Subject: Re: Paris
Marguerite, If *everyone* you know says the french are unfriendly, you may need to expand your circle of friends! As a group, the french are not unfriendly - however they do follow a code of manners and they have disdain for people who don't. The do HATE loud tourists especially those who are poorly dressed. They feel that these people are rude by their behavior and dress standards, hence they don't feel any obligation to show them any courtesy either. Speaking french is not necessary, but assuming that they should speak english is an ugly tourist attitude. Anyone who takes a trip to a foreign country should get a little bit of info on local customs such as what is condsidered rude and/or inappropriate behavior in that country. That will make a big difference in how you are treated there. In my opinion, it's one of the defining differences between a traveler and a tourist.

Candice NYC