We Actually Accomplished Something Today

Today was the day to make another attempt at changing the address on our Titre de Sejour and to get Tinki’s paperwork completed. When we went to the Marseille Prefecture last week, they told us we had to go to the Prefecture in the new department that we had moved to. We had wasted a trip on that one. If you missed that post, you can read about the bad trip here.

So today we took off to see what we could (or could not) accomplish with the French administration. The day started off pretty well since the Prefecture in our department is a lot closer and it’s a lot easier to get to. It happened to be a lot less crowded, too. This was looking good.

It was also ‘park like a French person day’ for Dude. I think he’s got the hang of it.

We walked up to grab a ticket and it said that the window was closed even though we got there an hour and a half before closing time. Wow, sounds French. Since we had made the trip all the way there, we just walked right up to an open window and told the lady that we had moved and all we needed to do was change the address on our current Titre de Sejour. Do you know what she told me?? She said they didn’t do that there and that I had to go to my town Maire to get that done! Are you kidding me?? I told her that I went to the Marseille Prefecture last week (cuz that was where I got my current one) and they said to come to this one. She gave me that French “I don’t give a crap” Administration look and in all uncertain terms told me, “No, we don’t do that here. Go to your local Maire.”

Now, folks, how am I supposed to believe that when this was high end, government official, I had to go to the Prefecture a bazillion times to get the first one business??! I seriously thought she was pulling my leg and putting us off. Then I said, “What about my daughter? The Marseille Prefecture lost her file. They said I had to re-submit her paperwork here.”

She then tells me that’s true and hands me a paper to fill out and then tells me to come back with all the listed documents that were on the back (originals and photo copies). I think she just wanted me out of the way so she was sure to leave on time (in one hour and 15 minutes). Well I said to her, “Check it, babe. I have all of it.” She was like, “Everything on the list?” with a bit of an attitude. I said, “Yup” with a big smile. You see, I’ve been here long enough and been to enough government offices to know that each time you go, you need to bring a ton of copies of every flippin’ piece of identity you have PLUS all the originals.

She told me to go fill out the form and come back to her window. She wasn’t nice about it either.

After doing so, and gathering all the documents (originals and copies just like it said on the form), we walked back up to window and handed it to her. Know what?? She didn’t even want the originals! She just looked over everything in a half second and then told us that they probably wouldn’t accept the photos (you have to bring those tiny, passport size photos, too) because she said they weren’t real! I was like, “Lady, feel them. They are photos!” She said okay in a questioning way and paperclipped everything together. Then she asked me for an envelope with a stamp on it. Oh, come on! Like I carry those in my back pocket! This was something no one ever asked us before so I was unprepared. Now I gotta remember that, too??

I told her I didn’t have one and she let it slide (probably cuz her time to go was getting down to 45 minutes). Then she reminded Dude and I to go to the Maire for our situation and that we should hear something in about a month regarding Tinki’s paperwork. Au Revoir.

Dude and I went home and after lunch we took all of our paperwork and walked over to our town Maire all prepared for rejection. Well, you are never going to believe it! The lady in the office said that they could do the address change for us, no problem and that we went to the Prefecture for nothing. Thanks, cuz I hadn’t figured that one out already.

Well I happen to like my town Maire cuz the two times I’ve been there, these guys were real nice with me and patient and they helped me out. This lady was super nice and she even said that I could fill out paperwork on Dude to get his Titre de Sejour renewed and it would be ready for him at the end of the year. She gave me the paper I needed to fill out and asked for copies of our documents. Well, of course, I had those! Then she opened a file on us and we were set. I told her about what had happened with Tinki and she said that if I didn’t receive her Titre de Sejour in about a month to come on back to her office and she would take care of it. Cool beans! That was awesome!

Then after all the formalities she chatted with us a bit. I asked her if there was an archive for the town because I wanted to find out the history of the house I had just bought. She called her colleague and found the name of the guy to go see tomorrow who’s in charge of the town Patrimony and knows all things history. Boy, was I stoked and I am going to make an appointment tomorrow morning with him before going to work!

Wow! Two things accomplished in one day and all just around the corner from me. I’m liking my little country town more and more.

As Dude and I were leaving the Maire, we stopped by a tiny room they have in the back that holds some ancient relics of things dug up in the town over the years. You’re not going to believe it! They have a skeleton of a guy inside his coffin that dates back to the Middle Ages! It was so cool. Dude and I read all about the dig and looked around at the artifacts that were found. Most of them were found in the year 1988. It was really neat! They found several people buried with pottery and had a bunch of pictures on the wall that told of how life and death was during the time period of when these people were alive.

All in all, I think it was a pretty successful day and I’m feeling good right now. I finally accomplished something (even though from start to finish it was a bit of a pain) and now I get to hopefully find some information on my house.

Oh yeah! If I hadn’t gone to the Maire I would have never seen this guy.

About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on October 5, 2011, in French Daily and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Congratulations on a most successful day. Nice to know you can get kind and professional treatment at your local maire. Too bad the French don’t require their bureaucrats to go to charm school before they start their jobs.

    • Michel-
      Charm school would be awesome! I’m just glad I live in a town were at least, some of the government employees are friendly and helpful. Maybe its due to the fact that it’s in the country and life is a bit slower there. Maybe they all like the town! Whatever the reason, I am happy that this issue looks somewhat solved.

  2. Brilliant photo’s as usual. Congratulations on your success with your local maire. It’s a good feeling when something goes right for a change isn’t it.

    • Stephen-
      It sure is! I’m mostly on the “glass is half empty” side. That way when something goes right I can be super, extra excited! I sure loved the skeleton. It’s neat to say that there is a dead guy in my town’s maire 🙂

  3. After living in a small town for 18 months, I find thé locals more helpful and involved. It took me a mère 2 minutes to régister for voting. Only hassle is that I heard renewing your passport or IC takes longer than in large towns because they do it in batches and your file gets to sit at la mairie for a while tiLl it reaches thé Préfecture. My local post office is a breathe. I never wait more than 4 minutes to bé served and people chit chat more easily.

    • Bernard-
      Isn’t it great? That small town stuff is so refreshing. Our local post office is the same way. There is never a line. I love it! I can zip in and out with no hassle. This is a far cry from the town we used to live in. Oh man was there a line for the post there! It was always out the door. I don’t shutter with disgust now when I have to go:)

  4. oh man, I feel your pain. Sometimes, just living here requires patience times ten. The reward is that even the smallest accomplishments seem enormous. Congratulations. You DID accomplish something. Do you suppose the guy in the coffin ever had to deal with paperwork like this?

    • Delana-
      The guy in the coffin might have had to deal with stuff like this. That’s probably what put him there 🙂 If one doesn’t have patience before moving here, they sure will acquire them in a certain amount of time after being here for a while. France kind of does that to a person! Crazy France !

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