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Tips For Tourists Visiting France

When traveling to any other country, it is important to be culturally sensitive and aware of the way you act in order to get the positive responses you desire from native people in the country you are visiting. France is no exception. Although some people may have heard the stereotypes of French people acting snobby or rude to foreigners, the same can be said for Americans, Britons, or people of any nationality. If you follow a few simple tips, you can have a much better time, and hopefully make some friends with locals on the way.

1) Ask Before Speaking English

Even though English is one of the most prevalent languages in the world, it does not mean that it is the best language in the world, nor does it mean that everyone speaks English fluently and is comfortable speaking English. In particular, French people are proud of their gentle, poetic language, and as a visitor to France, you are on their home ground. Therefore, it is important to be respectful about language. This does not mean that you need to speak fluent French before you arrive in the country, it simply means that you need to know one simple phrase: Parlez-vous anglais? (PAHR-lay vew zon-GLAY?). By simply asking if the other person speaks English in French politely first, you are taking a step in the right direction. Chances are, they will respond warmly and not feel as awkward if their English is not perfect.

2) Take Your Time and Dont Expect Perfection

Travelers need to be aware that their own stringent guidelines do not necessarily cross borders into other countries with us. Attitudes in Europe in general are fairly laid back about service, especially when it comes to restaurants in France. Where you might get a meal, eat, pay and be out the door in an hour in New York City, meals in Paris usually last for hours. If your food takes a while to come out, dont expect to get a discount, instead sit back and order another glass of wine or just take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery. At the end of the meal, you may have to ask for your check, but try to do so kindly or it may only take longer. Waiters and waitresses are paid and hourly rate and theyre not depending on your tip, so if you want smooth service, do your part to take it easy and be polite.

3) Understand and Follow the French Schedule

Unlike in say, America, where there is a pretty standard schedule of work from 8 or 9 to 5 or 6, people in France take their day slower and easier. Many businesses close altogether for lunch hours, and cafes take their breaks around 3pm. If you eat at midday with the rest of the French people and then visit tourist attractions or shops in the afternoon, you will be much better off than the other way around. Also, keep in mind that nearly all shops are closed on Sunday.

If you follow these three simple travel tips, you will be guaranteed to have a smoother and more enjoyable trip to France. Pack carefully, and dont forget to leave your manners behind!

The Warm Reality Of Paolo Cristiani’s Traveling World At Agora Gallery

Paolo Cristianis wonderfully observed scenes of airports, hotel rooms and city streets all places of movement and transition present a tangible yet unpopulated world. Cristianis rich colors and detail are realistic with just enough heightening to create an inviting warmth, becoming attractive and relatable in a way that real hotel rooms seldom are. The viewer can easily imagine entering the space of a Cristiani painting, yet there are no protagonists in the work; there are rarely any figures in the frame, and the few who do appear are turned away, for all intents and purposes faceless. The human presence in these works lives in a half-empty water glass, or the ruffle of a bedspread that has been tossed aside just so.
Cristiani is equally adept with oil, acrylic and ink, in addition to practicing mixed media sculpture with wood, terracotta and cloth. Born in Milan, the artist remains based in northern Italy but travels frequently. His series Airport and Hotels aims to capture and fix the silence and the human movement within a virtual reality.

Exhibition Dates: December 20, 2012 January 12, 2013
Reception: Thursday, December 20, 2012, 6-8 pm
Gallery Location: 530 West 25th St, New York City
Gallery Hours: Tues Sat, 11a.m. – 6 p.m.
Event URL: http://www.agora-gallery.com/artistpage/Paolo_Cristiani.aspx

About the Exhibition
In The Odyssey Within viewers are introduced to art that takes the power of tradition and melds it with the thrilling novelty of the present. Charming, thought-provoking and intelligent, this is art with the ability to inspire. Pathway to Abstraction explores the force and creativity that consummate skill offers when combined with a feeling of daring and innovation. Lively, lovely and full of energy, the art contains both breadth and depth in terms of both content and technique. The artists of Sensorial Realms sensitively investigate the complex layers of human thought and imagination, yet remain carefully rooted in the physical world. The result is an appealing meeting of everything that is most fascinating about human nature and experience.

Featured Artists:
The Odyssey Within
Mariana Acua | Laura Almerico | Stefania Buccio Gonzato | Paolo Cristiani | Lucia Ferrara | Luka Hajdini | Sofia Dorotea Kukkonen | Massimo Margagnoni | Vito Matera | Silvio Natali | Fabio Pasotti | Fabrizio Pinzi | Alma Sheik | Elio Talon | Monia Tartarini | Franco Testa | Guido Villa
Pathway to Abstraction
Kathleen Barefield | Helen S. Cohen | Michael Freedman | LeeAnn Gorman | Emily Grieco | Shu-Tsin Liu | Tyice Natasha | Minami Ogura | Maurice van Tilburg | Yana Yami | Chiho Yoshikawa | Susanne Zimmer
Sensorial Realms
Eva Fritz | Cathy McClelland | Therese Obergottsberger | David Renn | Samuel Rosell | Eduardo D. Rubin | Pati Trippel | Uriu Veselik | NJ Woods