issue is they get really, really nasty very fast because of bad aim, right?

23:45
Another second on the bad aim problem. And you see that even in regular bathrooms, French women the hover over the seat while peeing and you know what they squirt all over the seat. It’s really nasty. So what do the Bathroom attendants do well, they remove the toilet lid and the seat. So now if you would rather sit, you’ll be sitting directly on a porcelain. Yeah, I told you it was nasty. What can you do about it what you know, there are things you can do. It’s not the end of the world.

24:17
Put some cleaning wipes in your bag, and bring tissues have tissues with you all the time. And I would like to apologize on behalf of French people. We have a long ways to go before we get public bathrooms that are as clean as American public public bathrooms. But any tour guide that you hire that’s worth its tip can tell you where an okay bathroom is. So that’s something but if you’re doing it alone, just bring cleaning wipes and tissues and you’ll be fine. Yeah, you’ll be fine. All right.

Number 9: How to Make Friends in France

24:51
Number 9. The best way to make friends in France is to ask for help. Yes, that’s how you do it in France even for French people. So the best way to make friends, I’m doing air quotes again in France is to ask for help. But you have to try to ask for help in French, at least a few words of French and talked about this in a few episodes. So, if you’re a new listener, you may not know but the rest of you all know this word is the first word that should always come out of your mouth before you say anything else in France.

Bonjour is the magic word in France

25:29
Say it out loud. Say it again. Bonjour. Yes, bonjour. Bonjour is the magic word in France. You say before you say excuse me or anything else for that matter. You say to clerks, anyone you stop on the street to ask for directions. waiters, folks who work at the Paris Metro folks who sell you tickets. You even say to children before you say anything you say bonjour. Okay, just practice it. It’s really Easy, and it’s the magic word, it will open all sorts of doors for you. And in France, you have to use French as much as you can. Now, I’m not sure why that would surprise anyone, but it really does English speakers assume that they can just speak English everywhere, anywhere. And that they do just fine. That does not work in France.

Use whatever French you know

26:25
Not only do some French people not understand English, you know, they’re French, not their fault. But some of them categorically refused to speak English to anyone who doesn’t make the effort to try some French first. It’s a cultural quirk call us crazy, but that’s how we are. I’m just telling you the reality. Maybe it comes from the fact that French used to be the language that everybody had to learn. It’s been a long time but some of us are slow. So rule number one is learn a tiny bit of French. A few words. Just a French tips. The week that I’ve been doing on this episode or all the times I say something French and I write it out for you, those would be enough probably the number two is that you have to say bonjour before you say anything else. And once you’ve said Bonjour, you could say for instance, “excusez-moi, je ne parle pas bien francais” Excuse me, I don’t speak very good French, right? And then watch their face.

27:23
You know what French faces work the same as faces of other nationalities. If they look unhappy about the fact that you don’t speak much French plug along with whatever French you’ve got, okay? Don’t try to make complete sentences. Unless you know in a French do that. Just use the few vocabulary words that you know in French. And by now unless that person you’re talking to is a mean, they’ll try to find someone else who can speak English because they’ve seen that you tried and so either they’ll suddenly remember that they could to come speak some English Or they’ll find somebody Okay. All right, drumroll please.

Number 10: French Beach Attire

28:04
Number 10: What’s up with a nakedness on French beaches? Okay, Stephen in Alabama asked me the question. He didn’t put it quite that way.

28:17
Hello, Annie. This is Steve in Alabama in the USA. I have a question about taking my teenage daughter to Paris and to the Mediterranean beaches in the south of France. Next year in July 2016. I was wondering if you had any suggested and about specific beaches? I hear their private beach clubs. I also hear that the bathing suits are different, especially for men. And should we go to a private beach club or a public beach krub are are there things in the desert that the the young American teenage girl might be interested in? Thank you. You for Your answer.

29:02
So that’s a few question in there. Let me break it down a little bit. Let me start by French beach attire. bathing suits first, okay. French women wear bikinis. And sometimes they go topless. About half of the men wear speedos that are tight fitting. Some parents let their kids go naked on the beach. Not very sanitary. But nevermind that. French beaches are not for prudes. Okay, I’m not saying you’re prudes Steve but I just want to be crystal clear about the fact that French people are very open minded when it comes to appropriate beach attire.

29:44
You can be wearing one tiny little bit of cloth and nobody will deny. Now is that what most people do? No, no. You will also find plenty of loose bathing trunks on the men and one piece bathing suits on Women, but there’s really no way to tell before you get to that beach. It depends on where you are. Exactly. Does that mean that French beaches are lewd? No, not really. Nobody stares, it’s all normal.

30:15
As a matter of fact, you will get more stares if you cover up too much. I’m very self conscious about my legs and I like to wear shorts over my swimming suit. And people don’t understand that and they stare at me a little bit more than I liked, but I accepted. I never see these people again anyway. So I do what makes me comfortable. And you should also wear whatever makes you comfortable and ignore the rest.

30:38
Now, as far as private beaches are concerned, I don’t think that would be any different, although I haven’t been to very many. But typically, the beach is private, to let people go completely naked to be nudist, so that might not be what you want. So I don’t think a private beach is going to resolve that. Question it will be much like a public beach, but it’ll have more services. You know, they’ll have more chairs, umbrellas, drinks, rentals of various sorts, and, but you’ll find a lot of that on some public beaches too, so long as they’re big enough.

31:13
Now back to the beach attire for just a second. The rule everywhere is that as soon as you leave the beach, you must cover up with at least a T shirt, even if you’re on the boardwalk right next to the beach. And that rule is followed quite well. You know, French people understand that it’s not cool to be topless at a cafe near the beach. Okay, we know that we don’t do that. topless is fine for sunbathing. But women who, like for instance, they get up to go for a walk along the beach, they’ll probably put their top back on. They don’t have to, but most of them do. Now men wear speedos, they just walk around their speedos. Yeah, that can be quite ridiculous, but I ignore it whatever floats their boat. It’s, you know, whatever. Doesn’t matter. All right.

About the French Riviera

31:58
A few things you need to understand About the Cote d’Azur or the French Riviera, as it’s called in English. There are a few big cities along the corridors and a lot of small villages and small cities that are on hills and you know rocky beaches all along the way between San Rafael which is a pretty big city and he Italian border. The big cities tend to not be as scenic because obviously when you have, you know, beautiful homes in the rock, it’s nicer, but it’s also what makes it a bit more difficult. So you need to decide you want to go to big city, or do you want to go to a small town with a more scenic kind of place. The geography of small towns is that the roads are pretty narrow and some of the streets are pretty steep. That’s what makes them scenic, like I’ve been saying and it will also complicate your life a little bit because they are mobbed in the summer and for the most part also On the French Riviera, the beaches are Rocky, Pebble Beaches, not sand.

Parking on the French Riviera

33:05
Okay, so parking, the first consequence of going to the French Riviera, no matter where you go, is that your car is going to become your enemy, because you will find it very difficult to park anywhere, especially if you rely on the places with parking meters, because there you can only stay for two hours and then you have to feed the meter. And that’s if you find a partner an empty place with a parking meter. And even if you go to a hotel that will guarantee you a parking spot. Well once you’ve parked at the hotel, you won’t use the car again because you you’re not gonna want to park anywhere else, right?

33:41
So parking for a day at a hotel on the Riviera will cost you at least 20 euros, maybe 30 something like that. And you’ll have to pay anywhere you go beyond the hotel if you find a place so my recommendation is in the summer in the Riviera. If you can arrange it any way you can. Consider Going carless. Okay, you could choose a hotel in a place where you can walk to everything. You can be creative on how to get around, there’s, there’s bus service to most of these places, even the small ones, you can listen to Episode 75, about bus service in France, or just pay for a taxi or shuttle service, it will probably be cheaper than paying for parking for however many days you’re going to be there. And it’ll certainly save you headaches. That’s for sure.

34:28
Hotel prices. Well, if you can book hotel right next to where you will spend most of your time I assume that’s gonna be the beach, then walk everywhere. Beach locations are going to be pretty expensive. And if you prefer to go a little further to get a better deal, well asked if the hotel provides a shuttle to the historic center. A lot of them do that. So they have set times when you can take the hotel shuttle from the top of the hill to the historic center and the beach. So that would be something to ask about. Not that you’re going to be that much less if you go a little further but a little bit less.

35:04
As far as activities for a teenage girl, I really suggest you look into all sorts of water activities. There are all sorts of rentals that you use jet skis, paddle boats, day cruises, boat excursions, all sorts of things like that. Lots of villages have special events throughout the summer. You just have to ask the local tourist office if they have a schedule of events and then hopefully your luck out and find something fabulous. Now can I recommend a specific place? Well, I would rather not because it’s not a part of friends. I know inside and out like the Southwest. I’ve been to Cassis it’s very, very nice, gorgeous, their beaches that you can only get to by boat or after a long hike. And those are nice because they’re not so crowded. I’ll put a picture on the website. But Cassis is not the only place like that. There’s a bunch of them all along the coast.

36:00
You know, you could like you could do a search on “les meilleures plages de la Cote d’Azur” on Google, I’ll write it out for you on the website to see the latest popular spots for French people. You could use Google Earth to see the place before you go. I mean, honestly, you know, I haven’t been to that many I’ve been to Sainte Marie de la Mer which is nice. That one is a sandy beach. It’s more popular feel to it. It’s not quite in on the Riviera because it’s in the Camargue. So that’s probably why. But then you as you go further east, it gets Hillier and rockier and yeah, there’s all sorts of things you could pick.

36:40
But no matter what you choose, those places are going to be mobbed. Okay, it’s July in on the Riviera. It’s every single one of them is going to be mobbed. So be mindful, aware of where you stay because it’s going to make a big difference in your vacation. All right, well, That’s the 10 things. I bet you didn’t know some of them. I think maybe some of you knew some of them because I think I’ve mentioned them here in there in the episodes. France is a wonderful place fun. We do have bathroom issues, we have dog issues. And you know, and why is that restaurant closed when I want to go kind of issues, but the first step in getting better at anything is admitting it then I am admitting it.

37:24
Anyway, thanks for the downloads. Thank you for listening, everybody. And, as always, I will talk to you next week. Oh, wow. This brings us to the end of another join us in France travel podcast. You can leave a comment on the website, follow us on Facebook, or look for @Parispodcast on Twitter. I put lots of information on Facebook and Twitter that never makes it into the show. And also, this is a subliminal message. Join the mailing list. Now today. You can do that on joinusinfrance. Look for the green button!

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Category: French Customs & Lifestyle