Monthly Archives: May 2011

My New Corporate Car

I think that this cute little find would work out just great for my Marketing and Sales Director when she goes to see clients. It says “daring” like nothing else can. Especially, if you are driving it in the south of France!

It also says,”I’m the only with this baby. Cuz I’m cool like that.” I will be racking up clients in no time! It will be a little difficult to take them out to lunch, but I could probably bolt a few beach chairs in the back and away we’d go, literally.




A Moment of Silence

I have a certain fascination with monuments and tombstones. I came across this one, in the front garden of a small church. She was calming to the spirit and was captured in a moment of silence, forever.


France’s Last Name Is Tax

Last Friday I went to the local Tresor Public. I was told by my company’s accountants that I need to go there to pick up a Declaration de Revenues (in other words, I have to pay more taxes).

The whole thing started with my French language teacher. For some reason we got on the subject of taxes and how it works in France verses the USA. She asked me if I had received my form in the mail. “What form”, I asked. “La Declaration de Revenues”, she said.  I told her that I had not received it. Her reply was, “Go now and get it. The completed form is due on Tuesday!” Oh crap! Today is Thursday and I have no idea how to even fill it out or where to get it.

So I contacted my company’s accountant right after my lesson. The nice guy who always helps me out said to go to the Tresor Public to get the form. He said that once I have it, I would need to go to his office and he would help me fill it out all nice and tidy since it was my first time. 🙂 Love him!

Friday morning I headed off to the Tresor. Luckily, it is really close to where I live. While there, I tried to kill two birds with one stone (I needed to get some more of those crazy tax stamps for my daughter’s resident card).  I went and stood in line for my dumb stamps and as I was waiting, I noticed that the other line I needed to be in was getting really long. Great, I was gonna be there til next pay check.

Finally, I made it to the nice man who gave me the stamps last time. I handed him my official paper that said I needed more stamps and he said, “Thank you, Ashley”. I could not believe that he remembered me from the last time (but then again, we did chat it up about me being from the USA and loving France and all, so why shouldn’t he remember me?) I looked at him all proud with that ‘thank you for remembering me’ puppy dog look and said, “Wow, you remembered me from last time!” Then to go and burst my bubble, he said “No, your name is on the paper you just gave me”.

Duh, Ashley dumb whit!!

Now I not only felt really stupid, but I my ego was completely deflated. Especially because I think I am kind of a memorable person. Dude just gave me that “you are such a blond” look (even though I am not!).  Then the guy behind the counter just smiled at me.  He said he should have just said “Yes, I do”, and it would have boosted his ego, too. We just smiled at each other and then he chuckled to himself and shook his head.

After buying my tax stamps (which by the way are nice and blue and have a great picture of Marion on them-story for another time), I headed off to the dreaded tax line. Surprisingly the line moved really quickly until I got up to the front. Then it came to a screeching halt. Of course, it would happen to me. You see, there were only two windows opened (naturally) and the two ladies already occupying those windows happened to be the two people in the whole, wide, world of France that had to have help with every dang question! Oh, come on people! I stood there waiting FOREVER.

Finally it was my turn to step up. I told the lady behind the counter that I needed to get a Declaration de Revenues for 2010. Instead of just handing me the paper and letting me get my happy little self outta there, I got interrogated.  (sigh)

Experience will now be recounted for those of you who weren’t there.

Lady: “Didn’t you receive it in the mail?”

Me: Yes, but I came in any way just to bug you and waste my time asking for an extra copy! I didn’t say that, but wanted to. Instead I said, “No, I did not”. Very nicely, I might add.

Lady: “Did you pay taxes last year?”

Me: “No, I did not live in France in 2009 in order to pay taxes last year.”

Lady: “I need to see your identification.”

This is when I got to pull out my resident card and say “Check It!” And that is exactly what I did. So proud of it, I am!

Lady: “When did you first enter France?”

Me: “In October.”  Apparently you are not looking at my resident card. It has the date on it. Look at it, dog gone it! I am really happy about having it so humor me.

Lady: “Did you work last year?”

Me: No, I just decided that I wanted to come here and be interrogated by you and I really, really, REALLY want to pay taxes, even if I didn’t work. Okay, I didn’t say that, but again, I so wanted to. Instead I said, “Yes, I worked last year.” Again, very nicely.

Then she handed back my prized resident card and a little form that I needed to fill out for annual taxes.

Geeez! Why the hassle?? How come I couldn’t just ask for the form and she gives it to me?? What does she care if I want to pay taxes or not??

Next time, Tresor Pubic, just leave a stack of the forms on a desk or something. Then I can go up, grab one, and walk away without getting the 3rd degree.

What’s that? Did you say, “No can do?” That’s what I though. Cuz that would be too easy, huh?

Merci pour rien!

Sanary sur Mer

Le Lavandou

Just Like Dad

Here is how the end of our dinner conversation went tonight.

Tinki: “Man, mom, I just ate four pieces of pizza! I was really hungry.”

Dude: “Hey, slow down and leave some for the rest of us.”

Tinki: “I don’t know why, but when I don’t eat very much at lunch I am really hungry at dinner and eat more   than usual.”

Mom: “Wow! You are exactly like Daddy. He does that. That’s weird. I don’t do that.”

Dude: “Yah, Tinki, you are just like me!”

Tinki:  Scared look on her face. “Yah, I know. The other morning I was cooking eggs and watching CNN news! I even found myself turning it up to hear it better!”

They are so cute….

I Need Coffee!

Today I finally got a text from Boulanger, those guys who took my coffee maker. Apparently, it was ready to be picked up.

Well, no surprise that when we arrived at the store we had to wait in line! So dude and I finally get up to the desk and hand the guy our paperwork telling him we received the text that our coffee maker was ready. Boulanger guy proceeds to put our reference number in his computer and then asks me for my new invoice. What invoice? I didn’t buy the thing last time I came in, I GAVE it to you! Then the guy says to me that I should have gotten an invoice when I dropped it off. Well I didn’t so deal, bud. He starts mumbling something under his breath and does about 1.2 seconds worth more of work in his computer (Oh, the hardship!) and finally finds our coffee maker in his system.

He leaves and goes to the back room of “gifts” and brings it to us. Now dude and I are thinking, wow, they must have fixed it (which would have been alright with us since we really liked the thing). Interestingly, the guy keeps us in suspense for like 5 minutes, and presents us with more paper work and says that we can go a new one. Oh joy.

So now we were off in search of the perfect replacement. We really thought that we would just get the same one, but noooo, they don’t sell that model any longer. Big surprise! Well, we had a devil of a time choosing a new. The one we were really interested in has some missing parts on the display so we couldn’t really tell if it was going to work or not. We finally found one that was similar, took that display apart and used the parts on the one we were interested in! Just to see if it looked good. Geeez, we put it all back!

It looked good and the price was right thanks to our reimbursement from the store. Now all we had to do was find it on the shelf. Searching, searching, searching and_it_is_not_there!! Really, after all that, they don’t even have one? So we ask one of the ladies that worked on the floor and she looked in her computer which said they still had some. Well, then Boulanger lady, I invite you to go and try to find it!

A couple of minutes later, here she came. Empty handed. Ha, knew it! So much for your dependable system, girlfriend. Then she tells us we have to go to the back of the store because they will have some in the back area and the nice man who works there will get it for us. All we have to do is ring the bell and wait for him.

So we do just that. After waiting a few minutes the security guy opens the door and says we are out of luck that no one is back there. Well, back we go to the lady to let her know. She says, “No, no, just go back and wait, he will be there”. So back we go. Fortunately, right as we approached the door, the guy who was supposed to be there arrives. He goes and looks for our now infamous coffee maker. (I hear the Jeopardy theme song playing). After what seems like forever, he gives us the bad news and says we have to order it. Dang it!

Back again to Boulanger lady who proceeds to order it for us and says it will take a week. Mind you, I have now been in this store for more than one hour just trying to get a darn coffee maker! We finally order and take our paperwork up to the front desk. Once it is all rung up, the cashier proceeds to call the guy in the back (remember him?) and tells him to go and get the coffee maker and bring it up to the front. I didn’t say anything. I wanted to see what happened. So we waited. After a few minutes he calls her back and says they don’t have any more. Then she finally realizes that it was a “special order” and says that she has to do our whole bill all over again. Good grief!

Finally we get outta that place and as we are heading to the car, dude realizes that the date they put down on our invoice to pick it up is wrong. They have us picking it up today! Duh-and that is possible how??? Back into the store we go. All this for a simple coffee maker we should have just been able to buy right off the shelf. Oh wait, delusions of the states again.

You know what?? I don’t even want coffee anymore.



Inappropriate Name

I have no idea what this company does and I was afraid to look on their website to find out. This is a seriously inappropriate name. Someone didn’t consult the Urban Dictionary before writing this on the side of their truck.

Market Games

So two nights ago, I am shopping in Carrefour. By the way, I used to like this market way back when I lived here in 2003, but now I am just frustrated with them.

See they started this thing about opening a new cash register if the amount of people waiting in a line for one has crossed a blue line they put on the floor. They actually have this advertised all over the place, on the radio, the tele, and in the store! Guess what, they NEVER do it. I have been to this store so many times when the line of people has passed the blue floor line and gone 15 people passed and they still won’t open a new register! It SO pisses me off! All these people are standing around and discussing how they never open a new register and why the heck say you are gonna do it and then don’t. So then everyone starts becoming disgruntled, and the people in line start yelling at the cashiers who are yelling back at the people in line saying there is nothing they can do about it.

NOTHING they can do about it! Open another register you friggin’ morons!  All this waiting around is irritating me and everyone else and my frozen stuff is rapidly thawing.

I try to avoid this store if I possibly can. The only problem is that it is super close to my house and I am obliged to pop in every now and then to pick up some things. I cringe before going, though. I am starting to have night mares about that blue line and people getting so made about standing behind it that they start throwing food in the aisles. If that does happen, I hope I am there to video tape it.

Well, on top of the blue line issue, the other night I am walking down the center aisle of the store (mind you this is a pretty wide aisle) and I have a baguette in one hand and some cookies, cheese and yogurt in the other (don’t judge). So there is this lady standing right smack in the middle of the aisle with her big, giganto purse and she is literally talking to a guy who is way to the left of the aisle. I have no idea why she just doesn’t go over and stand by him to have her stupid conversation, but, whatever. So here I come sporting all my goods and she decides she is gonna move, but then decides “nope”, then REDECIDES “yup”. So me, being the kind and courteous person I am, ran into her. On purpose.  I felt like I was in the Mario Cart video game , when you hit those floating things in the sky and points appear. That was exactly what happened. I ran into her, saw her purse fly up and points appeared from the sky. It was awesome.

The awesomeness only lasted for a second though, because she turned and gave me the “game over” look. I just smiled at her and walked on while humming the Mario Cart tune. That’ll teach ya to stand right smack in the middle of the aisle while the world is buzzing around you.

Moreover, I will see you behind the infamous blue line. Ha!

Spring Time

Oh, how I love springtime in France. Even the village houses come alive.

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