I never thought I’d ever hear myself say this but I miss France!
Everything almost seems easy in France compared to England! Yes, yes, I can hear all you French expats muttering that I’ve been drinking too many cups of tea without milk over here but let me give you one example that probably says it all for me.
Part of all this chagrin is me keeping my maiden name and not officially changing my surname to Hubs’ surname the very second I got married. I don’t have anything against changing my surname; I’m just too lazy to do all the paperwork.
In France, when I first arrived, the Hubs had a job but I didn’t. We went to the bank and wanted to open a joint account. The French bank lady said that she couldn’t put my maiden name on the joint account as I was married. It HAD to be Hubs’ surname. This was obviously a problem for me as all my ID has my maiden name on it.
French bank lady even told me that I should change my name immediately! She even got quite huffy about the whole situation. In the end, she compromised, and my surname on our joint account was “maidenname-marriedname”. I just got hyphenated but we had our joint account in less than 30 minutes.
Across La Manche, same situation. Hubs is employed, I’m not (I've been here 1 week!), and I still have my maiden name. So off we went to the bank.
English bank man says that firstly, I can’t have my maiden name on the joint account, it has to be my married name. And secondly, I don’t have a job so I can’t even put my first name on that joint account. In other words, no income, no account!
Hubs on the other hand, can open an account because he has a job. So Hubs explains that we’re married so his income is my income. English bank man says: no job, no name on account.
Then English bank man says that I really should change my maiden name to my married name. What the heck!
Oh, and then the English bank man tells us that when we come back in to open the joint account, we should allow at least 45 minutes per person. That’s 1.5 hours to open 1 bank account.
So anyone who’s tired of living in France because of all the red tape blah blah blah, don’t even think about moving across La Manche! The people are still talking a whole other language here!