The following advice for American travellers going to France was
compiled from information provided by the US State Department, the
CIA, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Drug Administration,
the Centers for Disease Control and some very expensive spy satellites that the French don't know about.
It is intended as a guide for American travellers only.
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 Eurodisney. 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. Watch your money at all times.
France has a population of 56 million people. 52 million of these
drink and smoke (the other 4 million are small children). All French
people drive like lunatics, are dangerously oversexed, and have no
concept of standing patiently in a queue. The French people are in
general, gloomy, temperamental, proud, arrogant, aloof and
undisciplined; those are their good points. Most French citizens are
Roman Catholic, though you would hardly guess it from their behaviour.
Many people are communists. Men sometimes have girls' names like Marie
or Michel, and they kiss each other when they meet. American travellers
are advised to travel in groups and wear baseball caps and colourful
trousers for easier recognition.
In general, France is a safe destination, although travellers must
be aware that from time to time it is invaded by Germany. Traditionally,
the French surrender immediately and, apart from a temporary shortage
of Scotch whisky and increased difficulty in getting baseball scores
and stock market prices, life for the American visitor 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 during future German invasions.
France 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 form of government is democratic but noisy. Elections are
held more or less continuously and always result in a draw. The French
love administration so for government purposes the country is divided
into regions, departments, districts, municipalities, towns, communes,
villages, cafes, and telephone kiosks. Each of these has its own government
and elections. Parliament consists of two chambers, the Upper and
Lower, though confusingly they are both on the ground floor, and whose
members are either Gaullists or Communists, neither of whom should
be trusted by the traveller. Parliament's principal occupation is
setting off atomic bombs in the south Pacific and acting indignant
and surprised when other countries
According to the most current American state department intelligence,
the President is now someone named Jacques. Further information is
not available at this time.
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 but the nude scenes.
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, travellers are advised to stick to cheeseburgers.
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.
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 Napolean
sent into ExileDays, 17 Napolean Called Back from Exile Days, and
2 "France is Great and the Rest of the
World is Rubbish" Days.
France enjoys a rich history, a picturesque and varied landscape,and
a temperate climate. In short, it would be a very nice country if
it was not inhabited by French people.The best thing that can be said
for France is that it is not Germany.