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Archive for April, 2015

La Poste

La Poste

Things we take for granted – such as receiving a letter. The first time we realised that we did not have a mailing address was when we went to Darty, a major appliance retailer, to order a washing machine. The salesman asked us for our address, a simple enough question in any language. Steve looked at me and I looked at him and we asked ourselves, “What is our address?”

We could not answer the question since we were not given an official address yet. It’s a new house on a new street in a new development. We had asked the developer about an address months ago but he said that it will be taken care of. Here we are standing at Darty and we need it now.

So we again asked our developer to get us our mailing address. Surely he would know how to get us one easily. To our surprise he did not know how to handle the situation, so we had to take matters into our own hands.

The Local La Poste

The Local La Poste

Our neighbour Pierre, who speaks fluent French, took the lead and went to our local post office, La Poste. They told him that he had to go to the main La Poste in the nearby town, Pezenas, where they gave him forms for all of us address-less people in our new little community to fill in.

He brought the forms home and we began filling in the forms together. The first question on the form was “What is your name?” Easy enough, so far, so good. Next was “What is your address?” Uh-oh! We thought that we were filling in the forms to get an address. So Pierre went back to La Poste and explained the situation to them. They told him that he needed to go to the local Mairie, the Mayor’s office and ask the le Maire, the Mayor, for the official address of our development. Le Maire in France has a great deal of power unlike in the USA and UK.

La Mairie

La Mairie

So Pierre went back to la Mairie and arranged an appointment to see le Maire. A week later la Mairie called the office of the developer and gave him our official address. Pierre again took the forms – now filled in with our address, back to La Poste in Pezenas. They were then happy enough with the forms, but would need to come to our development in the next few days and see that our boites aux lettres, mailboxes, are placed in the proper place. They weren’t – uh-oh again!

The developer did not know that the postman is not allowed to deliver mail on a private road, so les boites aux lettres had to be moved to the bottom of the private road where it meets the main road. The developer has a track record of moving very slowly with these issues, so Pierre decided to take action once again and cleaned up the area and moved the mailboxes to the proper place on the street. Two days later we received our first letters.

Pierre Relocating the Mailboxes

Pierre Relocating les Boites aux Lettres

Finally, we’ve got mail!

Pierre and Steve, Proud of the New Mailboxes

Pierre and Steve, Standing Proud in Front of the New Mailboxes

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Settling In

I know that you have not heard from me in a few months, this is due to the fact that we have been in the middle of moving into our new house in South of France.  It has been a transition period, moving to a new country, learning a new language and learning about a new culture. However we are finally settling in and actually it has only been two and half months since we spent our first night in our new house sleeping on a mattress on the floor in our bedroom.

Our Garden is Coming to Life

Our Garden is Coming to Life

The next day we were excited to celebrate our 35 year Wedding Anniversary in our new house. We do have bedroom furniture now We have learned that this being France and a brand new Housing Development, we need patience to get through the process. We still do not have internet, a landline or television. But we do have a French mobile phone and for that we are very thankful. This allows us to keep in touch with our family and friends in Southern California and England and receive my email so we still feel connected to the world.

Both Steve and I are very patient people however moving to France has taken our patience to whole new level. It is inconvenient not having internet or television but by focusing on what we DO have and being grateful for all of the blessings in our life can bring us contentment, joy, love and peace. It is all part of the ‘Adventure’.

We are “Enjoying the Ride” –  Maxine

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