Date of Trip: May 2001
These are the two biggest myths about Paris. My wife and I have been to Paris 5 or 6 times, and we have also each been there separately a few times.
(1) PARISIANS ARE RUDE TO AMERICANS.
No they’re not!! We’ve been to Paris repeatedly starting in 1969, and the only rudeness we ever encountered was during the first trip, when a snotty female hotel clerk gave us a hard time about getting a crib for our baby girl.
Expecting people to be rude can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. We never expected rudeness in Paris and except for that one small incident, never got it. An associated myth is that Parisians resent it when Americans speak fractured French – or try to. They don’t mind it at all, although they will often simply begin speaking English in return.
(2) IT COSTS LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY TO EAT AND DRINK IN PARIS.
Not at all. If our hotel didn’t provide a continental breakfast – most of them do – we’d go to a patisserie (bakery) and buy half a baguette, or maybe a roll or croissant, then may a food shop to buy some cheese. A good lunch could be had for the equivalent of several dollars, again with half a baguette, some cheese, some sliced meat and a sweet. Bottles of table wine are very inexpensive. And fresh fruit is a bargain, not just in Paris, but everywhere in the world!
And here’s a third myth.
IF YOU DO A LOT OF RESEARCH, YOU CAN FIND A NICE HOTEL ROOM WITH A PRIVATE BATH FOR A BARGAIN PRICE.
Forget about it! Be prepared to spend at least 100 euros a night for this. However, if you’re willing to settle for a two-star and a shared bath, you can cut that down substantially.