Friday, November 21, 2008
10 Things Never to Do in Paris
Run out to the corner store for milk between noon and 2 pm. It's a sure bet that there will be 20 people in line with their lunch.
Say "yes" to the ladies in long skirts by the Eiffel Tower when they ask "do you speak English".
Do errands on the way home from the gym. Sorry, you have to go home, shower and change before you hit the bank, the dry cleaner, and elsewhere.
Fail to say "s'il vous plait" or "bonjour."
Plan to go shopping (for anything) on a Sunday afternoon. Unless it's right before Christmas, you're out of luck. Food shops are open in the morning but those doors slam shut around 2 pm. Or worse yet, go shopping at one of the few stores that has an exceptional Sunday opening. You'll find everyone else in Paris there.
Get off the bus by the front door.
Leave home without a city map. (Yes, even the locals carry them.)
Exit the supermarket when you've decided not to make a purchase through any lane except the one explicitly designated for this purpose.
Take a photo of anyone hawking Eiffel Tower trinkets. (It's pretty clear that they don't have vendor permits and my guess is that most of them are not in France legally to start with.)
Speak above a whisper while dining.
On the other hand, do feel free to: jump the turnstile in the subway, ride a Velib bike on the sidewalk, park your car in front of a garage entrance, push your way to the front of the line, and cast disapproving looks at people who bump into you without begging your pardon.
Did I leave anything out?