Creating a new home with piles of flammable materials
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, something that only the French love
I have now almost officially emigrated from Canada to France. As far as the French are concerned, once I get my carte de séjour, the residency card I submitted my application for the last time we spoke, I’m a ‘habitual resident’ in France, with the rights that come with such. That means I am no longer a ‘factual’ resident in Canada and will only pay taxes to France.
This comes with a massive amount of paperwork, well, at least in France. Today, I spent about 1 hour and 45 minutes signing papers at the bank to open an account with a physical bank. I submitted my very first taxes in France, by pen and paper (all 23 pages), and am part of the social security system here as well. I also have a massive binder full of paperwork for all this.
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Compare this to my paperwork from Canada: I have my birth certificate, passport, driver’s licence and my Ontario Health Card (which is no longer valid). It fits in one zippy bag. Yes, there are my taxes and all, but that’s done online, and I can just save a PDF, it’s not like here, where I have to print it and physically sign it.
Now that the process is complete for my residency in France, along with my residency card on its way (hopefully 🤞), that means I have to start wrapping up things in Canada. Closing certain bank accounts, transferring to other accounts, declaring non-residency status to banks and the CRA, and placing my TFSA on hold. This also includes exchanging my Ontario driver’s licence for a French one, which is proving to be harder than expected. Because Ontario’s systems are so old, I can not request the required documents online; I have to send a fax (a fax!!) to the Ministry of Transportation to request the documents. I tried; hopefully, they got the fax. If not, someone back home will have to go to a ServiceOntario location to request it on my behalf.
Move to France, they said, it‘ll be fun and amazing for your career! It sure is, but no one told me about the paperwork. Sure, the TikToks and Reels all make fun of France for their love of paperwork, but I didn’t expect it to actually be this much. But we can put that aside for now.
I’ve been busy working on some projects during my off hours and days from work. Since November, I have been working on a case study with a professor from my alma mater. After a four-month hiatus on that project, I’ve come back to it and reviewed it with my professor. It is so close to being done, and it will get done soon. Researching and writing about how a First Nation band in British Columbia has overcome a lot of the barriers set forth in the Indian Act, 1876 to create prosperity for their Nation using the Okanagan’s wine culture and leveraging agritourism. The Nation I’m writing about recently bought back the land that was stolen from them by a colonialist commission created by the provincial and federal governments in 1913, which is really inspiring.
I’m also still actively working on the family cookbook I wrote about last time. I’m back to collecting more recipes to transcribe. This time, it’s a bit harder doing this from 5000 km away, relying on others to get me the exact recipe I’m thinking of. One of those recipes is my mom’s double chocolate cupcake recipe from when I was in elementary school. I have so many memories of this recipe, yet I somehow never recorded it. When I was growing up in elementary school, this was the default recipe my mom would make for any party, school potluck, or just for lunch. These cupcakes would appear at all of my school potlucks, and so they became very much enjoyed by my classmates. I have vivid memories from elementary school when one of my classmates, with whom I had graduated high school, would beg me to trade her snacks for these cupcakes whenever my mom made them. I would always refuse, even though my parents would never buy me the Dunkaroos, Gushers, or Scooby snack gummies she was offering.
I’ve also been spending quite some time reading one of’s books, Will Write for Food, a guide all around writing about food. This book is helping me with this top-secret project I’m working on. I hope to be able to talk a little more about this project in the next newsletter, but we shall see about that.
I’ve also been virtually enjoying the Canadian Tulip Festival via Instagram. Tulips are my favourite flower, and the fact that my hometown has an annual festival just makes me so happy. My hope is that next year I’ll be able to make it home to enjoy the tulip festival!
Until next time, happy adventuring!