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1, Don’t Put Your Hands on Your Lap.
2, Don’t Expect 24/7 Shops and Services
Especially in smaller towns, many French shops close from 12:00 to 2:00. Most things are closed on Sundays, and there are 10 Public Holidays that also shut down commercial activity.
Just double-check the opening hours and closing days before heading out.
3, Don’t Step in the Merde
Unlike other countries, the French don’t have strict rules about picking up after their pooch. The sidewalks, parks and sometimes even doorsteps are literally littered with doggy doo-doo.
4, Don’t Bring Wine to a Dinner Party
To the French, this is a bit of an insult implying that they don’t know the proper wine to serve at their own party. Also, let your host do the pouring and refilling of wine glasses, as they know how to imbibe without overindulging.
5, Definitely Don’t Bring Chrysanthemums to a Dinner Party
Those posies are associated with cemeteries, funerals and death. Carnations should be avoided, too, as they have a bad luck connotation. You’ll be safer with a box of chocolates.
6, Don’t Be a French Food Imbecile
Take the time to learn a bit about French cuisine before visiting France. Don’t be that fool who asks why the vichyssoise (vishy swahs) is cold or expects escalope (skalope) to be seafood.
7, Don’t Order Tea, Coffee or Soft Drinks With Your Meal
Water or wine are the accepted liquids to accompany food. Sure, you can order a Coke or juice or whatever you like, but you’ll be going against the grain here.
8, Don’t Ask for a Doggie Bag
Aside from the fact that leaving scraps on your plate can be perceived as disrespectful to the cook, asking to slop it into a take-out box is an insult to the freshness, care and presentation that goes into plating a fine French meal.
9, Don’t Expect the Waiter to Bring You the Bill
To them, handing out the check is akin to rushing you out the door. They’re not necessarily ignoring you, neglecting you or providing poor service. They’re just happy to have you linger.