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Dreamboat Annie

September 2021

Dreamboat Annie was the band Heart’s first album. A reader challenged me to use this title for the September issue. Two ago, with the July 2019 issue, I faced a similar challenge with the title “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens.

Before going on vacation, I had a few ideas about what to write in order to rise to the challenge. Now the summer vacation is over for many, including for myself. During those weeks, I never thought about sailing a boat, being able to have that kind of leisure. When I thought of a boat, it was as a way to escape, especially to get away from continuing uncertainty. This summer was a time of good and bad news about COVID-19 in both the USA and France; on TV, the news programs managed to give both a few seconds apart. What is most unsettling for people is the uncertainty, not knowing what will happen or what to expect. Maybe this is the kind of dreamboat a lot of people think about. 
As the lyrics state:
Warm wind caress her, her lover it seems
Oh Annie, dreamboat Annie
Ship of dreams
Oh Annie, dreamboat Annie
Little ship of dreams

The song has nothing to do with an actual boat. It is about going away with a lover. Aside from what is happening in Afghanistan, the main preoccupation once again in many parts of the USA as well as in France is going back to school. This is what I wrote in my September 2020 issue titled School’s Out. It was the fifth studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1972:
“The issue of whether to reopen schools was covered by the media every day in July. ……..

As is common these days, school reopening has become a binary issue: one side says it is completely safe and children do not get sick; the other side sees schools becoming centers of infection, propagating the virus throughout the community. Children, whether they become sick with COVID-19 or not, can pass it on to teachers and parents, and thus to the community at large. Students of all ages do indeed congregate, and classrooms make it difficult for them to stay away from each other.”

This applies almost perfectly to what is happening today, as if nothing has changed in one year. So many things have changed. To state some obvious, the USA has a new president and France is getting into the presidential election campaign things. In both countries, today, vaccination is readily available.

French language has a couple of words for a common type of mixed-race people: mulâtre and Eurasien(ne). This vocabulary might seem like a tiny detail of no consequence. The word mulâtre is first recorded in the French language in 1544. A related word exists in English. As Wikipedia notes:

“The English term and spelling mulatto is derived from the Spanish and Portuguese mulato. It was a common term in the Southeastern United States during the era of slavery. Some sources suggest that it may derive from the Portuguese word mula (from the Latin mūlus), meaning mule, the hybrid offspring of a horse and a donkey. The Real Academia Española traces its origin to mulo in the sense of hybridity; originally used to refer to any mixed-race person. The term is now generally considered outdated and offensive in non-Spanish and non-Portuguese speaking countries, and was considered offensive even in the 19th century.”

In 1858, France began founding colonies in Southeast Asia. French Indochina, at its peak, included Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The word Eurasien(ne) appeared at about that time. When writing this issue, I discovered that a similar word, which I had never before heard nor read, exists in English: “Eurasian.”,

In the most recent French census, at least 40% of respondents reported having at least one grandparent born as a foreigner. This indicates how much France continues to be a melting pot. France is experiencing racism on several levels. I could describe countless situations illustrating this problem. One small way to illustrate it is the story of the father of Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, a general in Napoleon’s army, was of mixed race. Wikipedia has this to say about him:

“Born in Saint-Domingue, Thomas-Alexandre was the son of Marquis Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a French nobleman, and Marie-Cessette Dumas, a slave of African descent. He was born into slavery because of his mother’s status, but his father took him to France in 1776 and had him educated. Slavery had been illegal in metropolitan France since 1315 and thus any slave would be freed de facto by being in France. His father helped him enter the French military.”

And in French Wikipedia:
“Mulâtre de Saint-Domingue, il est le premier général de l’armée française ayant des origines afro-antillaises. Il fit la campagne de Belgique, la guerre de Vendée (1793-1796), la guerre des Alpes, la campagne d’Italie (1796-1797) et la campagne d’Égypte (1798-1801).”

Today in French the word métis refers to mixed-race people in general. I have an interest in languages, and I find it interesting that in the USA there is no equivalent word to describe mixed-race people, even though there have been several different terms for African Americans in the past 60 years or so.

Having such a word would almost certainly not improve the situation, but does its absence reveal any differences between how race is regarded in France and the USA? Maybe to a few people. If there were an accepted word for people of mixed race, would it help the situation? Considering the growing number of mixed-race couples having children, it might be time to think about it, unless I misunderstand the issue.

Sometimes something good comes out of a bad accident. I moved to my new office near Nation almost five years ago, in mid-September 2016. At the time, my son gave me a stele he had carved all by himself. It has been in the courtyard near the entrance door of my office. This spring, it fell and about a third was shattered, making it impossible to repair.

My son had set aside a week or so in August to redesign the stele and make a new piece of art. After having drawn his motif, he worked in the courtyard for an entire week. He had noticed that in my previous issue, I expressed a desire that starting in September I would have a workload more compatible with my age. Now the new stele stands close to my office door, which should make it a strong reminder of this good resolution. Currently, I am managing to maintain somewhat stricter control over my schedule, which I have filled up to mid-October. My office has only been open for two weeks and I have kept my lunchtimes clear of meetings.

When Eric finished the stele, I published the picture of it on Facebook, where it got a lot of reaction. I also received an email about it from a client, who drew my attention to the word “kit” and recalled the idea of a military kit and the expression kit and caboodle. The email continued, “I liked the word ‘kit’. And I thought it was nice how the words were truncated to look nicer. Like Sur viv al kit made it poetic. I think it is truly a wonderful piece. And the part I am curious about is the flower, a certain kind of flower or an imaginary flower? Anyway, I thought the sculpture was great.

I answered:
“He has been following the evolution of my business as well as my desire to make those changes. So this sculpture illustrates or even symbolizes my future aspiration. Also, there is a lot of wordplay between French and English here. His first idea was to carve four feathers to symbolize writing as an author. Its translation in French isplume, which in French refers to a writing tool, often a fountain pen as well as a feather. So this sculpture evokes my desire in the future to write and maybe get published. As he was looking for inspiration, he saw the plants we have in the courtyard and they also look like leaves. In French, the translation isfeuille, the word for a sheet of paper. So this is another way to symbolize the desire to write more as well as my everlasting love of writing. As for the choice Eric made in how to write the name of the corporation, he used the small space below the sculpture and was forced to dismantle the words.”

In the May 2021 issue, I detailed how the procedure had changed regarding immigration applications for getting a job as an employee. About two months after the new regulation went into effect, the immigration authorities decided to also put requests to become self-employed and obtain the passeport talent status on the same platform. I do not have enough of a track record with those procedures in the new system to say whether it is easier or harder to be approved, or whether the small number of initial documents requested is all that is needed or whether they will get back to you and ask for more. Here is how the procedure now goes:
1. Submit the request.
2. Get it approved and send the approval to a special email address:

This is the site where you now carry out this procedure:

I am almost afraid to write anything about this, as it feels that even with the vaccination program and the health pass, the regulations seem to change daily. That is an exaggeration, but it definitely feels that way.

I translated the guidelines the government issued in mid-August, on the various situations allowing one to obtain a pass sanitaire. I just hope some of it will still be pertinent when I send out this issue.

1. The first way to get the health pass is to be fully vaccinated. Vaccination is considered complete for those in one of the following situations:

  • 7 days after the second injection for double injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca).
  • 28 days after injection for a single injection vaccine (Johnson & Johnson, aka Janssen).
  • 7 days after a single injection of vaccine for people who previously had COVID-19.

The certified vaccination certificate, or pass sanitaire, can be obtained by going to this site:

Since May 27, all vaccinated people have been able to collect their vaccination certificate from this site. In addition, any healthcare professional can find a vaccination certificate and print it upon request.

2. Proof of a negative test result fewer than 72 hours old (or 48 hours for antigen tests in the context of trips to certain destinations, such as Corsica, French overseas communities and the European Union)

All RT-PCR, antigen tests and now self-tests under professional supervision generate proof as soon as the result is entered by healthcare staff in SI-DEP, the new système d’information de dépistage, or COVID screening information system. The test result can be printed immediately for antigen tests and self-tests, under supervision of health professionals, and can also be made available to the patient after an email and SMS notifies them to retrieve it from the SI-DEP portal.

The patient then imports the results to the TousAntiCovid app. You can either scan the QR code located on the paper or PDF document issued by SI-DEP to accompany the test result, or click on a link in the SI-DEP portal, which allows the test result to be imported directly into TousAntiCovid.

The time limits of 72 or 48 hours for test validity, depending on the type of test, are supposed to be strictly observed when, for example, one enters the site of an event requiring a health pass.

For trips to Corsica, overseas communities or EU countries, self-tests under professional supervision are not admissible. Only RT-PCR and/or antigen tests are accepted.

3. A positive result from a RT-PCR or antigen test, attesting to recovery from COVID-19, dated from at least 11 days and less than 6 months previously. Such results indicate a limited risk of reinfection with COVID-19.

The health pass has been used in France since June 9, 2021, and makes it possible to check the holder’s vaccination status, test result or the certificate of recovery.

Here is the website where I found this information:

Over the holidays, my assistant, Sarah, took an interesting initiative and created a new Facebook page. It is a good move for her since she and I both moderate it. She can show off her expertise and her ability to give good advice and clearly explain solutions. She does this in French, leaving the queries in English to me.

Since I am already active in a few Facebook groups and my website is my main showcase, I did not feel I needed such a page. On the other hand, it will no doubt benefit her. I do not have the time to monitor this forum and so far, it has been fairly quiet. Sarah is still figuring out how to handle this new task, being quite busy herself. I am sure it will be a great space for exchange, and hope it will pick up in the near future.

You are welcome to join:

Best regards,


I would pretty much need to write a book about the legal and fiscal status of independent workers in France to give you a complete explanation. So I will just focus on the different ways of calculating taxable profit.

You have the status of a trader since you buy to sell as a primary activity and you give advice and get paid by the hour as a secondary activity. So your fiscal and legal status is commerçant and your income tax is based on industrial and commercial profit (bénéfice industriel et commercial, or BIC). This entails three different types of possible status, each with its own way of calculating profit and related accounting obligations:

1 – Micro has a limit of 176,200€ for activities involving the sale of goods, sale to be consumed on the spot, or commercial rentals. A standard deduction of 71% for sales activities covers the expenses of running the business. Thus if you earn $100 (you have sold an item and received $100), the business expense related to that purchase is $71 and your profit is $29. You cannot itemize expenses with this status, its built-in standard deduction.

2 – Réel simplifié is applied between 176,200€ and 818,000€ in sales (before VAT/TVA). The calculation of the profit is done by itemizing the business expenses.

3 – Réel normal concerns entrepreneurs who achieve annual turnover excluding tax (CAHT) exceeding 818,000€. Taxation under this regime is also based on itemizing the business expenses.

You need to make a basic choice based on what is most important to you as well as what makes the most financial sense. In practical terms, if you can earn enough with the micro ratio of 29% profit and 71% business expenses, stay with it, as it involves virtually no paperwork.
If calculations reveal that itemizing your expenses would decrease your profit and therefore allow you to pay less income tax and social charges, then make sure to add all the extra expenses that come with hiring an accountant to do your books, plus the time you will spend and the aggravation of having to do this administrative work.
The calculation ends up being quite complex, and sometimes peace of mind is worth a lot more than financial gain.
The other side of the issue should be reviewed, as it could be to your benefit. You are right about one thing: if your Australian partner pays the invoice directly to the merchant and the paperwork is in her name, nothing goes through your books. This means that she never sends you this money. As a consultant, you can always charge a fee, which would be what you see to be your profit as you defined it. In one way it secures the sale as you are not paying for it. At the same time, you need to invoice her for your compensation and you may run a risk of not being paid. I do not see this way as significantly better. The risk is different.



I came to Paris in 2015 on a titre de séjour étudiant and completed my studies in 2019. At that time, I converted to a Recherche d’emploi/Création d’entreprise carte de séjour, which lasted one year and was not renewable and expired in November 2020.
Back against the wall, as I never got a job offer, I made a “plan B” appointment at the prefecture to change my status to entrepreneur/profession libérale. I had a business plan and I had registered with URSSAF as an auto-entrepreneur. The prefecture granted me one carte de séjour; I am still in shock that my request was approved.
At first, I did not make enough to pay rent. I withdrew money from my American accounts to support myself here while I looked for work. They wanted to see that I made at least the SMIC for the year in an account in France, so a girlfriend of mine got me a good waitress job that paid twice the SMIC.
A few days ago I was at the prefecture showing all the work I did. I saw an unhelpful woman at the guichet who told me to write in “Salarié” on the form, indicating my change of carte de séjour. I am concerned that this will interrupt my ability to do my freelance work. I wanted to add salarié, like my French boyfriend has done. I learned the other day that my future employer has since gone online to submit the 8-step form.
I have been in France for six years now, got my master’s here and have now, finally, found an employer. I want to work as an employee and I would like to have my business helping anglophones relocate here to Paris at the same time.
I am looking for any feedback, good or bad, about being able to keep both statuses.


First of all, the starting point is deeply wrong. The tenant always pays the taxe d’habitation. The tax is owed by whomever occupied the lodging on the 1st of January of a given year. You pay the primary residence rate if you declare your worldwide income to France in May of the same year. The only case in which the owner pays the taxe d’habitation is if no one lives there (which means the owner could use it as a secondary residence). In Paris, the tax for a secondary residence is quite high. Thus your lease made you pay the secondary residence rate, since your landlord paid it. The most common reason to do this is that the owner is not declaring his/her rental income to the tax office and the best way to hide it is to have all utilities and internet included in the monthly payment so that nothing is in the tenant’s name. What must have happened is that either you registered a consulting business at this address, or the previous year you filed a French income tax declaration from it. I would not be surprised if his demand is motivated by wanting to get even with you for having done this and probably creating difficulties for him with his tax office.

Knowing this background should help you handle the situation as smoothly as possible. The only document that can achieve what you need is the bordereau de situation fiscale (modèle P237), often just called thebordereau P237. It is issued by your tax office upon request. It lists all the taxes you owed, the payments you made, and any balance remaining.

It can take a few days to get it in the mail. Sometimes you can get it right away in your espace particulier, your tax office account as a private individual.

My advice is to inform the agency that you have asked for it, saying you will submit the original document upon receiving it. See what happens. It might be their last request, in which case you will know if they want to play fair and their request for this proof is legitimate, or if they want to keep some or all of your security deposit.


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