We’ve all heard the stories from other travelers. And read the posts here. About Paris, it’s inhabitants can be unfriendly and rude...and we’ve all heard the warnings of no one speaking English (or unwilling to) and now of course there is that additional issue of how will I be treated as an American under the present political circumstances. Well fear not. Here is what has happened to me in the 6 days I have been in Paris and the results of interacting with hundreds of Parisiennes from all walks of life including a trip to the Vet for my dog.
EVERYONE and I do mean everyone has been exceptionally friendly, kind and polite, And to even my surprise the vast majority speak more than enough English and seem happy if not a bit embarrassed to use it. People have gotten up to give us their seats in the Metro. (Just to be clear we are not 80 and doddering either, We are 65 and in good shape)
A great example of this was the other day we were in the Sentier Metro station and approached the ticket window to buy a Carnet of ten tickets. I said “Bonsoir Monsieur, P:Arles vous Anglais?” He immediately said yes, I told him I needed a carnet and he said “OF COURSE!” And then asked did I know I could use the automatic ticket machine to buy them. He jumped up and came out of his booth and took me patiently step by step through the screens to get the Carnet from the Machine. He was smiling and helpful and welcoming throughout.
This illustrates the kind of interaction we have had from everybody from waiters to store clerks to the Vet.
Now in the early eighties I lived in Paris for about 3 months and had very much the same experience but not to the degree at all like this trip.
Come with an open mind, greet people in French, observe the niceties of politeness and I am sure you will have a great trip too.