I learned the hard way that despite my brand new passport I will never be truly British. That said, the worst comments I get usually come from friends and family back in France. And to make matters even worse, I keep hearing them again and again. Frankly, it is becoming a bit tiring. Here they are…
1. ‘Now you are a tax exile!’ Well, here is a newsflash: I have to pay taxes in London too…and as I am renting out my flat in France, I still have to pay taxes there. Double the red tape for me. Not very efficient for a tax exile, right?
2. ‘Don’t you know any cheap hotels in London?’ Nothing is cheap in London. Don’t come here for cheap holidays. A single zone 1 tube ticket costs £4.70. If you find a deal that’s too good to me true, well, it probably is. £20 won’t get you a night in Central London. This much I know.
3. In the same vein, some so-called friends have called after years of silence to tell me something like ‘as you will be in France for Xmas/Easter/summer -take your pick-, can we stay in your house?’. As much as I respect the if-you-don’t-ask-you-don’t-get concept, the answer is no. Just have a look at my rental deposit. I will not risk it for you. Sorry
4. ‘My daughter would like to become an au-pair to learn to speak English. Do you know a family for her?’ I have heard this one countless times. Let me spell it out for you: I am not an au-pair agency. I often end up giving a list of suitable companies. A thank you would be nice, for a change.
5. ‘You must be tired of never seeing the sun’ Well, the weather is broadly similar than in Paris, so please give me a break.
6. ‘Take some more bread, you don’t have any in London’ Wrong again. I have a French boulangerie just around the corner. And it is open seven days a week. Between you and me, it is even better than in France.
7. ‘You must be a banker and make millions’ Shame I didn’t know. What’s next? That I won the lottery?
8 ‘ How can you trust the British? They lie through their teeth!’ Do they really? I kind of like them. So much that I am British too, now.
9 ‘A rosbif rented out the house next door. He is from London. Maybe you know him?’ Well, it is highly unlikely: we are more than 12 millions in London. Yes, 12 millions. Next question?
10. ‘You studied in France. You owe it to your home country to come back.’ What do I do with my husband and children? Do I just drop them and leave?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London