Thursday, May 21, 2009


That's so typical for you - is what my girlfriend said after my latest adventure. What outrageous crimes did I commit? Nothing extraordinary just the typical stuff. This time it required a trip to Mulhouse to the Sous-Préfecture (sous as in under and not money).
Last year I bought a new car and with the border being so close and this being the European Union, I bought my car in Germany. I didn't even save money on this, the reasons for this decision lay elsewhere. E.g. Alsace is the region of Peugeot and whenever I tried to buy a car in France there was something wrong, crying foul.
And the next dealer for Toyotas is in Mulhouse which is not that far but it involves stress and going into districts I don't really like. The German dealer is even closer and we've only heard positive stories about him.
Plus they employ somebody who does all the necessary administrative walks on the French side.

Long prologue but I'm coming to the point.
One of Sarkozy's first moves was to introduce a new tax "Eco tax" (seriously I don't know why it's called like that, this should be applied to older and not to brand new cars).
Apparently, that's what they told me, its amount is tax-deductable. Beginning of May and the tax forms finally arrived - what I couldn't find is the paper for that Eco-tax. When I called my car dealer they told me that I had to go to the prefecture to get another copy.

G insisted to come with me and also strongly suggested going Tuesday whereas I had wanted to wait until Thursday or Friday. Guess what had slipped my mind? Thursday is a holiday and besides Easter and Xmas one of the few, which is a day off not only in Germany but in France too.
I gave in and we went yesterday. I had looked up the opening hours on the Internet but it didn't even cross my mind to check the address nor the route.
Last time I went to Mulhouse was before the tram era. Some things still looked familiar but I admit I had my doubts when directions lead us a new way.

I've got quite a good sense for directions and my gut told me to go slightly left but they (directions) were taking us right and even further.
In the end we arrived after having gone half circle.
A parking spot was easily found, in the doorway I remembered that I had forgotten an important paper and had to go back to car. Back at the Préfecture they were sticking a note that they would be closed this Friday!

G had already taken a number and there were about a million numbers between ours and the last one called. So I did the only totally untypical thing in this affair and went to the reception desk and asked. Besides the fact that I couldn't remember the proper word for taxes I was talking about (impôts des revenues) this went smoothly. The guy didn't know what I was talking about, asked me if I had my carte grise with me and showed me a field on it, which said that this tax had been paid and even which amount. He was unaware that this was deductible from the taxes, which I ignored - after all this was the Préfecture and not la Trésorerie ;)

Don't ask what G things of this unnecessary trip. She had me stop at a nursery on our way home where we bought some tomatoes and herb plants for our garden.

Taxes will be finished this weekend, they're due end of next week. If you think that I'm late you're wrong we always have to wait until the forms are delivered which also state the due date.
Not my favorite task though.

And tell me again – why do I have a mobilephone with GPS?

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