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Changes!

Drivers in France: As of July 1, you must have a bright yellow vest and red triangle (gilet de sécurité et triangle de pré-signalisation) in your car at all times to use during an accident or if your car breaks down. The police will be doing random checks and if they discover that you do not have these, they will fine you 90 €.

Cyclists in France: As of September 1, you must wear a bright yellow vest if you are riding at night and outside of the city limits. The fine for not wearing this vest will be 22 €.

Eastern EU Citizens: Also as of July 1, you will have the full right to work in France. Previously, only citizens of the the states admitted before 2004 (UK, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, and Sweden, plus Cyprus and Malta); members of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and a few other states (Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City and Liechtenstein) could live and work in France without needing a residency or work permit, but Sarkozy recently announced that citizens of the Eastern states would be allowed as well (2004 entrants): the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. However, restrictions are still in place against citizens of Romania and Bulgaria (2007 entrants).

Tourists to the US: As of January 12, 2009, tourists from the 27 Visa Waiver countries will be required to enter basic ID/contact information online at least three days before their arrival in the US. Supposedly the registration will be good for two years unless the tourist’s passport expires before then. No word yet on what will happen to tourists who forget or don’t know they need to enter this information 3 days before their flight. The Visa Waiver Program countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Citizens of Canada, Bermuda and Mexico do not need visas to enter the US as tourists either.

Leaving

I’m off to the US for Christmas! We’re leaving here at 7 am, and I will finally get to my parent’s house around 10 pm (4 am French time). ::sigh:: Thank you stupid Lufthansa for changing my flight times after I chose the times I wanted and paid for the ticket. Why are airlines allowed […]
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Christmas Spirit

So France doesn’t go crazy with Christmas decorations like the US does, so I’ve been having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. We finally bought some decorations this weekend so I feel a little better. Garland (guirlande), lights (guirlande électrique), card (carte) from Teresa, poinsettia plant from Jessica, and Joyeux Noël […]
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Sapeurs-Pompiers de Genève

The 118 Project. Swiss pompiers got fed up with so many people confusing their number (118) with the number for information (18something). They’ve been receiving about 20 calls a day for information instead of for fires. So they recorded a rap song and shot a music video to remind the Swiss that 118 is for […]
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Not a bad day(s)

After the relief of being “hired” as an assistant again, I suddenly got a stroke of ambition and started planning out the entire year’s worth of lessons. Since I’m teaching at a different school this year, I can use the same lessons as last year, but I want to improve them a little and add […]
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