France – one year impressions

[Pentru a citi acest articol in Limba Romana apasati AICI]

First of all I must mention the fact that I did not live in France, but in Marseille, a city that even many French people say it is not exactly France, and for good reasons. It’s been a year since I first came here with my work. The city is one of strong contrasts, in the center you have the natural harbor and  lovely tourist area of Vieux Port , and just 2 streets away from it, you have Noailles Square, a congested smelly area, full of African minorities, where you hear more Arabic than French. In this place where smuggled cigarettes are sold openly on the street, you feel more like in Morocco and Algeria than in France. Moving away from the city center, we reach the Southern districts where we have superb Mediterranean areas of Prado and Point Rouge. This wealthy areas come with parks, beaches  and the Calanques mountains view in the background. Coming back to the center of town, if just walk just to the North of Saint Charles Station, you are afraid to keep walking on the street.

Coming from Romania, I didn’t think much when seeing homeless people on the street or sleeping in the tram stop, begging at street corners or minorities hanging around at the entrances of the subway, drinking beer and smoking pot. But even so, the large number of the them concentrated in the city center exceeds any expectations, even compared to Romania! I think from the Continue reading


Impresii dupa un an in Franta / France one year impressions

[to read this article in ENGLISH click HERE]

Trebuie sa specific mai intai ca nu am locuit chiar in Franta , ci in Marsilia (Marseille), oras care chiar si multi Francezi zic ca nu e chiar Franta, si pe buna dreptate. A trecut un an de cand am venit aici cu munca. Orasul este unul al contrastelor , in centru ai portul natural si zona turistica Vieux Port, si la doar 2 strazi departare ai  Piata Noailles, o zona inghesuita , urat mirositoare si mizerabila, plina de colorati unde auzi numai araba, unde se vand tigari de contrabanda in gura mare pe strada si unde te simti mai mult ca in Maroc sau Algeria decat Franta. De asemenea la Sud avem zone superbe cu parcuri , plaje si lume buna precum Prado , Point Rouge , si imediat la Nord de Gara Saint Charles ti-e frica sa mergi pe strada.

Venind din Romania, poate ca nu mi s-a parut mare lucru sa vad boschetari pe strada sau care dorm in statia de tramvai, cersetori la colt de strada si colorati care stau la gura metroului si beau bere fumand iarba, dar chiar si asa numarul de astfel de specimene pe metru patrat prezente in centrul orasului depaseste orice asteptari chiar si fata de Romania.  Ma gandesc din perspectiva unui turist sau a unui Francez din alt oras mai Continue reading


How to get PACS in France


PACS or Pacte civil de solidarité, is a concubinage agreement that offers the benefits of a married couple but with fewer obligations. Initially developed at the request of gay couples to declare themselves a family unit, it has become very popular among hetero couples and a popular method used by immigrants and refugees to obtain a visa or residence permit.

In France, there is a well-thought-out and subtle tactic to encourage marriage and punish unmarried young people, regardless of their sexual orientation. If you are around 30-years-old and you are still alone, you are prone to being refused having social and professional benefits, you are prone to pay much higher taxes to the state (the celibate member can have 30% of his income taxed versus 14% if you are in a couple) and at any bank you you go will have lower chances to get a credit if you are single, so many young people choose to compromise by making a PACS contract with their partners.

The procedure is very similar to marriage, if not identical, and because we are in France,  it is very complicated and involves a lot of bureaucracy. Although it practically takes 5 minutes to sign the papers, it takes months to get to that point. The starting point is the government site Continue reading


Cum sa faci PACS in Franta / How to get PACS in France


PACS sau Pacte civil de solidarité , este un contract de concubinaj , care ofera avantajele unui cuplu casatorit dar cu mai putine obligatii. Aparut initial la cererea cuplurilor gay de a se putea declara ca o unitate familiala , a devenit foarte rapid popular in randul cuplurilor hetero dar si o metoda populara folosita de imigranti si refugiati de a obtine viza sau permis de rezidenta.

In Franta exista o tactica bine gandita si subtila de a incuraja mariajul si de a pedepsi pe tinerii celibatari , indiferent de orientarea lor sexuala. Daca esti injur de 30 de ani si inca esti singur , esti predispus la privare de beneficii sociale si profesionale , esti predispus sa platesti taxe si impozite mult mai mari la stat (celibatarul plateste si 30% taxa pe venit fata de 14% cel aflat in cuplu) si la orice banca vei avea sanse mai mici de a lua un credit daca esti celibatar asa ca multi tineri aleg varianta de compromis facand un contract PACS.

Procedura seamana foarte mult cu mariajul , daca nu e identica , si pentru ca suntem in Franta , bineinteles ca e complicata si implica multa birocratie. Desi ea practic dureaza 5 minute cat sa semnezi niste hartii , pentru a ajunge acolo , dureaza luni bune. La baza e siteul Continue reading


Ghidul imigrantului de mutare in Franta / Expat beginner’s guide to moving to France



Probabil multi Romani in ziua de azi isi pun intrebarea sau iau in considerare sa se mute intr-o alta tara din diferite motive. Franta este in topul destinatiilor , alaturi de Anglia , Spania si Italia. Ei pleaca fie ca sunt in dificultati financiare si pleaca in cautare de munca mai bine platita sau ca se duc la studii recunoscute. Sunt sigur ca in fiecare tara procedeul de acomodare este diferit , eu o sa povestesc cam cum decurg lucrurile aici. Franta nu este chiar o tara care iti face viata usoara cand esti nou venit: sistemul birocratic este remarcabil de similar cu cel din Romania , greoi , stufos si presupune multa alergatura si rabdare pentru a obtine diferite acte esentiale. Dar sa o luam cu inceputul:

1. Pornesc de la premiza ca plecati cu un loc de munca deja stabilit , daca veniti in orice tara fara o sursa de venit asigurata aveti sanse mari sa hoinariti putin si sa va intoarceti in tara cu coada intre picioare imediat cum se termina banii In primul rand fiti siguri sa va luati destui bani cash sa supravietuiti o luna sau doua pana va gasiti o cazare decenta. Fara 2000 de euro in buzunar nu cred ca are rost sa va duceti la aeroport. In al doilea rand fiti siguri sa va luati la dumneavoastra Carte de Identitate , Pasaport (nu este absolut necesar in UE dar ajuta mult uneori) , Certificat de nastere in Original si fiti siguri sa va faceti o traducere si copie legalizata dupa el dinainte sa plecati deoarece aici costa injur de 50-60 de EUR traducerea legalizata a acestui document; Certificat de casatorie, divort traduse daca este cazul ,  cateva poze tip buletin , si daca firma nu va asigura cazare (permanenta sau temporara) ati face bine sa va uitati de hoteluri ieftine. Un hotel ieftin daca se rezerva din timp si pe termen lung (o luna – doua) poate fi relativ ieftin , injur de 35-40 EUR pe noapte.

2. Un numar local de telefon : acesta este cel mai simplu pas de realizat si va va fi necesar la absolut toti pasii urmatori. Noi am ales operatorul Lycamobile , care pentru 15 EUR pe luna iti ofera apeluri Continue reading


First 48 days as expat in Marseille

[Citeste acest articol in Limba Romana – click AICI]


One and a half months ago, I was packing my baggage to go to the airport again, only this time I was not leaving to board a ship for 5 months, but to a new job and a new life. I explained in great detail why I wanted to quit sailing in the much controversial and popular own article “After six years at sea”, so after the last voyage I made the final decision to look for something to work on land. I have ill spoken a lot about our country Romania (and for good reasons considering that people are working for 300-400 EUR / month and the government is ripping you off on absolutely every step of the way!) and I have seen too many beautiful and civilized places in this world during my voyages to ever settle there, so the only option left for me was to become an expat and luck had it to be in Marseille.

Most of my  CVs were sent in English-speaking countries, especially in the UK, but since the whole Brexit phenomenon, most companies  have been reluctant to hire East Europeans. Fate decided that the lucky interview would land me in Marseille, France, a city of which I did not know much about , in a country whose language I ​​vaguely understand and speak. It was this or other positions somewhere in South Africa or Mexico so guess what I chose.

I only had sea experience on my resume so the only way to make the transition to land was to remain in the maritime business. I will not say the name of the

Continue reading


Primele 48 de zile in Franta ca expat / First 48 days as expat in France


Marseille dupa 48 de zile de locuit.

Acum o luna si jumatate imi faceam iar bagajul sa ma duc spre aeroport , doar ca de data asta numai plecam la vapor pentru 5 luni, ci la un nou job si o noua viata. Am explicat foarte detaliat de ce numai am vrut sa navig in mult controversatul si cititul articol propiu “Dupa sase ani pe mare” , asa ca dupa voiajul trecut am luat decizia definitiva de a imi cauta ceva la uscat. Am injurat mult tara noastra Romania (si pe buna dreptate considerand ca se munceste pe 300-400 EUR si guvernul te jegmaneste absolut la fiecare pas!) si am vazut mult prea multe locuri frumoase si civilizate pe lumea asta in timpul voiajelor ca sa ma pot stabili definitiv acolo , asa ca singura optiune era de a deveni expat afara.

Majoritatea CV-urilor trimise au fost in tari vorbitoare de Engleza , mai ales in Marea Britanie , dar de cand cu Brexitul se cam sfiesc firmele sa angajeze Est Europeni. Soarta a facut ca interviul norocos sa ma aterizeze in Marsilia, Franta. Un oras despre care nu stiam in principiu mai nimic , intr-o tara a carei limbi o inteleg vag. Era asta sau alte pozitii pe undeva prin Africa de Sud sau Mexic asa ca ghiciti ce am ales.

Fiind doar cu experienta pe mare , cam singura cale de a face tranzitia la uscat era sa raman in domeniu maritim , nu voi zice numele firmei dar fiind in Marsilia cred ca nu e asa greu de ghicit. Asa ca imi rezerv dreptul de a comenta si implica in orice discutie despre shipping , mai ales ca acum am acces la o perspectiva mult mai generala a sistemului , nu doar de pe vapor la fata locului , voi reveni si cu detalii de la locul de munca mai tarziu.

Mutarea nu pot zice ca a fost foarte grea , avantajul de a fi obisnuit cu impachetatul la tot ce ai nevoie intr-o valiza si plecat la aeroport dar si firma a fost foarte sustinatoare si mi-a oferit o luna o Continue reading