Thursday, January 11, 2007

How to recognize a real Parisian?


Today I had a good laugh looking at a promotional site for Paris (targeted at the British). First of all you can see the brilliant ad campaign that the Regional Tourism Committee of Paris Ile-de-France is apparently running in the streets of London (maybe Ham can tell us if he saw it) but you can also play with a hilarious - and so true - attitude game and even turn your PC into a Parisian computer!! If you plan a visit to Paris, this site is a definite must see!

39 comments:

  1. brilliant photo, I especially like the shadows that your bag made

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  2. Loved the promotional site - very funny!! Travel tips are very handy but some of the gestures need explaining to us Paris visitors!!!!

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  3. Hello, very nice site...i like it...
    friendly parisien..you are very precious then:))) you had written about wishlists ....I have a challange for you...there is a very beautiful big blue door in Marais...would you find it and take a photo of it for me??? İ love it too much..You have a week time...if you cannot maybe i can send you a picture of it...if you do i will send you a photo of my country...deal???

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  4. Very funny!
    I've always found quite funny (no offense) how French people are SO expressive with their faces and hands while they speak! I think the most used gesture is "Bof"...

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  5. This AD is stupid. It reinforce bad stereotypes.

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  6. Ahhh come on anonymous, we all can laugh at ourselves can't we? If not, the world would be a boring place.

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  7. Eric,

    Hey,I put a link to this very site on your Joffre post here? I am always giving you good ideas huh? ;)....just teasing you!

    Thanks for all the recommendations! We decided to stay in Marais (Eric's recommendation)! By the way, how is Marais pronounced...phonetically I mean? Is it "Mair (rhymes with "air") us," or "mair ass"? I am just like the French! I feel silly trying to speak a language if I don't know the correct pronunciation! I was talking about it tonight and realized I had never heard the word spoken...and as I was at a French restaurant (menus in French with a small English description below just like in France), I felt self-conscience that I was probably pronouncing it wrong. By the way, they served foie gras.

    Eric/Michael: Be there first week of February! Can't wait! Wasn't expecting this trip so I am so excited!!! We, (Mike and I) would love to meet up with you two for a drink! A way to say "thanks" for your friendliness and both your contributions to this blog!

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  8. Susan atlanta, not sure I'll be in town the first week of February (Switzerland), but will check it out. Thanks.

    As for "Marais", it is pronounced "ma-ray" (the best I can do here). You'll have fun there as it's close to everything.

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  9. Eric,

    Please tell us more about the sales if you have time. Did you buy anything exciting?

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  10. CUTE! LOVE IT ERIC!!! The color looks like honey! And that site is hilarious! ;) And Michael...GEEEZ! Switzerland next?...you DO get around guy! No EXCUSES THEN! Be there or be SQUARE! ;)

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  11. Thanks Michael! I don't know why I couldn't figure that out myself. I know that the "s" is usually silent in French (I've never studied French but just noticed it). I get so uncomfortable with the French language...so shy to try to speak anything! The pressure will soon be on again....I just know that everything I instinctively know will just escape me again.

    Why or why can't we all speak the same language? :(

    We'll be there 2nd to the 6th (weekend is there) so hopefully the four of us can meet at a cafe! Would be a lot of fun...I promise!

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  12. Hey, check out Little Rock's Blog. A little bit of French history in Arkansas...who knew?

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  13. I loved reading what the gestures mean! I think my fave is the "ras le bol" followed at a close second by the "on se tire"

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  14. he he i love the Gallic Shrug and The Pout. I found myself doing the shrug when i spent time in Switzerland years ago. Michael you lucky thing you going to Switz. I miss it. At least you can cool off those blushes! Must say your admission of redness turned me quite pink too. Said 'eek' quite a lot thinking about it.

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  15. The gesture list left out the best of them all- the "I have no explanation" rasberry! Whenever I ask my French friends a question they can't answer, they pucker their lips and spit at me. A simple "I don't know" could work just as well, but I guess it's not as effective.

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  16. Susan in Atlanta : "why can't we all speak the same language? :("

    Well I think it's just great that we don't. And I hope it will last a long time that way ! Because, I don't want that we think the same way and differences between languages are the best opportunity to express different way of thinking. Haven't you ever noticed that when you use a different language you come to discover different behaviors in yourself, different ways of thinking than the one you're used to ?

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  17. I love those gestures. After I am in France for a week or two I do them quite naturally. However, here and at first in France, I feel the gestures are poorly imitated by me and they feel unnatural. I am confortable with Italian gestures because I have been around Italians most of my life. Aren't languages and cultures absolutely fascinating?
    I think so.

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  18. No, I haven't noticed that gg because I only speak one language. Communication, therefore understanding, would be much better if we all could understand each other.

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  19. I'm mono-lingual. But I can count to 10 in Spanish, does that count?

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  20. Yes i'm fascinated like you Johnny. Course counting in Spanish counts Susan - yey!

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  21. You're absolutely right Susan !… It would be a wonderful world if everybody could understand each other. But it isn't, and even when we speak the same language we are not assured to undestand each other, do we ? And isn't it much more interesting discovering the different than sharing the identical ?
    Ok, I stop now, it's clear I can be as boring in English as in French !!! ;o))

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  22. I saw that ad campaign last week and I think it´s hilarious. Yes, it´s great to be able to laugh about ourselves. But let´s face it, most big cities nowadays are not so friendly. I´m speaking from a town facing some serious problems in the past years, so even tough it hurts to say, it´s not a very good idea coming down here right now. Also, last month I read in the papers that a research shows that the US is worried because tourists doesn´t see the country as a very friendly one lately, because of all the terrorism problems and security at the airports and these kind of stuff. So I don´t know, I think, as sad as it is, big cities faces these kind of problems, so the best we can do is have that in mind (that the world is no Disneyland) read a lot about the place you´re visiting so that you´ll understand a little about it´s culture and history (which is always a plus), keep alert and enjoy the best you can your stay. One should always try to adapt to the country they´re visiting, not the other way around. C´mon now, if you´re visiting Paris there´s no way you won´t have fun!!! I´ll take all the 73 (!!!) advices you guys wrote in the controversial previous post, about hotels and touristic areas, and add it to my plans for my next visit to Paris next june!
    Hope you´ll have a great stay in Marais Susan! Do tell us everything when you return!

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  23. Susan - finally logging offJanuary 11, 2007 at 3:43:00 PM GMT+1

    I just cannot stop researching places! I think I'm obsessed! I think I've narrowed it down to two in the 4th. By the way, once again, the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles (5th)was highly recommended for those that are interested for your visits (said it was romantic, courtyard, and like the country inside Paris).

    Regarding friendliness, what's going on in Rio Monica? I've heard good things about it. Honestly, the southeastern U.S. is extremely friendly. Ask Denton in Greenville, I know he will concur. Everyone I meet from other places always say that they love how nice and friendly the people are (and the northeastern Americans: NY, Mass, NJ especially are blown away...I guess that's why they keep moving down). If you have a flat tire, someone will pull their car over and help you (as I can attest to two times unfortunately). If you look lost, someone will give you detailed directions or make recommendations of where to go. Strangers smile and you always wave when a car let's you pull out in front of them. It's just what we do. But every place has it downside...for example, Bush got a lot of votes from the southern states ;( Most towns are small and I think many (aside from Atlantans) are just not well-versed in world events. At least that's what I told myself when the whole south voted for him again. Oh well. What cha gonna do?

    And Tomate, I'm not mad...it just stung a little (American tourists comment). Don't be mad either...ok?

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  24. That´s one thing I know we can always count on: friendly people! When I mention that some big cities (like mine) are not so friendly anymore, I don´t mean the people. I meant the problems regarding most big cities. Down here in Rio, for instance, we have serious issues about violence due to a very big social diference. And some tourists get caught in the way cause the authorities can´t provide security for it´s citizens, let along for tourists (it´s a shame, I know). I´m sure in the case of the US the problem is not about the people, it´s political or something. But these kind of things always refletcts on tourism. I´ve always been very lucky; all my trips to the US, Europe and here in South America, I´ve only met nice people!!! So I have no complaints!

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  25. Eric, (spoken in fake innocence voice) does the headline on the ad, "At Versailles, you're treated like royalty", mean that British tourists will be guillotined? Not saying some of us might not deserve it, but ... :-)

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Gosh that shadow image is just simply stunning.

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  26. Hey Eric, did you see that you have over 200 votes for your blog at the Festival de Romans? Congrats!

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  27. Coucou Paris ici Bruxelles
    Une bonne nuit
    A+++
    http://charles02.skynetblogs.be/

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  28. coucou! oh i remember this phrase. Lovely to see it again.

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  29. Je suis creve! Pour quoi? I went to class today and they switched teachers. Instead of the lady from Lyon, really French, they substituted someone from Kansas....Her accent just "ain't" French. My disappointment is overwhelming. I am going to drop the course and try for one that Madame Le Vrai Profeseur is teaching this semester even if it is French 101. I am sure that any American who studies French knows what I mean. Triest!!

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  30. I am really annoyed. They switched profs and now my "French" teacher is from Kansas. I am going to drop the class and try for the one taught by a real French lady. Three years of university French and I still haven't had a real French person to instruct me. Grrrr!

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  31. Oh Johnny that's awful, really is. I sympathise. We should have native speaking teachers of course! I can totally see why you'd be annoyed, i would too.
    To add to your misery your post came in about six times.
    Ohh have you made your feelings clear, and what did they say?

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  32. johnny, maybe a support group is in the offing for all of us slogging along, verb by verb, to try to learn this language ... it ain't easy, lol!!!

    actually, i can say on the positive side that i've taken some advice, and it all seems to be helping ... slowly...

    obviously, not being around any french speaking natives like yourself, the internet is quite a blessing, and i've been listening to talk radio (europe 1), watching the news (france24), and listening to music (europe 2 nouvelle scene), tous les jours!!!

    maybe at this rate, in a few years, i'll actually understand everything that people are saying.

    good luck to you!

    barbara

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  33. susan, i'm sure you will love le marais...it's quite branche (hip/trendy) and an interesting mixture of cultures (gay/jewish). as far as safety goes, i can tell you that i was in paris alone (as in single woman), and never did i feel unsafe. just have to use common sense, is all. (ok, i'm sure the ny-type don't-mess-with-me attitude didn't hurt, either :)

    so please, i would encourage you to explore other areas, which are off the tourist's beaten track. the area around the bastille (10th) is also very cool, and is about as close to the east-village (nyc) scene as you can get. for night life, it's all happening around rue keller and rue de la roquette.

    and there are other areas as well, the area around canal st-martin (minus the tents, by now?), and the 12th around bercy, and les buttes....

    oh, i'd better stop ..i could just go on and on ...

    you lucky duck!!!

    barbara

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  34. ya know eric, i'm convinced now, your just a genius with a camera ...!

    barbara

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  35. Thanks Barbara. I've been in Paris alone too. This will be my second trip (in one year too...yippee!) but I will be with someone this time. Should even be MORE fun! I can't wait!

    Btw, the safety issue was brought up by others, not myself. I am very adventurous and independent!

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  36. Hilarious. I love th idea of taking the streotypes (always with a basis in truth) and having fu with them. Imagine what London could do with stiff upper lips and studied indifference!~

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