In an effort to improve the manners of those using its metro system, the agency that runs public transit in Paris has created a “manuel de savoir-vivre” — an etiquette guide.
It’s not only excellent and helpful, it’s quite funny, thanks in large part to the illustrations.
The guide (embedded below) is available only in French, so we’ve translated the 12 rules it lays down. Unfortunately, most of the puns don’t come across in the English.
On the platform
- Be courteous: Understand that the enormous crossed out cigarette is not a work of contemporary art, but a no-smoking sign.
- Be helpful: That means helping the guy in the Bermuda shirt with a subway map in one hand and his hair in the other.
- Be polite: Using your phone makes you unbearable.
- Be helpful: Hold the exit door for the person behind you. In life, never pass on the chance to come across a pretty glance.
- Be polite: Use your handkerchief, and not just to wave goodbye on the platform.
- Be helpful: That means taking an old lady’s bag…and giving it back to her with a smile at the top of the stairs.
- Have manners: Share your new musical tastes on your social networks. Today, you can express yourself in silence.
- Be polite: Say hello to the driver, whether it’s a man or a woman.
- Be courteous: Don’t stare at a female rider, even if she has piercing eyes.
- Be courteous: Don’t start a duel with the knight who accidentally steps on your foot.
- Have manners: On the really hot days, play the penguin and keep your arms at your sides. Hold onto the bottom of the pole, not the top.
- Have manners: Don’t confuse the metro with the bathroom, even if both have tiles on the walls.
Although most of these rules are pretty self-evident, it helps to have a reminder once in a while that public transport is a shared space — so it pays to behave yourself, no matter what city you’re in.
Here’s the guide. It’s worth flipping through, even if you don’t read French:
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