On several blogs written by Americans living in France there have been references to how long it takes to get things accomplished in their new home country versus in the US. In other words, this experience has taught them patience. When I looked up the etymology for that word, unsurprisingly it originated in Latin, moved on to Old French, before being adopted by Middle English. What did surprise me is that in the UK it’s the name of a card game that we call solitaire.
Now that’s a word I didn’t need to look up since 1.) Bill plays the card game everyday on his computer and 2.) it brings to mind the thought of being on your own. It’s that last bit that concerns me for the upcoming move. We’ve read, for example, that we should plan on at least a 2-week wait if we want to get a landline telephone installed in our new place and that once you’ve been accepted into France’s national health insurance plan it takes at least 6 months to get an ID card. Those aren’t concerns for at least the first year since we’ll only have cell phones and we already have to have private health insurance to get a 12-month visa. After that, you’re covered for health insurance from the day that you’re accepted but you only have a paper receipt to prove it until your card arrives.
So why did this suddenly become so important today? Heather and I had just come back inside from her morning walk when that giant spring on the garage door broke. Since we had heard thunder in the distance I thought for sure that lightning had just struck the door since the noise was so loud. The ever-calm Bill surveyed the situation, saw what had really happened, and called a garage door service company. Within 30 minutes a repairman was at our front door.
Could that happen in France? No, at least not for us, but not for the reason you might think. You see, we won’t have a car so we won’t need a garage door. We will, however, have long walks along the canal and river, short strolls to a sidewalk café and a quick dash to the corner bakery for those daily croissants and baguettes. Life is good.