We’ve been in Nice for a week and a half. Administrative matters have taken up much of our time, but we had a lovely visit from daughter Francesca and her partner Paul and have made time to meet up with old friends.
First and foremost, we like our apartment. We dispensed with Airbnb and its unreliable collection of options and chose from a catalog of homes from a local firm that upholds a certain standard of quality. We have wooden floors, comfortable beds, modern fixtures and enough space to not feel confined. It’s also quiet, as its main rooms look out over an inside garden.
For those who are contemplating a visit, the spare bedroom looks out onto the street, but I believe it is quiet at night. During the day, there is a lovely view of some splendid Niçois buildings
The matters we’ve attended to are numerous. For example, we cannot receive mail at this holiday rental address, so, taking a friend’s advice, we set up mail forwarding with La Poste. That took three trips and an online registration. But the postal staff were extremely helpful.
We opened up a French bank account. This is really important because when we obtain our Carte Vitale health care account, you need the bank account for the reimbursements to be made. For anything you sign up for that requires regular payments, like utilities, you need the bank account. To rent an apartment that is not a holiday rental, the same. Setting up the account took three visits, and we’re still waiting for our IBAN number.
We heard that we needed to advise the French government on our change of address from Rennes to Nice, so we went to the Prèfecture to do so, arriving on the bus at 8am to get in line and then waiting until our turn at 11am, to learn this step was not necessary and to be turned away.
We have ordered some essential items lacking in the apartment, like a coat rack (storage is at a minimum, as French people live with less stuff than Americans).
We’ve visited doctors. The way the system works is that some doctors take appointments, others don’t. Some take appointments on some days, and not on others. In the case of the latter scenario, you show up and wait your turn. All standard visits are 25 euro. Of course, if you have a Carte Vitale, you are reimbursed 75 percent or more. Prescriptions are far less expensive than in the US. Many doctors speak English.
I have signed up at the Nice Cinémathèque! Filmmaker Claire Denis is coming to speak and show a film and I cannot wait.
Today we are off to do some more fun errands. Stay tuned.