Getting to Understand the French System

How things work here is different to in the UK. But there is always some logic, some consideration behind the differences. There is a lot of bureaucracy and all the French agencies seem to be interlinked. An example is that when I wanted to play EuroMillions online I had to send off a scan of my passport to prove that I was old enough to waste my money. Seems like a cool idea to me.

Getting things started is hard, there is a lot of inertia. But when started they are like a well-oiled juggernaut. Attention to detail, not my forte, is something which is on occasion very important here.

We tend to have joint medical appointments and because I have had cancer, in France they suggest that all close relatives of a cancer-boy get screened at an early age. The doctor waited until I was alone in the ultrasound room before he asked me, away from the wife, if I had any children.  It is possible that I might have had a child and not told her. French thinking, logical but slightly odd to a Brit. My Carte Vitale has a lot of information on it.

Now that I am on the French system(s) a copy of my signature and fingerprints is on file. So, if anyone has forged my signature the real thing is there, on the semipermanent record.

The French are big on date and place of birth.

The Titre de Séjour has the wife’s maiden name on it as well as her married name.

I have had a look at the Civil Code, it is complex and far reaching. The Republic has a big thing about rights. To infringe the rights of another is not seen as good, illegal even. In the fullness of time if I wish to become a citizen, I will have to sign up to that code. That is quite a way off. Best not to have any blemishes on my record in the meantime

The French love a paper trail, so we keep bank statements as they arrive rather than have a marathon when they are needed. They can be quite insistent if there are any irregularities in the justifications, the supporting documents.

As an example of interconnectedness, the French medical system Ameli knew that we or rather the wife, had her Titre de Séjour granted. It asked her to update her documents before we got them!!

I have an illness of long duration which means the French health system is very nice to me.

It is a tad slow to get started but it works, it is a part of a differing life rhythm to which we are slowly getting adjusted.

A while back we met another Brit who said that many Brits were living on the “black” economy doing cash in hand no traces deals. Brexit has changed all that without paper trails it could be bye bye for them. Brexit will be like a toilet flush.

For us it is only two years. It will probably be a decade before we understand a little more fully.

We can stay until 2026 and then if I am still alive, I will be 62 and we can figure out what we might like to do next…

Who knows what the world will be like then!!