First, I have to explode a stereotype.  We have been to France three times in the past two years.  We have NEVER encountered a rude person.  I take that back.  We have encountered lots of rude people, all of them American.  Every other person we have run across in France was pleasant and courteous.  We noticed, however, that other Americans seemed to ask to be treated rudely.
       Regardless of the situation, the French always begin a conversation with a pleasantry, a simple greeting.  Whether you are asking for directions, making a purchase, addressing the President or paying to use the bathroom, each conversation starts with "bonjour" or something similar.  Most Americans, however, seem to walk right up and ask a question, no pleasantries.  That must be jarring to a polite person.  If you treat them politely, they treat you politely right back.  We tried to speak to every person in French.  Our attempts were laughable, but each person we tried to speak to went the extra mile to help us out.

    Next, bus tours have their plusses and minuses.  We have been on a few bus tours.  The trip to Normandy was  a one-day tour, booked through a tour company based in Paris.  If the bus is not full, it can be comfortable.  If full, it can be miserable. Bus tours, especially short ones, can be great scouting missions.  A disadvantage, you do not get to choose where you go.  We got to stop at Omaha Beach, but not Utah, Gold, Sword or Juno.  Also, we drove around the town of Bayeaux, but did not get to go to the Bayeaux museum, home of the famous Bayeaux Tapestry.  Another point, you can meet some great people on a bus tour, if you are lucky.  Of course, you can meet some real creeps, too.  But after the tour you never have to see them again.

Third,  people are nuts.  Plain and simple.  You think you have seen the maximum nut factor, then someone else shows up and says "That's nothing!"  Case in point:  As we were coming back to Paris from the Normandy tour, we learned that Turkey had won a World Cup Soccer game.  We learned this by seeing the following scene:

The red you see are Turkish Flags.  These turks were obviously happy that their team had won the game.  Lets look a bit closer:

These cars were going down the freeway at 60 miles per hour.

As I said, when you think you have seen maximum nut factor, somebody will prove you wrong...