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THE AMERICAN'S GUIDE TO FRANCE:

France is a medium-sized foreign country situated in the continent Of Europe.
It is an important member of the world community, though not nearly as important as it thinks.

It is bounded by Germany, Spain, Switzerland and some smaller nations of no particular importance and with not very good shopping.

France is a very old country with many treasures, such as the Louvre and Euro Disney.
Among its contributions to western civilization are champagne, Camembert cheese and the guillotine.

Although France likes to think of itself as a modern nation, air conditioning is little used and it is next to impossible for Americans to get decent Mexican food.

One continuing exasperation for American visitors is that local people insist on speaking in French, though many will speak English if shouted at.

THE PEOPLE :

France has a population of 57 million people. 52 million of these drink and smoke (the other 5 million are small children).

All French people drive like lunatics, are dangerously over sexed, and have no concept of standing patiently in line.

French people are in general gloomy, temperamental, proud, arrogant, aloof and disciplined; those are their good points.
Most French citizens are Roman Catholic, though you would hardly guess it from their behavior.

Many French are communists.

Men sometimes have girls' names like Marie or Michel, and they kiss each other when they meet.

American travelers are advised to travel in groups and wear baseball caps and colorful trousers for easier recognition.

SAFETY :

In general, France is a safe destination, although travelers must be aware that from time to time it is invaded by Germany.

Traditionally, the French surrender immediately.

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 during future German invasions, and for them to offload all their illegal immigrants.

HISTORY :

Charlemagne discovered France 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.

CULTURE :

The French pride themselves on their culture, though it is not easy to see why.

All their music sounds the same and they have never made a movie that you would want to watch for anything.

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.

In general, travelers are advised to stick to cheeseburgers.

ECONOMY :

France has a large and diversified economy, second only to Germany's in Europe, which is surprising because the French hardly 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, guns, grenade launchers, land mines, tanks, attack aircraft, miscellaneous armaments and cheese.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS :

France has more holidays than any other nation in the world.

Among its 361 national holidays are:

197 Saints' days,
37 National Liberation Days,
16 Declaration of Republic Days,
54 Return of Charles de Gaulle-in-triumph-as-if-he-won- the-war-single-handed Days,
18 Napoleon-sent-into-Exile-Days,

17 Napoleon-Called-Back-from-Exile-Days, and
 
2 "France is Great and the Rest of the World Stinks" days.