Sunday, February 11, 2007

People who emigrate from the UK to France.

We have been here over two years now. We came here for the peace and the slow pace of life. The other main reason is that we could afford to retire here at the age of 46. We live on my small RAF pension, but never feel that we don’t have enough money. Things here are so much cheaper than the UK, council tax is about a quarter of what we used to pay. The other reason was to spend more time on the bikes. Not only is the riding season much longer, but the cost of ownership is lower with no MOT or road tax for bikes here.

We have met many British people who either live here permanently or live part time in the UK and part time here.

People come for many reasons. It is my opinion that if they want to come and live in this fantastic country they should make some effort to fit in and learn some of the language. Many French people speak a little English, but are perhaps embarrassed to use it. The French in this area are the friendliest people that I have met anywhere in the world, but trying to speak French makes them even more willing to help.

Some English people moved into a house just up the road from us, last year. I helped out in the move by lending them a large sum of money – all my savings! I spent time collecting them from the airport, dealing with estate agents and solicitors, fitted new bathrooms in their house, put them up for months while workmen were in the house and drove them around everywhere. All at my cost, I did not ask for a penny.

These people hate French bread, dislike the heat in the summer and spend their time looking forward to the next holiday in the UK.

I soon realised that they were not intending to try and fit in or do anything for themselves, they did not even think to buy a French-English dictionary before they moved here. They were quite happy to depend on me, or the goodwill of the few English speaking French people in the village.

They have paid my money loan back, but have never really said thank you for all the work that you have done for us.

I have tried to steer clear of them these last few months, but have now found out that they feel I have wronged them by not holding their hands everyday. Never again.

Then there are others who we have met, who have tried to learn French before they moved and take French language classes when they get here. They embrace the French way of life and enjoy every minute of it. These are the sort of people that the French seem to like.

If a foreigner move to the UK and expected to be able to buy his favourite foreign foods, and for the English to learn his language to help him out then there would be uproar, yet a small minority of Brits here expect it work the other way round.

Rant over.

Those who watch this blog for the bike pictures are probably asking where they have gone. Well the weather is improving again so we will bee out soon. I have bought a small video camera and mounted it on the bike so that we can show some interesting movies on the web. For this purpose I have opened a Photobucket account to show the still photos in a better resolution and to deposit the videos. If you want to look then the link is http://s138.photobucket.com/albums/q259/bikesindordogne/.

Bye for now

2 Comments:

At 9:40 pm, Blogger François said...

Dang, now what happened. Google bought Blogger !!?? Oh well.

Heh.. I was wondering what happened to your posts.. was a tad quiet here for a while. Bad weather eh? I had MY bike out ONCE in the past 7 or so weeks... BAAAAAD!! Last year I rode it almost every week, all through winter. Now it keeps raining and storming... we come and join you as soon as we can.

Wow! Bad story about those UK people there. I have learned my lessons long time ago (trough some rather bad experiences) and will NOT loan any money to anybody anymore (unless they are real good, intimate friends and in real trouble!). But money aside, these people sound like they should have emigrated to Torquay rather than France ;-)

I have always felt that you have to adapt to the country you are in. whether that is for permanent OR holiday. The 'locals' were there FIRST and even if you are settling permanent, you're still sort of a guest.. certainly in the beginning.

Nina and I are 'Europeans', speaking various languages, having been in many places and with different cultural backgrounds.. we think we can adjust no matter where we go.. as long as we like it there.

Some places I really don't care for... so we just don't go there.

I hope your next neighbors will be more civilized.. experiences like these can make you turn your back on the world..... believe me, I know !

Hope the weather clears for you and look forward seeing some action footage !!!

A bientot!
François

 
At 7:48 pm, Blogger Tigue said...

glad to see you posting again. I really enjoyed finding your blog. I will be moving near you in June...and yes, I am learning French :p

 

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