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hstraf's Achievements


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  1. I'm sure it does say in the contract. The problem is that the contract is in French (which I can't read), and unless I know how to tell the bank guy what I want to do... neither will he know what to look for in the contract. In other words, I tried my hardest to explain the concept of "early payment of principle" to him. He did not understand. :)
  2. Hello, I am trying to figure out if it's possible to pre-pay the principle of my mortgage a little bit. I got a big chunk of money, and I'd like to use it to pay down my mortgage principle amount with it. Does anyone know how to say "pre-payment" in French, as it applies to this situation? Or perhaps a simple phrase I can give to our bank that would explain what we want to do? (I went already and the guy looked at me like I was crazy. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not make him understand the concept of wanting to apply a one-time payment to the principle amount of my mortgage.) Thanks!
  3. Hello, (I have a small company that installs remote video conferencing equipment.) Someone asked me to install a webcam into the meeting area where our local village's conseil general meets. They want to broadcast the meetings, so the meetings are "open" (by watching/listening on computer) to everyone. I was getting ready to do this, when the Mayor intervened and told me it is not possible to allow the meetings to be recorded or viewed by anyone except the elected list of the conseil general. He told me it is against the law and that nobody may be in the room during these meetings, so it is therefore not allowed to make the meetings viewable by webcam. My French is not very good, so it is difficult for me to research and determine if the Mayor is correct or not. Does anyone know? Are there any other villages that broadcast their conseil general meetings via webcam? Thanks.
  4. Hello, I need some help understanding what is the best way to run wires behind the wall. (I need to add two new electrical plugs.) The wall is built with plaque de plâtre (gyprock) that has a 10cm backing of rigid styrofoam (polystyrene), which is then glued to the cement blocks. I thought perhaps I could heat up a fishing weight and drop it down the back of the plaque de platre to melt the Styrofoam and create a tunnel... but in this situation I need to run the wires horizontally, not vertically. Any ideas how to do this? Thanks!
  5. We recently signed up with idmacif.fr and they seem decent.  I have another car to insure so I'll take a look at amaguiz, too.  It looks like they have a "pay as you drive" plan which might be good for our 2nd car which we don't drive very much.    
  6. Hello, I am wondering if there is such a thing as car insurance that charges by the KM.  We have a 2nd car that we rarely drive, so it doesn't make sense to have "normal" insurance on it.  We drive it maybe once per week for about 50km or so. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  7. Hello, I actually already have the regulator I need, which came with the BBQ when I purchased it. All I need now is the adapter to go from my regulator "input" to the French cylinder. (They use different sizes of connections, which is why I posted...)
  8. We brought our propane BBQ to France when we moved. The problem is now we need to replace a part and I can't find a replacement anywhere since the French BBQs use either butane or propane with different attachements. I have a Weber Q220 BBQ, and am trying to figure out how to connect it to a "local" propane tank connector. So basically, I need this part here: http://www.amazon.com/Weber-6501-6-Foot-Adapter-Go-Anywhere/dp/B0012XXD4Y/ref=dp_cp_ob_ol_title_0 (And then I will simply cut off the "USA propane tank" end and put a standard french tank connector into it. So I really only need the end of the hose which connects to the BBQ.) Or if anyone knows how I can get a part like this shipped to France: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150526172605 (My BBQ has a female connector on it, which fits a standard USA "throwaway" propane cannister. I want to connect to a normal French propane tank, so I need a 1" male to ?? adapter. Any ideas? Thanks!
  9. Hello, I need to purchase an open for our home in France... but I do not understand exactly what is the difference between these two cleaning types. Can someone explain or point me to a webpage that explains the difference between "catalyse" and "pyrolyse" cleaning for ovens? (Also, if anyone has a favorite website that sells ovens at a good price.. please let me know. I'm looking for an oven in the same style like this: http://bit.ly/oEF17w (Except my wife wants one with an electric oven instead of gas.) Thanks!
  10. [quote user="Russethouse"]Perhaps it would help if the OP explains the incident that makes him thinks such a letter would be an advantage [/quote] Certainly. First, yes.. I am French (Canadian by birth, but also French because my Father was French), and my wife is also French (American by birth, but also French because she is married to me and applied for citizenship). We have lived in France for the previous 5 years. We did not speak French before moving to France. So... my wife went to North America to visit family, with the kids. (Two were born in France, and the other in Canada.) When she returned to France, she was questioned by the French immigration authorities. She had French passports for everyone, including her Carte d'identie, etc... And she was told that, "It might be a good idea to travel with a letter of permission from your husband, to show you are allowed to travel with the children out of the country". I actually received a phone call from some guy at the airport asking if my wife had permission to travel with my children. So ya. This happens. It shouldn't. Of course not. The whole thing was rediculous and absolutely insane. I can only imagine the "reason" might have been the oddity of my wife's broken French and three kids with French passports... .. but whatever the reason, it happened. So... to avoid the situation again in the future, I figured I'd take 10 minutes and get a translation for a letter she can keep with her when she travels with the kids alone. It seems a lot easier to comply with this "suggestion", rather then her making a big deal and trying to point out the law and her rights and whatever to the immigration/customs officers. Believe me, nobody was as pissed off as I was when she got home and told me why I received this phone call. I went straight to our mairie and told him what happened. Unfortunately, there was no paperwork given to her to show the name of the officer who questioned her and called me. We even tried tracing the phone call I received, but it wen to some switchboard at the airport and could not be tied down to any particular officer who made the call. So.. somewhere in the immigration/customs office in Paris there works a functionaire who obviously has no idea that it's perfectly ok for a woman to travel with her kids.. without her husbands written consent. (And just to lighten the mood a bit... we've had many good laughs about this whole incident. I often have tried to tell my wife she must also have my permission to leave the house, drive the car, etc. So far she seems intent on doing her own thing without my permission, and I'm still trying to find out to whom I should report such direct flaunting of my absolute authority.) :)
  11. [quote user="allanb"]If you want to take a chance on a plain French statement, the following might work. (I don't think you need to bother with "to whom it may concern" or "sincerely", which are purely conventional.) Par la présente j'autorise mon épouse Madame [...] à voyager, ou bien seule, ou bien accompagnée d'un ou plusieurs des enfants nommés ci-dessous: names of children][/quote] Thanks very much! This is for travel to and from various French-speaking countries... (mostly France). I fully understand that French law says my wife can travel alone with our children. However, from experience, we have found not every "functionnaire" is fully informed about the law. :) Thus, from experience, we have decided it would be better for her to travel with a simple letter giving her my "permission" to travel with the kids. Yes, I do realize she could contact the appropriate authorities and have them look up the relevant law, etc... but hey.. why bother when a simple letter will "fix" the problem in 10 seconds if she is ever asked for one again? We all know the French love their beauracracy, regardless of whether they are right or wrong. If the person asking for the letter wants a letter with my permission... presto.. now she can provide it. Problem solved with no need to complicate things by calling the police and/or an advocate.. causing her and the kids to miss their flight (again).
  12. Hello, I have a single sentence text that I need to be translated from English into French. The lowest quote I received from a professional translator was $75. That seems a bit high for one sentence... so I'm wondering if there's anyone here who could do it for less? Basically.... it just needs to be in "proper" French. Otherwise, I would use google translate to do it. Here is what I need: ---------------------- To whom it may concern, This letter is to authorize my wife, [her name will be here], to travel without me with any of our children listed: [children will listed here] Sincerely, [my name will be here] ---------------------- Thanks!
  13. Very nice. I also found this link, which lists the individual regions and their associated prefixes: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indicatif_t%C3%A9l%C3%A9phonique_local_en_France Thanks again!
  14. Thanks for the replies! I have an unlocked GSM phone which I will be using. I've travelled with this phone to many other "gsm" countries and never had a problem. I just install a local SIM chip, and all is good. For the ADSL modem question... I'm basically trying to avoid the 3 euro per month it costs to rent a modem from orange/sfr/alice/free/whatever. (I don't need a wifi/router as I already have that.) For example, I can go to grosbill.com and purchase a new adsl 2+ modem (including delivery to our house in France) for 30 euro. This works out to be 10 months of modem rental... after that.. I'm saving money. That's two "free" coffee every month! haha. (BTW - the voltage/electrical issues are no problem. All my electronics work with 110/220v and 50/60hz.) I just called Orange's English-speaking phone number and talked with them about this. The first two people were totally clueless, but the third person was very helpful. He said I can use any modem and it would be the same for them as if it was theirs. He said if (when!) there is a problem with the service for any reason, it would not matter if I'm using my own modem or if I'm renting theirs. He told me all "newer" modems include the same diagnostics software inside the modem firmware that their own rental modem includes... so when there is a problem, it doesn't matter if their modem runs the diagnostics or my own modem does it. So we'll see... I really like the English-speaking phone number.. I wish SFR had that. I prefer SFR.. but being able to discuss technical issues without a communications barrier is really nice... So I suppose it's a tossup between SFR and Orange. SFR - cheaper for both adsl and mobile phone. Orange - Has English speaking people and "owns" the phone lines where we will be living. (Non degroupage area.) Cheers!
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