Q – Thanks so much for the best travel site we’ve ever found. The missing ads are not missed at all. My husband and I are off on a twice-delayed trip to Paris and the French Riviera. We’ve had lots of time to prepare and we’ve read everything we can about Paris, particularly the pieces written by your idol, Mr. Bourdain. My husband suggested that I write in with one simple question – what is the first bit of advice you give your clients headed off to France?
A – Use “ Bonjour” before ever addressing anyone in France. You walk into a bar and the waiter comes up – says “Bonjour”. It is more than a greeting in France. It is an acknowledgment that, unlike your predecessors, you are a polite American who understands that this word or the lack of it, makes an immediate impression on any French citizen. When you first meet a waiter or pass the check-in desk always say Bonjour. It means far more than “hello”. It means that you still value human interaction and polite greetings. It is the start of all human contact in France. Have a memorable journey and thank you for your kind words.