Progress and a Lack of...
Trip Start May 25, 2009
33Trip End Ongoing
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Can't say Ive made much. I have drunken a few beers and watched a few movies though. As I write this I am on my second beer.
No I don't have a job yet. Please stop asking me everybody it's starting to depress me! Also, please stop asking me when I am coming home. It depends on the whether I find a job or not. If I find a job, probably work for 4 months or so. No job, expect me home by Christmas! I admit I did try the job application approach of going for a beer in a couple of bars. But, gave up.... I don't think I can work in an English speaking bar in Paris. They all seem to be party style bars. I don't think I'm outgoing enough to put on a Super overly happy attitude to every customer. I would prefer it just to be, you want a beer?.....heres your beer
Living away from home. The biggest issue has been cooking. I thought I could cook somewhat before I left. I can... sort of.. I can cook pasta and cook a mean steak. Hence, I alternate each night between Spaghetti and a steak sandwich!. To mix it up a bit. I change the pasta sauce. Some nights I have bolegnase, some nights i have Napolatana! To mix it up on Sandwich night, I alternate between Steak and chicken! I used to have a third option of Pizza. But, the pizza's you buy and chuck in the oven taste awful after you have had them for a while.... I try to eat out at least once a week. But it is expensive. A pizza cost me about 30 bucks! Thai cost me the same! So if anyone wants to send me recipes. Bear in mind that I have a lot of trouble working out trying to find ingredients in French. It took me a while to work out that I was buying Turkey instead of Chicken. I thought i was getting a good deal buying that type of chicken!
Car (The Kafer, Coccinelle, whatever you want to call it)
If I said that I spent an entire week of awake time researching the German and French laws about importing and exporting of cars I would be under-exaggerating. I decided that before I was to work I was going to head to Germany and take my time finding an old beetle and then bring it back to France where I would keep it and drive it on weekends and eventually all round Europe and such
I even had a ticket booked for Frankfurt (Germany). However in the final hours before I was to leave I decided I should actually check and see how much it would cost to insure myself in France. After a decent number of calls to French insurance companies where I was hanged up on, laughed at and then told it couldn't be done I canceled my ticket, and told Oliver from Frankfurt that i wasn't coming. Here is the general process which I found out from reading many forums, translating bit by bit from websites.
The German Side
Buy a ticket to Germany ($200)
Find a car and get TUV and AU done /rego and pollution checks - ($200)
Get the hopefully English speaking
German to go with you to their RTA type place and transfer the car over.
Go to a local insurance company and get insurance ($300 a month for non residents)
Go back to the RTA place and get Export Plates ($100)
That was the easy part – Now comes
the crazy French side
The French Side
Drive the car back to Paris (Ram your car into the spot – touch parking)
You now have 1 month to register yourcar
France does not acknowledge any other countries rego. Redo Rego and Pollution - ($200) Go to their RTA fill out a dozen forms (in French) – pay another ($150) wait several weeks (doesn't work with the 1 month to register your car)
Go to a place to get your plates made! (Yes you have to do everything yourself!!)
Get their insurance (need to have a 1 year International driving license from the time you insurance your car) – Fail – done. The international driving license only lasts 1 year from the time you buy it in Australia. Only other option – French driving license – Which can only be done through a French driving school. NO THANKS.
It is likely that I could get insurance without a French driving license. But, i've been told it could cost upto 1000 euros for 6 months ($2000). On top of this if you want to cancel the insurance if France you have to sent a hand written letter in French to the insurance company and give 2 months notice! I will never ever complain about the Australian insurance companies again! Or the RTA.
I was prepared to just rent a car. Then, the day I canceled my train ticket and was walking done the street I saw it! A beetle drove past! It was like destiny! Then, that day I saw another one. I can't rent a car I thought! Renting a car is Gay! (Not that there is anything wrong with that)
Sure it's probably sensible to rent a car. For about $1500 you get a new car, fully service. You get insurance. You get break down service. But it just wouldn't have the same feeling as an old Kafer (Beetle)
I just bought a tennis racket from some bloke in Italy. So once it arrives I can hit balls against a wall! I have found a big old cinema scene in Paris. Where all these cinemas play classic movies like the Magnificent Seven, Raging Bull, etc.
Over the next couple of weeks I intend to somehow find a job. Maybe try and go to sleep before 3am and wake up before 1pm. Might help...
Over the next weekend I somehow got roped into going to some music festival in St Malo. Apparently, if I wash dishes or pick up glasses for a day I get free accommodation and
alcohol. I hope there is free alchohol as otherwise I am going to be very bored listing to French bands all weekend!