Tour Tale: Our Friendly Frenchman
|"This lovely old man, dressed in a suit, who didn't know us from Adam, said, 'Ahh, oui!' (...and a lot more French...) and motioned for us to follow him."|
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My husband and I were in Paris, staying over a few days after the Best of Europe in 21 Days tour. We had always heard about how rude the French people were, especially to Americans, but we are here to tell you: we never met one single rude French person throughout France.
In fact, here is a little vignette to show just how wonderful they were to us.
We had learned, from our amazing guide Jennifer, how to ride the Paris subway system, and so we did. But on this day, we wanted to get to the Eiffel Tower on top of the ground, so that we could see all that was going on. As we stood in the middle of a busy street corner near the Champs-Elysées, we couldn't figure out, by looking at our map, exactly where the correct bus stand was for us. We looked around to find a young French person who would probably speak English. There were none.
As I looked around again, there was this nicely-dressed older man. He was obviously French, he just looked the part.
I asked him if he spoke English. He said no, with the shake of his head, and a nice smile. We tried to say the word for bus, but badly screwed that up. We tried sign language, but we were just making things more confusing for this nice old man.
We finally showed him our map, pointed to the Eiffel Tower and looked around with big eyes and shrugged our shoulders, essentially telling him we didn't know how to get there.
This lovely old man, dressed in a suit, who didn't know us from Adam, said, "Ahh, oui!" (...and a lot more French...) and motioned for us to follow him. Well, we like an adventure, so we stuffed our map away and followed closely.
Not only did this lively, happy man take us over to the bus stand, but he got on the bus with us, paid his fare, and sat near us so that he could get off at the Eiffel Tower stop and show us exactly where to walk. After I took this photo of him and my husband, he hopped on the returning bus and went back in the direction from whence we came.
How cool is that!
Looking forward to our next Rick Steves tour,
— The Delgados
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