As with previous blogs I started with a flurry, and then some self-doubt creeps in, and you begin wondering how interesting in fact is “man lives in France”? My brother spent three years in Shanghai and I thought that was far more bloggable though Matt isn’t really the blogging kind. Like anything else really, life is a series of embarrassing episodes you spend your time desperately trying to forget punctuated with the odd moment of excitement that more often than not turns out to be a false dawn crapping up a blind alley. Yesterday, for instance, I sat outside in the sunshine and my coffee cost me one extra euro than had I sat in the building in the shade. That’s mildly diverting I suppose, as observations go. That wouldn’t happen in the UK, but then there’s never any sunshine in the UK.
Here’s some thing I didn’t know. Turning up in France without important stuff – like a birth certificate – may make life complicated and limit your capacity to work. We just had to send for mine. I’ve never actually seen my birth certificate with my own eyes, and as my mother was such an extraordinary liar, I’m hoping she hasn’t made me up. It would be terrible to have got this far and discover I don’t actually exist.
Apple now knows I’m in France though. That’s nearly as important right? Some years ago I changed the address on my iPad to a US address in order to purchase GarageBand, which wasn’t yet available in the UK. When I tried to change it back to a UK address however, iTunes wouldn’t let me as there was still some outstanding credit on the account, 10c if I’m not mistaken. I spent months trying to find something on Amazon for 10c or to figure out how to spend this surplus change, but to no avail. I went to Regent’s Street and met with an arsey “genius” who wasted my time. I fucking hate those “geniuses” to a man. What do you mean you won’t touch my iPhone because it’s got an alien body in it? I’ll insert an alien body in you in a minute. Oh no, hang about… My ire would regularly be stoked as I was informed apps I’d try to download were only available in other regions. Life sucked and it was all thanks to fucking geeks. Arggghhhhnnnnnggggg ggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Not good.
And then yesterday I had the bright idea of emailing someone at iTunes:
“Hello,” I wrote. “I have a US address on my iTunes but have moved to France. iTunes won’t allow me to change addresses because of an outstanding balance of 10c from years ago or something. I care not about the 10c, I just want to download some apps and get on with using my stuff. I had this problem before when I lived in England but didn’t flag it up, but now it has finally driven me nuts I thought I might bring it to your attention. Please feel free to take the 10c gratis and buy yourself something nice with it. Thanks.”
Two hours later I had a note from a woman called Grace.
“I appreciate that you want to make this change as soon as possible and I’m very happy to help you with this today! Jeremy, I have manually removed the remaining funds from the iTunes Store account.”
“Thank you Grace!” I replied.
“This is Grace again,” said Grace again. “I just wanted to say that you are very welcome. I am so glad to hear that I was able to successfully help you change your country in iTunes. I know first hand how great it feels to get what you need, and to have things run smoothly. Always remember, if you need anything, please do not hesitate to let me know by replying to this email. I’ll be more than happy to assist you with whatever you need. I wish you all the best, Jeremy. Thank you for being the best part of the iTunes Store. Have a wonderful day!”
Well isn’t that nice? Possibly a little too nice, but nice nonetheless. And credit where credit’s due and all that (if we’re ignoring the fact I lost my 10c).