You are going to spend a holyday in France? Read it, and anyway go!!!!


The following advisory for American travellers heading for France was
compiled from information provided y the US State Department, the Central
Intelligence Agency, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Drug
Administration, the Centres for Disease Control, and some very expensive
spy satellites that the French don't know about.

It is intended as a guide for American travellers only.

No guarantee of accuracy is ensured or intended.

General overview:

France is a medium sized foreign country situated in the continent of
Europe. It is an important member of the world community, though not nearly
as important as it thinks. It is bounded by Germany, Spain, Switzerland and
some smaller nations of no particular consequence and with not very good

France is  a very old country with many treasures, such as the Louvre and
EuroDisney. Among its contributions to western civilization are champagne,
Camembert cheese and the guillotine.

Although France likes to think of itself as a modern nation, air
conditioning is little used and it is next to impossible to get decent
Mexican food. One continuing exasperation for American visitors is that the
people wilfully persist in speaking French, though many will speak English
if shouted at. As in many foreign country, watch your change at all times.

The People: France has a population of 54 million people, most of whom
drink and smoke a great deal , drive like lunatics, are dangerously
oversexed, and have no concept of standing patiently in line. The French
people are in general gloomy, temperamental, proud, arrogant, aloof, and
undisciplined; and those are their good points.

Most French citizens are Roman Catholic, though you would hardly guess it
from their behaviour. Many people are communists, and topless sunbathing is
common. Men sometimes have girls' names like Marie, and they kiss each
other when they hand out medals.

American  travellers are advised to travel in groups and to wear baseball
caps and colourful trousers for easier mutual recognition.

Safety: in general, France is a safe destination, though travellers are
advised that, from time to time, it is invaded by Germany. By tradition,
the French surrender more or less at once and, apart from a temporary
shortage of Scotch whisky and increased difficulty in getting baseball
scores and stock market prices, life for the visitor generally goes on much
as before.

A tunnel connecting France to Britain beneath the English channel has been
opened in recent years to make it easier for the Government to flee to

History: France was discovered by Charlemagne in the Dark  Ages. Other
important historical figures are Louis XIV, the Huguenots, Joan of Arc,
Jacques Costeau and Charles de Gaulle, who was President for many years and
is now an airport.

Government: the French form of Government is democratic but noisy.
Elections are held more or less continuously, and always result in a
run-off. For administrative purposes, the country is divided into regions,
departments, districts' municipalities, cantons, communes, villages, cafes,
booths and floor tiles. Parliament consists of two chambers, the Upper and
the Lower (though, confusingly, they are both on the ground floor), whose
members are either Gaullistes or communists, neither of whom is to be
trusted, frankly.
Parliament's principal preoccupations are setting off atomic bombs in the
South Pacific, and acting indignant when anyone complains. According to the
most current State Department intelligence, the President now is someone
named Jacques. Further information is not available at this time.

Culture: The French pride themselves on their culture, though it is not
easy to see why. All their songs sound the same, and they have hardly ever
made a movie that you would want to watch for anything but the nude scenes.
And nothing, of course, is more boring than a French novel (except,
perhaps, an evening with a French family  - ha! ha! ha).

Cuisine: let's face it, no matter how much garlic you put on it, a snail is
just a slug with a shell on its back. Croissants, on the other hand, are
excellent, though it is impossible to most Americans to pronounce this
word. In general, travellers are advised to stick to cheeseburgers at
leading hotels such Sheraton and Holiday Inn.

Economy: France has a large and diversified economy, second only to
Germany's in Europe, which is surprisingly, because people hardly work at
all. If they are not spending four hours dawdling over lunch, they are on
strike and blocking the roads with their lorries and tractors. France's
principal exports, in order of importance of the economy, are wine, nuclear
weapons, perfume, guided missiles, champagne, high-calibre weaponry,
grenade, launchers, landmines, tanks, attack aircraft, miscellaneous
armaments and cheese.

Public holidays: France has more holidays than any other nation in the
world. Among its 361 national holidays are 197 saints' days, 37 National
Liberation Days, 16 Declaration of Republic Days, 54 Return of Charles de
Gaulle in Triumph has if he Won the War Single-Handed Days, 18 Napoleon
Sent into Exile Days, 17 Napoleon Called Back from Exile Days, and 112
France is Great and the Rest of the World is Rubbish Days. Other important
holidays are National Nuclear Bomb Day (Jan. 12), the Feast of St. Brigitte
Bardot Day (March 1), and National Guillotine Day (Nov. 12).

Conclusion: France enjoys a rich history, a picturesque and varied
landscape, and a temperate climate. In short, it would be a very nice
country if it weren't inhabited by French people. The best thing that can
be said for it is that it is not Germany.

A word of warning: The consular services of the United States government
are intended solely for the promotion of the interests of American
businesses such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut and the Coca-Cola Corporation. In
the event that you are victim of a crime or serious injury involving at
least the loss of a limb, report to the American Embassy between the hours
of 5.15 am and 5.20 am on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and a consular official
who is supremely indifferent to your plight will give you a list of
qualified dentists or something similarly useless.