How to survive by prustage
I spent a year living in Paris and loved every minute of it. I met many tourists though who werent having a good time. Here are some of the rules I learnt:
1. If you know any French at all – use it. Dont be afraid of making mistakes or sounding stupid. You will get much better service simply for trying.
2. Even if you cant speak the language at least learn how to pronounce the words correctly. If you can do this then in restaurants you can open the menu, point to what you want and read it aloud in very convincing French – they will love you for this.
3. If you are American – be quiet. They hate loudmouths of any nationality but particularly American loudmouths.
4. Taxis are expensive and a ripoff – the metro is better. Find out about 1 day or 1 week passes that make travelling simpler and cheaper.
5. If it is in the touristy area then it is going to be expensive. If you have a choice then eat in the northern arondissements a bit out from the centre – things are a lot cheaper there. The restaurants are also more “French” – less touristy, friendlier and serve better food.
6. If you are going to spend any length of time there than aim for the northern arondissements. Here there is a large north african immigrant population – everything (hotels, apartments, food) is cheaper.
7. Spend a little bit of time observing how ordinary French people look, dress and behave – try to copy this if you want to avoid being ripped off, mugged or otherwise scammed.