As-well as learning copious amounts of French in the last few weeks, I have also learnt volumes about the French themselves. One quality I have observed about our European neighbours is their intense love of paperwork. Administration here is riddled with forms and different documents required as evidence for even the most simple tasks.
For example, buying a SIM here required me to present the shop assistant with my passport which I am certain does not happen back home! I am still chasing my bank, returning there almost daily to check if they are satisfied that I have given them enough information to open an account. I have already given then documents to prove my identity, income, English home address, French home address, that I have insurance at my French addresss… the list could go on. Metro passes, doctors appointments, even trying to sign up to my classes at Uni involve extreme amounts of paperwork.
One final moan before I end this blog on a positive note, I am still smarting from the injustice of having to pay a 30 Euro fine on the metro this evening. I had stupidly misplaced my metro ticket that I used to get through the barriers and when it came to get off, it was just my luck that there was a fleet of traffic wardens checking everyone’s tickets and passes. I was flustered and couldn’t find my ticket anywhere so despite my insistence that I had honestly misplaced it, I was forced to cash up. Needless to say when I got home, said ticket was hiding in my diary.
BUT, c’est la vie and despite all of this, life in Paris hasn’t lost its charm. Having the Eiffel Tower within walking distance and eating delicious pastries daily more than make up for a bit of nasty paperwork and a few unsympathetic traffic wardens!