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Old 03-15-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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Any local French here? Or people that have visited France? I want to visit there so bad. Any insider information that only locals know? I'd also like to know what it's like to live in France day-to-day and what the weather is like year-round. Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:13 PM
 
Location: in the southwest
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Bon soir/bon jour
My kid has spent a couple years in France and I have visited there a few times.
There are differing climates in the different regions.
If you ask detailed questions, I or someone else might be able to answer you.
There are a couple French people who have posted here before.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
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If you go to Paris and are on a budget and don't care about hotels much as long as they have a bed, shower, and a morning breakfast, then I recommend the Armstrong Hotel at 36 Rue Croix Saint Simon, in the Porte de Montreuil area on the outskirts of the City of Paris proper. It looks to be in a slightly rougher area and there are government housing projects in the neighborhood and lots of Africans in native dress and Arabs. The good thing and why I chose it was that it cost me $49/night (the dollar was much higher in Aug. 03), had a buffet style morning breakfast of croissants, jam, coffee, cereal, etc., and was a short walk to the Metro. Buy a pass for the number of days you'll be in Paris and use the subway to get around. For me it was easy to get into St. Michel and St. Germain easily by Metro, then when I was tired, had shopped and looked around enough for the day, I'd get back into the Metro and get on a train with the end station being Porte de Montreuil. The Galleries Lafayette are also a great place to shop near the Opera House.
It's more expensive for Americans right now and the prices reflect that. But if you want to go, there are cheaper options and you can make it work.
I love Paris
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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Yep, what Cil and MoMark said! I guess what bothers me is the way U.S. media portrays the French. I've had wonderful visits there and have never experienced the problems and attitudes that we hear about in our media...
The standard belief that the French "hate Americans" just isn't true; they feel that they are more cultured than ANYBODY else. And, in some cases, I have to agree. (But STILL won't give up my blue passport!)
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Waupun, Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
The standard belief that the French "hate Americans" just isn't true
Agreed! When I was last over there they weren't very happy with our government, but they don't hold that against the citizens Virtually everyone I met was friendly and most of them knew more English than I knew French (though they seemed to appreciate me trying even though I was mangling their beautiful language ) And the food there, even in the little mom & pop type cafes, is to die for - simply amazing.
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:37 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 14,346,251 times
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I went to France at the height of strained relations between the U.S. and France, several months after the start of the Iraq War (over four years ago ), and the jingoistic fervor and amount of France-bashing in the U.S. was really getting on my nerves, so I went there eager for all of the stereotypes of the rude Frenchman to be blown to smithereens to rightfully counter all the "freedom fry" nuts back in the States. Unfortunately, I found many of them to be true. I did in fact find the French to be snotty, pretentious and just all around rude. This was just my own personal experience however and as the other posts testify, many have experienced the complete opposite. I will say though, as a backhanded compliment of sorts, that the rudeness wasn't really restricted for Americans, but rather for everyone. While they made their disdain for the U.S. government clear, they didn't single out Americans for any worse treatment than any other group.

With that said, I still loved France. It's an absolute beautiful country and the French Riviera remains one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I want to go back, and I would love to go to Toulouse (I've seen pics and it looks incredible) and Marseilles and Corsica among other places.
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:46 PM
 
Location: in the southwest
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I was there literally days before our troops went off to Iraq, March 2003.
Did not have any problems at all. Later I was there in 2004 and actually met a French couple who supported the war.
Last year I went to Toulouse; southwest France, and was enchanted.
It is such a walkable city, and has a lot of youthful energy with all the university students.
Too bad my French is wretched. Somehow I muddle through and everyone I've met has always been pleasant. It helps when I'm with my kid, who is fluent.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
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Same here Cil, I was thrilled America was so pissed off because I was in Paris in August of 03 and felt like I had the cafes and streets to myself! There were very few Americans there that late summer and the boats on the Seine were empty, the lines to get into the Louvre and Notre Dame virtually non-existent and most of the tourists I saw were other Europeans. The waiters looked unhappy and it was clear it was a major downturn in tourism. The impact of the American boycott was obvious. That suited lil' o me just fine
I found no problems being an American in Paris.
I've had to drive through France in prior years to get from Germany to Spain and found the southern part a bit .... in need of a whisk broom and some TLC, but I've never been treated badly by a Frenchman, German, or anyone else.

Last edited by MoMark; 03-16-2007 at 07:04 PM..
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Waupun, Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
Same here Cil, I was thrilled America was so pissed off because I was in Paris in August of 03 and felt like I had the cafes and streets to myself! There were very few Americans there that late summer and the boats on the Seine were empty, the lines to get into the Louve and Notre Dame virtually non-existent and most of the tourists I saw were other Europeans.
Wish it had been that way in June of 03! OTOH, everyone had probably left to try to escape the heat - those that didn't die Wasn't it something more than 10,000 people in France alone that died that summer due to the heat? If there's one thing that I would have wanted to be different on that trip it would have been air conditioning Still, even with the roads melting and the worst case of heat rash I've ever experienced it was a great trip!
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
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Originally Posted by escapetacoma View Post
Wish it had been that way in June of 03! OTOH, everyone had probably left to try to escape the heat - those that didn't die Wasn't it something more than 10,000 people in France alone that died that summer due to the heat? If there's one thing that I would have wanted to be different on that trip it would have been air conditioning Still, even with the roads melting and the worst case of heat rash I've ever experienced it was a great trip!
The heatwave was still going on when I got to Germany. I roasted in a hotel without air conditioning in Waldorf near Frankfurt where I spent the night before meeting a German friend and taking off by train from Frankfurt to Paris. It was unbelievably hot and everything was brown.
Paris was horribly hot when I got there. The taxi driver was a woman with a crewcut wearing a bra and short skirt white slip...that was it...! I was shocked but hey...it IS France! It began to cool off about midway through for me and the evenings became pleasant. Everyone was talking about the unusual heat and I slept with my window to the balcony open and no covers over me the first few nights.
But ironically, when I got back to Germany and got down to stay a week with friends near Freiburg, the heat totally broke through a series of colossal thunderstorms and torrential rain and it got a bit chilly!
Imagine...I was used to Las Vegas heat and had just gone through July into August in Las Vegas and I found Europe hotter at first!
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