Adieu, rudeness! Is France turning over a new leaf?
When I was travelling across Europe last year, most people were friendly, but I experienced rudeness in two cities. The first was Rome. In a strange way, it seemed fitting that Romans, unlike Italians in Bologna, Pisa, Florence and Milan, were not the friendliest– after all, they have an awful lot to be proud of. The second city was also not surprising because it was, well, Paris.
Parisians in particular have a reputation of being snooty in general and to visitors in particular.
The ‘Paris syndrome’ is basically a term that describes the shockwaves felt by unfortunate tourists when they come face to face with French hostility.
This cliché of France as a country of misbehaving locals has come to be a notion that is accepted by most people today, just as other generalisations about the country have also flourished.
However, even the French are changing today. That’s because it’s all a part of a plan to revive their economy through tourism. The French government is looking to draw more visitors by changing its residents’ attitude towards vacationers.
The plan will include upgrading the hospitality sector and ease the visa process, apart from improving the transport system. It will also include paying special attention on part of the police to ensure that tourists are safe and not susceptible to crimes.
Of course, the role of the locals, especially those who serve tourists, can not be over-emphasised. It has been noted that even though it is supposed to be one of the foremost countries in the world to be noted for it’s cuisine, many holiday makers don’t enjoy eating here–because of the service that is meted out at restaurants and cafés!
While some locals tend to brush the topic under the carpet, mostly citing language as a barrier, the government is looking to roll out training programmes. It remains to be seen if British travellers to France will really sense a different attitude across the Channel anytime soon.