Author Topic: Have you ever lived in France?  (Read 3615 times)

lifejoy

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Have you ever lived in France?
« on: March 06, 2017, 07:43:58 PM »
I'm dreaming of living in France for 3-6 months. I'm reading a lot of books about French culture. It is the food and fashion that appeals to me most. However, I would love to know what it has been like for people that have been there! Tell me about your experience, s.v.p.! :)

PMG

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 07:59:44 PM »
Cold and rainy and smells like dog poop.

I was only in Paris for about 5 weeks so I really don't know much.

The parks in Paris are wonderful and people use them as an extension of home.  Lots of picnicking and games. My favorite evening activity was fruit and baguette and cheese and a bottle of wine at Parc Montsouri.

Paris is full of foreigners.  Another town might be easier to actually get to see French life.

People are actually friendly and kind, especially if you are making an effort to speak French (you are Canadian, perhaps you speak french).

The metro is not really as bad as people say.  Look at a map.  Don't stop in the middle of the walkway. (Aka, common sense).

I wasn't as blown away by Parisian fashion as I expected to be, but then I was hanging out in parks more than wealthy clubs.

Skinny black jeans for women and red straight leg chinos for men if you wanna blend in. 




lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 08:54:30 PM »
Cold and rainy and smells like dog poop.

I was only in Paris for about 5 weeks so I really don't know much.

The parks in Paris are wonderful and people use them as an extension of home.  Lots of picnicking and games. My favorite evening activity was fruit and baguette and cheese and a bottle of wine at Parc Montsouri.

Paris is full of foreigners.  Another town might be easier to actually get to see French life.

People are actually friendly and kind, especially if you are making an effort to speak French (you are Canadian, perhaps you speak french).

The metro is not really as bad as people say.  Look at a map.  Don't stop in the middle of the walkway. (Aka, common sense).

I wasn't as blown away by Parisian fashion as I expected to be, but then I was hanging out in parks more than wealthy clubs.

Skinny black jeans for women and red straight leg chinos for men if you wanna blend in.

Hey, thanks! That description reminds me a lot of my time in Montreal :)

Perhaps I'll just go live there for a summer!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 09:38:55 PM »
My family left France when I was in elementary school, but I visit quite often.

Food: France is extremely diverse as it crams 65m people in an area the size of Texas. Foreigners have this vision of traditional French food that is really a small subset of all the regional varieties.

Climate: as diverse as you want it to be. Snow in the alps. Temperate on the Atlantic. Mild on the Mediterranean. Tropical in the overseas territories (that's France too).

People: French is a hard language to learn, no question about it. Getting bogged down in administrative stuff is a real danger. Great work-life balance, if you can get work. Success is viewed with suspicion.

Fashion: much better than in North America (not a very high bar)


Paul der Krake

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 09:42:46 PM »
Also, you'll need a visa for anything longer than 3 months.

"Please spend your money here then go home"
-every French person ever

PMG

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 10:10:42 PM »
Ever since my gray and rainy post I've been thinking of so many things I enjoyed about France.

apricot tartelette. Mmmhm. I stayed near the bakery that won the 2016 award for the best croisant in the city.  I enjoyed it often.

The street markets.  Fruit. Fish. Clothing. 

Much of the sweets use almond as a base or as a flavoring. I was fascinated by how the World's Fair influenced Parisian and world culture and the development of pastries, cafes and restaurants.

The architecture.

The art (of course). But even the small parks were full of sculpture.

Paris was designed for people.  The public spaces are incredible. Big things like the intentional city design, but little things, too. The benches in the parks are comfortable and designed for hours of enjoyment. The chairs in several parks had reclining backs.

I spent some time in smaller towns in Northern France, loved hiking around Etritat and the impressionist museum in La Havre.

The rural architecture was lovely. I took the bus all over, met fascinating people. Listened to a lot of stories.

The graffiti was incredible.


pbkmaine

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 10:23:57 PM »
My favorite French food is the ham and butter baquette sandwiches you can get cheaply at french train stations. Geeze I'm sophisticated ;-). 

France isn't Paris and Paris isn't France so you'll find a lot of differences everywhere you go. I didn't live there but lived in the Costa Brava in Spain near the french border for almost a year and spent a lot of time in southern France. Very different vibe from Paris - which I love but yes it smells like dog poop because apparently Parisians haven't discovered pooper scoopers yet - especially in the coastal towns (Nice, etc...). So are you interested in living in Paris or elsewhere?

Train station baguettes in Europe are amazing!

powskier

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 12:34:58 AM »
I lived in France for 11 years as a citizen.
Paris is not representative of all of France. France is a very diverse country geographically speaking, beaches , deserts, forests, mountains.
French culture values enjoyment of life through food, the arts and personal relationships. Once you get this, everything else falls into place.
Living in France as a visitor can be more pleasant than as a citizen, by this I mean you can avoid the endless bureaucracies and rules that make "le system" work.
French people view Americans with suspicion because they are "always fine", French people are ok with the fact that some days suck, some people suck, some situations suck, they are ok with expressing it. Being emotionally honest is valued more than always being happy ( like Americans)They will not trust you right away ( like Americans) but once they get to know you they will give you everything.
Philosophy is part of French high school education, wood shop is not, extrapolate this to better understand the differences between France and the US.
Hurry up and go, France is slowly losing it's identity to globalization, like everywhere else, it has changed dramatically in the past 20 years.

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 12:57:00 AM »
Fashion: much better than in North America (not a very high bar)

True, true. There is a thick line between comfort and fashion disaster. A French colleague was once told off by his wife because he found a pair of Nike shoes so comfortable that he started wearing them to the office. Every day.

sparkytheop

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 02:28:34 AM »
I did not get to live there, but I got to stay with distant relatives in southern France for a few days.  Very simple people, and the area reminded me of home (Oregon).  Rolling hills, cows mooing at night, hanging out near the house in the morning.  Sunday dinner the family came over (the couple I was staying with don't have kids, but their nieces and nephew live close, one is next door) for dinner.  Kids running around, practicing music (trumpet), eating olives (toss the pits into the gravel road), excellent cheese and bread (I'm still trying to get a bread recipe to come out right), raspberries fresh from the garden and homemade black walnut wine.  My son, not a country person, describes the lifestyle as "idyllic".  I cannot wait to go back, and hope to do so before they get too old for a visit.

lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 06:31:46 AM »
I love this beautiful mix of memories! Thank you for sharing!

My French is not great but I could brush it up - however it is Quebecois French, which may or may not go over well...

It is my current dream to holiday somewhere in France (doesn't have to be Paris) or possibly WOOF when I am FIRED or maybe on a long break from work.

I have to confess, I have actually been to Paris for three days (ten years ago) and all I can remember is that the bread was AMAZING. Best croissants EVER. Positively ruined me for croissants from Safeway ;)

pachnik

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 06:43:37 AM »
About the Quebecois French, my husband speaks it too.  I don't speak French at all except for the few words I remember from high school.

When we were visiting Paris last fall, he would talk to someone in Quebec French and then translate it to English for me.  Then more often than not, the French person just started speaking English to us.  Of course the people we were talking to were mostly people used to dealing with tourists.

blue mutant

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 06:59:00 AM »
My wife and I lived in Bordeaux for a year on working holiday Visas (Canadian, under 35, can only work 6 months) in 2003-2004.

Great memories: Cheese aisles with 100 varieties, neighbourhood bakeries, friends who hooked us up with 1 euro/ bottle table wine, driving around Southwest France every weekend, walking around pedestrian streets at all hours (especially Carcasonne and Collioure), utopia cinema (foreign language cheap films in converted church), bookstores in converted wine cellars, window shopping more than shopping for real, great people, Easter egg hunt at crazy mesa top castle/ garden, many more.

Cons: not much, little bit of bureaucratic condescension.

3 anecdotes:

1.We went to wedding where the food didn't end up coming out until like 1:00am (some mix-up/snafu) and a friend  was exclaiming that he went to a wedding in Chicago and, horror of horrors, they ate at 6:00pm.
2. Walking around the Vimy memorial and driving around that general area almost alone (it was May..ish). Reading the incredibly CANADIAN names on the memorial... it was hugely moving
3. We went to see cave art in the Vezere valley with my in-laws and ended up with 2 older guys, 1 of whom worked with my father in law in downtown Calgary and had vacationed next door to me 10 years prior and his brother, who was  a professor of Prehistoric Art at Columbia!!! (they were originally from Edmonton). Unbelievable to have had it work out that way and the cave art was unbelievable.

I would love to go back at some point; we'll see what life holds.

blue mutant

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 07:02:57 AM »
Re: French

I took immersion up to grade 9 and had little inkling as to the differences between French French and Quebec French. When you're there, you can definitely pick up the different pronunciation and the French are a bit snobbish. After we came back we watched a French language debate with Layton, Harper and Martin and it was fascinating. Harper was very "taught", Martin had proper French and Layton had a super harsh accent.

FI4good

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 02:00:39 PM »
I had gap years 03-08 in Brittany

It was in a very rural and sleepy area so the manners are not that brusqueness of the big cities.

If you travel outside of Paris half day closing on Wednesday happens quite a lot, most places shut for lunch 12:00 -14:00hrs other than supermarkets. Most shops are shut on Sundays other than the boulangerie, which is open in the morning.

Remember to shake peoples hands , say bojour & bonjournee if you walk in/out somewhere.

Having a 2 hour lunch at a routier is a delight and there is usualy a mustachian style set menu for 14 euros including wine , water and bread. Cutlery, if there is only one set laid is usually kept for the next course.

Good weather in the area i used to live in started in March and was good until mid October even November.
May , June and July would be my favorite months to visit due to the weather. 
Quite a lot of working and metropolitan France still has August off for vacations so i'm not sure if this would be a good time to visit Paris, as long as things are open i'd imagine going to places like the lourvre might be better in August. I'd double check that tho'.

Quite a few gietes are available and by posting/looking on a site like angloinfo you could probably find places to stay on a budget , using due dilligence of course.

 
Have a glorious time .
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 08:33:46 AM by FI4good »

Daleth

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2017, 02:07:43 PM »
I'm dreaming of living in France for 3-6 months. I'm reading a lot of books about French culture. It is the food and fashion that appeals to me most. However, I would love to know what it has been like for people that have been there! Tell me about your experience, s.v.p.! :)

I massively recommend it. Lived there for a number of years and was planning to stay and naturalize, but then I fell in love with an American and came back home.

Definitely work on your French (don't worry about accent). It makes for a very different and much better experience. Pimsleur has excellent language programs that you can download off the web or, if you have a good local library, potentially check out of your library for free. I used to teach French as a foreign language and have studied many languages, and Pimsleur in my experience is the best.

zoltani

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2017, 02:53:12 PM »
I lived in France, but ultimately wanted to get back to the USA. Visiting France is wonderful, living there not so much, IMO. The day-to-day life is harder than in the USA, at least in my experience. The paperwork nightmare of living there is real and it doesn't stop with the government, it's also the utility companies, banks, landlords etc. To rent a place in France you need to have a co-signer, usually a family member. If you don't have family in France then expect to pay a company to be the co-signer for you. I even knew a French citizen that wound up in a homeless shelter after moving back to France from Germany, all because he didn't have a co-signer or work history in France. To get a bank account in France you need proof of a residence, but to get a residence you need proof of a bank account, hmmm. Doing anything with the bank is the biggest PITA I've ever experienced. I know several French people here in the USA that say they would never move back to France. In the end there really are more opportunities here in the USA.

There are benefits to living there, high quality food, access to healthcare, doctors seem to actually care, cities are bikeable, walkable, and have good public transit. The country side is beautiful, and there is probably no better country for cycling through the countryside, drivers are considerate. Most companies give 5 weeks vacation from day 1, but don't believe that they work less hours during the week, the 35 hour workweek didn't exist as far as I saw. Most of my young-professional French friends would work about 10 hours/day.

I agree with the poster that said the French are not scared of a bad day, or to speak their minds. Unfortunately when hanging out with a group of French people it meant they were almost competing with each other over who had the worst day. They can be quite negative and cynical, just think of the phrase "c'est pas mal" which is used to describe something good.

If you are going for 3-6 months my concerns would be how to find housing and how to get a visa.
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Polaria

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2017, 03:09:45 PM »
Quite a lot of working and metropolitan France still has August off for vacations so i'm not sure if this would be a good time to visit Paris, as long as things are open i'd imagine going to places like the lourvre might be better in August. I'd double check that tho'.

August is definitely a good time to visit Paris.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2017, 03:24:31 PM »
Most companies give 5 weeks vacation from day 1, but don't believe that they work less hours during the week, the 35 hour workweek didn't exist as far as I saw. Most of my young-professional French friends would work about 10 hours/day.
Yeah, virtually every job worth having is not subject to the 35 hours law.

lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2017, 03:51:15 PM »
You guys are making me so nostalgic for Montreal! I know Montreal is not France, but when I lived there... oh, the bakeries, the night life, the museums... as a woman, you could dress up any time and go anywhere and feel normal! I would wear a dress to do my grocery shopping!

Picnics in the park (baguette with some wine) and delightful and unique shops and markets... ahhh.

I also want France. But perhaps Montreal will tide me over for a little while ;)

--

Re: zoltani's query - I think if I was in France for a few months perhaps I could do some form of airbnb? Or hotel? Or WOOFing? It's a dream that's a few years away (at least) so I've got plenty of time to figure it out. You guys are just helping me dream and plan!

zoltani

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2017, 04:07:18 PM »
Yeah, airbnb, hotels, etc are all good, but could be expensive in long run.

Check out these sites:

https://en.gites-de-france.com/

http://www.accueil-paysan.com/en/

http://www.chambresdhotes.org/

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lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2017, 04:58:22 PM »
Yeah, airbnb, hotels, etc are all good, but could be expensive in long run.

Check out these sites:

https://en.gites-de-france.com/

http://www.accueil-paysan.com/en/

http://www.chambresdhotes.org/

Cool, thanks!!! I'm such a homebody, that maybe a shorter stay would be enough for me. I also think that I can take a lot of the French elements I love, and bring them into my daily life now :)

acepedro45

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2017, 07:33:30 AM »
Timely thread. My wife and I are planning a semester long stay in Aix (southern France) starting in September. She's doing a study abroad program at her law school and I'm going to take a little mid-career sabbatical to be a stay-at-home dad for a few months.

We are very excited! I was too much of a wuss for study abroad in college, so I am glad to be taking compensatory action now.

I have mediocre high school French that has served me adequately if clumsily whenever I've visited the French-speaking world. My wife has near-native proficiency. It's exciting to think of our little one getting immersed in French just as he's learning to speak English!

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Kris

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2017, 07:48:16 AM »
I've lived in France at various times in my life for a total of about 3 1/2 years. Paris and in the south.

I'm also quite fluent (near-native proficiency, to the point that if I've been there for a while I get mistaken for French).

One thing I will say is that I love Paris, but when I've lived there, I tend to get kind of cranky. Personally, I have to leave the city at least once a month for a day or two to maintain my sanity.

I don't have anything specific to add, but if' you have questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 07:58:04 AM by Kris »
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2017, 12:18:18 PM »
I've lived in France at various times in my life for a total of about 3 1/2 years. Paris and in the south.

I'm also quite fluent (near-native proficiency, to the point that if I've been there for a while I get mistaken for French).

One thing I will say is that I love Paris, but when I've lived there, I tend to get kind of cranky. Personally, I have to leave the city at least once a month for a day or two to maintain my sanity.

I don't have anything specific to add, but if' you have questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

What about Paris made you cranky?

Kris

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2017, 12:56:16 PM »
I've lived in France at various times in my life for a total of about 3 1/2 years. Paris and in the south.

I'm also quite fluent (near-native proficiency, to the point that if I've been there for a while I get mistaken for French).

One thing I will say is that I love Paris, but when I've lived there, I tend to get kind of cranky. Personally, I have to leave the city at least once a month for a day or two to maintain my sanity.

I don't have anything specific to add, but if' you have questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

What about Paris made you cranky?

It's just... A lot. I love big cities, but the crush and crowded sidewalks and relatively closed-offedness of the people as they walk by you on the streets and... There's just something about Paris that can be low-level oppressive after awhile. If I'd made it a point to go spend some time decompressing at a park every few days, it might have been a little better. And don't get me wrong, honestly, I would totally live in Paris again. I love going there (going back again this summer, as a matter of fact). But it's still the case that it gets to me after a while.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Winter's Tale

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2017, 01:09:05 PM »
Did you ever read My Life in France, Julia Child's memoir of her years there after WW2?  Absolutely a joyous read.  Highly recommend.

Editing to add that I, too, DREAM of someday doing a long-term visit to France.

Melisande

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2017, 03:54:39 PM »
Between the ages of 13 and 40, I lived in France (and francophone Belgium) six different times -- all on different kinds of foreign exchange trips including two 9-month stays (Amiens & Brussels) one 4 month stay (Paris); one 2 month stay (Lyon); and two 1 month stays in Paris.


Philosophy is part of French high school education, wood shop is not, extrapolate this to better understand the differences between France and the US.

This! I was drawn to France because of the culture -- the food, art and architecture, but I wound up really liking their distinctive kind of sociability -- one that is definitely more intellectual than what you get in the US. The French are not more intelligent than Americans, but they care more about having interesting conversations. I'm sure this is somewhat dependent on socioeconomic milieu (as in you won't find this everywhere in France), but in general it's absolutely not OK to be stupid and uninformed.


Quote
Hurry up and go, France is slowly losing it's identity to globalization, like everywhere else, it has changed dramatically in the past 20 years.

Yes, I agree. When I first went to France in the early '80s, one of the reasons the I fell in love was that you could get amazing food simply not available in the country. That all started to change in the 90s.

The worst thing about France? The bureaucracy. It's enough to drive you totally insane.

powskier

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2017, 12:09:53 AM »
Yes on the bureaucracy!!!! For the French or foreigners, a nightmare.

 In fact the excellent 12 tasks of Asterix illustrates the madness perfectly in this scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtEkUmYecnk


Kris

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2017, 07:59:28 AM »
I third the bureaucracy. It's absolutely infuriating.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2017, 09:42:30 AM »
Yes on the bureaucracy!!!! For the French or foreigners, a nightmare.

 In fact the excellent 12 tasks of Asterix illustrates the madness perfectly in this scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtEkUmYecnk

That is HILARIOUS!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2017, 09:50:25 AM »
It's best for everyone's sanity to treat bureaucracy as one big treasure hunt.

Rosbif

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2017, 11:11:15 AM »
Hello from Paris!

It's as awesome as you think, probably more so. France has so much to see. Being based in Paris is good because, well, Paris. It's easy to get to the other bits, too: fast trains! There is a ton to see in France, it has so much to offer in such a compact package. In a 3-6m period I guess it's tough to start making friends unless you have an 'in': church / a sport / a work placement / a hobby, something that'll give you a ready-made circle of friends.

Housing for a short period is a pain, airbnb is sensible. Look up the homeswap stuff too, that could work. I wouldn't bother trying to rent/get a bank account for such a short period, the hassle is monumental. Lots of cooking courses in Paris (a friend runs one!). Lots of guided tours, lots of cool stuff to see.

Get it sorted and get over here!

Very interesting to read this and see how everyone sees Paris. Definitely a different world.

daverobev

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2017, 09:02:36 AM »
My mum lives in France, and has done for... must be ten years now. She's British, and had never lived outside the UK beforehand.

Now - I understand that EU folk have an easier time because they don't need any form of visa. And also when she went, she went with my grandfather, and they paid cash for a house to live in. When you're paying hundreds of thousands of Euros for something, I guess the banks make getting an account easier :)

That said - and I appreciate that the bureaucracy is infuriating - it's not the end of the world. My mother managed it. She managed to take her British car over and get it with a French license plate.

lifejoy, where do you live in Canada? I'm currently having a big discussion with my wife about where to live. At the moment we're near Ottawa and I just can't deal with the cold. In France, in the UK, the daffodils are flowering. Here, it was -21 degrees C last night. But, there are lots of good reasons to be here. DW thinks it better to move to France than BC, where the climate would be much more to my liking. I'd even take somewhere near Point Pelee, anywhere away from this... winter and then humid summer.

One option might be Montreal for the city life, but I don't suppose the weather is much better. It's a quandry!
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SwordGuy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2017, 10:39:00 AM »
If you are flexible about where in France you go, check out the various house sitting websites.  (Especially if you don't mind dogs or cats.)   You can stay for free. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend in Paris as an adult.   Everyone was very nice and quite a few went out of their way to be helpful.

I was surprised that it felt so much like home.  Perhaps I shouldn't have been, I was born in Orleans and my parents pushed me around in a baby stroller in Paris most weekends for 2 1/2 years. 

Kris

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2017, 11:52:09 AM »
My mum lives in France, and has done for... must be ten years now. She's British, and had never lived outside the UK beforehand.

Now - I understand that EU folk have an easier time because they don't need any form of visa. And also when she went, she went with my grandfather, and they paid cash for a house to live in. When you're paying hundreds of thousands of Euros for something, I guess the banks make getting an account easier :)

That said - and I appreciate that the bureaucracy is infuriating - it's not the end of the world. My mother managed it. She managed to take her British car over and get it with a French license plate.

lifejoy, where do you live in Canada? I'm currently having a big discussion with my wife about where to live. At the moment we're near Ottawa and I just can't deal with the cold. In France, in the UK, the daffodils are flowering. Here, it was -21 degrees C last night. But, there are lots of good reasons to be here. DW thinks it better to move to France than BC, where the climate would be much more to my liking. I'd even take somewhere near Point Pelee, anywhere away from this... winter and then humid summer.

One option might be Montreal for the city life, but I don't suppose the weather is much better. It's a quandry!

No, it's definitely not the end of the world. Just maddening. (And yes, I think it's much worse for non-EU citizens.)

If you're planning to live there without buying property, or working, it's not too big of a deal, though. I think if you're FI and not worrying about something like getting a work visa, then the proper attitude to take toward it is just amused detachment, and calm persistence in the face of any bewildering and frankly ridiculous bureaucratic morass you find yourself in.
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Daleth

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2017, 02:16:15 PM »
If you're planning to live there without buying property, or working, it's not too big of a deal, though

You still need a visa, which means you still need to fit into some immigration category or other. You need it not just legally but as  a practical matter. You can't just show up on a 90-day tourist visa waiver and expect anyone to rent you an apartment.

Kris

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2017, 03:18:56 PM »
If you're planning to live there without buying property, or working, it's not too big of a deal, though

You still need a visa, which means you still need to fit into some immigration category or other. You need it not just legally but as  a practical matter. You can't just show up on a 90-day tourist visa waiver and expect anyone to rent you an apartment.

Yes, that's definitely true. And then there's the "you need a bank account to rent an apartment, but you need a permanent address to get a bank account" kind of madness...
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Paul der Krake

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2017, 03:40:50 PM »
I'm keeping a bank account open there specifically to avoid this sort of catch 22 if we decide to move there one day. The system can be inflexible in infuriating ways. I know of at least one guy with C-suite exec income who couldn't get the apartment in Paris he wanted because they had such stringent income verification requirements. Nevermind that he offered to pay the entire year upfront.

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2017, 03:49:08 PM »
Yeah, to me it's just not worth it. France is a wonderful place to visit and a nightmare to live. That just like, my opinion man.
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Kris

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2017, 04:11:03 PM »
Yeah, to me it's just not worth it. France is a wonderful place to visit and a nightmare to live. That just like, my opinion man.

I've loved living there... ONCE I get established. But the "getting set up" part is infuriating.
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lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2017, 05:57:47 PM »
I'm enjoying reading "A Year in Provence" where two Brits end up carrying identification documents with them EVERYWHERE because they might be needed at unexpected times, like buying a car or whatever.

I think I will plan a vacation to France but I doubt I could handle the culture shock of living there. I signed up for Employment Insurance in Canada, and the process was detailed and took a bit of time but overall was fairly streamlined and simple. I couldn't cope if my life was full or road blocks and red tape for simple paperwork matters!

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2017, 10:12:57 AM »
I'm enjoying reading "A Year in Provence" where two Brits end up carrying identification documents with them EVERYWHERE because they might be needed at unexpected times, like buying a car or whatever.

In Belgium (not France by not far) they'd be totally right:
All Belgians aged 12 and above are issued with an identity card (Dutch: Identiteitskaart, French: Carte d’identité, German: Personalausweis). Belgians aged 15 and above are required to always carry it with them unless they are within 200 m from their homes. (Foreigners must at all times be able to provide identification, either a passport, or an identity document issued by another EU member state.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_national_identity_card

Kris

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2017, 10:17:35 AM »
I'm enjoying reading "A Year in Provence" where two Brits end up carrying identification documents with them EVERYWHERE because they might be needed at unexpected times, like buying a car or whatever.

In Belgium (not France by not far) they'd be totally right:
All Belgians aged 12 and above are issued with an identity card (Dutch: Identiteitskaart, French: Carte d’identité, German: Personalausweis). Belgians aged 15 and above are required to always carry it with them unless they are within 200 m from their homes. (Foreigners must at all times be able to provide identification, either a passport, or an identity document issued by another EU member state.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_national_identity_card

Compulsory ID carry is the norm for adults in most, if not all, EU countries, if I'm not mistaken. (Not sure about England, though. My impression is no.)
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AnswerIs42

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2017, 10:34:21 AM »
Compulsory ID carry is the norm for adults in most, if not all, EU countries, if I'm not mistaken. (Not sure about England, though. My impression is no.)
You're right, not the case in the UK, we're a little more libertarian about it. Labour were planning to introduce ID cards last decade (not compulsory to carry at all times), but it was unpopular and the scheme was scrapped when they were voted out. We don't even have to take our driving licence when driving a car, although if you do something wrong and the Police stop you when driving then they can compel you to show it at a police station within a certain number of days if you're not carrying it.

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2017, 11:14:03 AM »
Now if only France made credit card-sized IDs... the current version not only looks bloody awful, it's way too big to fit in a normal wallet. I never carry ID in France and have yet to be compelled to identify myself, but I wouldn't recommend it to my arab friends who get stopped somewhat regularly.

Ironically, when I go to the bank I just show my US driver license because it's already in my wallet and that's enough for them.

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2017, 11:30:02 AM »
I'm enjoying reading "A Year in Provence" where two Brits end up carrying identification documents with them EVERYWHERE because they might be needed at unexpected times, like buying a car or whatever.

In Belgium (not France by not far) they'd be totally right:
All Belgians aged 12 and above are issued with an identity card (Dutch: Identiteitskaart, French: Carte d’identité, German: Personalausweis). Belgians aged 15 and above are required to always carry it with them unless they are within 200 m from their homes. (Foreigners must at all times be able to provide identification, either a passport, or an identity document issued by another EU member state.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_national_identity_card

Compulsory ID carry is the norm for adults in most, if not all, EU countries, if I'm not mistaken. (Not sure about England, though. My impression is no.)

This not as clearly cut as that apparently:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_identity_cards_in_the_European_Economic_Area#Overview_of_national_identity_cards


lifejoy

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2017, 11:32:33 AM »
I'm enjoying reading "A Year in Provence" where two Brits end up carrying identification documents with them EVERYWHERE because they might be needed at unexpected times, like buying a car or whatever.

In Belgium (not France by not far) they'd be totally right:
All Belgians aged 12 and above are issued with an identity card (Dutch: Identiteitskaart, French: Carte d’identité, German: Personalausweis). Belgians aged 15 and above are required to always carry it with them unless they are within 200 m from their homes. (Foreigners must at all times be able to provide identification, either a passport, or an identity document issued by another EU member state.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_national_identity_card

Compulsory ID carry is the norm for adults in most, if not all, EU countries, if I'm not mistaken. (Not sure about England, though. My impression is no.)

This not as clearly cut as that apparently:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_identity_cards_in_the_European_Economic_Area#Overview_of_national_identity_cards

Wow, so interesting!!

daverobev

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2017, 03:43:31 PM »
Now if only France made credit card-sized IDs... the current version not only looks bloody awful, it's way too big to fit in a normal wallet. I never carry ID in France and have yet to be compelled to identify myself, but I wouldn't recommend it to my arab friends who get stopped somewhat regularly.

Ironically, when I go to the bank I just show my US driver license because it's already in my wallet and that's enough for them.

That is government issued ID, though. I mean... technically... but whatever.

You absolutely don't have to carry ID in the UK.

I don't even know in Canada; you need your driving license, which, you know... ok... but the police can give you a ticket for not carrying proof of insurance. They have a link to the insurance database so they know - categorically know - by running a check on your license plate if you're insured or not...

That kind of bureaucracy drives me crazy. The law is, surely, to BE licensed and BE insured. No, we're going to take $50 from you for not having a piece of paper with you...

God, the whole Brexit thing is a fucking joke/shambles/disgrace from top to bottom but there are a few things I miss about home. Not that I've been hassled for not having insurance or a license on me while driving, and I always do anyway, but... oh yeah, we did get a ticket for leaving the car parked facing the wrong way once.

Nearly empty street. But the bylaw says... (And this is the norm in North America AFAIK.)

Sigh.
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CloserToFree

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Re: Have you ever lived in France?
« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2017, 06:43:22 PM »
Posting to follow. I have lots to say on this topic (have lived there twice and travel there frequently) and hope to chime in soon!  Enjoying the discussion so far and agree with much of what has been said.