|So different, yet so alike
Paris. New York. Two of the world’s most visited, most exciting cities.
Paris. New York. Everyone has an opinion about them, even if they have never been.
Parisians. New Yorkers. Everyone has an opinion about them, even if they have never met them.
This week, I saw a funny little video online, “Johnny T’s New York City Tourist Tips.”
As a longtime fan of the City that Never Sleeps, I smiled often while watching it. Then I realized that many of Johnny T‘s travel tips could also apply to Paris, (and to other big cities around the world.) After reading the comments left by readers on nextstopmagazine.com where the video was released last December, I was sure of it.
I can explain, but first, let’s watch the 4-minute clip together, shall we? Meet Johnny T, New Yorker. This hilarious puppet will teach you how to be the perfect New York City tourist…
See what I mean? Johnny T, it is obvious, loves his city. And he claims he loves tourists too, hence the travel tips, so everyone gets along. Video (and article) highlights:
1. Johnny T. is a frog, dressed in a red track suit.
Johnny T.’s Parisian cousin would be a green frog named Jean, and he would wear an Agnès B. grey suit, accessorized with a Pierre Cardin man bag.
2. Johnny T. is passionate about pizza.
He knows all the best pizza joints in New York city, past and present.
Jean knows the best boulangeries in Paris. He would not consider buying his daily baguette and croissants anywhere else.
|New York vs. Paris (Vahram Muratyan)|
3. Are New Yorkers rude to tourists?
Johnny T. does not think so. He claims they are nice and helpful to out of town visitors.
In the Comment section, a reader, Bocheball adds that New Yorkers get a bad rap, and that visitors are to blame:
“Tourists ask for directions but rarely say thank you.”
Johnny T‘s French cousin, Jean, would concur. How many tourists approach Parisians, in the street, or in shops, without bothering to say the magical words first, “Bonjour” and later, “Merci.” It is so bad sometimes, that some café owners have posted this price list outside, in an attempt to educate their customers.
|“Price list. Being polite pays off”
(old enamel sign spotted on Ebay.com)
4. Johnny T. is a nice frog, but you can see there is an air of arrogance about him. After all, he lives in the best city in the world. He does not even consider the rest of the country might not agree with him.
In the Comment section, an argument breaks out between New Yorkers and Floridians, as they try to determine who the slowest drivers are. Later, another heated exchange happens between New Yorkers and Texans about New Yorkers exhibiting poor manners when they meet people.
Jean, the French frog, could relate. When Jean leaves the Seine river or his favorite pond in the Tuileries Gardens and heads to Southern France for his hard-earned 3-week summer vacation, he gets criticized – a lot – by other French frogs he meets outside the capital. “Parisians are the worst drivers!” “Poor Parisians, so stressed out!” “Look, that guy had to place his beach towel right next to ours when the beach is almost empty. ‘Used to crowds. Must be a Parisian!”
|Summertime: Parisians head South!|
5. Johnny T’s favorite mantra: “When in New York city, move fast or get out of the way!”
New Yorkers live life in the fast lane. They walk with a purpose. You are a tourist, and you have time. They don’t. In fact, Johnny T. adds: “Stay in your hotel between the hours of 4:00 to 6:00pm.” — This way, locals can handle the commute home undisturbed.
In the Comment section, Lars E. agrees:
“Don’t stop to look around at the top of the subway stairs.
There are 100 people coming up behind you.”
|Parisians trying to get home at rush hour|
|Tourists and flip-flops do le Metro|
|The Parisian Times Square?
Crowds on the Champs-Elysées