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Tourist Advisory: France

(The following advice for American travellers going to France was compiled
from information provided by the US State Department, the CIA, the US
Chamber of Commerce, the Food and      Administration, the Centers 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.)

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 importance 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 for Americans to get decent
Mexican food.  One continuing exasperation for American visitors is that
local people insist on speaking in French, though many will speak English
if shouted at.  Watch your money at all times.

The People

France has a population of 57 million people.  52 million of these drink
and smoke (the other 5 million are small children).  All French people
drive like lunatics, are dangerously oversexed, and have no concept of
standing patiently on line.  The French people are in general gloomy,
temperamental, proud, arrogant, aloof and undisciplined; those are their
good points.  Most French citizens are Roman Catholic, though you would
hardly guess it from their behavior.  Many people are communists.
Men sometimes have ladies's names like Marie or Michel, and they kiss each
other when they meet.  American travellers are advised to travel in groups
and wear baseball caps and colorful trousers for easier recognition.


In general, France is a safe destination, although travellers must be aware
that from time to time it is invaded by Germany.  Traditionally, the French
surrender immediately and, apart from a temporary shortage of Scotch
and increased difficulty in getting baseball scores and stock market prices,
life for the American 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 during future German invasions.


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.


The French form of government is democratic but noisy.  Elections are held
more or less continuously and always result in a draw.  The French love
administration so for government purposes the country is divided into
regions, departments, districts, municipalities, towns, communes, villages,
cafes, and telephone kiosks.  Each of these has its own government and
elections.  Parliament consists of two chambers, the Upper and Lower,
though confusingly they are both on the ground floor, and whose members are
either Gaullists or Communists, neither of whom should be trusted by the
traveller.  Parliament's principal occupation is setting off atomic bombs
in the south Pacific and acting indignant and surprised when other
countries complain.  According to the most current American state
department intelligence, the President is now someone named Jacques.
Further information is not available at this time.


The French pride themselves on their culture, though it is not easy to see why.
All their music sounds the same and they have never made a movie that you
would want to watch for anything but the sex scenes.


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,
although it is impossible for most Americans to pronounce this word.
In general, travellers are advised to stick to cheeseburgers.


France has a large and diversified economy, second only to Germany's in
Europe, which is surprising because the French hardly work at all.  If they
are not spending four hours dawdling over lunch, they are on strike and
blocking the roads with their trucks and tractors.  France's principal
exports, in order of importance to the economy, are wine, nuclear weapons,
perfume, guided missiles, champagne, guns, grenade launchers, land mines,
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 as
if he won the war single-handed Days, 18 Napolean sent into Exile Days, 17
Napoleon Called Back from Exile Days, and 2 "France is Great and the Rest
of the World Sucks" Days.


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 was not
inhabited by French people.  The best thing that can be said for France is
that it is not Germany.

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