Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How to correctly leave France:

1. Cut all ties to France Orange and hold a seance to irradicate its presence in your life.
Really, this involves sending a return receipt letter to Customer Service asking them to please disconnect your service and stop billing you as of a certain date. Then to ensure that no more automatic withdrawals are incurred on your bank account, put a block on your account. Then once you receive the letter from Customer Service saying that they have indeed received your letter and will cut off your internet (and life) as of April 30, you will need to call France Orange Customer Service three times for them to send you the appropriate instructions on how to give them back the magic internet box. Normally, you could just go to the France Orange store, but they conveniently closed the one in Ussel in April. Now it's a cell phone shop only. Then, armed with the special France Orange magic internet box return by mail ticket, you go to the newspaper shop to buy packing paper, wrap up the magic internet box, and then go to the post office and mail the whole thing off.
Next is lighting some candles and chanting, because oh my goodness France Orange how I loathe thee.

2. Cancel your French life insurance policy.
I took out the biggest policy they had because I'm kind of a klutz and goodness knows I would want the most comprehensive coverage possible. I have no recourse if something goes wrong. This one included body repatriation even. So in order to cancel the "responsabilité civile," as it's called, you again send a return receipt letter to MAIF Customer Service and attach a copy of your soon-to-expire residency card. See? This is why I want to cancel. Soon I will leave your country because I will no longer be legal.

3. Close your bank account.
Nadine, my banker, will be on vacation during my last full business week in Ussel. So she set up an appointment with Isabelle in the next office over to come in on Friday, June 27, to close my account. This will involve them giving me a big wad of Euros and me relinquishing my beloved debit card.

4. Realise that no one wants anything to do with your pay-as-you-go cell phone. Hooray for useless and uninteresting souvenirs.

5. Pray that the Rectorat (district office?) pays you on time.

6. Make travel arrangements.
I have reserved three nights in a very very very nice hotel in Paris: Hotel Saint Louis Marais. It is very nice because I get a shower, a double bed, wifi, buffet breakfast, airport shuttle, satellite TV, 24 hour concierge, and decadence. Also the hostel was booked up.
The SNCF website is undergoing some updates and as such, the train reservation part is down. I will be going first class, as it's less than 40€ to do so. I need mah space.

7. Make lots of lists.

I have less than one month in France!

1 comment:

shannon said...

My friend tried to take the ever so lovely Livebox back into France Orange, and you cannot actually take it back to the store. You have to send it by mail no matter what.

I was cracking up while reading this post. Ahh... France.