I woke up this morning, looked at my stats over my morning coffee and just about hit the floor. Apparently a post I wrote a few days ago A Day in the Life of an American Emigrant was shared on a forum called Reddit. Generated quite a lively discussion and I read the comments with a great deal of interest. I've simply never had that much feedback on anything I've ever written and I did and do appreciate all those who came and read whether their impression was positive or negative.
Some folks thought it was "arrogant" and, if it did come off that way, than I apologize. I assure you that it wasn't intentional and I will endeavor to do better in the future. What I tried to do was to be as factual as I could be about what a typical day is like here for me. I know people who have it better and I know quite a few people right now who have it much worse wherever they are. This is it, folks, and it's not better than life elsewhere, it's just different with its own joys and challenges.
There was one comment however that I'd like to address because it is factually incorrect and it was about taxes. I was pretty much OK for many years since I never really earned much money and I was always under the income exclusion. In 2010/2011, exceptionally, I came very close to that cap because I had finally "arrived," you might say, in my profession and because of the exchange rates. That year we had also decided to sell two small one-bedroom apartments we had in a small city in the south that we had purchased as an investment. We sold them because, quite frankly, one of the gentleman who was renting had a very nasty habit of stopping his rent in winter. :-) And that made it very tough to pay the loan every month. So we sold and to my horror my tax situation got very complicated very fast and I had to seek professional help. I ended up paying American taxes that year and will pay again this year. It seemed odd to be paying US taxes on a property that was purchased via a loan from a French bank and with money that was earned entirely in France but that is how it goes. (Just for info I have no assets or money in the US - everything I have or earn is in France). I'll be honest and say that it hurt to pay but pay I did. And now I have to go through the whole business again this year. Hence, my desire to keep things simple from now on - the aggravation and cost of hiring professional help and having to write a (for me) substantial check kinda dimmed my ambitions. ;-)