Monday, September 12, 2005

Visitations

The real kind, not the spooky 4th dimension stuff. September looks like it's going to be a social month for me - for a change. A welcome change. I certainly need to do something to get my social life reactivated. Just getting used to not seeing people isn't a really workable solution. So, last week an old friend from New Zealand, now living in London, passed through. Haven't seen him since I was slumming it in London at his place a year ago. Technically my official London residence remains his lovely house near South Kensington. Spent a lovely evening having dinner, talking about new things and old things, and enjoying a grand view towards the Notre Dame on a warm night. Then he gave me his flu, so most of the last week I have been cooped up in the apartment with a head full of pseudoephidrine. This week a friend from Australia (my Adelaide years) will be stopping over in Paris for a couple of days, so I can play tour guide again. Maybe this time I'll put on a better show of pretending to know where I'm going. Then finally, it's a birthday catchup weekend with my old housemate (also now living in London) - though this catchup will be in Prague. A city I've never visited and heard only good things about. So I'm trying to get an online airline ticket definitely purchased before Friday - my first try didn't work for unexplained reasons (unexplained reasons make me nervous when my bankcard is the subject).
Not the best month for purchasing airline tickets - financially. This month is tax month, and the Monsieur has had a whole months salary eaten up by the tax machine (and car repairs, and rent, and night class enrolment). He's even asking to borrow money from me, which is always a bad sign, seeing as I'm generally a half-step away from broke at the best of times. I haven't quite grasped the tax system in this country yet. As far as I can tell you have to pay twice - once out of your periodic salary, and once at the end of the financial year. Tax reimbursement for low income earners does not exist as a concept here either (as it does in Australia). Still, if all goes to plan this year, I too will have a nice big tax debt this time next year (the woman from the English teaching school did get in touch with me in the end, looks like I'll be starting work in October).

5 comments:

Katia said...

The tax system here sucks lemons. I don't fully understand it either, but I do know that you can pay it monthly, which is what we do, so it's almost like it's coming out of your salary. Unfortunately when your salary goes up or down, you have to pay the consequences a year after the fact - last year was the first year we both worked for an entire year full-time, but we've been paying taxes all year based on the previous years salary range, so for the next three months we're paying for it big-time. *sigh* But it's better than all in one go, I suppose.

Anyway, yay for the English teaching. At least it will give you a little income whilst you look for something else :)

Nyx said...

Yeah, Ben will change over to paying it monthly after this year. He sort of made a mistake on his last years tax return, so he's had a double hit.
The teaching english thing will be for a minimum of 6 months (she asked me to guarantee that), so it means I can take a break from job searching till the new year anyway (it is an exhausting hobby!)

Greg said...

Paying monthly is definetly the way to go.

We're currently paying for Flo's first year of running her own business, when , due to the death of a colleague, she worked 7 days a week for 8 months.

It hurts.

Prague. Nice place. Crystal, puppets and beer cheaper than water!

Jimini said...

Katia: If when you fill in your tax papers in March you realize that you're going to earn a lot less than the year before, you can call the tax services and they adapt your monthly payment so that you don't pay too much.

Prague is a beautiful place. I went there 2 years ago in November and I spent 4 days walking around and snapping it was really great. Just maybe try to learn a few words in the local linguo, things like "i don't speak czech, do you speak english?" and you'll see that people will be a lot nicer to you. And if you manage to avoid touristy restaurants, you'll eat for virtually nothing.
Have a nice time!

Greg said...

Aha! They've recalculated our tax based on this year. Life is still liveable!