I’ve just signed my kids up for their new after school activities for the year. James and Luc are doing Judo. Not sure this is such a great idea and hope they don’t practice on each other, but we’ll give it a go. Frankie's signed up for dancing - she’s just turned 4 and has been looking forward to starting for a year.
In France, enrollment for activities is usually in September and you pay up front for the whole year. Its an expensive time, especially when you have 3 little ones. There are lots of papers to fill in of course, this is France. Luc and James even have to apply for a licence to do judo. A licence? Why? You just fill in a form, pay 34 euros and they give you a piece of paper which says Licence on it. What is the point? Just more paperwork and another way of making money! I can understand perhaps for adults, but for children???
BUT, the most annoying thing about the whole process is that to do any activity, your child needs a ‘Certificat Medical Sportif’ from the doctor. What’s that all about? Do they think I don’t know if my child is healthy enough to do an after school sport? What do they think is going to happen? Perhaps they think Frankie will faint when she points her toe, or Luc will pass out on the judo mat? It’s quite ridiculous and another example of “That’s just what we do here and we’ve always done it that way”.
What really annoys me is that it’s not easy for me to get to the doctors to get the certificates. The surgery is open from 4pm – 6pm and I work till 6pm. Even if I leave work early, there is no appointment system and unless you get there by 3.30, you’ll be waiting at least a couple of hours. Have you ever waited in a doctors waiting room with 3 little ones – it’s not fun! Then, when we do get in there he’ll listen to their heart rate, make them jump up and down a bit, listen to their heart again, sign a bit of paper – an that will be 66 euros please! Ok, I’ll get it back eventually, but it all seems so pointless!
So, I’d geared myself up to go, got Gary to cover the shop, aimed to get to the surgery by 5.45, hoping everyone would nearly be gone and I wouldn’t have to wait too long, only to find..... it was closed! There was a small sign on the door saying “Surgery will be closed Tuesday afternoon, but open again on Wednesday” Ahhhhhhh!!! It’s like that in rural France – get over it!
Now, I’m going to have to make another special trip this evening – hope they’re not closed again! I think I might get him to sign some certificates for next year too – do you think he will? Probably. Everyone knows its a pointless exercise!
This post is linked to the Expat Blog hop over at Tales from Windmill Fields. This weeks topic was Why?