Vive la France... A Travel Advisory for US, Israeli and Jewish travellers of any nationality.
The following advisory for American, Israeli and Jewish travellers of other nationalities heading for France was compiled from information provided by the US State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Disease Control, the Mossad, the World Jewish Congress, the Bnai Brith, the Anti Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Hadassah, the Weizman Institute and some very expensive spy satellites the French don't know about.
It is intended as a guide for American, Israeli and Jewish travelers of any nationality only. No guarantee of accuracy is ensured or intended.
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 shopping.
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 in particular is that the people willfully persist in speaking French, though many will shout or spit English if shouted at. As in any foreign country, watch your change at all times.
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 in line. The French are in general gloomy, temperamental, proud, aloof, arrogant, pretencious, and undisciplined; and these are their good points.
Most French citizens are Roman Catholics, though you would hardly guess it by their behavior.
Many people are communists and topless bathing is common.
Men sometimes have girls' names like Marie, and they kiss each other when they hand out medals.
American, Israeli and Jewish travelers of any nationality are strongly advised to travel in large groups and to wear colorful red, blue and white trousers and dresses for easier mutual recognition. Jewish travellers are especially advised to wear their Mesusas, Chais and Magen David's under their shirts or blouses at all times, to avoid being knived, punched, kicked, spat at or insulted. Kappot's should be hidden under a baseball cap.
In general, France is a fairly safe destination as long as you are not Jewish, though travelers are advised that from time to time the country is invaded by Germany. By tradition, the French surrender more or less at once very quickly 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 French Government to flee to London in the event it's Arab population of 5,000,000 souls rebel.
France was discovered by Charlemagne in the Dark Ages. Other important historical figures are Louis XIV, the Huguenots, Joan of Arc, Jacques Cousteau and Charles de Gaulle, who was President for many years and is now an airport with terminals that risk collapsing on arriving or departing passengers.
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 Lower (though, confusingly, they are both on the ground floor), whose members consist of Gaullists 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 is now someone called Jacques.
Further information about this man is not available at this time.
The French pride themselves on their culture, though it is not easy to see why.
All their songs sound the same and they've hardly ever made a movie that you'd want to watch for anything but the nude scenes. And nothing, of course, is more boring than a French novel (except, perhaps, for an evening with a French family.)
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 and brioches, on the other hand, are excellent, though it is impossible for most Americans to pronounce this word.
In general, travelers are advised to stick to cheeseburgers or hard boiled eggs at leading hotels such as the Sheraton, Hilton and Holiday Inn.
France has a very large and diversified economy, second only to Germany's in Europe, which is surprising because French people hardly work at all, as they are mostly on vacation or on long breaks. If they're not spending four hours dawdling over they're lunch, they're on strike and blocking the roads with their lorries and tractors.
France's principal exports, in order of importance to the economy, are wine, nuclear weapons, perfume, guided missiles, Champagne, high-caliber weaponry, grenade launchers, landmines, chemical weapons, tanks, attack aircraft, miscellaneous armaments and cheese.
France has more holidays than any other nation in the world.
Among it's 361 national holidays are 197 Saints' days, 37 National Liberation days, 16 Declaration of Republic days, 54 Return of Charles de Gaulle in Triumph (as if he won the War Single-Handed Instead of Running Away) days, 18 Napoleon Sent into Exile Days, 17 Napoleon Called Back from Exile days, 112 France is Great and the Rest of the World is Rubbish days. Other important days are National Nuclear Bomb day, the Feast of Saint Brigitte Bardot, and National Guillotine day.
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 isn't Germany or Saudi Arabia "yet" but there are similarities to the latter.
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, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King and the Coca-Cola Corporation.
In the event that you or your loved one are victims of a crime or serious injury involving at least a loss of a limb, report to the American Embassy immediately between the hours of 5:15 am and 5:20 am on a Tuesday or Wednesday only, and a Consular official who is supremely indifferent to your plight will for a fee of $100 give you a list of qualified dentists, dermatologists, or something similarly useless.
Remember, no one ordered you to go abroad and you are travelling at your own risk. If you are of the Jewish faith it is highly recommended that you contact your Life Insurance Agent before arriving on French soil to check that your policies are in order and current. Personally, we always take our holidays in Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Herzlia, Natanya or in Eilat and you are advised to do so as well, if you can.
Bonne Chance and Bon Voyage.