Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad! (plus the quest for a Carte de Sejour)

First things first...Happy Birthday Dad!! I'm over here in Lille thinking about you! I just got off the phone with my Dad and told him Happy Birthday...but I just love birthdays so much I thought I would say it again. Miss you!

UHHHHH....I JUST LOST A WHOLE POST!! Apparently there is a magic button that erases everything. How irritating. Ok...so now round two of typing my trip to the Prefecture. I don't know if I can spill out the magnificent prose that was flowing forth from my fingers...so here is an overview:

I asked Cyr many, many times if we are prepared for our meeting. Almost to a point that begins to annoy him. I remind him I don't speak or read French well so he has to be the responsible one for this thing. I also tell him I have not read the list, because I can't read French. On Saturday, after a visit to the Marie, he is able to tell me that we have everything except my passport: photos. Yeah!!

I repeatedly ask him. He repeatedly says "yes".

We show up for our meeting 10 minutes early. We see a sea of people waiting in the same room looking at the monitor for their number to be called. We get ready to settle in for a long wait.

We are the first ones called at 13:01!! (1:00) No way...

We sit down and the woman starts asking for things. Oh...there is a form we had. It's not filled out. I raise an eyebrow at Cyr but he apologizes and begins to fill it out. She asks for our photocopies. Cyr shoots a glance my way. Eyes dart to the woman.

We have no photo copies. I look at the yellow sheet and at the top, in BOLD LETTERED CAPS UNDERLINED is a word that looks like PHOTOCOPY.

Susan; jaw drops, eyes widen, head tilts to the side, one eyebrow finds it's way much higher than the other. Daggers then begin shooting out of my eyes.

Cyr begins to be very charming in French. Apologizing also because apparently there is a SECOND form in our packet (which we had, we just didn't fill out) that is not complete. He asks if there is a copy machine in the building. Yes there is. He runs to find it. He leaves behind a document. I think I actually began to show my teeth at this point.

I run to catch him. Through the crowd in the waiting room, up stairs, past the entrance, into another crowded room. I tap (ok, maybe it was a bit more than a tap) him on the back and shove hand the other document to him. He smiles sheepishly and finds the machine. We make copies. Meanwhile I am telling him of stories I know of people being sent home for the no copy thing. Having to wait weeks for another appointment.

We run back through the room, past the entrance, down the stairs, through another group past the guards and to our lady. Cyr again becomes this charming French speaking person repeatedly telling her "C'est ma faute, c'est ma faute." Translated "It's my fault, it's my fault." Uh. Yeah. Meanwhile she sees me trying to inflict mass amounts of pain in him with my stare. I think she understands, the amazement and anger in my stare must translate well in French.

This is where things get really crazy.

She accepts all of our paperwork and then tells us all about everything. She answers all of our questions and we are out in under 20 minutes. WITH my temporary CDS.

No...friggin...way.

Once out of the office Cyr immediately does the right thing and invites my scorn. But how mad can I be? We actually got my temporary Carte de Sejour and I can now have health care and a legal working paycheck. I am mostly in shock. I try to bark at him but mostly just can't believe it worked out. Then he bought me lunch with warm mauled wine, three new hats and we have moved on. He is so lucky things worked out...It's like I told him; "the execution was horrible and you get a D- on that, but the result was an A so I guess you pass."

Thank goodness yesterday was a holiday for this lady. I think she got some sleep. And maybe she felt sorry for Cyr when she saw that I could not take my eyes off him with my Death Ray Stare. Maybe she wanted us out of her office because she was worried I would actually succeed in making his head explode. Either way...I'm legal baby...

9 comments:

Kate said...

OMG! Very funny! It's good that you're settling right in to married life.

Justin said...

That is funny! I am happy everything worked out in the end for you. Now you can sit back and enjoy being legal!!!

Andromeda said...

Yay! Legality is always a nice feeling. Do you get to do one of those "Welcome to France" days?? I hear they are super fun . . . Not!

Leesa said...

LMAO!! That's a hilarious story!! I'm glad it all worked out so well.. YAYYYYY!!!! *Lifts champagne flute in air.*
Happy B-day to your day... It's my b-day month, too... 28 Nov!!! Get the candles ready!!!
Have a nice rest of the week, Susan!

Isabelle said...

It was a close call for Cyr, but apparently he knew how to make up for it...
And like Kate wrote, welcome to married life (lol)

Simon said...

It's interesting how accommodating French beaurocrats can be if you admit to a little fault...

You're lucky that Cyr does French charm. I can't do that (not having the language skills), so I substitute Australian confusion :¬)

I am sure it's the only way we managed to get our car registered.

Steph said...

Can you teach me this infamous Death Ray stare?

Glad it all worked out! Had fun yesterday - must do it again soon.

Susan in Lille said...

Kate - I always thought it was a joke...but I now understand my mother...

Justin - merci!

Andromeda - YES! I get one of those after the medical exam. I hear they great, I have to take a class on French culture. "Must not drink red wine with fish..." hehe...

Leesa - Happy early Birthday!!

Isabelle - He was pretty lucky...

Simon - I have noticed they like a little self deprecation here, it gets one much farther than expected. Love the "Austrailian confusion", that's great :-)

Steph - We must meet again, I had a great time. And I can definitely administer Death Ray lessons. It is an acquired skill really...

wcs said...

That's great! Congratulations.

btw, did Cyr know about this death ray stare BEFORE the wedding?? ;)