In my last entry I told you about our plans to up sticks and move to France for a year (at least) and do away with the 9 to 5, the rat race, the winters and all that other stuff. As promised I am posting more of the adventures that are the preparations for the jump. I say preparations but really it is more like barely controlled chaos.
We have cleaned up, spruced up, painted up, emptied out most of the house so that it would look more presentable on showings. I think it looks very good but rather bare now 8-(( , so much of our stuff has been removed. We still seem to have 40,000 books and cd’s to get rid of, dozens of appliances and all of the big furniture we can’t live (for two more weeks) without such as beds, 1 couch, appliances and the like. As much as we move stuff out, we discover some new corner where we hid yet more things. It’s like living in the tardis!
Then there is the bureaucratic morass of trying to get straight answers regarding visas, taking our car to France, driving in France, working in France, going to school in France. Every web site you look at, every official you consult seems to offer a different answer to questions slightly different than the one you are asking. Seems that neither I nor my son need visas to settle in France or go to school in France, all we need is a residency permit that is applied for and acquired after we get there. I may need a visa to work but I will only find out after I arrive and check with the local prefecture. We can bring our car (given enough money) so long as we change all the “americanisms” such as white fogs lights, red turn signals and such to meet European standards, then have a European emissions test done, then pay all the port, VAT, local and other taxes on it. We figure it should cost us about 15 grand to get our $9000 leased Subaru to France. I guess we’ll buy a smart car when we get there, sigh.
Now with only two weeks to go before we fly out, it seems like we’re on this whirling dervish, going ever faster and faster. Time is quickly running out and we have so much to do still. We have sold the house but have to now close the deal, finalize our finances, pensions, bank accounts and all that, get the carrier crates for the pets, get rid of the remaining furniture, get rid of the cars, get packed, get all the baggage, kids, cats, dogs and everything else to Toronto. Can’t imagine I am doing this voluntarily, got to keep thinking about the peaceful quiet wine country we are soon to arrive at.
Now off to the passport office to see what new twists Canadian bureaucracy has in store for me.