The Maire Comes Through-The Prefecture Doesn’t
I had the most unexpected surprise happen to me today. Absolutely thrilling, no less.
See, today was the day for me to go and make a visit to our local Maire to see what the heck was taking so long in getting our permit to have the roof and façade done. We’ve been sitting here for a while now just waiting on them to tell us it was ok to fix our major issues which has resulted in numerous days of wind-blown tuiles and water leaking through the roof into the third story area of the house when it rains.
I had heard from my contractor last week that he had submitted all the necessary paperwork to them in the beginning of December and that he had not heard back. So this morning I spent time preparing for the worst and what I was going to say to them if the worst happened.
To my utmost and most pleasant surprise when I went to see them, the lady who takes care of the permits said that it was issued yesterday and all was good. The work could begin when the contractor was ready. She even happily took me over to the large book in the office where all the recorded permits are kept and showed me my lovely document all stamped, signed and approved by the Mayor with the beautiful city coat of arms proudly displayed on it. She explained to me everything it said (the thing was only two pages) and even made a photo copy for me to take home.
I should frame the dang thing since it’s pretty much the first French Administration paperwork that has come back with no hassles. I tell you, that is a monumental thing. These guys didn’t ask for stupid stuff, they didn’t require endless pages of meaningless words with a signature on each page of everyone and their mother, and the best part is that the permits are FREE!!! Yup, you got it. I didn’t have to pay a centime for it. Thanks goodness for small miracles.
Seems like we are one very important step closer to getting’ her done.
Now, for the “real” French Administration news. Before leaving the building I was stopped by the lady (who I happen to really like cause she’s just plain nice) who is taking care of the renewals of my family’s titre de sejour cards. Mine doesn’t need to be renewed really. It’s good for 3 years, but Dude’s is only good for one year and Tinki never got hers cuz the prefecture in Marseille lost all her paperwork.
Anyway, the nice lady said that Dude’s paperwork was ok and that the issue was with mine. Now mind you, I only went in originally to change my address, nothing more. See when you live in France and you have some sort of resident or work visa and you move, you have to inform the French Administration within 8 days of the move, so that would have been sometime in early September that we did the informing. Yes, folks, still waiting. There seems to be one issue after another that we just keep getting called back for. So guess what it was this time??!! I swear none of you guys are even going to believe it… I swear!
Drum roll please… dum da dum…. They said that they didn’t like that I was smiling in my picture and they refused it! Now I have to go and take another picture to submit to them and I can’t be smiling in it!
I told you that you wouldn’t believe it! What the heck?? Really, they didn’t like that I had a smile on my face when taking a picture! I swear, you guys, I couldn’t even make this one up if I tried. Even the nice lady had a look on her face like, “Yaaaaah….I don’t really get it”. I seriously think that this was the first time she had even heard of this excuse!
So now off to the Cabine de Photo for another round of pictures so we can finish this thing. I told the nice lady I would be back on Friday with the new pictures of me making a mad face and maybe the French Administration would finally get that this whole thing has not been amusing.
So I guess it was pretty much a 50-50 day which is better than a 100% crappy day so I can live with it.
As for now, I will stare lovingly at my permit and feel all warm and glowing tonight while I relish in the fact that something actually got accomplished in a timely manner.