Faux Pas-Free Paris: A PNW Traveler's Guide

So, you've decided to embark on an adventure to the city of lights, Paris! Ah, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the delicious pastries... But hold on a minute, before you start packing your flannel shirts and your trusty raincoat, let's talk about some faux pas you should avoid while exploring the land of baguettes and berets.

  1. Keep Your Inside Voice Inside: Picture this: you're strolling down the charming streets of Paris, the Seine River glistening in the background, and suddenly, you overhear someone loudly discussing the latest episode of "Twin Peaks." Hold your caffeine-infused energy, folks! Parisians prefer a quieter, more zen-like ambiance. So, channel your inner tree-hugger and keep the volume down.

  2. Politeness is the New Grunge: Remember that time when the grunge scene ruled the Northwest, and flannel shirts were practically a uniform? Well, in Paris, politeness is the new grunge. Say "bonjour" with a smile to your server, and don't forget to add "merci" when they bring you your escargot. It's like a politeness mosh pit - everyone's invited!

  3. Dress to Impress, Not to Hike: If you're thinking of donning your favorite hiking boots, think again. Parisians take fashion seriously. Trade those boots for something more chic, because you're about to strut your stuff on the Champs-Élysées. Leave the fleece and rain gear for your return to the Northwest rainforest.

  4. Feast, Don't Fast: In the land of croissants and coq au vin, eating on the go is a no-no. This isn't a grunge concert where you wolf down your granola bar in the mosh pit. Find a scenic spot, sit down, and savor that delectable pastry. It's like a gastronomic meditation.

  5. Keep it Clean, Not Green: Remember how we love our pristine forests and clean beaches in the PNW? Well, the French have a similar thing going for their picturesque city. Dispose of your trash properly, so you don't become the person who turned the City of Light into the City of Litter.

And now, for some bonus faux pas:

  1. Sacrebleu! No Politics or Religion: While we in the Pacific Northwest can chat about coffee preferences or the merits of various rain jackets with strangers, the French prefer to keep politics and religion off the table. Maybe stick to discussing the weather, which, coincidentally, is a universal topic.

  2. Shhh... Quiet Time: We may be loud and proud when it comes to our enthusiasm for hiking, but the French? They treasure their peace and quiet. So, when you're sipping on that café au lait, channel your inner librarian and keep the volume down.

  3. Queue It Up: In the Northwest, we appreciate the beauty of a well-organized line. The French? They practically invented it. So, no cutting in line at the boulangerie. Wait your turn like a true Pacific Northwesterner.

  4. Say Cheese... with Permission: In the age of Instagram, we love snapping pics, but in Paris, ask for permission before capturing someone's essence on camera. Privacy is as cherished as a rare sunny day in Seattle.

  5. Bonjour and Merci, S'il Vous Plaît! Lastly, sprinkle your conversations with a dash of French, especially "bonjour" and "merci." It's like adding a pinch of seasoning to your culinary masterpiece.

With these tips, your journey to Paris will be as smooth as a kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands. Remember, the French are a friendly bunch, and your effort to embrace their culture will make your trip truly magnifique! Enjoy your faux pas-free adventure!