PARIS TO BE MORE WELCOMING TO TOURISTS …

  How many times have I not heard complaints about how rude the French are? I have stopped counting, but just this past Christmas it was said to me: “I don’t think that the French like tourists.” This was said, by the way, by someone who visits Paris once each year, so my question is, […]

 

A Paris rail and metro station (Copyright Marilyn Z Tomlins)

A Paris rail and metro station (Copyright Marilyn Z Tomlins)

How many times have I not heard complaints about how rude the French are?

I have stopped counting, but just this past Christmas it was said to me: “I don’t think that the French like tourists.”

This was said, by the way, by someone who visits Paris once each year, so my question is, “So why the hell do you keep on coming back?”

Advertisement in Paris Metro (Copyright Marilyn Z.Tomlins)

Advertisement in Paris Metro (Copyright Marilyn Z.Tomlins)

What tourists forget, I think, is that we who live here in Paris are not on vacation. No, we have to live our lives: get to and from work on crowded Métro (underground rail) trains and buses; we have to deal with strikes, and now too with Islamist terrorism, so we can not smile all the time.

I am not blind to the Parisian shopkeeper who is not friendly, who does not acknowledge your existence when you step into the shop. I am not blind to the young man who flops down on the only free seat in the Métro and makes a woman, even an aged or aging one, or a pregnant one, stand. I am not blind to the waiter who will not allow two people to sit at two small tables, pushed together, in a restaurant, but insists that they must sit at ONE of the small tables when there is no one else in the place. (And this has happened to me and a friend several times last November, and in Versailles, the City of Kings, too!)

Neither are those from the city authorities blind to such things, so from this July, in other words the next summer season, the State’s RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) and the SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer français) are going to make tourists feel really welcome. Especially so on the RER B line which runs to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport north of Paris.

The two transport companies, in this their ‘Welcome’ plan, will have multi-lingual agents on the RER B trains and stations, and at Gare du Nord rail station. The RER B runs through Gare du Nord and this is where most tourists ascend or descend the train from or to the airport. The Eurostar and the Thalys trains also run to and from Gare du Nord.

Furthermore, the ticket machines on those Paris stations through which tourists travel will be in more languages than the current French, English, Italian, Spanish and German.

Also, multi-lingual agents will be on those stations to assist those who may look lost or confused.

The ‘Welcome’ plan is to cost €1.4 million ($1.6 million) (£1.3 million).

This is money which the State can spend on bettering the life of us who live here, like increasing the pensions for the aged, increasing the reimbursement of medical bills – and indeed lowering the cost of public transport for Parisians, so know that the French are not all nasty nasty nasty.

Two happy tourists in the Paris Metro (Copyright Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

Two happy tourists in the Paris Metro (Copyright Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

One Response to “PARIS TO BE MORE WELCOMING TO TOURISTS …”

  1. 1
    Joyce holloway Says:

    I would like to purchase a photo/poster of the pink cat ad. Is it available? Was in Paris this summer and fell in love with the ad in the Metro. Thanks

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