Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photo Du Jour : Rocky Road

This is the vineyard road out behind our house during a recent walk. When it rains a lot, it can develop some pretty deep gullies.

The rocky road. That's Callie on the upper left.

Wednesday was a day full of errands. First, I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. I waited in the waiting room for more time than I spent with the doctor. Typical, but he's a real low-key guy and nice, so it really doesn't bother me.

Next, I had to go to the pharmacy to refill prescriptions. On the way, I stopped and picked up a little christmas tree.

Then Ken and I drove up to Blois for an appointment at the Assurance Maladie (health insurance) office, where they administer the universal health care program. We have to renew our coverage each year and they asked for some new stuff this time that we didn't understand.

It turns out that, since we live in the same house, we have to be covered together rather than individually. Who knew? Since we originally enrolled separately, they were kind of confused when they realized we live in the same house.

We were so lucky; the woman we met with was incredibly nice and patient and really explained things well. She said they needed to re-establish our accounts which meant new copies of all the paperwork we had already submitted (ah - bureaucracy!). We had most of the paperwork we needed with us and she seemed really glad that we didn't come empty-handed. Still, we have a few more papers to gather and submit so they can change our accounts around and square everything away.

Once again I feel fortunate that we speak French. This kind of thing would be so difficult without a good knowledge of the language, especially vocabulary and expressions related to income and income tax, retirement pensions, general banking, and, of course, health care.

We got along very well with the young lady we met with and we were all laughing and joking at various points during our hour-long meeting. I have a feeling that we aren't the variety of immigrants they're used to dealing with at the Sécu. Good for us.


  1. The French are more engaged to foreigners who speak French.

    Bureaucracy thrives everywhere!

  2. The language issue really is a big one, isn't it? Hey, do you think that you or Ken would consider doing a post one day with vocabulary and expressions related to those topics you mention... income, income tax, health benefits, banking, etc.? I'd LOVE that :)

    I'm looking forward to the tree photos!


  3. Uh, can we get back to why you were lying in the road in the first photo? I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation--of course, that's not what I'm looking for.

  4. Man oh man, what I wouldn't do to walk down that road and enjoy it for an hour or two.

  5. victor, I think you're right about that.

    judy, oh, I'll have to work on that. Or maybe Ken can...

    carolyn, well, I'm only crouching down. ;)

    alewis, the best time for walking is in the summer, of course, when the vines are full of grapes and the sun is shining and you can wear shorts. Winter is a bit chilly.

  6. It is always great when the people behind the desk are patient and friendly? We've always found the CPAM people to be very nice.

    Seine Judeet should have a look at There are regional sites and each one has sections for banking, income tax, etc., with French terminology.


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.