bureaucracy & home

Today we went to Nice to apply for our carte de sejours (the long term permit required to stay in France longer than our visas allow).  It was a very institutional building with long line-ups of smelly people and not much air circulation.  We were all  successfully accepted however, so now we wait for about one month for approval, after which we go for a medical exam, hand over those results, then the final papers are sent to the police station here in Grasse.  The level of difficulty in acquiring this permit really depends on the country of origin.  For example, it is relatively easy for Canadians but quite difficult for Brazilians.  No matter who you are, however, this is a difficult country to access. The French love their country and their culture and are very protective of it.  Plus they love formality and ridiculous levels of complex bureaucracy!

Speaking of Brazil, my fellow classmate from there who is about 5 feet tall, a lawyer and the loveliest spitfire of a girl with a huge smile and a mother back home who prays for each of us every day, was my indispensable assistant this afternoon as I attempted to open a back account (very difficult to do) and formally reviewed and signed my rental agreement with the agency, as well as communicating the necessary info to make sure water and electricity are hooked up to the apartment.  Ikea was another frontier that was finalized along with the courier company (my furniture will arrive in one week).  She is now officially an angel in my books and I just got home from taking her out for a delicious meal to say thank-you.  She had a steak and I had a pizza with slabs of aubergine and Corsican sausage called Figatelli as well as mugs of beer to celebrate my new home.  I have the keys and am just about to start moving some stuff over.  It is such a sweet little place and I am so happy that this is how things turned out. I will be camping there for a week but at least I can stay here tonight, a second night longer than I had thought I could.  The owner of this apartment was very understanding of the situation.

Now I can say goodbye to the 66 steps of delapidated stairwell with the broken plaster and cat pee and say hello to the loveliest Provencal apartment on the main little street in the old city- I can hardly wait to show you what it looks like……

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