How to behave in France could practically be a universal question; simple answer would be: manners!
Here's a few things you should know about the French:
- The French have a love/hate relationship with Americans.
- The French dress well.
- The French enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
- The French do not rush through anything…except driving.
With these things in mind, here are a few tips for how to behave in France:
- It would be safe to say that you should care about your appearance while in France. They look at dressing and looking well as a contribution to their surroundings. Only tourists wear shorts or athletic shoes. This doesn't mean that you need an Armani suit. What it does mean is you should look clean and neat.
- Enjoy the food. That is is the easiest thing to do. Food is considered an art form and French chefs adore creating appetizers, entrées, and various dishes that compliment each other and create a pleasure of the senses for their patrons. Portions in France are considerably smaller than in America. This is due to the fact that the French eat for the pure joy of it, not in a utilitarian way. This is why lunch can last for hours. An important way to behave in France is to enjoy the food the way it is made.
- Learning at least some basic phrases and vocabulary and perfecting the pronunciation is important. Learning another's language shows respect for the culture and people. The effort is appreciated and the respect will be reciprocated. Contrary to popular belief, the French are a very kind people.
The best way to behave in France is to simply enjoy yourself and the time spent there. France has much to offer, is beautiful, and well worth a visit.