People tell me ALL the time how cool it is that I live in France.
But I have to tell you something: THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR.
It's not a walk in the park here. I struggle with the administration ALL.THE.TIME.
I've been pushed to the point of insanity in all types of offices: whether it be the consulate, a bank, health care, doctors office, revenu agency, university, social aide, cell phone companies, THE APPLE STORE, you name it the bureaucracy here is a nightmare.
In Canada, it's so rare to come across a rude, mean person. (Even for Torontonians). In France, it's rare to come across an extremely helpful person.
Sometimes, I feel like hitting my head against the wall. I am utterly speechless at the culture shock sometimes.
To my north american friends, we have it so easy!
I remember being in Ontario to renew my drivers licence and there was some computer problem where they had to shut everything down and close the office. The lady at the desk TOOK MY PHONE NUMBER, called me the next day as soon as the system was up and running and didn’t even make me WAIT in that long line. Talk about VIP service!
I am Canadian and proud. I love my country. But I’m also a francophile. I love France and I feel my roots are here.
Unfortunately, it’s not a country that pushes you to achieve your dreams. It’s a place where the mentality is everyone should be equal. (hence our socialist president. Did you know if you earn $1M you are taxed at 70% of your income???? "Hey I made $1, 000 000 but the government takes $ 700, 000 of my earned money and only leaves me with $300,000. Whaat ????? )
In a lot of ways, I don’t fit in here because I do have a very north american mentality. The american dream! I can build my empire!
People ask me HOW am I still living here. The truth is, I am living here on a student visa. Right now I am going through the paperwork (ohhhhh the paperwork) to get an “auto-entrepreneur” status for a local business I am starting up.
I know the french prefecture is going to discourage me. I know URSAF is going to dissuade me. I know the chamber of commerce is going to find holes in my business plan.
But I have faith that I am on the right path. My intuition is telling me that this new business idea I have is going to be my ticket to getting a workers status here in France. After all, I’ve been here for almost 6 years !!!
I love you France. I’m gonna make it work here!
Moral of the story: don’t let the NON BELIEVERS hold you back.
Administration is a bitch, whatever country you are in. But let your dream be BIGGER than the fear of it not working out.
Want to know more about my business project? I can only give you a sneak peak right now! Parlez-vous français ? Si oui, you can guess what I am brewing up !
Do you live abroad? Are you location independent ? What differences have you noticed in the administration systems? How do you deal with culture shock. I would LOVE to hear about your experience so I don't feel so alone!! :)
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