Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I have just been talking to the French Tax Office. This was supposed to be just a check in to make sure that they had received a copy document that I had sent them so that our Taxe Foncieres would not be doubled for next year. Last time I got a nice man whose english was about as good as my french and we muddled along and he told me that if I sent the paper it wouldn't be doubled, or at least not for a couple of years.

This time, got the nice man again but he decided that he couldn't speak english and that he could only speak highspeed french. After to-ing and fro-ing with apologies and repetitions I gave in and we are going to meet his english speaking colleague on Friday when (I think) we don't need an appointment.

Face to face, with the wind behind me and with a starting sentence formed, (or after a large glass of red wine) I can do this french lark quite happily. It's not brilliant but I've been told it's good by kind french people and it seems to work. But every so often, and unfortunately several times recently, I have no idea at all what is going on.

And I can't see how it is going to get better which frustrates me.


  1. Rosie, it must be harder when it is a 'specialist' subject, such as the dreaded tax!! It must be very frustrating when you completely lose the thread and can't pick it up again.

    Good luck with the meeting on Friday.

    J xx

  2. Thanks Jen x. It's also harder when it's Him Outdoors' specialist subject! And always harder on the phone. I'm sure Friday will be fine..................well in a french language sort of way, whether there is anyone there, or they're on strike, or you need an appointment, who knows :-)

  3. The phone is impossible unless your French is pretty good. Our visit to the tax office did us no good at all. They not only doubled it but added on a bit extra as well!!!! Diane

  4. Ha ha Diane, yes that's always a worry isn't it. I'll blog how we get on!

  5. I wish you the very best as you work your way through the matter of les taxes foncières with the representatives of l'Hexagone. Just be sure to have all of your documents on hand. In the end, it's not really a conversation at all. It's a process of synthesizing government documents.

    Bonne continuation and don't despair!

  6. I think you have the clue to the problem when you say that this time the nice man decided he could not speak English and rattled away in high speed French.
    So it's not you and your French.

    He is doubtless, being a nice man, embarrassed because he has been given instructions from on high, which he does not like.
    So he gabbles away at top speed and has thus managed to offload it all onto a colleague.

    Local authorities are desperate to replace the loss of income suffered by the abolition of the Taxe Professionelle....and the Taxe Fonciere and the Taxe d'Habitation are the easiest targets.

    Or at least so friends in the local land registry office tell me.

  7. Thanks Fly. Roll on Friday :-)