Being an American in our neighborhood is great. We love the neighborhood, and the people here seem to accept us as one of them. It’s great.
But being a Foreigner in France is not easy. There is a lot of paperwork to do. (maybe not as much as my sister has, but still pretty annoying. Essentially, we have to renew our residency card every year. That sounds simple right?
This year it has been anything, but simple. They tell you to file for a new card two months before your card expires. One would assume that this convention would assure that your new card would arrive before your old one expired, thus you would always have a valid card. We filed in January.
This year we filed twice by mail, visited the main office twice, and visited this branch office three times, and we still don’t have a proper residency card. All we have is a document that is stapled to our expired residency card that says we are in the process of renewing the card. And since the main office is backed up with requests, the branch office where we went to get the temporary document was really overloaded because everybody else has the same problem. We showed up at 10:30 in the morning and waited in line 5 hours.
People were falling asleep waiting in line.
Unfortunately, the line is outside in a courtyard, and it wasn’t very clean.
Plus we were starving, having stood in line straight through lunch.