France Has a Hotline For Upset Japanese Tourists

A dozen or so Japanese tourists a year have to be returned to their country from Paris after falling prey to what's become known as "Paris Syndrome.” That's what some polite Japanese tourists suffer when they discover that Parisians can be rude or the city doesn't meet their expectations. Apparently, the experience can so stressful for some that they suffer a psychiatric breakdown. Many Japanese visitors go to Paris with a deeply romantic vision of the “city of love,” which they likely picked up from movies and television. When they encounter a rude taxi driver, a waiter who shouts at customers who can’t speak French, or voices raised in anger, they go into shock. An average of 12 Japanese tourists a year fall victim to Paris Syndrome, mainly women in their 30s with high expectations of their first trip abroad. The Japanese Embassy has created a 24-hour hotline for those suffering from severe culture shock, and can find hospital treatment for anyone in need. However, the only permanent cure is to go back to Japan and never return to Paris.