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Let’s face it: When people travel to foreign countries (most especially if it’s for the first time), they can ask a lot of dumb questions. With the caveat that there’s no such thing as a truly dumb question, here are some that can’t help but make you laugh. And every one has appeared in the Bonjour Paris mailbox.
Bonjour Paris ran a mini-contest on its Facebook page asking members to guess which question is the most frequently asked.
Here are some of the questions we’ve received over the years:
– Can you give me the names of five hotels on the Left Bank that cost less than $100 per night and are lovely? Naturally, no one else should know about them.
– Should we stay on the Right or Left Bank? What’s the difference?
– Questions about restaurants are popular. Which are the least expensive? The best? Will I have to eat snails?
– Can you get a reservation for me at Frenchie tonight? The answer is no.
– Can I use my credit card in France?
– How much money should I bring?
– Do stores and restaurants accept dollars? Ditto for taxi drivers. Are taxis safe? Are metros and buses safe?
– Where’s the closest ATM?
– What are the rules and regulations about tipping?
– Does everyone in France speak English?
– When is the best time to visit?
– If someone is planning a trip in August, will all of the restaurants be closed? That question is frequently asked when there’s a holiday.
– Is it safe to drink the tap water?
– What days are the museums open and which ones are free?
– One Bonjour Paris reader (merci, M. Raspail) suggested the most frequently-asked question was about where to meet women. Ah hum. But, don’t think women don’t ask where to meet men. They do and the Bonjour Paris staff has a list of places and things to do where they might encounter the love of their life – even if it’s short-term.
– Can you use an American hair straightener or hair dryer without an adapter? What type of adaptors are required for computers and other appliances?
– Will my cell phone work? — and all of the other mobile devices that people carry these days. That’s a question that only your local provider can answer with certainty.
– Is it safe to come to Paris alone?
– It’s not unheard of for people to ask plumbing-related questions. No, you don’t have to worry about being confronted with turkish toilets in most places in Paris.
– Where is the best chocolate & pastry shop?
– Is there an app for that? [Thank you Kathy ;-)].
Cindy Shoemaker won the prize for the most frequently asked question: “What’s the weather like and what kind of clothes should I pack?” Bingo!
What Cindy didn’t add is that people ask this question for two years out. If I had a crystal weather ball, I’d be richer than rich. Even though I consult the forecast every day, the weather in France rarely cooperates. I usually stick my head out of the window before deciding what to wear. And, frequently, there are days when people are exposed to four seasons.
Clearly, there are questions people have been hankering to ask and have been too shy. Feel free to post them at the end of this article.
(c) Paris New Media, LLC
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If you’re coming to France and want to remove the stress out of any and all planning, dynamo Lisa Buros-Hutchins of www.YourParisExperience.com can arrange anything and everything, including planning your honeymoon and/or making dinner reservations. Nothing is beyond her. Say Bonjour Paris referred you and put her to the test of making your stay in France perfect.
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