A reader's tips on being polite overseas

Bt Thumbnail DefaultBt Thumbnail Default

Readers sent us manyemails and blog comments about the Budget Travel article, Are You the Ugly American?

One reader, Harold Flagg, offered us and our readers some tips for being polite while traveling abroad: (Thanks Harold!)

When dealing with the ultra-polite French, always include their title: Thank you, m'sieur (or sir), for example. One more tip: tie a bright cloth on your pick-up bag and it will make the pick-up easier. I once made a hit with an American trying to take possession of her baggage in Paris. All I had to say was: "Pardon, m'sieur, mais madame voudrait avoir sa baggage par la" and pointed at her baggage." I completely forgot that I don't speak French, at least not well. And the baggage attendant forgave my slightly fractured Franglish.

I also liked the way a Buckingham Palace lady-in-waiting thanked me for my book which I mailed to Queen Elizabeth II. The note on palace stationery concluded: "I am commanded by The Queen to thank you and thank you once again." Sort of makes me feel that the age of chivalry and niceness is still alive and kicking.

Related Content