Thursday, January 04, 2007

a votre disposition

If we're being rude, at least we can be nice about it, says the Paris tourist board:

The Gallic Shrug is one of many simple but brutally effective gestures listed in a new travel guide produced by the Paris tourist board.

Aware that it can do very little to change the stereotype of the arrogant Frenchman, it wants to help discerning visitors blend in by using the same body language.

C'est So Paris, produced by the Ile-de-France regional committee of tourism, lists the gestures under the colloquial title "Cop the Parisian Attitude".

They are specially designed for British visitors who have traditionally been made to feel uncomfortable by rude waiters, couldn't-care-less taxi drivers or sulky beauties sitting outside cafés on the Champs-Elysées.

....The guide says: "You don't need to be French to understand Parisians. Use the gestures the next time you're in Paris. People will start mistaking you for a native in no time."

....The guide to gestures is part of a £700,000 advertising campaign aimed at Britons that tries to portray the city as energetic, youthful and trendy. "It is to show that Paris isn't a stuffy museum city, but a vibrant destination worth visiting regularly," said the spokesman.

The board is even encouraging Britons to send in pictures "of yourself imitating a Parisian" with the prize of a weekend in Paris.

And second prize is an entire week there?

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