There are times when I wonder whether this charming country will ever make it into the twenty-first century.
I had a small disaster in my apartment -- a water leak from the floor above that destroyed a large chunk of my ceiling. It has been repaired, and my insurance company has actually sent me a large check [minus a deductible, of course] for the damages. Now I wish to deposit the check into my French bank account, which I opened twelve years ago with the large international bank BP Paribas. There is a branch of BNP Paribas in Place Maubert, a stone's throw from my apartment.
HOWEVER: In France, one may only deposit money at the branch where the account was opened, which in my case is [or was -- more of that in a moment] the main office in Place de l'Opera, a complex Metro trip from my apartment to the Right Bank, Apparently the bank does not trust me to give them money -- TO GIVE THEM MONEY -- unless they "know" me! I put "know" in scare quotes because over the years I have had a series of "conseillieres," none of whom knows me at all.
But international accounts are no longer handled in the main office. That service has been moved to another office on rue de Notre Dame-des-Victoires, which is even harder to get to by Metro. I have sent an email to my new conseilliere asking for an appointment so that I can make a deposit. I live in fear that she will say I must go to Place de l'Opera, where, however , they will say that they no longer know me. Do you suppose they are even interested in getting money? They are, after all, a bank.
I don't even want to talk about what I would have to do to take money out of my account!