The French shouldn’t be too French when they visit the U.S. That’s the advice being doled out by the French government to its citizens visiting America. Along with warnings about slower speed limits, higher drinking ages and hurricanes in Texas, the French foreign ministry adds a note of warning against being too “Latin.” “It’s recommended to adopt a reserved attitude toward those of the opposite sex,” it says. “Comments, behavior, and jokes, which might be harmless in Latin countries, can lead to criminal cases,” the ministry’s website says. Reinforcing French views of American prudishness, the website notes that even minors can be accused of sexual harassment, and asks that children use toilets reserved for their sex in the U.S. Among other advice to the French in America: “keep calm in all circumstances” since some states authorize the carrying of weapons. It asks visitors to avoid raising their voice or making sudden or aggressive gestures at the police.
The US State Department offer no specific warnings to Americans visiting France.