It has been something of a quiet week here at DFF headquarters, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been busy. Just that there hasn't been too much worth sharing, or at least little time to share it.
Here's one little interesting note. I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but I am in the process of renewing my carte de sejour, which is the one year residence card, but since I've been here for three years now, I qualify for a carte de residence, or so they tell me. One way or another, this card is good for ten years of French livin', so they tend to take this one a little more seriously. Now, I know I've said before that one of the benefits of living in the country is that we don't have to go to the big Préfecture in Troyes to turn in my documents; we can do it at the town hall and then they send off the paperwork. Well, I got a message from the town hall a couple of weeks ago and I thought I might as well walk over there - it's only a five minute walk, after all. I thought they were going to give me my récépissé, or the little blue card that says my new card is in process which I have to carry around with my old card. Oh, but no! They needed more documents - a copy of Stéph's identification and a written declaration that we live together. This last one annoyed Stéph to no end - "They already have a copy of our livret de famille*, why do they need this?!"
So that was the day before Stéph went to Romania and I went to Paris, and then we kind of put it off for a few days, so it wasn't until this past Monday that I went back with the documents in my hot little hands. I finally got my blue paper, but I had another surprise - a little interview. I was shown into the administrative manager's office, where the following intensive interview took place:
"So, the Préfecture has asked me to talk to you to see how you're integrating in France. You've been here for how long?"
"And do you like it here?"
"Are you working?"
"No, I've found it difficult to find a job, but we're planning on moving closer to Paris next year because we think it will be easier there."
"And your husband, he works here in town?"
"Yes, he's a teacher."
"Mmhm. Well, it seems that your French is very good, I'd say you're integrating well, I think I can send back a positive report."
You can see I was sweating bullets. Actually, I kind of got the impression that he'd never had to do this sort of interview before. Foreigners are a bit thin on the ground in these parts.
So that was the excitement around here this week. Otherwise, I've been working on a project centered around fitness, which has actually prompted me to get out and walk a bit this week, plus I've been rolling along with the knitting, having just finished up my first pair of socks:
* A livret de famille is a little book that all French families have that has details about the wedding and the birthdates of their children.