Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Liberty, Equality & a Lot of Standing in Line

Yes, folks, it's that time of year, the annual Pardon My French bitchfest about going to the prefecture to renew my carte de sejour.

This year, though, it's going to be abbreviated. There's just no point in bitching about the same stuff that happens year after year.

Except now it's with a baby. We stood in line for a very long time. I had her bundled up, so the cold part wasn't too bad. A very nice man who was standing in line just in front of us made room for me to bring the stroller inside so she could be warm. She smiled her gap-toothed smile at him and babbled away. Another very nice lady standing just in back of us helped me navigate my stroller since my arms were full with a baby who no longer wanted to sit and stare at someone's butt. I hope they both were able to get what they were after.

When I got to the "accueil" window (accueil means welcome, but don't be fooled) I was informed that today's standing in line was all for naught since the information desk was closed. Come back tomorrow morning, she said. Now, I'm still into this good karma business so I didn't go into the dance of the albatross or anything like that. I just decided that since we made the trip and stood in line, I might as well try to get some extra information. I should have kept my mouth shut.

Last year (2007), I was encouraged to apply for my 10-year card at the information window. The person who delivered my actual card said, "Sorry, you can have it next year (2008)." Today's lady said, "Oh, this year is too early. You can have it next year (2009)." Whatever.

Then she told me something I already knew: for the rest of my questions, she said the person at the information window would decide what to do with me. Will I get a receipt showing I've applied? Will I get an appointment? Will something else happen? There are no hard and fast rules; it's all up to the person I see tomorrow. Let's hope this person will be in a good mood. And that I can keep my good karma thing going on.


Leah said...

Oh, how I know so well the song of woe of the dreaded prefecture. Here's wishing you the best of luck in getting your questions answered...or at least leaving without a)yelling b)crying c)puking d)all of the above. Good luck!

KathyUSA said...

If you take away the fact that you didn't get what you went after - -Look at all the good that happened. Your baby got to babble to some nice people who helped you along the way. That might have made their day. Who knows, maybe the trip was about them and you were the smiling tool of God that day. Good luck today!

PS: I'm enjoying the WW thing a bunch!!!