Monday, March 19, 2012

A few job interviews

Since I turned down the offer in the Haut-Alpes, I have been a bit down as I wasn't sure I made the right decision.

I tried to think it was a right decision. 
'You don't live to work, you work to live.'

If you ended up somewhere where you have nothing but to work, then the life would become boring.

I enjoy living here, my hubby enjoys living here with me, fortunately a bit more than a few good friends around, we feel very lucky living this environment. (and the sun and the beach contribute to it too! )

Luckily I posted a few job offers in this region recently which seemed like good for me. I had an interviews, which seems like a slow process, but I am hoping to get a positive result.

On the side, I take on some translation work at home from time to time, but it doesn't motivate me much because
  • The agency tends to negotiate the rate almost all the time. Some agencies always lower the rate, despite the speciality and the quality
  • It's always tight schedule which resulted me to have a few sleepless nights.
  • It's never a good return per hour despite the hours and efforts you spent
  • Never get any feedback. 
The agency don't give a monkey about the quality of the outcomes. Nowadays with the internet, you can take some jobs that're outside of your country but on the other hand the agencies can find someone with the lower rate elsewhere - if you don't take it, they don't care, as there's always someone else who could do it.

I am getting tired of playing games with the agencies.  I'd simply say, [Tant pis(never mind)] I'd rather let someone do this complicated time consuming job.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Revolutionary Free mobilephone
I am writing about the new mobile network I changed recently.
In France, there hasn't been any competitions in mobile network prices. 
In January 10th, Free, Internet provider launched the mobile services. 

The new service by the Free is 19.99euro for the full package (unlimited calls, sms, mms and internet via mobilephone) This can be reduced to 15.99 euro if you're already a Free customer(only 1 user per house hold) . 
There's also another offer for 2 euro for 1 hour calls and 60 texts.  This can be reduced to free for the Free customer (1 user per house hold).

My previous network is done by the Orange and I've paid 17 euro per month for 1 hour communication (or equivalent texts) That goes very quickly when my husband is away and ended up buying some credit.  My tariff is a two year contract and normal price is 20euro for 12 months but 17 when 24 months.  Which means you are tied up until your contract is up. In France, they'd also give you points depending on the price of your contract and you'd collect them until you have enough points to exchange with a new mobile phone for a small fee.  With my petty contract, I waited for three years to get a LG Android phone last February.  However, once you exchange to a new phone, this means you got renewed your contract for whatever the duration. 

It's a naughty business...

I didn't want to continue paying for 17euro for only 1 hour communication, I would rather want to have the unlimited services by FREE. So I changed! 

  • called 3179 from my mobile to get the RIO number. (together they'd send you the expiry date of your existing contract)
  • unlock your SIM - so that my phone accepts any SIM card.
And I signed up over the online registration. We are already using Free internet so I am applying for the reduced subscription of 15.99 euro.  A few days later, I got a Text message from orange saying that my contract terminates on 17th Jan. I was hoping that my new SIM would arrive prior to the orange disconnects the phone but a day later than it's predicted, it's arrived and some simple configuration I am on Free network.

I now use internet and call anyone anywhere I go, even cheaper than what I used to pay which is just what I was looking for.  I even use GPS navigation system while driving. The phone battery gets used up very quickly but I think all in all the usability is very smooth and I don't have any problem so far.  

The bouygues has now a subsidiary for a cheaper mobile network called be-and you. 
They have launched very similar offer 19.99 euro for complete package same as the Free,also they have 9.99 euro for two hour mobile communication and unlimited texts and 20 mb internet communication(unlimited if it's Bouygue wifi hotspots). 
It's not the same offer as the Free but it's attractive enough.  This company, if you're bouygue customers, you can change it without any restriction on your contract.

The other competitor would be the Orange, however they don't have any changes in terms of their pricing.  Last year they launched the cheaper subsidiary called Sosh and the service was quite attractive until the Free started their services.  
Their offer is currently 9.99 euro, 14.90 euro, 24.90 euro. My husband is using this and so far he does not have any problem.  Even on the TGV train, he set his mobile as tethering hub so I used internet on my mobile phone via his mobile.
The negative point to mention about the Sosh is that even if you're orange mobile customers, you cannnot switch to Sosh during your contract.  Which is a shame.....

Monday, January 23, 2012


I turned down the job offer. 
Although I was very interested in the position and I was willing to go but the area was very particular that didn't suit me and could potentially affect my health - as a result I had to turn down.

On top of that, we like living here in the south. 
We felt relieved not to leave this place, however, I am not sure whether my decision was right.

I felt lucky to make a visit the area before accepting the offer.  Had I not visited the area, I would have accepted the offer not knowing the situation.
I would never known whether I had made the right decision.... my job hunting continues.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Minitel is the first home computer like in France before the internet. You'd have Yellow Page or train / flight information and many more.

This is the one my grand mother-in law has in her house, it's been there unused for quite sometimes, as she uses internet now.

I've always wanted to take a photo just to show, as I have never seen the kind before but the contents looks similar to the teletext on TV in the UK. Since the internet has become a norm for sometimes, apparently the Minitel services will be completely closed by the end of June this year... 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy new year!

Hope whoever read my blog continue reading it and finds it interesting.

2012's the year of Dragon.

I don't know what it signifies but i hope there won't be any natural disasters this year. And particularly those who'd been affected by the catastrophies, my thoughts are always with you and hope that everyone keep's their chin up and be positive despite the difficulties in lives.

There's always warm spring coming after the harsh cold winter.

My mum often told me this old saying.

Has anyone made this year's resolution? Me, i'd rather not to mention it here but leave it blank so that it reminds me l when I re-read it.

5th year in France this year! I should be proud of myself coping with French people and some systems but I'm beginning to feel much more comfortable here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Somewhere out there ...Perfect life

This time the job interview in Lyon.

It's a great that i got a few job interviews in a month.

I paid the train tickets via polemploi for 10€ instead of 50€ return. The result was ... yes i've been offerred a good post which seems interesting but it involves a major relocation to a village in the middle of snowy mountains!

For the train ticket supply, looks like there's an annual limit you can use this benefit. It could be the number of time or amount you use but i don't know.  I say this as the consultant checked my account when i asked for second time and said something like 'that's ok you are still eligible'.

If you are mobile within the country, i'd suggest to make most out of this service.

Build a good relationship with the consultant. It's best if you meet the same person at the monthly meeting and show that you are seriously looking. Then they'd give you lots more information. They chose who should benefit as obviously there are many who take advantage of this.

Now, we knew it'd involve a major relocation when i applied in the first place but the question is where to? I need to consider the convenience of my hubby who makes monthly trip to paris and/or nice.

Choice a) a Fairly big city with high speed internet connection but me 1 hour +  trip (2hrs plus return) by car for work.

Choice b) a remote village with extra car to buy as each of us need a car and slow internet connection which may affect my hubby's work. Resulting more expence and the effort  for my hubby's trip. In return i have less time and cost to my commute..

Wonder if there's something in between?

Or something we both feel happy. i'm a bit confused as to what's best for our lives as a couple. Interesting job or good and happy life - can't we get both?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Joyeux Noël!

We're with my mum-in law for x'mas. We'll be going further north for a few days at gran.

We've had a great year as we were healthy and met many lovely people who inspire us alot.

Wish everyone a merry x'mas and a happy new year.