Print Posted By Lost in France on 5 Apr 2009 in Real France - Expat Interviews

Living in Nord Pas de Calais

David's job sent him to work in Paris in 1993, after his assignment finished he decided to stay and now lives in Nord-Pas de Calais.

Nord Pas de CalaisWhat made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
I was sent here to work by my employer in 1993. In 1999 they said my assignment was finished and I had to return to UK. I resigned and stayed in France.

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
Paris for six years then 'Chez le Ch'ti' Dept 59. It's like living in Gateshead !! The accent and mentality is about the same.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Make sure you have some people from your home country within half an hour from you to save your sanity. Close quote

What is your age?
I'm 58.

Where were you born?
Belfast but was brought up in Leicester.

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
It was easy for me to find work but not as well paid as my original career. I had no problems with administration when I started my business. But as my French is quite good and the most of the admin is done by professionals 'notaires, accountants, banks, then it was relative plain sailing. The same for buying property, getting Carte Vital, driving license insurance etc etc.

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
Buying my business for the wrong reasons. It was nothing to do with being in France and I could have made the same mistake in UK.

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Make sure you have some people from your home country within half an hour from you to save your sanity.

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
After 15 years I have not really integrated. My French is quite good but I suffer from a very hard accent. I met a French man who lived in Germany for 8 years and speaks good German. He is the only person who understands my position. When the repartee start to fly you have no points of reference and you get left out quickly. Even being out of UK for 15 years I can pick up references to jokes very quickly when I return. I can watch East enders once in 5 years and know instantly what is going on and what has been.

What's the best thing about living in France?
No East Enders !!!
Louis Brocant, Julliette Lesco, Louis Page, Arté, The ferry to Dover. Eurostar, Emmaüs,
Radio 4
From where I live I can Drive to London, Paris Brussels, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruge, Berlin with relative ease.

And the worst?
When the cricket is on Radio 4
American TV series on French television. French TV chat shows and endless boring discussion programmes.
When a French person searches compliments about France or asks me about Princess Diana!
Talking French politics.

What do you think?

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