Life goes easy on me (most of the time time)

This post was written by admin on June 10, 2008
Posted Under: Daily Paris

How I wish my blog might address the niceties of Paris, but in the past week it seems to be one thing after another. Finally my SIRET number arrived, but the day after I got the all green I fell ill and so diminished my capacity for work. My planned meeting to open a business bank account in France on the Saturday fell through when the lady I had been dealing with announced she was too busy to see me. I was then told she was going on holiday for a week so I couldn’t even arrange it for this Saturday, and so must find another branch that is not within walking distance, and then delegate the closer branch to be my main branch. Following on from that, my girlfriend and I are seeking to get a PACS, but in true French style that is not nearly as simple as you might think. My original birth certificate was apparently not adequate, and so I had to reorder a long and new version from Norwich, which must be translated at an extortionate cost by an official person. I also require a ‘certificat de coutume’ to prove I’m not married and I have no legal guardianship (as British birth certificates do not state this). The British embassy displays a wrong email, which results in a bounced reply, so I sent the correct one 5 days ago, but didn’t get so much as a ‘your email has been read’ receipt. I called them yesterday and the most miserable sounding woman told me to ring again tomorrow afternoon. That was it! No explanation as to why, and she was so miserable it became contagious and I was too miserable to even ask why they couldn’t do anything there and then.

During this time I received a letter about the cotisation (social security), but they seem to be under the impression I’m in the film or TV industry which is quite bizarre, because it’s not the category my business is registered under at all.

Last week I went to the Paris town hall and put my name on the electoral role. I felt a bit of a fraud as I don’t really plan to be voting on the next mayor, but since coming to Paris I’ve had no way to really declare I’m a resident here. The carte de séjour is no longer a requirement for Europeans, and when speaking to the town hall and an appropriate Paris public service body, they’re clueless about how a new resident might officially declare themselves so. Apparently if you’re a European there’s really nothing you need do. Of course if you want to get on the health care system, and pay social contributions and make a living, then there’s much to do!

The icing on the cake is that yesterday my computer died. Well, it’s not entirely dead but when I shut down windows, it quite literally cuts the power and refuses to reboot (the ultimate window’s shutdown!). It’s only when I open up the case, and poke around that it sometimes springs back to life, but without any logical explanation. Last night I gave up on it, with the plan to buy a new one today (a hassle and expense I could do without). This morning, having done nothing to it, it powered up! I shut it down, and again it was dead. I pulled out the power unit, nothing appeared wrong, so I gave it a blow, sealed it up and so far everything’s working, and I’ve been able to power down and power up, but I think it’s working on borrowed time. The powers of the French cosmic universe are conspiring against me, but I will prevail!

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