Ming the Mechanic:
Figuring out France

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Figuring out France2003-08-05 05:34
19 comments
by Flemming Funch

So, I got a phone line at least, and hopefully DSL within the next couple of days.

Lots of little problems with many things. Nothing that doesn't make it worthwhile, as far as I'm concerned. I sort of enjoy figuring out new systems. And, well, in France many things are done a little different.

I can't complain too much. This is a modern, civilized, well-organized country, and we live in the middle of a major city. Everything is close by. It is not like we moved to Ethiopia and they just didn't have any phone lines, or it took a month to get one. Here it is more of an issue of doing things in the proper order, going to the right place, knowing what to say, having the right paperwork handy. Certain things depend on other things, and it is important to call things by their proper name.

The landlord took care of the account with the electricity company (EDF) it seems, so that was no problem.

Opening a phone line with France Telecom went smoothly too. I went to one of their offices and they just needed to see ID (my Danish passport) and some proof of that I lived where I say I do. The rental agreement for the house served that purpose. Otherwise, electricity bills is what one would drag around for that purpose, but I didn't get any yet. The phone line was opened the same day, but there was a small problem which had to wait for Monday to get fixed. A nice touch is that, for any phone line, connected or not, one can pick it up and press * to speak with the phone company. So I could call them even though the phone line wasn't connected right.

To get a DSL account, I needed a bank account I found, so that became the next step. I picked a bank, fairly randomly, at Place Esquirol, as we seemed to come by there often. Credit Mutuel. Went in Friday and asked at the counter if I could open a new account. She gave me an appointment to come back Monday, and a list of what I supposedly needed to show. ID, proof of residence, proof of income such as an employment contract. Which I don't exactly have. Anyway, I showed up Monday and it was a very nice gentleman who handled it, and it really was no problem. He didn't need any proof of income, but believed me when I said I did work in the states and would transfer money into the account every month. So, getting a checking account and a bank card seemed to be no problem, although it will take a couple of weeks for those to arrive.

Then I tried for the DSL account at France Telecom again. After a long conversation it turned out that the options I wanted (router, fixed IP, faster upload) were categorized as being for professionals, not regular people, so he had to send me to another branch, dealing with business. I wouldn't be too surprised if I will have to prove there that I really have a business, but hopefully not.

Otherwise, well, it is still super hot here. Like Palm Springs without air conditioning. The recommended approach to keeping the house relatively cool is to keep the shutters down all day, so the cool night air is kept inside. All French houses have shutters in one form or another, and they're very often closed. Either because it is hot, or because one wants privacy, or because one is afraid of burglars while one is out.


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19 comments

5 Aug 2003 @ 22:38 by Ted Balaban @68.69.24.174 : Newsletter
Nice to here about your adventures.
Do you speak French or do they talk English?
You were going to write a little memo to me in how to set up a newsletter on our web site  



6 Aug 2003 @ 03:33 by ming : Language
Well, they speak French. Most people here will not admit to speaking any English. So, I have to get by with my French.

Ted, to get a newslog like this, first go to www.newciv.org and join NCN. Then, once your membership is activated, go to your Profile and click on Newslog. Or, you can also do it from the Communicate page.  



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It is at [link] and I was having trouble with it in Mozilla too, because I have Java turned off. I think you do too. Works when I try it in IE or Safari, where I have Java turned on.  


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Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs



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