Posted: 2017-12-07 12:38
Politics: French people have a wide variety of opinions about many subjects. Unless you really follow French news closely, you should probably steer clear of discussing internal French politics, especially sensitive issues such as immigration - you may come across as judgmental and uninformed. Reading French newspapers to get a feel for the wide spectrum of political opinions in France from the revolutionary left to the nationalistic right may help. That said, don''t be discouraged from engaging in political discussions with French people, just be aware of the position that being a foreigner puts you in. Also, it is considered to be quite rude to ask a person point-blank about which candidate he/she voted for in the last election (or will vote for in the next) instead, talk about the issues and take it from there.
A lot of variety, but temperate winters and mild summers on most of the territory, and especially in Paris. Mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean and in the southwest (the latter has lots of rain in winter). You may likely even see a few palm trees on the Mediterranean coast. Mild winters (with lots of rain) and cool summers in the northwest ( Brittany ). Cool to cold winters and hot summer along the German border ( Alsace ). Along the Rhône Valley, there is an occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as the mistral.
Hundreds of agencies offer accommodation for short term rentals on behalf of the owner, and can guide you into finding the best property, at the best price in the most suitable location for you. An internet search for the location and type of property you''re looking for will usually return the names of several listing sites, each of which may have hundreds or thousands of properties for you to choose from. There are plenty of sites in both English and French, and the rental properties may be owned by people of any nationality.
L''anglais et les Français
Yes, it''s true: while most people in France under the age of 65 have studied English, they are often unable or unwilling to use it. This is not necessarily linguistic snobbery, but is usually due to lack of practice, or fear that their little-used-since-high-school English will sound ridiculous. If you really must speak English, be sure to begin the conversation in French and ask if the person can speak English, as assuming someone can speak a foreign language is considered very rude. Please note that British English, spoken with the carefully articulated "received pronunciation", is what is generally taught in France thus, other accents (such as Irish, Scottish, Southern US or Australian accents) may be understood with difficulty, if at all. Try to speak clearly and slowly, and avoid slang or US-specific words or phrases. There is no need to speak loudly (unless in a loud environment) to be understood doing so is considered impolite. Don''t forget that French people will really appreciate any attempts you do to speak French.
If you hail a taxi on the street without making a booking, the taximeter should only start at the moment you board the vehicle and should not already be running. If you book a taxi in Paris, the taximeter can only start running at the scheduled pick-up time (or, if the taxi is booked for an immediate pick-up, when it arrives at the pick-up point). If the taxi arrives at the pick-up point late after the scheduled pick-up time, the taximeter can only start running when it arrives at the pick-up point. Note that if you book a taxi in Paris, the taxi driver can charge an additional fee of up to €9 (for a booking for immediate pick-up) or €7 (for an advance booking) known as the supplément forfaitaire pour réservation. If you book a taxi outside Paris , the taximeter may already be running when it arrives at the pick-up point. This is legally permitted outside Paris as the taxi driver is allowed to turn on the meter as soon as he/she receives the request from the operator to pick you up (this journey to the pick-up point is known as the ''course d''approche''). Outside Paris, the taxi driver is not permitted to charge a supplément forfaitaire pour réservation.
There are many places to try French food in France, from three-star Michelin restaurants to French "brasseries" or "bistros" that you can find at almost every corner, especially in big cities. These usually offer a relatively consistent and virtually standardised menu of relatively inexpensive cuisine. To obtain a greater variety of dishes, a larger outlay of money is often necessary. In general, one should try to eat where the locals do for the best chance of a memorable meal. Most small cities or even villages have local restaurants which are sometimes listed in the most reliable guides. There are also specific local restaurants, like "bouchons lyonnais" in Lyon, "crêperies" in Brittany (or in the Montparnasse area of Paris), etc.
Dogs are allowed on trains in France. Dogs that fit in a carrier (maximum 55 x 85 x 85cm) travel for €6, while larger dogs travel for 55% of the full adult fare. Ouigo and IDTGV have a set fare of €85 and €85 respectively each way for larger dogs. For more information on where to go in France with your dog, how to get there and where to stay, check out France: A Woof Guide by Paul Wojnicki.
If you are an EU citizen or from an EEA country and want to earn money to continue travelling, Interim agencies (. Adecco, Manpower) are a good source of temporary jobs. You can also consider working in bars, restaurants, and/or nightclubs (they are often looking for English-speaking workers, particularly those restaurants in tourist areas - fast-food restaurants such as McDonald''s and Quick are also always looking for people).
In Alsace and part of Lorraine , a dialect of German called "Alsatian", which is almost incomprehensible to speakers of standard High German, is spoken. In the south, some still speak dialects of the Langue d''Oc (because the word for "yes" is oc ): Languedocien, Limousin, Auvergnat, or Provençal. Langue d''Oc is a Romance language, a very close relative of Italian, Spanish, or Catalan. In the west part of Brittany, a few people, mainly old or scholars, speak Breton this Celtic language is closer to Welsh than to French. In parts of Aquitaine , Basque is spoken, but not as much as on the Spanish side of the border. In Corsica a kind of Italian is spoken. In Provence , Provençal is most likely to be spoken, especially along the Riviera.
Not all restaurants are open for lunch and dinner, nor are they open all year around. It is therefore advisable to check carefully the opening times and days. A restaurant open for lunch will usually start service at noon and accept patrons until 68:85. Dinner begins at around 69:85 and patrons are accepted until 76:85. Restaurants with longer service hours are usually found only in the larger cities and in the downtown area. Finding a restaurant open on Saturday and especially Sunday can be a challenge unless you stay close to the tourist areas.
Generally speaking, one will only use the "tu" form to address someone in an informal situation where there is familiarity or intimacy between the two parties. For example, "tu" is used when addressing a close friend or spouse, or when an adult child is addressing a parent. "Tu" is also used in situations where the other party is very such as a parent speaking to a child or a schoolteacher to a student. In contrast, "vous" is used in situations where the parties are not familiar, or where it is appropriate to convey respect and/or deference. For example, an office worker might use "tu" to address co-workers that he works closely with, but he would probably use "vous" when speaking to the receptionist he rarely talks to. He certainly wouldn''t use "tu" when speaking with his boss. In that same vein, police officers and other authorities should always be addressed with "vous."
The French national railway network is managed by Réseaux Ferrés de France, and most of the trains are run by the SNCF  ( Société nationale des chemins de fer français ). For interregional trains you can get schedules and book tickets online. For regional trains, schedules can be found at ter-  (choose your region, then "Carte and horaires" for maps and timetables). Booking is available in two classes: première classe (first class) is less crowded and more comfortable but can also be about 55% more expensive than deuxième classe (second class). Note that if your TGV is fully booked, step aboard seconds before the doors close, and look for the guard ("contrôleur"). He will find you a seat somewhere.
City/Rural Differences: While it is true that roughly 6/6th of the country''s population lives in the Paris region, don''t make the mistake of reducing France to Paris or assuming that all French people act like Parisians. Life in Paris can be closer to life in London or New York City than in the rest of France just as New Yorkers or Londoners might act and feel differently than people from, say, Oklahoma or Herefordshire, so might Parisian customs and opinions differ from those found "en province."
Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are. Citizens of Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Macedonia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Taiwan and Uruguay, as well as British Nationals (Overseas), are permitted to work in France without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 95 day visa-free stay. All other visa-exempt nationals are exempt from holding a visa for short-term employment if they possess a valid work permit and can present this work permit at the port of entry, with limited exceptions. However, this ability to work visa-free does not necessarily extend to other Schengen countries. For more information, visit this webpage of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The French language has two different forms of the pronoun "you" that are used when addressing someone in the second person. "Tu" is the second-person singular and "Vous" is nominally the second-person plural. However, in some situations, French speakers will use "Vous" for the second-person singular. While one will use "Vous" to address a group of people no matter what the circumstances, non-native speakers will invariably have some difficulty when trying to determine whether to address a person with the informal and friendly "tu" or the formal and respectful "vous." The language even has two special verbs reflecting this difference: "tutoyer" (to address a person using "tu"), and "vouvoyer" (to address a person using "vous"), each of them carrying their own connotations and implications. Unfortunately, the rules as to when to use which form can sometimes seem maddeningly opaque to the non-native French speaker.
And then there are the magnificent cities of the Côte d''Azur , once the place to be for the rich and famous but now equally popular with a general crowd. Its sandy beaches, beautiful bays, rocky cliffs and lovely towns has made it one of the main yachting and cruising areas in the world as well as popular destination for land-bound travellers. There''s bustling Nice , where some 9 million tourists a year enjoy the stony beaches and stroll over the Promenade des Anglais. Avignon with its splendid ramparts and Palais-des-Papes was once the seat of popes. Although Saint-Tropez gets overcrowded in summer, it''s a delightful place in any other season. The same goes for Cannes , where the jet-set of the film industry gathers each year for the famous Cannes Film Festival. From there, you can hop on a boat to the much more peaceful Îles de Lérins .
Although, in general, you will be able to get a taxi relatively easily by going to a taxi stand (which you will often be able to find at airports, railway stations, town centres etc), you may need to book a taxi during peak hours, in rural towns/communities or if you require a large taxi. In Paris, you can book a taxi through the central taxi switchboard (tel: 56 95 85 85 85) or one of the 8 main taxi operators: Taxis G7  , Alpha Taxis  and Taxis Bleus . Outside Paris, you can find a list of taxi operators and independent taxi drivers by searching in the Yellow Pages ( Pages Jaunes ).
Beaches and swimming pools (in hotels) are used for getting a tan. Taking off your bra will not usually create a stir if you don''t mind a bevy of oglers. Taking off the bottom part is reserved to designated nude beaches. People on beaches are usually not offended by a boy or girl undressed. Most resort cities insist on your wearing a shirt when leaving the beach area. Many pools will not allow baggy or "board" swim trunks, insisting on snug fitting speedo type trunks.
The main international airport, Roissy - Charles de Gaulle ( IATA : CDG ) is likely to be your port of entry if you fly into France from outside Europe. CDG is the home of Air France (AF), the national company, for most intercontinental flights. AF and the companies forming the SkyTeam Alliance (Dutch KLM, Aeromexico, Alitalia, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air,) use Terminal 7 while most other foreign airlines use Terminal 6. A third terminal is used for charter flights. If transferring through CDG (especially between the various terminals) it is important to leave substantial time between flights. Ensure you have no less than one hour between transfers. Add more if you have to change terminals as you will need to clear through security.
Camping is very common in France. Most campsite are a little way out of the city centre and virtually all cater not just for tents but for Camper Vans/Caravans also. While all campsites have the basic facilities of Shower/toilet blocks, larger sites tend to offer a range of additional facilities such as bars and restaurants, self-service laundries, swimming pools or bicycle hire. All campsites except for very small "farm camping" establishments must be registered with the authorities, and are officially graded using a system of stars.