Tips for Enjoying France and the French
a retired high school teacher now on my 34th trip to France. I speak French
fairly well but your wonderful books gave me deep undertandings of France
-- of the French language, culture, mentality and history -- that I never
could obtain elsewhere. In fact they gave me the key to the heart of the
French and vastly enlarged the way I look at the world. They are also beautifully
and clearly written. These excellent books have really changed my life and
increased my enjoyment of traveling and living in France immeasurably. I
can never thank you enough.
STANLEY LITTMAN, New York City
It is absolutely delightful, funny, on the ball, sometimes raunchy often
tender, fair and amazingly detailed. I also learnt a lot about America --
about expectations, fears and surprises.
MICHAEL SADLER, author of "Un Anglais à Paris"
great books! I read Savoir-Flair in two sittings. Hardly
wanted to go to sleep, eat, or work! These books will certainly make my
trips to Paris more enjoyable.
GABE GARGULIO, linguist, computer consultant,
author of eight books on computer programming
I just finished your new book, having devoured it
in one sitting. I absolutely adored it. It is exactly the kind of book I
or anyone needs on the subject of France. I have lots of books on France
--guidebooks and histories, etc., but this is unparalleled for helpfulness.
I am one of those travellers who wants to show respect for the country I'm
visiting, to do things correctly, who feels acute embarrassment at not knowing
how to manage small things like boarding a bus or knowing when and what
to leave as a tip (Savoir Flair is the only book I've consulted
-- out of many -- which repeats exactly what a waiter told me in
Aix-en-Provence last spring about the actual meaning of servis compris.
Now I feel confident on the subject!)
Thank you so much for having written this jewel. Can a book feel like a
friend? Savoir Flair is my friend!
LAURA MURPHY FRANKSTONE, Chapel Hill, N.C.
revelation in humor and profound enlightenment. It is a gem that should
be a must on the reading list of anyone drawn to La Belle France."
HAMILTON HAZLEHURST, Professor of Fine Arts,
Vanderbilt University, former head of the Vanderbilt-in- France program
would like to take a few moments to thank you for your book Savoir
Flair!, which my wife gave me for Christmas 2000, in preparation
for our trip to Paris this past weekend. MERCI, MERCI BEAUCOUP!!!! I cannot
even begin to tell you the number of times we used the tips from your
I read the book cover-to-cover, and retained a lot of it, apparently because
we knew just what to do in many, many situations encountered over our
five-day stay, whether on the Metro, hailing a taxi, or in restaurants
-- the list goes on and on. Saying "Bonjour" and "Merci"
to shopkeepers and hotel employees, etc., became so natural that we truly
missed these niceties as soon as we touched down in Cincinnati. "My French
is pretty rusty, but I have been told that my pronunciation is excellent,
and I found that speaking with the Parisians was easy, even though I had
to occasionally ask that they speak more slowly, adding, of course, a
"s'il vous plait."
In short, the many tips in Savoir Flair! made our trip much
more fun than we already expected it to be. It took much of the fear away,
and made our trip pure joy!
PETER J. MORABITO, Cincinnati, Ohio
full of techniques and tips, greatly entertaining, as well. This second
book is the perfect follow up to the first one, adding just enough history
and background to the tips so they won't be easily forgotten. If you're
going to France for a week or ten years, this book is a must-read.
JIMMIE MILLER, St Louis
husband and I read Savoir-Flair! on our vacation in Paris
in September and loved every word of it. I can't tell you how grateful
I am to you for revealing the secrets that have made me feel at home in
reading it non-stop (I had to pause to eat, sleep, work). My husband Bob
turned out the bedroom light; I moved to the bathroom floor and kept saying,
"OK, just one more chapter...and then I'll go to bed." Eyes blurry and wanting
to save chapters for the next day, I finally succumbed at 1:30 a.m. I finished
it the next day. Savoir-Flair! is a wonderful companion to
French or Foe!
JOYCE TORREY, Hawaii
you start reading, you always have to turn the page to see what new gem
Polly Platt has to offer about France and the French. The book is full of
inside information that even experienced travellers to France can benefit
from. Don't skip anything in the book, including the bulleted lists with
practical tips and even useful telephone numbers.
ROBERT FISCHER, Chair, Department of Modern Languages
Southwest Texas State University
Savoir-Flair! a few months ago and found it very useful. It
is a very different book than French or Foe?, which is required
reading for all students participating in James Madison University's Semester
in Paris program. However, I found it in many ways to be more helpful, because
it gets down to the nitty-gritty of everyday life in Paris. It is by far
the best practical guide to life in Paris that I have read. The examples
were informative and funny -- and right on the money. Chapter eight on getting
information has been particularly useful. If you are going to spend more
than just a few days in Paris, I would highly recommend getting both French
or Foe? and Savoir-Flair! Read both before you go,
and again after a few weeks when you can more fully appreciate Platt's insights.
NEWELL WRIGHT, Associate Professor and Professor
of Marketing, James Madison University
France: Mrs. Platt's latest book on France and French culture is even
better than her first - French or Foe? Whether you enjoyed
that one or missed it, you'll love this one. (Reviewer bias: I am an American
- originally from the Washington D.C. area - who lives in Paris so am
very interested in this type of book. It also means I can REALLY appreciate
some of the help and humor in all this.)
Savoir Flair: 211 Tips for enjoying France and the French,
she has taken numerous interesting stories or observations about an American
operating in France, added a punch line (i.e., tip) and organized them
into 20 chapters. What I particularly like about this book is you can
read just the topics of interest if you're visiting Paris for a vacation
- topics like arriving at the airports, hotels, using taxis, Metro, Cafes,
French food - or you can read it all if going there on business or longer.
An example of tips more oriented to those of us living in France include
comments on business meals, driving, the local scene, rural living, or
requesting information from the French (not as obvious as you think) -
just to name a few. One of my favorite sections is the chapter on dogs.
French can give the British a run for their money on their infatuation
with dogs. You haven't lived till you sit down in a beautiful French restaurant
and realize the 'person' sitting at the table next to you is named Gizmo,
and he's a Yorkshire terrier! Read Chapter 7 to hear about the rest of
the story; including dog dirt on sidewalks. Hilarious (to an American)
Platt, an American, has a nice writing style, mixing humor with authority.
She has lived in Paris for over 30 years - she knows what she's talking
about; intimately. This 290 page paperback is highly recommended.
Review from Amazon.com : A reader from Paris,