Hello, it is I, Rick Steves, your next best thing to a plane ticket. Actually, I’m even better, because your plane ticket cannot speak to you in a comforting midwestern accent, nor can it wear huge 80s aviator glasses and plaid shirts.
Welcome! To Best of Travels in Europe: FRANCE. Please indulge in this montage of French monuments set to 80s pop.
Well, hello, again, it is still me, Rick Steves. Do not fear, I am not the sort of man who would abandon you in a foreign country, and certainly not on a subway.
I am in a CAFE, a sort of French resturant where one can order caff-ay ole-ay and bag-ettes. It is often a fun activity to sit in a cafe and be stared at by disgruntled French people.
Oh! I did not mean to confuse you with all those French words all at once. Perhaps I had better explain. I will be using lots of French phrases in this videocassette. But since you are probably too unintelligent to speak French, I will pronounce the words incorrectly in both French AND English, utilizing a special vernacular of my own devising, known only as “Frangalis.”
This sullen, excessively bearded man is my companion, Francois. He will accompany me in restaurant scenes throughout the videocassette. Francois does not respond to any of my questions in French, English, or Frangalis, so I can only assume that he is a feral man-bear.
Another thing that can be a fun activity is riding LE METRO. It is the most advanced subway system in the world – you feed your tickets through a machine that can COUNT them! Fancy that!
Sometimes, as a way to earn money, starving children will dance or sing or play instruments or rap or rob people on LE METRO. If you bring a camera crew along, the other passengers will clap and pretend to tip them. And that’s the magic and hospitality of the French people.
But we certainly can’t spend the whole day underground! We’d miss one of my other favorite activities – standing on rooftops and scanning the skyline for attractions I will never actually visit.
Look, there’s NOTRE DAME! We will not visit NOTRE DAME, for it is overrated and often crowded. And when YOU are an experienced international traveler such as I, Rick Steves, you, too, will come to consider everything overrated and abhor virtually all human contact.
I think instead we should go to Napoleon’s tomb and attempt to look somber.
Well, that was fun! But we are off to even more exciting locales. Here we are in France’s largest department store. It is so large that there is a restaurant in it, and one of my favorite things to do here in FRANCE is sit in the department store restaurant and knock back a few cold ones.
Something I like to do when I come to FRANCE is rent an apartment and buy groceries and do my own laundry and interact will REAL French people. I LOVE Parisians! They are so jolly – sometimes they will pretend that they do not speak English until more than halfway through a conversation! Then they laugh gaily, for this is a delightful game in FRANCE.
Did you know that I, Rick Steves, support marjuana legalization? I’ll bet that you did not! I bet you now think that I smoke the stuff myself. Well, you would be WRONG.