My Life So Far


The Update on My Almost Parisian Life

I've been getting lots of good news lately. I can work full time and I have an apartment. But that good news is always matched by the frustration of the French bureaucracy. But at least I'm making progress. I'm not yet living in my apartment full time but I'm making regular trips to get it set up. At least I can say that I have an apartment. 

The last two, almost three weeks have included lots of family visits, visits to Paris, and a never ending to do list. It has been nice catching up with family and spending time with them. I am slowly adjusting to the French lifestyle. We eat a large lunch all together, not alone at work. We eat a smaller dinner at eight at night and stay up late often visiting others for dinner. Everything is spent enjoying the company of others and it is done often, as in more than once a week!

As for my apartment that has went very well. I have an apartment that has the Eiffel Tower in the window. It's small and expensive but so is everything in Paris. I found the apartment in less than two weeks. I originally went to look at two others before this one, but I waited too long to make the decision, so I didn't get the apartment that I really wanted. But a few days later I found another, really liked the street and the Eiffel Tower in the window and said yes on the spot. I learned my lesson and realized I had to act fast if I liked it. So now I have an apartment.

The other good news is that I am going to be working full time. That is a lot better than the part time that I was planning on working. I will be making minimum wage, but that's not new to me. I will be doing internships in schools in the morning, taking French classes to improve my language in the afternoon, and babysitting children and teaching them English in the evening. So I won't be making much, but I will be meeting new people in my classes and making more money than part time.

The park near my apartment

But with every bit of good news that I get, I am met with resistance by bureaucracy. First is the fact that I have no social security here. I need social security for my health care benefits and for a reduction of my rent. Yes paying high taxes does have its benefits. Because I am making so little and my rent is so high, the government will reimburse part of my rent. But I need social security for that. Ok so I'll just apply for it. Well not really. I need a work contract in order to get my social security. I have to wait for that contract to come in, but who knows how long that will be since everyone is on vacation. Yes in France they take four weeks for vacation, and all at the same time. So I'm at a stand still.

Next comes the bank. I ordered a debit card, I know they have it, but I can't get it until they approve my account, which will take a while because they need to clearly see my birthday on the photocopy of my passport, which they can't. Every time they copy it is the same thing.  They have verified that it is real, they have seen it, but we can't do anything without the proper copy. And customer service is almost unheard of. So once again stand still.

But aside from the frustrations and the standstill I am doing very well. I can't wait to get started with finishing these papers and living in my apartment. I am slowly but surely moving in, taking advantage of family time and my Parisian days. 

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