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Today we went to the Mairie to register the boys to attend the local primary school. I’m pleased to report it was even easier than anticipated.

First up was the walk to the town hall – an easy 100 metres down the narrow street on which our apartment is located – the aptly and eponymously-named Rue de la Mairie.

When we explained what we were there for, the woman said all she needed was our livrets de famille. This appears to be an official booklet presented by the Mairie including official information about all family members. I explained we don’t have those in New Zealand. She then proceeded to show me what they look like. Frankly, they look great, and practical. I’d like one.

No problem though, she was happy to just take a copy of each of our passports.

Next she wanted to know what year of school they are in. I explained the years of schooling, their ages, the difference in school years and systems, but that we had spoken to the principal of the primary school about preferred arrangements.

Ah yes, she said, with a smile. Monsieur Szymanski has spoken to me about you. That’s no problem. I will mark them as primaire.

Bless these people. I love this town.

All that remains is to turn up at school at 8.15 on Monday morning, with the boys’ medical records and school documents. Easy!

The school experience may be another story.

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