Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Gift...

Jude and I wanted to treat ourselves to something special for the Winter Holidays.  So we thought and thought, and talked and talked, and came to a decision.  We'd give ourselves an entire year of gifts.

Louvre ~ in B&W

Two years ago we'd purchased two Ami du Louvre cards.  One for her.  One for me.  We let the membership lapse when we were faced with the long, arduous task of organizing a return trip to the US to clear out the storage unit that contained Plan B.

After our three week stay in the US we returned to France to face an exchange of Official Letters and subsequent rejections by the French Health Insurance.  Even though French law grants us the right to buy state-sponsored health insurance, in the end we've been denied.

The Exchange of Official Letters and the wording there-in leads me to believe that France has used the fact we left the country as the basis for the rejection, even though we were away for only three weeks.  Under the surface we're left to wondering if perhaps we're too old (even though there is no mention of age in the laws I've carefully read), or if perhaps there is some kind of mandate that caps the number of new entrants into The System.

Louvre ~ in B&W

Whatever the real reasons, the Exchange of Official Letters had kept us busy.  Well, that and a short four day visit to Saint Malo, Dinan, and an Inspection Visit of Jude's ancestor's buildings (the Duke of Normandy's Mont Saint Michel).

Our Winter Holidays were quiet.  The weather turned cold and brutish nasty which put the kibosh on any visits to see the lights along the Champs Elysee.  So we spent time around the apartment eating and drinking our way through the Doldrums with the twice weekly visits with our French/English Conversation Group.  The people in the group helped us keep our sanity by simply being human and welcoming us to join in lively conversation on whatever topic arose.

Now that New Years Day has come and gone, Jude and I are feeling much better.  There's a lightness in our step and a smile on our faces.  There's the anticipation of Fun Things To Do in 2015.

Louvre ~ in B&W

First on our list of Fun Things To Do was to renew our annual Ami du Louvre membership.

Flashing our out of date Ami du Louvre at the Guards at the Gates (that lead to the security X-ray machine) helped us cut the long queue in True French Fashion.  We were soon into the membership office and talking with the nice man behind the counter.

We handed over our old cards.  He scanned them and asked for our Carte Bleu (credit card).  I entered the PIN on the touch-pad and waited, oh, three seconds.  Over the counter was passed a receipt and our new cards with our old photos on them.  We are once again "in."  We're Card Carrying Members of the Louvre.  Friends of the Louvre, in fact.

Louvre ~ in B&W

Jude and I spent a very nice afternoon wandering the Most Amazing Museum On Planet Earth.  We can do this any time the museum is open for the next 12 months.  We love art.  We like a warm place to visit during the winter.  Life is good.

As for the CMU French state-sponsored health-insurance, we figure we need to continue to research our options.  The first step will be to submit a brand new application with all the information we were asked for the first time we went through the process.  We'll then see what happens next.

Who knows?  Maybe we'll have our application reviewed by a different fonctionaire and win a different outcome?

Louvre ~ in B&W

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