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I don’t really hate France, but this doo doo on the street has got to stop.  Has anyone TOLD THESE PEOPLE THEY NEED TO PICK UP POO POO from their darling Chien around here?!?  Apparantly not.

I’m in the land’s of Hotel Dieu – GOD’s HOTEL, I am serious and the town is actually Pontoise.  We had to go here this morning to complete another ordeal in the process of procuring a FRENCH SOCIAL SECURITY number, most coveted, and most difficult, but alas, this is what you do when you want free health care in France, and you already have it because you’re part of the EU.  (David)

SO, that being said, it is worth 1) the 500 steps up and down, down and up, after the 30 minute train ride into the country 2) more steps up and down, wrong instructions for the bus, another 50 down, another 60 up, several different bus drivers all shaking their heads  “NON! It is not THEEES BUS!   David looking at the wife (moi) with a scowl that he really does not want to see.  I also do not want to know that he has not totally planned out this trip on the internet fully and completely as I DO FOR ALL MY BUS- METRO TRAVELS, only to find out later that this FRENCH SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE doesn’t have a map of public transportation because it’s in GOD’s HOTEL – or rather a sleepy bedroom community way way  out in the country. Now, just so you know, this is not the first time he’s tried.  You never try just once,  in France,   for ANYTHING; you try multiple times, and then add another 5 or 6 or 20 times and then you’ve just about got it!

The SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE is determined by your ADDRESS.

You see, you MUST have an address (that coveted address in France, here me out) to even GET a JOB, get a BANK ACCOUNT,to get ANYWHERE.  We had such an address, and that address belonged to someone we knew well, a friend,  who so kindly gave us her PARIS address.  This Paris address we thought we’d use to obtain our French Social Security, until we found out that someone from the UK had used the address of their employment (a Company in a very posh arrondisemont) and that because of that decision, the Social Security office taxed to high heaven this fellow AND the COMPANY because he had listed not a modest apartment somewhere, but an address in some of the pricest, tres cher real estate that one could possibly acquire.  THIS – we did not want to happen. So, we thought about it, and realized that the person who had “loaned” us her address for purposes of a bank account and a job, was in a splendidly Haute Couiture area, one of which would most likely have taxed US out the ying yang   NOT a good idea.

So, when we finally got into our little modest apartment on the outskirts of Paris, this is where we would now search for a social security office that was in or near our LIVING area.

The beautiful thing about the French (for me) is that when I have reached my breaking point, having stepped in the third doo doo of the day, or climbed way too many steps with my bad knees, the French, somehow come through.  This was the 5th bus we had tried, and now we heard the busdriver saying to David that she wasn’t sure and then evoked response from the entire bus “Does anyone know where this SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE is?” and the entire bus load of people are talking to David, in FRENCH, ofcourse and I’m kicking him and saying -”She is telling you this” – “NO, he is saying something to you…. no wait – she has it here”…..Honestly, it just melted my heart to see these lovely lovely people trying so hard to help these poor English speaking people find their way to this very important office.  Just as we get it all together and profusely thank them, the bus glides past the HOTE DIEU – GOD’S HOTEL, and I’m thinking, this is just so cool……I’m in a town with GOD’S HOTEL and we are really REALLY going to find this FRENCH SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.

We got off the bus, took the path that the entire bus TOLD us to take, and we indeed, found the office.

Did he get a number? Did he get THE social security validation that he needed for all medical care and all the rest that you need now to be “IN” in France??

Sadly, no.  Why?  Because the BRITISH BIRTH CERTIFICATE WAS TOO LONG and didn’t fit in size with all the other papers he brought with him i.e. the SS form, the validation of our apartment and address, the 6 page contract (in French) document from his employer stating he was employed and payroll slip copy, the European Health Card, the Bank “RIB” number, so they know you actually have a bank account. So, only one last thing,- reducing that really old British Birth Certificate (sorry darling,) to the exact size of the OTHER documents and then, VOILA !!!  He’s in like flint!  It was not a bad day.

PS. On the train back to our little village, we saw , magically a number on the top of his French Social Security Form!!  It is real and it is THE number.  But, we still have to reduce the size of the British Birth Certificate!!  🙂

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