Wednesday, August 6, 2008

At the tax office

Last week, I had to go to the tax office (called Hotel des Impots here) to purchase special stamps in order to retrieve my new carte de sejour (permit of residence). Why they don't accept cash is again one of those French bureaucracies that I've learnt not to question.

So there I was driving into the carpark & realised that the building was in complete darkness & with the sun reflecting off the windows, I couldn't see if there was anyone in there - oh no, they are closed for summer vacation. I was about to turn around & drive off when I noticed one of the ground floor windows opened & someone inside.

Okay let me go in & ask. Then when I stepped in, I could see that it was business as usual except that they were all working in semi darkness. It wasn't a power failure either cos the computers & fans were working.

After I'd finished purchasing my stamps (not before the lady had asked me why I needed them, where I was from, who my secondary school teacher is, why I moved to France - basically my whole life story), I decided to ask her if there was something wrong with their lighting system cos I had almost left thinking they were closed.

She said "oh no, nothing wrong with them'' & then proceeded to switch them on - 3 tiny halogen spot lights. She went further to explain that in this heat, it was unbearable to turn them on. She then turned them back off, bid me farewell, turned around & continued doing what she was doing in the dark.


Tsu Lin + + said...

**lol** Seems a scene in a movie from the past. No fans and airconds in France too?

Sri said...

Bwahahahahahaha.... Heat?? They dont know what's heat until they visit Singapore!!

petite fleur said...

tsu lin

They do have fans but little standing ones & definitely no a/c. Like most places in Europe, they are prepared for winter ie heating but no air conditioning.


I know but quite poor thing, even government offices have no air con.

sl said...

I work in the local government offices here. Everyone probably thinks it is advanced and sophisticated...however, the building I work in is a concrete tower block that was built in the 70s. In winter, the central heating does not seem to work, it gets so cold that I have to wear gloves to type on my key board. In summer, there is no air-conditioning. It gets so hot that flies and ladybirds multiply like nobody's business......untrue! And to top it all off, the lifts miss a floor all the time!

IceCatSeoul said...

Petite fleur,
Thank you for visiting my blog.
I haven't been updating my blog for sometime. I just saw your comment today.
I'm living in Lyon with my husband. We have been here since May this year. Ardeche is about 1.5 hr away I guess.

petite fleur said...

SL - I can understand it was an old office but they just moved last Sep to a brand new building. Over here, they just don't believe in air conditioning.

Gosh lifts missing a floor is really quite bad.

Icecatseoul - Yes we're not far away. You should update your blog. I'd love to hear your recommendations for Lyon. We head over for the weekend whenever we can.