French nationality

Old May 24th, 2012, 04:09 AM
  #121  
 
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"1994, as you are not retired and financially can afford to have a house in Provence, you are clearly in a very different economic situation to KitKat."

I am well aware of that. Does that mean I cannot offer my thoughts on her situation? I've been here for 13 years and have friends in all socio-econonmic categories here.

By the way, you seem to be implying that we are wealthy because we live in Provence. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are plenty of homes in the area where I live that sell for 100,000 to 140,000. Just as not all people living in Paris are wealthy, neither are all people living in Provence.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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1994,likewise I was just highlighting that 13 years on the immigration opportunities for non EU citizens to move to France are much more restricted than in your day, in part due to the economic crisis but also the schengen treaty, whereby non EU citizens visiting Europe are limited to 90 days. Again we can thank America for that in that they imposed a 90 day restriction on EU visitors to the States!
You will also be aware there is a huge anti immigration sentiment in France at the moment.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:41 AM
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Oh dear, katkat. I had no idea your experience with France was so very limited. Of course it's not your fault that it is, but honestly, one trip to France 30 years ago and now you want to go live there? That is truly a fantasy, a pipe dream, and one that could so easily backfire on you.

You need to learn French. Really learn it, so you can call a plumber and tell him the pilot light in your water heater is out, so you can telephone emergency services or handle a visit to a French doctor, so you can file proper documentation at the mairie in French...etc. Knowing how to order a croissant at a patisserie isn't what I'm talking about.

Then you need to go spend some time in Paris, or wherever it is you want to live, and do it in the dead of winter. And stay for awhile, as in a couple of months at least. The difference between what you are likely imagining and what the reality is, is probably enormous.

To give you a benchmark, I made 25-30 trips to France, many of them for a month or two, before buying a house there. Even then, I had SO much to learn!

This isn't to rain on your parade - I know first hand the lure of living in France. BUT, I honestly feel you can't possibly know what you're getting into without lots more experience on the ground and with the language.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:58 AM
  #124  
 
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"and financially can afford to have a house in Provence"


Sprogster : you should spend a few hours in the Northern Districts of Marseilles (quartiers Nord) before making such broad statements
PACA has a very high number of RSA beneficiaries - above national average in fact.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:03 AM
  #125  
 
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"1994,likewise I was just highlighting that 13 years on the immigration opportunities for non EU citizens to move to France are much more restricted than in your day"

Yes, I believe I touched on that (and have experience with non-EU VISA apps since 'my day') in an earlier post on this thread. Perhaps you missed it:

Your quote:

"Since 2007 it has become very difficult if not impossible for a non EU citizen to obtain permanent residency in France, unless through marriage, ancestry, or having highly specialised job skills that are on an official list of occupations where there is a recognised shortage."

My reply:

We have found this to be absolutely true as we opened a Visa dossier in 2008. It was not completed until 2010!!!! It was a whole different ballgame from when I applied moons ago.

I am well aware of the changes and the difficulties.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:34 AM
  #126  
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"Oh dear, katkat. I had no idea your experience with France was so very limited. Of course it's not your fault that it is, but honestly, one trip to France 30 years ago and now you want to go live there? That is truly a fantasy, a pipe dream, and one that could so easily backfire on you."

Well, perhaps you're right. But you and others have made all these points to me already, multiple times actually, so I'm not sure why you're going on about it again, at such length. I'm not offended, but I'm a little put off, or maybe taken aback is a better term, at your tone. It feels overly condescending and sarcastic to me. I don't see the need for that, when you're not telling me anything you and others haven't already told me, in a nicer albeit clear way.

There's also the fact that I have basically agreed with almost all of your cautions (yours and others).

I perhaps should tell you that fall and winter are my favorite seasons, and that I love the rain, and thunderstorms. We're having one right now in northern New Jersey. I did say that I hate summer and hot weather, so it would make more sense for you to warn me that Paris summers are just as bad as those in NYC, which actually someone else here already did.

I guess I'll stop at this, for now.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:39 AM
  #127  
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"To give you a benchmark, I made 25-30 trips to France, many of them for a month or two, before buying a house there. Even then, I had SO much to learn!"

I don't have that kind of money, so if having the financial resources to make 25 or 30 transatlantic trips to France is the only realistic basis on which to consider moving there, then I guess I'm out of luck.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:40 AM
  #128  
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Quoting myself: "I don't have that kind of money,..."

Or time, I might add. I'm 61, 62 in July. How old are you, St.Cirq?
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Old May 24th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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While I agree that katkat's experience is insufficient to make any sort of decision yet, I do believe that the internet and many other possible sources of information now make it much easier to get an idea of the sort of place where one would want to live. Obviously, some very serious on-the-ground investigation is required as well.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 09:31 AM
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I agree, kerouac. And while it's obviously not necessary to make 25-30 trips (which I wasn't doing just to scout out property until the last few), I can't see having no on-the-ground experience whatsoever. As for money, one needs to weigh spending SOME money to gain real-time experience against making an overseas move without having a realistic sense of what one's getting into.

And my reference to dead of winter wasn't entirely about climate.

I'm 60.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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My point, StCirq, is that everything, except for your remark about 25 to 30 trips, had been said to me already, many times, and I had acknowledged the truth and wisdom of what you, all of you, had told me. In particular, your entire paragraph, telling me in great detail why I need to learn French before even thinking about moving to France, was something that YOU YOURSELF had told, in very similar words and in the same detail, earlier in this thread. Your added remark about how ordering croissants at a patisserie is not what you mean by learning French was unkind, and it was also patronizing in the extreme. I don't know what would make you think, or what did make you think, that I believe ordering croissants in French is what learning French means. I'm not a child, and I'm also not stupid.

Fundamentally, your comment was unnecessary and unkind. It was unkind *because* it was unnecessary. I do not like unkindness, whether directed at me or at others.

I'll leave it at that.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Got it. So sorry I tried to help.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:10 AM
  #133  
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"While I agree that katkat's experience is insufficient to make any sort of decision yet, I do believe that the internet and many other possible sources of information now make it much easier to get an idea of the sort of place where one would want to live."

Thank you for this, kerouac.

"Obviously, some very serious on-the-ground investigation is required as well."

And this is something I already know, whether I've explicitly stated it or not. It should be assumed from (1) everything I've already written here and the totality of my responses to the advice I've been given; and from (2) my being a grown woman with 60 years of life experience, as opposed to being a little girl or a teenager, that I know this. If StCirq (or anyone) wanted to make the point specifically, it could have been done in a more matter-of-fact manner and not in the patronizing manner it was done.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:19 AM
  #134  
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"Got it. So sorry I tried to help."

You're not sorry, and what you wrote was not, in my view, an attempt to help. If I had rejected other offers of helpful advice here, I might be able to understand why you would write to me the way you did. But as it is, not so much.

I would never ask for an apology, because that's hard for anyone to do, and I really don't need it. All I expect is some indication that you understand how your manner of expression made me feel, even if it was unintentional. If you cannot do that, then silence would be better than this ridiculous response you made.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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I'm sorry you've taken StCirq's comments so negatively. He did offer some hard to hear words, but I have to agree with most of what he said - maybe I might have said it a little differently.

You've taken all the critical words really well katkat. I don't think anyone thinks you are juvenile or uneducated and I think we can all respect your dream. I think we are trying, in the only ways we know how, to tell you what WE have learned from doing what you would like to do. Of course all of our situations are different, but some things remain the same, no matter how much money you have or whatever your personal circumstances.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I think it is those things we are trying to convey.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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"He did offer some hard to hear words, but I have to agree with most of what he said - maybe I might have said it a little differently."

He might have said it a lot differently, and that's the point. My reaction has nothing to do with what he said being hard to hear. Take a look back at my 7:14 pm on May 21 for convincing proof of that.

"I think we are trying, in the only ways we know how, to tell you what WE have learned from doing what you would like to do."

Except for this one single comment from StCirq, I have ZERO problem with anything that anyone has said to me here. ZERO.

"... I think it is those things we are trying to convey."

There is no we here, 1994. There is only one. You are not included in my angry reaction to StCirq. You have done nothing to make me angry. You even apologized for offending me when you had done nothing offensive. I don't mind being told the truth based on someone's experience that is greater than mine. I want that, and I've made that clear.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 11:15 AM
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I had the great advantage of possessing a French passport from birth, but when I decided at age 18 to move to Paris as soon as I got my university degree, I knew just about as much about living in Paris as kitkat -- I arrived at age 20 (yes, I was a bit ahead in my university studies). The first years were quite difficult, even though I got a job quickly. And absolutely nothing from my American university studies turned out to be useful on the French job market, nor did an American diploma even impress the French.

Well, 40 years have now passed, and I never regretted my decision. I am manager of my office, head of the employee relations committee, trade union delegate, president of the owner's association of my building, member of the management committee of my mother's nursing home, and I just turned down a position in my political party, because I demanded that it go to a young person.

And in one month I will stop working for the rest of my life. I will get out of all of these other situations (except the nursing home) and finally start living at last.

All it takes is a little patience to get what you want out of life.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Kerouac : good for you but you can't really compare your circumstances with katkat's. You were 20 when you moved, you were presumably fluent in French - she is 60, an age when it is more difficult to learn a foreign language because memory starts to fail you. At 20 one makes friends easily, one does not mind bumming it for a while. At 60 it is a different story. You got a job, she is retired - i.e. little contact with the outside world that a job provides. In Paris she'd be a little above poverty level - slightly better off in a small town somewhere. But she'd be very isolated. She won't have many opportunities to make friends in Smalltown, France. This would be my main concern if I were in her place (which I'm not !).
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Old May 24th, 2012, 12:01 PM
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StCirq - does having been a property owner in France for years grease the skids any? I assume you must have been paying some sort of property tax there.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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I am also sorry you have taken StCirq's comments so negatively, because frankly she was only being honest with you. This is an internet travel forum, perhaps you really should be asking these questions on one of the ex-pat boards. And while I am quite sure you do not want to hear this either, I was also taken aback to realize that your experience with France is limited and dated. I would strongly suggest you save some of your resources and spend as much time as you can afford on a trip to Paris. And I am close to your age, if that matters. We have visited Italy often in the last 15 years, and with my limited language skills, and even with the resources we are fortunate to have, I cannot even imagine living in a country with said language skills. Not at all.
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