Manners… s’il vous plaît

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iol travel dec 18 paris metro


2. Paris

London - It’s a city notorious for its appalling manners, but now it seems even Parisians have had enough.

The bad-tempered epicentre of the capital is the Metro, and its operator, RATP, has just published 12 commandments to improve the travelling experience.

As many will agree, An Etiquette Manual for the Modern Traveller confirms some time-honoured stereotypes. Guidance comes in four categories – courtesy, helpfulness, manners and politeness.

One rule tackles the ever-delicate issue of body odour. It reads: “On really hot days, even an emperor penguin needs to keep his arms close to his body, so grab the bottom of the post and not the very top.”

Tellingly, it suggests the French spend an “additional 15 minutes in the bathroom to avoid upsetting 15 fellow commuters”. The guide also asks them to stop relieving themselves in underground carriages – something which is disturbingly common in a city with so few public toilets.

The rules were produced after a committee reduced more than 2 000 suggestions by the public – some of them British tourists visiting Paris. And, if anyone pays attention, visitors may be pleasantly surprised. “Offer help to the person standing there in Bermuda shorts holding a map in one hand and his head in the other,” the guide adds. – Daily Mail

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