The following advisory for American travelers heading for France was compiled from information provided by the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Disease Control and some very expensive spy satellites that the French don't know about. It is intended as a guide for American travelers only and no guarantee of accuracy is ensured or intended.

General Overview

France is a medium-sized foreign country situated on the continent of Europe, and is for all intensive purposes fucking useless. It is an important member of the world community, although not nearly as important as it thinks. It is bounded by Germany, Spain, Switzerland and some smaller nations of no particular consequence or shopping opportunities. France is a very old country with many treasures such as the Louvre and EuroDisney. Among its contributions to Western civilization are champagne, Camembert cheese, the guillotine, and body odor. Although France likes to think of itself as a modern nation, air conditioning is little used and it is next to impossible to get decent Mexican food. One continuing exasperation for American visitors is that the people willfully persist in speaking French, although many will speak English if shouted at repeatedly.

The People

France has a population of 54 million people, most of whom drink and smoke a great deal, drive like lunatics, are dangerously oversexed and have no concept of standing patiently in a line. The French people are generally gloomy, temperamental, proud, arrogant, aloof and undisciplined; those are their good points. Most French citizens are Roman Catholic, although you'd hardly guess it from their behavior. Many people are Communists and topless sunbathing is common. Men sometimes have girls' names like Marie and they kiss each other when they hand out medals. American travelers are advised to travel in groups and to wear baseball caps and colorful pants for easier mutual recognition. All French women have little tits, and don't shave their armpits.

Safety

In general, France is a safe destination, although travelers are advised that France is occasionally invaded by Germany. By tradition, the French surrender more or less at once and, apart from a temporary shortage of Scotch whiskey and increased difficulty in getting baseball scores and stock market prices, life for the visitors generally goes on much as before. A tunnel connecting France to Britain beneath the English Channel has been opened in recent years to make it easier for the French government to flee to London.

History

France was discovered by Charlemagne in the Dark Ages. Other important historical figures are Louis XIV, the Huguenots, Joan of Arc, Jacques Cousteau and Charles de Gaulle, who was President for many years and is now an airport. The French armies of the past have had their asses kicked by just about every other country in the world.

Government

The French form of government is democratic but noisy. Elections are held more or less continuously and always result in a run-off. For administrative purposes, the country is divided into regions, departments, districts, municipalities, cantons, communes, villages, cafes, booths and floor tiles. Parliament consists of two chambers, the Upper and Lower (although, confusingly, they are both on the ground floor), whose members are either Gaullists or communists, neither of whom can be trusted. Parliament's principal pre occupations are setting off atomic bombs in the South Pacific and acting indignant when anyone complains. According to the most current State Department intelligence, the current President is someone named Jacques. Further information is not available at this time.

Culture

The French pride themselves on their culture, although it is not easy to see why. All of their songs sound the same and they have hardly ever made a movie that you want to watch for anything except the nude scenes. Nothing, of course, is more boring than a French novel (except perhaps an evening with a French family.)

Cuisine

Let's face it, no matter how much garlic you put on it, a snail is just a slug with a shell on its back. Croissants, on the other hand, are excellent although it is impossible for most Americans to pronounce this word. American travelers are therefore advised to stick to cheeseburgers at McDonald's or the restaurants at the leading hotels such as Sheraton or Holiday Inn. Bring your own beer, as the domestic varieties are nothing but a poor excuse for such.

Economy

France has a large and diversified economy, second only to Germany's economy in Europe, which is surprising since people hardly ever work at all. If they are not spending four hours dawdling over lunch, they are on strike and blocking the roads with their trucks and tractors. France's principal exports, in order of importance to the economy, are wine, nuclear weapons, perfume, guided missiles, champagne, high-caliber weaponry, grenade launchers, land mines, tanks, attack aircraft, miscellaneous armaments and cheese.

Conclusion

France enjoys a rich history, a picturesque and varied landscape and a temperate climate. In short, it would be a very nice country if French people didn't inhabit it, and it weren't still radioactive from all the nuclear tests they run. The best thing that can be said for it is that it is not Spain. Remember no one ordered you to go abroad. Personally, we always take our vacation in Miami Beach and you are advised to do the same. Thank you and good luck.

Taken from an anonymous forward I received a while back...author unknown.

Opening Retaliatory Comment
I beg to differ.

Introduction
France does not, in the least bit, suck, nor do French people in general. Having recently returned to the United States from a wonderful trip to Paris, I can safely say that the aforementioned writeup is quite the load of crap. Perhaps the writer was attempting to be humorous, but it came off as offensive, unamusing, and simply wrong.

Before I experienced the country for myself, I was under the same impression that many Americans have of the French -- that they are snobby, rude, arrogant; that they dislike Americans. I was surprised to find out that these stereotypes are completely inaccurate. The following writeup is not based on "US government reports" (i know, it's such a funny joke); rather, it is an American traveler's perspective after a two-week visit.

General Overview
France is located in Western Europe, between Italy and Spain, and southeast of Great Britain. Appropriately, inhabitants speak the official language of French (Francais), which is famous for its classy and romantic pronunciations. France enjoys a solid economy, one of the strongest in Europe, and its actual exported products are, according to AU's writeup on France: machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, agricultural products, iron and steel products, textiles and clothing.

The People
Like much of Europe's adult population, the French are known to "get their drink on" quite frequently, and it remains that approximately forty percent of the adult population smokes. The no smoking (non fumeur) section at restaurants is a joke most of the time, largely ignored by many indifferent smokers. The drinking age is 18 there, but this was also found to be loosely enforced.

The French are generally reserved persons at first, but once the ice is broken they often become extremely friendly, high-spirited and generous people. A simple chat on a train or in a shared ferryboat cabin can lead to an invitation to their home, complete with homemade, full course meals with their family. I found them to be very helpful and generous: explaining and showing one how to use the subway (Metro); assisting in finding one's particular destination; accompanying one on, and even paying for, a walking tour of their city's rich history; giving away a bottle of classy French wine as a parting gift... all this happened to me during my visit, and I would not expect this kind of treatment for a visitor in the United States.

Despite popular American beliefs, the French are generally understanding of those who speak little or no French (such as myself), and they greatly appreciate and applaud any kind of attempt by visitors to speak the language (even if it's half-assed; they don't mind.) Additionally, many of them do speak the English language or are interested in learning it.

I found that there were, of course, French people who appeared snobby and perhaps rude, but they were surprisingly uncommon. It seems to me that America, more than France, is one of the nations in the world who have a lot of biased attitudes, stereotypes and misconceptions toward certain other countries.

Random Thought
I have come to believe that there are two types of crepe vendors in France: the nice, friendly kind who recommend a flavor to you, smile, and give you exact change; and the not-so-friendly kind, who grumpily toss a crepe together and give you no change at all. Be warned.

The Cuisine
The French are world renowned for their cuisine, and they certainly live up their reputation. The food there was excellent, if not expensive, and I'm not talking about the damn snails. The crepes were particularly delicious, thin pancakes that would either be sandwich-esque with meat, cheese, and an egg, or, as a dessert, would contain chocolate, fruit, or whipped cream. To suggest McDonald's as a restaurant to eat at while in France just doesn't seem right. In fact, it is the last place I'd be found at in France (although they're transfixed at dozens of street corners throughout Paris, and are quite popular for grabbing a quick bite). If you're looking for high-quality Mexican food though, I'd raincheck France and look into Mexico first. I've heard good things.

By the way, French chocolate kicks Hershey's ass.

The Culture
The French are very social people, and as a result, French cities like Paris are famous for their nightlife: dance clubs, cabarets, musical concerts and symphonies. France has produced such well known films as Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, and Les Quatre cents coups. They are lagging behind in terms of Internet development.

The Women
I found the ladies in France (particularly Paris) to be extraordinarily beautiful, and from my experiences, they are delightful people as well. To say that all French women have small chests is a fucking shallow generalization.

Conclusion
The culture, the history and architecture, the cuisine, and the people -- they're all different than the way it is here or anywhere else. Not necessarily better or worse, but different. I, for one, love it, and I would choose it over a trip to Miami Beach without a second thought.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.