What the French Government Tells Its Citizens Who Visit Boston

Boston discovers the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs' guidelines for tourists in Boston.

Like the U.S. State Department, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers its citizens guidelines when they visit various cities and countries. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin happened upon the French government’s recommendation for its nation’s visitors to Boston this morning. It’s roughly translated as:

Boston : Traffic on foot and at night is to be avoided in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. Equal attention must be paid to the increase in petty crime, observed especially during large cultural or sporting events and in certain tourist neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Fenway, and the North End.

Quelle outrage! Don’t go to Dorchester? France, we’ve had our problems, but we’ve always been reasonable here in Boston. Everyone else focuses on those pesky World Wars, but no one studies the American Revolution like we do, so we remember that whole you-winning-us-that-war-thing. But scaring tourists away from our neighborhoods? Enferzzz, non! Roll out the Freedom Fry signs in Roxbury. This will not stand.

Erm, what’s that? Oh, the State Department offers the same sorts of guidelines on our website for people visiting France? Ah, yes we see that now. “Other areas in Paris where extra security precautions are warranted after dark are Les Halles and the Bois de Boulogne,” apparently, so watch out, you Americans in Paris.

Most amusing is that reading further along the Ministry of Foreign Affairs site, you’ll find this recommendation that the French refrain from loudly discussing crime rates in America (again, translated.)

Because of the current international context and the sensitivity of American public opinion, our countrymen are advised to refrain from conversations on these subjects in public places.

Well played, France. Apparently you know the Boston temperament too well, though it seems you forgot that you website is a public place, too.