Story and Photos by ITN European Reporter Herve’ Rebollo
Salut à toi American rider!
Have you ever been to … France / Paris my friend? Do you know my country? Maybe not … I even can suppose that you don’t always have a good opinion of my country and French people … I’ll only answer you: stop trusting TV /medias and come to see by yourself (It will be a pleasure for my family and I to help you to see which nice country France is).
Ok, it would be my duty to welcome you but it’s especially my duty to help you to prepare the psychologic aspects of this trip, to try to reduce the cultural shock (traumatism?).
I insist, trust me. Take a seat, have a beer (or a valium) and read it. You and me, you and us, are not so different.
We have our own style but in fact, you will discover that like you, we proudly ride Harley Davidson motorcycles too…
Mopeds and scooters have a very important place in every French teenager’s and citizen’s life of great cities where the traffic is so heavy that it’s the ultimate solution to be right on time (with Italians bikers we are the world champions of lane splitting – which is, of course, totally forbidden).
So, you generally own one before any car. As I said, the traffic in our cities (yes we have very big and modern cities, not only small typical villages) is more and more heavy and exactly like you, we proudly drive muscle cars.
And, on Sunday morning, some of them use to go to the church (don’t worry, not me I totally assume my status as absolute non believer – I’m only a biker) to meet the great boss or just for the pleasure to see amazing places coming from our middle age.
We live more and more in great modern cities. But, some of us stay in the heartland and choose to live in very old and nice houses made of stones. You still can find amazing old buildings to restore (many Britons and families from the Netherlands made that choice to left their country to live in France center).
In any case, be convinced that you will always find a place you will love to be and … have great lunchtimes (I shall not develop this theme … you already know that France is THE country of great fooding).
I know that American tourists worry about their security (of course I’m not talking about you my friend, as me you’re a rider, nothing can afraid us) when they come to my country. No reason, believe me! Our cops are not dangerous, they even smile working. Plus, I confirm, after this photo, i’m still alive and free.
I’m now going to deal with a delicate topic: French / Parisian women … Touchy, touchy, touchy (even for us Parisian Gauls)!!! Finally, I’m sure you already know everything you have to know about our blond princesses: they are charming creatures and wear the nicest clothes of this wide world.
Hey, I’m serious, don’t laugh, it’s not a joke!!!! I’m sure you remember that the original (located in NYC) was offered by the French People in 1886 to celebrate the centenarian of the American Declaration of Independance as a symbol of friendship between our two great and free Nations. You find this statue in the west of Paris, on the river Seine, near by the Eiffel Tower, oriented to look America.
Waiting for you.