Monday, 21 May 2007

Carte de Séjour - Part One

It was a return to reality today after a fun weekend spent sampling the best meats and cheeses of the markets, which are held on our doorstep three times a week. (For the record, the speciality cheeses of the region, le Tomme and le Réblochon are a little stronger than I am used to but I hope they will grow on me. For now, I prefer le Beaufort.)

Our first stop, (of course, we all have to go together) was the Courier, the shopping centre which offers free (albeit limited) wi-fi access. Obtaining temporary internet access at home is proving harder than we imagined.

Next up was the Préfecture to apply for the dreaded carte de séjour. After some explanation by David, we made it past the receptionist into the waiting area, clutching our little green numbered ticket, and sat amongst the other hopefuls. The wait was about an hour, during which time we heard the receptionist tell someone she had to go back to Colombia to get a long stay visa before she could apply. When our number came up we all entered the domain of the french beaurocrat. The kids, to their credit, were very good. Lily was on her best behaviour (she had been warned!) and Jasper did pretty well considering he was up again last night with a fever (if this continues, we will be acquainting ourselves with the french medical system earlier than I had envisaged.)

The official asked for my passport and my heart sunk as I watched him leafing through it. I knew he was looking for a visa. "I'm looking for a visa" he said in french, whereupon David whipped out my signed stamped official looking email from the French Consul in Brisbane which stated that I didnt require one. (I'm so glad we had that piece of paper!). He took it and my passport and left the room. After an anxious wait, he returned and started to fill out a checklist of documents I would be required to produce to obtain my carte de séjour, but a visa was not one of the them. He crossed that out! While I should have been elated, at the time I was miffed that the process seemed much harder than I thought it would be given that we were married. Later, when I found out that it would only last a year and that I would have to go through this process every year until I get my italian citizenship, I just groaned! Still, better not get ahead of myself. We have quite a few things to organize before my next appointment on 9 July but at least we have a bit of time.

The rest of the day was a frustrating one for David as he battled the french bank system trying to deposit money to pay our rent here. And once again he tried without success to sort out our internet connection. Still, considering how worried I had been about not having a visa, things could have been much worse.

1 comment:

Grominou2 said...

Speaking of reblochon, if you have the chance to taste a dish called tartiflette, do give it a try, it is yummmy! It's made of potatoes, cream, «lardons» and reblochon cheese, the whole thing oven-baked... Hmmmmmmm! :-p