Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's Up, Doc?


Finally. After months of hard work and patience and frustration and confusion and feelings of doubt and hatred and several assassination attempts, I am FINALLY in France . . . legally!

I went to the scheduled OFII doctor's appointment on Tuesday afternoon to get that last little stamp of approval on my visa saying I don't have small pox or polio or contagious stupidity, so I can travel ANYWHERE I WANT!!! Ahh it's so great.

But it wasn't easy. No. Nothing ever is with me.

Remember when I told you that story about my French debit card? Yeah it was in my pocket. And I was actually wearing that jacket in the grocery store the day I realized I "lost" the card. But I guess I never did put my hands in the jacket pockets because I was also wearing a skirt with pockets, and I have this weird thing where I like putting my hands in skirt pockets more than jacket pockets. So I didn't end up finding the card until a couple days ago. Providing you with yet another example of slight OCD tendencies making my life more difficult. See? All my stories will eventually blend together and create one giant story that will ultimately eat the internet.

But back to the story at hand.

I got out of class at 12, and my appointment was at 1:30 all the way across town. The building was really difficult to find. You know: "get off at the Tabacs stop, turn right, find the Lidl supermarket, walk through the parking lot, find the SPACE building, go around the fence to the back, push a button that's not the OFII button to get into the building, hop on one foot, say the alphabet backwards, and you're there."

In true Kessler fashion, I was 45 minutes early. In true French fashion, everyone else was on lunch break until exactly 1:30.

So I finally got into the office with an array of other illegal people, first in line, huzzah.

"I got my passport! I got my passport-sized photo! I got my proof of residency! 

"Do you have your stamp?"

"my what?"

"Do you have your stamp?"

"That's why I'm here."

"You have to bring a different stamp with you."

"To . . . to get my stamp?"

Because that makes sense.

So I got all these tests done, proving once and for all that, no, I don't have the black plague. And at the end the woman told me I could go across the street and get the stamp I needed and come back by 4 to get the other stamp. She neglected to tell me that the "street" was actually an interstate. So that was fun. I did manage to find the building, but could not for the life of me find the entrance. I was walking around this giant fence thing with no doors. It was like the Secret Garden of office buildings. Then a woman came up to me because I obviously looked like I was about to jump the fence. She told me the entrance was in the back (no surprise there), and it closed at 2:30. It was 2:23.

So I ran. I ran like the dickens I did.

(I should mention that I haven't properly exercised in, ohhh, 3 months? All that endurance I built up over the summer? Yeah that's gone.)

But I bought that stamp. I bought that tiny fragile easily losable stamp for 55€.

"You're back?"


My life is unreal.

Amitiés :)

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