The Ship Came In

Stuff and more stuff. How nice to be a tourist and travel light. Not all Paris travelers arrive so wonderfully unencumbered. Over the years we’ve brought a suitcase, or two, or three, but this is the first time we’ve arrived followed by – a container.

For those that find themselves coming to France over a period of time that requires them to bring ‘stuff’, let me share with you our experience. The bottom line is this: Everything arrived – and in one piece. Not only that but the guys at both end of the packing and unpacking were speedy, efficient, intelligent – and cheerful.

Were there some glitches – and hassles? Of course. Rule of thumb – if you’re in a hurry – don’t move in May, or August. Pick a month with no holidays, like June for example.




Customs taxes? Yes. Expensive? Yes. You can expect to pay 6% -12% of the total declared value of your belongings, and then there is a TVA on top of the customs tax – and on top of the customs tax there’s a port tax.
Bottom line? You really want to have all that stuff. Be sure to winnow down to your most necessary things for transport. You may save more by keeping your stuff in storage until you return from your stay in France. Try to buy as many things in France as possible – it makes more sense in the long run.

If you still decide to transport your belongings from overseas, we used Allied Arthur Pierre (which is a part of SIRVA) and had a good experience. Their quote says it all “At Allied we realize that you’re not just moving from place to place, you’re watching your life change before your eyes.” So true. How weird to see all these familiar objects in totally new surroundings. We’ve all been beamed up, particulars reassembled and rearranged, than plopped back down again in a totally new land, that is ‘new to you’.

It must be the shock of this ‘life-changing experience’ that brought us to the Buffalo Grill.
The Buffalo Grill is a French chain restaurant. The theme is Yes, indeed, Cowboys and Indians, Kentucky chicken prepared with a Roquefort Sauce, piped in Country Western Music, Chili. And salad served with a sprinkling of red kidney beans, and I almost forgot, Bison burgers. Don’t ask where the bison comes from I tried the Kentucky chicken – I’m a sucker for anything that has Rocquefort in it. Will we get the same dish when we go to Louisville this August, I wonder?