Being a tourist is fun. Going somewhere new and seeing all the sights, getting lost, awkwardly pulling out your map and just wandering around is one of the best parts of travel (just don’t be that loud American, OK?). This is how you know you’re a tourist in France.
You’re a tourist in France when…
1. You’ve sampled everything at the boulangerie and you’re back for more… and it’s only 11am.
2. You think the police sirens sound weird.
3. Your debit/credit card won’t work when you try to rent a Velib (in Paris), when trying to buy a metro ticket or pretty much anywhere else outside of big cities. Note: French cards don’t swipe — they’re inserted and have a chip. American cards usually don’t have chips, although this is changing, and aren’t compatible with most French card readers. In big cities, many card readers do accept cards that aren’t chipped but always have cash on you just in case!
4. You leave the grocery store with disposable plastic bags you got there (or you just carry the groceries out in your arms), instead of bringing your own reusable bags.
5. You have to pull out your phone to do a C to F conversion (or euro to another currency conversion).
6. You start getting hungry for dinner at 6 p.m. and wonder why all the restaurants are either empty or closed.
7. After eating, you leave a pretty significant tip on the table and don’t get why the waiter has such a huge smile on his face. Note: The French don’t tip!
8. You’re definitely a tourist in France when you unintentionally ignore the shopkeepers’ friendly bonjours upon entering and au revoirs upon leaving.
9. You’re introduced to some new friends and give them a warm American hug — and they just stand there. Note: The French don’t hug! (what to do instead)
10. You actually engage with the scammers on the street in Paris that either pretend to find a ring on the ground, want you to sign a petition or some other scam. Keep on walking!
11. You go with your sweetie to attach a lock to the Pont des Arts.
12. You’re in Paris in August. All the Parisians are en vacances for the month!