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Since moving here I thought that I would share some of the common things we have had said to us when talking to other ex-pats. I often feel as if they think we are children with no brains of our own. I hasten to add here that some people are really helpful, and lovely, but I do find that these are often the people who wait to be asked.

I have also found that you are asked many questions about your new life some of which are really inappropriate, and some where it seems as if people are waiting to be able to give you a negative response. For example:

Common comments:

” Oh that’s full of English!” – When telling people where you have chosen to live. 

The irony of this phrase seems to be lost on them! I haven’t met an English person yet who lives in Ambrieres, and whilst I am sure they are everywhere the bastards seem to be hiding when I come out!!!

“The bloody French” – About most French people, or when referring to any French Bureaucracy (of which yes there is a lot!)

This always astounds me and makes me want to say to people “if you feel that way about the French why did you come to live here?” Now I am sure that some ex-pats will be saying “wait until you lived here as long as we have and you will feel the same.” No I won’t. I have come to live in France because I want to experience a different culture, warts and all. Most French people I have met are lovely, but I have also met a few arseholes, not least the miserable cow in our Marie’s office!

But let us not forget people, from what I remember there seemed to be a fair few arseholes in England, not least the politicians!! Here is some other common crap that is told to you:

“You can’t get healthcare over here until you have lived here 3 years.” 

Yes you can. Why would you tell someone that?

You can’t claim for any expenses against your business. 

Yes you can.

“Someone’s already doing that” – When you explain what you have considered with regard to work.

Good for them, all success to them, but do they have the monopoly? Do we have to compete? Or do we have to not do it because they are doing it? (Sheeple comes to mind)

“Don’t go on Anglo-info they are awful on there.” 

I suppose it depends on what you go on Anglo-info for. I go on it to look for work opportunities for Rich, and apologies to people but not to make friends. The other reason is maybe because people have been either petty, or viscous at times, but like Facebook, from what u can see!!

“I hope you have brought a lot of money with you because you are going to need it.”

Seriously?! We’re broke, but we’re still surviving!!

“Oh wait until you have been here a few years and then you will know what I mean.”

We have had that said to us so often if I had a euro for every time I could go for a meal tonight! So I would say this: How do you know how I will feel? Is it because you think that I think the same as you? Like I have said before I think what I like and I am not a sheeple. I tend to be an individual.

“You HAVE to register before you can do ANY work.”

No you don’t, it is acceptable for you to set yourself up and try to obtain work in your said field for six months before you have to register. After all you may not be successful!

Now this is the one that really makes me giggle:

“There’s a 10,000 euro fine for that!”

“There’s 30,000 euro fine for that!”

“There’s a fine for that” …… “There’s a fine for that”…….. “There’s a fine for that”….

Seriously!!!! So far we could have been fined when we got out cesspit emptied – supposedly if we used a farmer. But our French neighbours arranged it , and guess what? It was a farmer and he was registered, but supposedly we could have been fined for that!

Rich could have been fined if he didn’t register, so he did and then didn’t get any work!

We find ourselves giggling and saying “there’s a fine for that!” When we park our car! Or burn our garden waste, Rich has grown a beard, there must be a fine for that!!!!

Common questions 

“What are you going to do for a living?” / “How are you going to live?”

None of your bloody business! This one really riles me as I would not dream of asking someone that! It makes me feel as if they are in competition. Are we going to tread on their toes – it’s a big country no-one has the monopoly, get over it.

“Are you registered?” 

Yes, but this  always makes me wonder why they are asking; and makes me want to ask “were you going to snitch on us then?” “Or do you want to see if we are going to step on your toes?”

Have you had to take such and such courses in French?” 

Why do you care?

“It’s a thousand euro to re-register your car.”

No it’s not it’s about 500 euro, why would you say that?

As I said in my previous posts we have also met some really lovely people. Who don’t have an agenda and just want to live their lives, so they are helpful and honest. Thank you to all of those people and it has been a joy getting to know you.

We don’t have an agenda. We just want to live our lives, we are reliable and that won’t change, because inherently that is the people that we are. It has not changed because we have moved to France.

I am not in a competition. Rich is not in a competition. Admittedly don’t make the mistake of thinking we are a soft touch either, but we are what we are and to be honest don’t have time for this crap!!!!

Moisy