A couple weeks ago, someone sent me a thoughtful gift from the US.
A few days later, I get a bill from the delivery company; 42 euros for taxes (the gift was valued at 80 euros, making the tax about 55%.)
So I head to the office of the delivery company, where they show me the official rules for gifts sent and received in France:
“If someone sends you a gift, they must write on the paperwork ‘Unsolicited Gift'”, they explain.
I reply, “So next time I receive a gift I should refuse it if it doesn’t say ‘Unsolicited Gift’ on the paperwork?”
“No, by then it’s too late. If someone’s going to send you an unsolicited gift, you need to tell them to write ‘Unsolicited Gift’ on the paperwork.”
I stand there for a moment, looking at them to see if they perhaps detect any bit of irony there.
And do they?
I reach for my checkbook.
Welcome to France.