Sometimes, just occasionally, it’s quite difficult to focus on exactly what we love about living here. Such times as when, having worked my way through five official websites to try to order an EHIC-type card, I couldn’t remember my password, so hit the “send me a new password” button, only to have it arrive by post 3 weeks later, after we’d been on holiday. They say that you can order your EHIC card online, but guess what; you can’t, Or wanting a bank cheque for a large purchase, I’m told I have to write to my bank; they will then order said cheque from Paris and it will arrive by post, they claim within 24 hours – yeah, right! Or that, when Gemma wanted to buy a French sim card for her phone and presented her Australian driving licence as proof of identity, it was unacceptable, even though it has a photo. Or the simple fact that customer service is a totally alien concept over here, as is doing anything on time.
However, the weather’s great, the people (with the exception of officialdom) are the warmest, most generous you could hope to meet, the food and drink are excellent and life is generally good.
Last week, having waited over 2 years since having our photovoltaic panels fitted, they were finally hooked up to the grid. The man from EDF was due at 1pm, as was the man who fitted the panels; but typically, the fitter, who had the necessary paperwork, didn’t turn up and the man from EDF had to leave for other appointments. We were furious. I phoned his wife, who’d made the arrangements, apparently without consulting her husband, but when he couldn’t keep our appointment, she didn’t think to let us know. I was so angry I actually managed to argue with her, in French, by phone. There was a stunned silence on the other end of the phone. Result? She got them both back, together, later in the afternoon and we are now producing electricity.