vendredi 7 septembre 2007

Nous sommes arrivés

Well, we're finally here in Paris: our home for the next few years.

On arrival everything has gone smoothly, aided by the universal WD-40 of corruption, which is always an encouraging sign!

Mostly we're thrilled to finally be on our own again, considering that we've spent most of the few months that followed our wedding sleeping on the Aerobed in Maki's parents' house...always a good way to start off married life.

Ok, so back to the corruption: for starters, we showed up way too early to check in our bags at the Miami airport (they're not supposed to take them more than 4 hours before the flight). Our bags were also overweight. Oh, and by the way, you're not supposed to do curbside check-in for international flights. Fortunately, we WERE in Miami, where there's no problem that can't be solved with a smile and $40. (if you can't muster up a smile, the $40 alone shold do the trick). So, off we went, trying not to think too hard about what other sorts of things can be bribed onto aircraft at MIA.

Next on our arrival in Paris; where we should have been interrogated, searched and possibly deported, we were waved through by some very bored looking officials. Note to smugglers and illegal aliens: Charles de Gaulle terminal 2A: you heard it here first!!

My fears about kafkaeske bureaucratic catch 22's have proved unfounded. It undoubtedly helps to have "the professionals" behind one. All it takes is to know what form you have to fudge in order to satisfy whatever requirement. Luckily, plenty of people have been willing to help us do the fudging. This is a place where it pays to know people who know people.

The last couple of days we have been touring Paris with a relocation consultant whose job it is to help us find an apartment. We've seen about 20 apartments. Apparently, laws in France are very friendly to tenants and it's very difficult to get evicted. For this reason, landlords are understandably picky about who they rent to and will require all sorts of things like cosigners, bank guarantees, etc. Some will flat-out refuse to rent to foreigners (yes, go ahead, blame it all on us foreigners, everybody else does.). Having the help of our consultant is apparently very important.

For instance, landlords won't rent to you unless you can show proof of a bank account that they can debit for the rent. Banks generally won't open an account for you unless you have proof of address in the form of a lease agreement or a utility bill (utility bills are apparently crucial pieces of identification in France and are required for all sorts of transactions). So the question arises: how does one go about obtaining either a lease or a bank account without the other?

The answer is: somebody has to be willing to fudge some papers for you somewhere along the way. If you have relocation consultants being paid to help you, that's no problem. If you're some poor sucker who just showed up here, then you'd better go out and make some friends very quickly if you don't want to end up living under a bridge.

1 commentaire:

Delia a dit…

QUE ALEGRIA que ya todo se vaya encaminando y vayan sorteando los obstaculos. A mi me parece que hicieron todo muy rapido(?!)
Supongo que una combinacion de eficiencia de Uds., con un sistema que parece no ser tan malo como se dice y probablemente algunos astros bien alineados...

El apartamento es LINDISIMO!!! y con vuestro gusto lo dejaran mas lindo aun.

Si todo sigue como planeado, pronto lo conoceremos!?!?

El barrio es alucinante! Muero con las escaleras en las calles...

SIGAN ESCRIBIENDO este blog. Me parece una idea EXCELENTE!

TCM que ahora es LCM