Bureaucracy is a French word. Period. This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
The term “bureaucracy” is French in origin, and combines the French word – bureau – desk or office – with the Greek word Kratos – rule or political power. It was coined in the mid-18th century by the French economist Jacques Claude Marie Vincent de Gournay and was a satirical pejorative from the outset.
Gournay never wrote the term down but was later quoted at length in a letter from a contemporary.
The late M. de Gournay sometimes used to say: “We have an illness in France which bids fair to play havoc with us; this illness is called bureaumania.” Sometimes he used to invent a fourth or fifth form of government under the heading “bureaucracy”.
~Baron von Grimm
In October, I began to research the paperwork needed for an ‘almost’ retired couple to move to France. Seriously, it was overwhelming. Unless you have navigated the trail, you have no idea. If you have successfully navigated the trail…my hat is off to you.
I recently had a need to contact the consulate we will be working with. Hint: it’s not in AZ…not naming names… I had a question concerning a new requirement that is time consuming and expensive (it was listed in a vague manner on their website). I sent off an email (calling is not an option) and several days later received a reply. A vague reply with a link to a vague page. Never really got an answer. With that being said, we will make sure to follow the list and have the expensive time consuming document…for each of us.
I’m really not complaining although some may see it as such. My French friends talk about French bureaucracy on a regular basis. I am trying to look at it in a positive way. It’s their country, not mine. Napoleon wanted to be known for bureaucracy…and he is. You REALLY must have the desire to live in France or you would never attempt to jump through the hoops.
The outcome…living in France could be a very good thing. We just need to have our files in order.
We do have a backup plan…you never know. That is one thing I have learned from my son’s death. Not everything works out the way we would like it too. If we end up part time in Europe…I’m okay with that.
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