Friday, December 13, 2013

Paris Metro Etiquette

Paris’ public transport body has released a special “politeness” manual to reduce uncouth behaviour in the metro, with a list of “commandments” on how to improve civility from helping clueless tourists to ensuring body odour is not wafted around the carriage.

Arms should be kept by your side at all times on the Paris Metro

“In the context of a global theme of incivility on public transport,” reads the forward, RATP solicited ideas for a guide to manners for our times. From more than 2,000 entries, it culled a dozen ways to be polite, helpful, courteous and not a letch. The result: a clever, tongue-in-cheek 32-page e-book, filled with old-fashioned line drawings and commentary by local personalities.

The guide advises travelers not to play music loudly on the Metro 

The online "manual on savoir-vivre for the modern traveller" includes an array of tips split into four categories: "helpfulness", "courtesy", "manners" and "politeness", drawn up from among more than 2,000 suggestions from the general public.

The first "commandment" on the platform defines courtesy as "understanding that the huge crossed out cigarette on the platform is not a work of art but a ban on smoking".

The "manners" section invites Parisians to help out lost tourists "in Bermuda shirts with a metro map in one hand and the other hand in their hair". "It's worth losing two minutes of your time for a good cause if only to hear the (foreign) passenger struggle to pronounce (the metro stops) 'Trinité d'Estienne d'Orves' or 'La Motte Piquet-Grenelle'," the accompanying text says.

Staring at beautiful women is rude, the online Metro guide says 

  • The key etiquette for the Paris Metro is:
  • Not playing music too loudly through headphones
  • Resisting the temptation to stare for a long time at beautiful women
  • Holding back from starting a fight with someone who’s just stepped on your toes
  • Loud phone conversations should also be avoided
  • Old lady’s bags should be carried up stairs
  • Armpits should be covered by arms and not exposed to the carriage
  • Handkerchiefs not just used to wave someone off with, but to sneeze into.
  • Last but not least – the Metro is not to be mistaken for a lavatory.
Click on link to read ‘Manuel du savoir-vivre à l’usage du voyageur moderne’ – or ‘politeness manual for the modern traveller’ - Paris metro bosses release 'politeness manual'

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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