We just returned last Friday from almost a month in Paris and Normandy. I speak a little French- my kids and husband speak zero.
Our experience interacting with French people were 99.9% pleasant. There was one very harassed waitress near the Pere Lachaise cemetery who was kind of crabby.
Here are a few experiences I choose to remember-
the off-duty cab driver who stopped with his first aid kit when my mom cut her leg on the street-
the bus driver who stopped when I chased his bus trying to retrieve a forgotten package- and patiently let me retrieve it and smiled during the whole episode-
the lady on the bus who helped me get my Dad with the broken foot to the D'Orsay-
the nice Metro guy who let us on the train even though none of our tickets worked in the turnstiles (I had put them in my purse next to my cell phone- don't do that- it kills them)
the nice bus driver who did the same-
the very gracious hotel manager at Mont-St-Michel who kindly suggested and arranged a change of rooms for us when he saw how tall my husband was-
the very metrosexual hunky guy at Sephora who spent ten minutes filling samples for me- and he was NOT flirting- I looked like a sweaty grandmother that day-
the shopgirls somewhere near Les Halles who drew me a map to the shop that would have what I wanted-
all the waiters who brought my Dad extra ice everywhere- with no eye-rolling-
I could go on and on.