French Guide Helps Tourists Use Parisian Subway System Politely [Pics]

French Guide Helps Tourists Use Parisian Subway System Politely [Pics]

An illustrated e-book tells visitors to France how to avoid the pitfalls of rude behavior.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 10 december 2013

To some people living outside of France, the French seem snobby and rude. To many French people, foreigners seem rude and uncouth in their own way. Paris’ public transport authority, RATP, would like to help everyone get along a little better.

After spending the last few months collecting thousands of suggestions from public transit users, RATP has narrowed down and published an e-book with 12 cardinal – albeit humorous – rules for tourists to follow for a mutually pleasant travel experience. Fully equipped with entertaining illustrations, the Manuel de Savoir-Vivre is RATP’s answer to improving tourists’ manners and helping them fit in on the metro. The rules, roughly translated, are as follows:

– Be courteous: The large crossed out cigarette is not art, it’s a no-smoking sign.

– Be helpful: If you see a man in a Bermuda shirt with a subway map in one hand and his hair in the other (a tourist), provide assistance.

– Be polite: Don’t talk excessively on your cell phone – it’s unbearable.

– Be helpful: Hold the door for people behind you when exiting – it may earn you a pretty glance.

– Be polite: Handkerchiefs are for more than just waving goodbye.

– Be helpful: Carry an elderly woman’s bag up the stairs, and give it back to her at the top with a smile.

– Have manners: Use social media if you want to share your music; listen at respectful levels.

– Be polite: Say hello and address bus drivers – both men and women.

– Be courteous: Don’t stare at a female rider, even if her looks could kill.

– Be courteous: Don’t start a duel with someone who accidentally steps on your foot.

– Have manners: On hot days act like a penguin and keep your arms at your sides, using the handholds at the bottom – not top – of the pole.

– Have manners: Don’t use the subway as a bathroom, even though both are tiled. This includes applying makeup or hair products in the midst of a crowd.

The guide is currently only available in French (so how much assistance would it provide a tourist?) but luckily most rules are quite commonsensical. Check out the illustrations that accompany the book below.


Sources: Business Insider, The Daily Beast

Images: Business Insider

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