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Safe In Paris Or Anywhere In The World?


September 10, 2002


As the train rolls along through the brilliantly green Irish countryside
toward Dublin from Waterford (where International Living held its annual
company wide conference), I cannot be sure I’ll be back in Paris in time
to commemorate the one year anniversary of the September 11th attack on
the World Trade Center (and the Pentagon which seems to have been
forgotten). Air France is on strike (what else is new?) and there are no
guarantees my flight will take off today.

Exactly one year ago today, too, participants in the International Living
Retire Overseas Conference held in Paris were casually taking notes while
speakers such as legal advisor Jean Taquet, financial advisor Samina
Arnoult, rental property "guru" Glenn Cooper and journalist and working
and living in France expert Rose Marie Burke were filling them with
information on how to make an easy transition to life here in France.

Then "9-11" happened much to our horror and their scheduled flights on the
11th were aborted, travel was disrupted, not to mention the state of our
lives forever and how we would feel about the state of the world for many
months or years to come.

Just two weeks ago in New York I had the opportunity to see the WTC site
for myself and the massive reconstruction taking place on its 16 acres of
downtown Manhattan. While there are virtually no physical traces left of
the destruction, the memorials to the victims are still evident on walls
and fences surrounding the site. It is impossible to avoid a gulp in the
throat and say a small prayer that this should never happen in our
lifetimes again.

Here in Paris, where we were "safe," I can remember the outpouring by my
French friends who genuinely felt tremendous remorse and empathy–they
have had much-too-much terrorist activity themselves over the years. It
wasn’t all that long ago that all the public trash cans were sealed tight
to avoid any more placing of home-made bombs within them.

And so I wonder if we are really safe anywhere in the world–from
terrorist activity or motorists who don’t respect pedestrians or heart
failure from the stress of our daily lives…realizing that the answer is
"no we’re not", but we might as well make every day count by being where
we feel most at home and with those we truly love. For me, it’s here in
Paris under the soft glow of the Eiffel Tower with a frothy café crème, a
"Pariscope" in hand searching for news about this month’s exhibition at
the Musée d’Orsay.

May the victims of "9-11" rest in peace along with their loved ones and
may there be peace in every corner of the world.

A la prochaine fois,


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Parler Paris
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds

Published by International Living
[email protected]

Issue Number 55, September 10, 2002

In this issue:

*** Parler Paris Readers Tell Us What They Like Best
*** Louisiana’s French Roots Still Welcoming
*** Have You Ever Been to Le Marche?
*** Your Tax Liability When You’re Starting a Business in France
*** Around and About the City of Light with Thirza
*** Take the RER to Euro Disney or the Shuttle?
*** Keep Up Your Level of French, Here or There

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Last week you may have received a brief set of questions to learn more
about you and what you’d like to
know from us. We’d like to thank all who
responded and for the few of you who experienced some technical difficulty
with the online form, we apologize, but want you to know we received your
answers and have taken them into account.

Some of your responses were quite enlightening! Of the four parts of the
city we asked you to rank as your favorites, Saint-Germain-des-Prés was by
far the first, with Le Marais as a second-runner-up.

One-third of you have been to Paris more than ten times! And
three-quarters of you have lived in Paris at one time or another! This was
our most surprising response–but now we know that you’re really more a
part of our lovely city than we would have thought.

Thanks again for participating.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


By Dale Novick

When I was attending high school in New Orleans, I had no interest in the
past. My thoughts were centered on more pressing matters, such as my
latest flame, what my mother had fixed for lunch, or fine-tuning my
note-taking abilities…smuggled to other students. Most of what I must
have learned about the Louisiana Purchase in US History has now been
consigned to the deepest layers of my unconscious mind.

As it turns out, that wasn’t such a bad thing. Revisiting this historic
time line as an adult has left me with feelings of unexpected pride at the
wisdom and courage of our Founding Fathers. The year 2003 will be a banner
year in Louisiana and across America, in honor of the 200th anniversary of
the purchase of the Louisiana territories from France.

Recently I visited with friends on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As I headed
back to New Orleans on I-10-East, a smile lit up my face as my car crossed
the border into Louisiana. "Bienvenue à Louisiane" was written beneath the
"Welcome to Louisiana" signpost, extending a gracious greeting to all
newcomers to our lovely state.

Read the rest of Dale’s article on the Louisiana Purchase here:

* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *


Have you ever dreamed of working and living in France…but just don’t
know how to go about simply doing it?

What if you knew someone who had already done it? Navigated the tricky
French system…successfully dealt with residency and work permits…knew
how to find a job…create a business…and more…

Plus, they’re willing to share with you everything they’ve learned.

To read more about this JUST UPDATED resource, click here:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


This past weekend at the IL company-wide conference in Waterford, Steenie
Harvey, IL’s number one European Correspondent, author of Italy: The
Owner’s Manual and Travel Writers Workshop instructor, couldn’t stop
talking about "Le Marche," a part of Italy you don’t often hear about. I’d
been to Italy many times before, but couldn’t quite place its location
until Steenie started to describe it in more detail. Here’s a little bit
of what she had to say about it…

Birthplace of Raphael, Le Marche is described by its local tourist board
as: "Italy all in one region"–and they’re right. Hilltowns, beaches,
mountains, art treasures, summer opera festivals…all the things that
entice many of us to Italy meld together in Le Marche.

The holy town of Loreto, alleged landing site of the Virgin Mary’s house,
transported by angels from Nazareth…This astoundingly gorgeous part of
central Italy is practically unknown to foreign travellers…and
home-buyers. Pronounced "Lay Markay," its name means the Marches, border
country. This is where Italy’s Renaissance landscapes get hemmed onto the
hot southern provinces of the Mezzogiorno, the realms of the midday sun.

The tranquil countryside is sublime, a symphony of monasteries and small
towns embedded in the folds of green hills hills that look just like the
crumpled-up bedspread of a storybook giant. I just wish I’d had time to
pull on my hiking boots and wander the ancient pilgrim paths like a
footloose gypsy when I was last here. (And if you lived in Le Marche,
what’s to stop you?)

"Italy all in one region" says the local tourist board and they’re right.
Hilltowns, beaches, mountains, art treasures, summer opera festivals…all
the things that entice many of us to Italy meld together in Le Marche. Yet
the odd thing is that few tourists visit. Why, I don’t know, but I’d guess
it’s because few people have heard of the region.

Steenie will be traveling to Le Marche, Umbria and Tuscany with the IL
scovery Tour this coming September 28-October 8, 2002. If you’re
interested in joining her on an exciting 10-day real-estate discovery,
more information can be found by visiting or emailing Barb Perriello
in the Delray Beach office at mailto:[email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


By Rose Marie Burke

When Stuart, a Paris-based TV producer, realized a few years back that
being a travailleur indépendant was a big mistake, he found himself so
inextricably tied to the French system that it took him months to win back
his freedom. "It’s like putting yourself into the lion’s den," says
Stuart, a native of Britain. As he found out, becoming an independent is
the first of many difficult decisions a businessperson here in France
makes. Forming a company may be more appropriate for some self-employed

The most basic consideration is a legal one–limitation of liability, says
Paris-based tax, business and immigration lawyer Sam Okoshken of Samuel
Okoshken & Associates. Independents have to consider whether they "are in
an activity where they are exposed to being sued." If so, then it’s
generally advised to set up a company that "will, in many instances, serve
as a barrier between you and your creditors as well as other predators."
He adds that a company may offer more flexible tax planning.

That’s why Stuart in the end set up his own limited liability company or
SARL (société à responsabilité limitée). This form of incorporation allows
him the reclamation of valued-added taxes on overseas purchases of film
and video equipment. It also frees him from charging valued-added tax to
foreign customer, much like status as a travailleur indépendant. For
Stuart, these tax breaks alone make the difference for him between a
profit or loss. "I look at myself still as a freelancer but use the
company to regulate everything. I can bill people properly." Keep in mind
that this is only one person’s experience.

There is one drawback for U.S. citizens, however, who choose to create a
company. They must not only report their business earnings to French tax
authorities but to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as well (as
self-employed must also do), a complicated task that often requires legal
help. "In addition, owners of foreign companies have to attach to their
U.S. individual tax return a form that essentially presents their
corporate financial data in U.S. terms," Mr. Okoshken says. "It can be
expensive but there are penalties for not doing it."


More about Stuart’s Dilemma and other real-life stories can be found in
the Insider Guide to Working and Living in France: The Ins and Outs by
Rose Marie Burke (

Attorney, Sam Okoshken, will be speaking at the upcoming WORKING AND
LIVING IN FRANCE CONFERENCE October 18 – 21 about starting a business and
the tax ramifications. For more information, visit:

To be connected with Sam Okoshken for your personal issues, email:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=SamOkoshken.

To inquire about International Living consultation services, visit:
/parlerparis/services/consultationservices.html or email
Schuyler Hoffman at
mailto:[email protected]?subject=consultationservices

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


We’ve started a new page in Parler Paris to provide you with great reading
about Paris and France brought to you by our favorite authors. Clearly,
one of our favorites is Thirza Vallois, whose three volumes of the layers
and layers of history one can encounter on the streets of Paris is a very
special work, indeed.

Thirza says that when she sees any street in Paris, she can actually
visualize the layers of history before her very eyes, enabling her to tell
the tales of the city, not in a chronological order like most historians,
but in a woven tapestry of colors.

To hear her lecture is fascinating, as any one of the participants of the
past Travel Writers Workshops can tell you (their comments were

This coming October, Thirza will be speaking at the Working and Living in
France Conference and then on Sunday morning, guiding us all through the
streets of Paris by bus, with her personal comments on each arrondissement
and how the history of each fit into inhabiting the Paris of today.

You don’t have to be a conference participant to be on the bus with
Thirza, so if you’re interested, you can find more information about the
tour at /parlerparis/liveinfrance/grandtour.html or email
mailto:[email protected]


irza Vallois, visit our new book page at:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

by Adrian Leeds

You’ll be a happier traveler if you know a few things about Paris and
France before you step off onto its soil.

In fact, we at International Living, require that you read this:
/parlerparis/liveinfrance/knowbeforeyougo.html and before
you embark on an IL tour, conference or workshop in Paris or France.

Why? Because we want to fulfill your expectations and we don’t want you to
have any disappointments. At least, as few as possible.

If you’ve traveled to France before, then you already know that France is
very different than the United States. The language is different, the
culture is different, the people are different.

It is these differences that make traveling to France, or traveling
anywhere for that matter, very exciting. Every moment can be a new
adventure when you travel to a foreign place, as long as you’re open to
exploring the differences.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Ms. Vernita Irvin has been trouble-shooting for The Blue Vans for the past
few months. With the anniversary of "9-11" coming up, she’s had letters
reminding her of some of the problems her clients experienced and here’s
how she is now dealing with them…

Hello Ms. Irvin,

Thanks for reading my comments. I have used "Airport Shuttle" in the past
and had very good experiences. I suppose one is bound to get a "problem"
at some point if one travels enough. I am planning on returning to Paris
this summer and am thinking about using the "Blue Vans". However, I am
thinking about using the RER since there is a possibility I my go to
Disney Europe or some other place in the Zone 5 area of the RER.

Dave M.

Hi David,

Our problems have been since before Sept.11, 2001. We’re much better now
and I hope you’ll agree to use us, but personally, if you’re going to Euro
Disney, I agree that the RER is a better deal for the price.

Thanks for responding,


EDITOR’S COMMENTS: If you’re loaded up with luggage, then the RER can be
much more trouble than it’s worth. We still think that it’s the best way
to get to and from the airport for the price–and I use the service
regularly without a hitch.

To request a shuttle in advance–just go to our Web page at
/parlerparis/services/shuttlerequest.html and follow the
simple directions or for information or reservation:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=ToVernitaforPPReader

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


A reader made some suggestions to retain your French fluency while in the

Join as many French cultural organizations as practical. These can be
found at the universities, and in trade and commerce. In the States, there
is the Alliance Francaise, the Franco-American Chamber of Commerce. There
may also be an International Visitors Center in New York. She may also
join the university’s French club.

Watch French films as often as possible. With the Internet, many French
publications are inexpensively available on line. See,,, French CDs are available
from and Listen to French radio
stations on the Internet, as well. See

Dianna M.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To retain your fluency in Paris (!) isn’t as easy as one
might think, either. The French are now speaking English better and better
and there are more Anglophones around us everyday. If you are not totally
immersed in a French-speaking environment, you may be missing the practice
you need to keep up your French, regardless of the fact that you’re here
in France!

PARLER PARLOR is a great way to practice, now four times a week, starting
this week, at two locations, one being your
favorite–Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Eurocentres)!

For more information about Parler Parlor and the upcoming Rentrée Lunch
September 21, visit: or email:
mailto:[email protected] or call: Elisabeth Crochard:
or Adrian Leeds: 59.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Go to /parlerparis/

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


If you would like to have your message read by the subscribers of the
Parler Paris Nouvellettre®, please e-mail me at
[email protected]

If you have links about Paris or France and would like reciprocal links,
please e-mail me at [email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Know someone who would be interested in the opportunities in this
e-letter? Forward it to your friend, relative, or associate!

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If you’re not a regular reader of this e-letter, and would like to be,
simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s free):

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