After living here for nearly nine years and making our annual contribution to the local Pompiers’ fund we still have no idea what an average and acceptable contribution may be. Does anyone have any inside information on the subject?
I have been giving the pompiers Euro 20 for the past 3 years for their annual calendar as I had no idea what to give. Did not realise you did the same with the postman. Our mailbox is located by our barn and our electric gates are always shut, they know we are English, so I guess they don’t want to bother us! I never knew they collected mail from your house either. You learn something new every day!
we give 10e to the pompiers & the same to the post lady (we're in languedoc) which having checked with a number of french neighbours was generous apparently! If you run a business you may want to give more (say 20e).
We have a chap comes round asking us to buy some naff plastic stuff for the benefit of the andicaps (as he says it) I felt embarrassed as at first I had no idea what he was on about & gave him 5 euros to go away (I cringe) I said I didn't want any plastic salt pots merci...this was 2 years ago & he's been back a few times since but now it's getting more frequent & to be honest is annoying me. My neighbour told me to simply say 'Je donne pas' from now on & he'll soon go away. He has a scrappy bit of paper (doesn't look legitimate & my husband is going mad saying he's playing me for a fool..I do feel a bit gullible). Also we had some unshaven disheveled bloke ask for money or unwanted gifts after christmas for 'les animaux' I looked puzzled so he then listed gogs, cats, horses etc..I was again embarrased but muttered non merci & went back indoors.
If this was the UK I'd be more than happy to say no thanks I don't give at the door full stop but for some reason I find it hard in France...I must practice Je donne pas! Except for pompiers & post lady of course!
I agree that, when you have actually seen them at work in a life/death situation, it really brings it home to you what an amazing contribution they make to our rural communities.
We normally give 10€ but the year we called them out when a roofer had a heart attack and died, we upped it to 100€ because it was hard to watch them trying to resuscitate one of their own team.
We also give 10€ to the Pompiers and 5€ for the post lady, who does normally take stamped letters - the one who retired would also take unstamped with money, weigh, post it and return any change the next day! Not tried with this one as she doesn’t seem quite as friendly yet! I chose a post calendar this year with old chocolate advertising pictures on it, quite tasteful!
That all sounds very sensible. Thanks a lot and I’m pleased to hear that you have made a friend of your factrice! It’s rather difficult to make the calendar choice between the ‘chasse’ cover or the fluffy kittens, don’t you find?