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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:13 pm 
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DO bring full length birth certificates for all the family, the shorter one's don't work for anything.

A silly little thing, but

DO bring your childrens latest swimming certificate. It's a real pain if you enrol them in school and find they are doing some water activity then have to go to local pool and explain to a lifeguard that they need testing.

clare


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:43 pm 
I must just be lucky, because my short birth certficate has been accepted by every official, and I have had nothing translated.

I have bought two properties in France, and rented four others, and I would advise against doing what I did with both my purchases. I gave myself two weeks to find my ideal home - luckily, it worked out perfectly both times but that could be more due to luck than good management. If you can't afford to take a long term rental in the area you choose, do look at lots of houses before you sign anything, and if you don't find anything on the first trip just wait for the next one. You can now draw up a short list of areas and properties on the internet although you may well end up with something quite unlike what you originally had in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:04 pm 
Join clubs or make up your own our latest is scrabble, dont shut yourself off like a hermit during the winter evenings.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:38 pm 
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If using a boiler for central heating do get the flue cleaned and checked by a professional, at least once a year, (there is a law that came out about this, but I cannot find it at the moment)

Solid fuel appliances should have the flue checked just before the start of the heating season and mid-way or towards the back end of the heating season

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:57 pm 
mistigris wrote:
Join clubs or make up your own our latest is scrabble, dont shut yourself off like a hermit during the winter evenings.

Unless, of course, you enjoy shutting yourself off and being a hermit!


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:59 pm 
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DO join The France Forum for good information and a bit of chat in english :D

clare


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Very good Clare, and Bayleaf, what a good idea for a thread :-*

:-bd :-bd


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:29 am 
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As well as Clubs, think about joining local Associations such as the Comité des Fêtes, Foyer Rural, Amicale Laïque etc as they are always desperate for new recruits and you get to make very useful local contacts, and more importantly friends. Ask at your Mairie for a list of Associations in your commune and see what takes your fancy. When I first went along to join the Amicale Laïque (parent's association) 9 years ago I had very poor french. I am now on various assos, and on the bureau of one or two and I am conseillère municipal too (and my french has improved enormously as a result).

Kathy wrote:
Very good Clare, and Bayleaf, what a good idea for a thread :-*

:-bd :-bd


Excellent! :ymapplause:


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:53 am 
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Do remember that a French persons home IS their castle, and if they have a gate and gate bell, to ring that and wait at the gate, do not rush to the front door as in UK. They close that gate with meaning! And do not be upset if you have to do all the talking at the gate, its a great privelidge to be asked in to a French home.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:59 am 
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Lisleoise's suggestion is an excellent one. Joining a couple of French horsey associations and a couple of others helped my French enormously (plus the fact that there were no English speakers). Now I can even teach in French - the accent usually goes down well ;))
Learning a language is not easy - it's a lot of hard work. But it's really worth it :-bd


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:44 am 
If you go to Paris and travel on the métro DO try and look as you know where you are going or what you are doing, even if you don't. Pickpockets are more likely to prey on tourists there who give themselves away.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Do get to know the website: geoportail.fr

It's fantastically useful if you are trying to find an address, especially if you live in the country because it shows nearly every lieu-dit.

It also has a version of the Cassini maps, which shows France 200-250 years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:08 pm 
This reminder applies everywhere at the moment - don't leave your de-icer, shovel and scraper in the car overnight!


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:34 pm 
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Location: Landes- between Mont de Marsan and the Gers border.
Do book chimney sweep and/or boiler maintainance man well before the cold weather starts.
Do allow plenty of time to pop into the post office to buy stamps or post a parcel.
Don't arrive at the stated hour. Perhaps this applies only to les Landes but village meals advertised to start at 8pm rarely start before 9.30 and arriving too early means having to accept too many aperos before eating :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:19 am 
clarelouise wrote:
DO bring full length birth certificates for all the family, the shorter one's don't work for anything.


Never had any problems. Mind you are, not too sure where they are now (yep, more than one :lol: the joys of adoption eh! ).


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:51 am 
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Don't believe everything you read on websites, every situation is different


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:26 am 
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If you see the IDEAL little house just right for the second home, with just enough ground to park the car, but without any mains drainage, or an electrical supply, don't touch it with a barge pole, even if told that they are "just down the road", the odds are that it will cost you more than double the cost of the property to get connected to the services

The same goes for a property without drainage, that has a small parking patch, its more than likely that there is not enough room for a septic tank and you will have to have a cess pool instead, that's if you are allowed to fit one

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:07 pm 
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This is a very informative and timely thread - we move over to France in January so keep those handy hints coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:25 pm 
Hello, SillySally, nice to see you here. Do post any enquiries specific to your own situation - almost certainly somebody will be able to help.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:27 pm 
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Sillysally - if you need any more detailed explanations, don't hesitate to ask. A lot of people here have lived in France for many years and it's always nice to be able to avoid any pitfalls ! Not everything is covered by the books !

Just crossed with Carol who said virtually the same thing ! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:28 pm 
Don't believe what is often said about the French children not doing sleepovers - they are all too common.

Do be aware that generally the French are much less inhibited about their bodies.

And be aware also that there are quite large differences in the educational sustem. It reminds me of Britain in the Fifties - much greater respect and obedience demanded and given; great importance placed on the neatness of handwriting (which has to be written 'just so'); physical violence (teacher on pupil) is not meant to happen, but it does occasionally; school meals are expensive but good, and are adult food; the children have to be outside at breaks times no matter the weather; there is a lot of emphasis on learning by heart - poems, grammatical rules, and auto-dictation (learning a passage by heart, and then writing it out with no spelling mistakes).

Realise that when a group of adolescent girls are talking about 'règles', they are not discussing 'rules', but their periods!


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:43 pm 
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The only things that I would advise in bringing from the UK would be a good Kenwood food mixer (because of the price difference about 35% more expensive in France) and if you want to cook by gas, a good top of the range gas cooker, the gas pressures are the same, but a French gas cooker is most often than not, not fitted with a flame failure device to the burners, and the oven is heated from below instead of from the back, and does not have a delayed timed start and finish like the better UK models have some of the lower class French gas cookers do not have a temperature range setting in degrees C, just high and low !

If you want to cook by electric, and are thinking about bringing a UK cooker with you, check that the electric power in France will be able to provide sufficient power for the cooker, and that its not 3 phase power

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An old wild fowling motto : little powder, plenty lead, kill 'em dead

English born, Living in France, Therefore European

http://www.peakeenergies.fr/

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Do make a real effort to learn numbers and currency early on and get tuned in to the pattern of how numbers are spoken, eg telephone numbers are always in pairs, not threes as in the UK.

Don't expect to hear French spoken as you were taught it in school. Regional accents (especially in the SW) can be very strong. I've learnt French with an "aign" accent as in "saign" (cent) euros. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:37 am 
And learn proper measurement if not already known. Totally frustating when people talk of funy things like how many pounds in an ounce yards in a stone or whatever (never learnt those before, not going to start now) X( !
SPJ wrote:
eg telephone numbers are always in pairs, not threes as in the UK.



eeek, yes totally, ask someone their number and they give as 0 001 112 223 etc I have to write it down and then repeat it back as 00 01 11 22 23 to make sure I've got it.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Balham wrote:
And learn proper measurement if not already known. Totally frustating when people talk of funny things like how many mm in a kilo, litres in a metre or whatever



There, I have corrected your quote for you. :-)

Most of us can visualise real measurements. 6 feet actually means something. 1.8m is just a clinical number which has to be converted back to real money to visualize.

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:03 pm 
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Thankyou for your welcome. I can't think of anything to ask at the moment. Although we've lived all over the world due to the 'job', I'm scared witless for some reason about this move. Perhaps it's because we've always had rented accommodation overseas, whereas this time we are in the process of buying a house! Also, we're a lot older and life experiences come into play.

One concern that I've asked about before (a year or two ago); OH will continue to be paid in sterling by the UK company but I'm not sure how to fill in the form from HMRC. Domicile/Resident? It's not entirely clear. We will continue to own a house in UK that family will live in rent-free if that's a help to you in your advice to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:38 pm 
ajlelectronics wrote:
Most of us can visualise real measurements. 6 feet actually means something. 1.8m is just a clinical number which has to be converted back to real money to visualize.


But for those that never really learnt those funny measurements X( !


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:04 pm 
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sillysally wrote:
Thankyou for your welcome. I can't think of anything to ask at the moment. Although we've lived all over the world due to the 'job', I'm scared witless for some reason about this move. Perhaps it's because we've always had rented accommodation overseas, whereas this time we are in the process of buying a house! Also, we're a lot older and life experiences come into play.

One concern that I've asked about before (a year or two ago); OH will continue to be paid in sterling by the UK company but I'm not sure how to fill in the form from HMRC. Domicile/Resident? It's not entirely clear. We will continue to own a house in UK that family will live in rent-free if that's a help to you in your advice to me.


Hi

Just to clarify, do you mean he will still be working for a UK company or that he will be receiving a pension, it makes a big difference to the answer.

clare


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:05 pm 
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sillysally wrote:
Although we've lived all over the world due to the 'job', I'm scared witless for some reason about this move. Perhaps it's because we've always had rented accommodation overseas, whereas this time we are in the process of buying a house! Also, we're a lot older and life experiences come into play.

One concern that I've asked about before (a year or two ago); OH will continue to be paid in sterling by the UK company but I'm not sure how to fill in the form from HMRC. Domicile/Resident? It's not entirely clear. We will continue to own a house in UK that family will live in rent-free if that's a help to you in your advice to me.


Having lived all over the world will stand you in very good stead. Because you know, deep down, you can cope, you are flexible you have a vast store of experience and that things will be alright.

You will also draw on the learning from your previous life, for example I lived in Brazil in the 70s and barely spoke a word of Portuguese for two years. This time, I knew I HAD to start talking French early on, even if making awful mistakes. Didn't matter and people would smile and help (and they did).

Re where you are taxed and where you are living, I recommend finding a local tax adviser who deals with ex-patriates and knows the ropes. We have an excellent English woman who's lived here for years who advises us.

Good luck with your move. Sue

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:28 pm 
The French and English tax authorities regard domicel in different ways. The French tend to equate it with residence, but in England you can only lose your domicile if you cut off all ties with the UK, which would mean getting rid of your house. It doesn't matter whether you live in it or not. You would also need to get rid of all Uk bank accounts. This difference is very important when it comes to paying capital gains tax on the sale of assets. If you are still domiciled in England, you would be liable to pay it.
I agree that it is probably worth while consulting a tax specialist to avoid making costly mistakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:51 pm 
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DO accept with a smile and a thank you when the French correct your pronounciation - they are trying to help you.


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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Very good point kedge - I love being corrected, as otherwise how would we learn to improve?
I actually try to encourage correcting by making it obvious I'm not sure what I'm saying is right, thus hopefully prompting a correction response!

(Trouble is remembering all the corrections!!! :ymblushing: =


DO try to say "Bonjour, messieurs/dames" when entering a shop. Courteousness is still very evident in most places here - and I love it!

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Bayleaf wrote:
DO try to say "Bonjour, messieurs/dames" when entering a shop. Courteousness is still very evident in most places here - and I love it!


And restaurants.

And if it's evening, when you're leaving say "Bonne Soirée".

And when anyone says to you "Bonne journée, or bon après-midi, or bon weekend" say "de même" (ie the same to you) back.

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:36 pm 
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I picked up the word "pareillement", as in "likewise" and this also seems to work well

pronounced "paraymon"?

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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Dont's of Living in France...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:54 pm 
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Bayleaf wrote:
I picked up the word "pareillement", as in "likewise" and this also seems to work well

pronounced "paraymon"?


I thought they were saying par egalement - must learn to listen properly!


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