Tinki is Finally Official

Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. That’s what they say and this past week Tinki is now in the number 2 spot (still waiting for Dude to be totally official-he’s only halvses at the moment). Yes folks, she finally got her Carte de Circulation as now has official immigration status here in the land of cheese and wine. The Carte de Circulation is the equivalent to the Carte de Titre that adults have. She gets the Carte de Circulation since she is a minor. It’s good until she turns 18 which is good for me cuz that means I don’t have to do any more paper work on her for a couple of years.  Muy Bueno!!!!

It just so happens that the morning we had our appointment at the sous-prefecture to go get the card actually turned out to be easy. For me and Dude, we have to go to the town Maire (which is the easiest thing to do cuz it’s within walking distance) but for Tinki we had to drive to the next largest town in our area. I was bracing for horrendous parking (I hadn’t been to this sous-prefecture before so wasn’t sure what it was going to be like), a big hassle and long wait. To my surprise none of that happened. We ended up finding a spot to park a short distance away (that was free….bonus points) and was able to easily get to the office in a 5 minute walk. When we arrived, there was only two other people in front of us! Yippey-cuz the sous-prefecture in Marseille always had a bazillion people there and the wait was exhausting.  I always needed a stiff drink and nap after a morning there!

During our short wait (and I must reiterate SHORT WAIT… cuz it’s such a novel idea here), I scanned the office to read what was on their posters and bulletin boards. I like to do that. Increasing the vocab is a good thing. They had a poster up on the glass window stating that the government offices had new and improved methods for customer service. Huh? This MUST be new.

The poster gave a list of things that the government is doing to make life easier for us commoners and our massive amounts of paperwork. It said stuff like, nice and friendly service, longer window hours, open every day and more services you can do on the internet, etc.

Then…..what’s this?? I came across a point that actually said “guaranteed delays”! I don’t get it (well I do get it), but I don’t. Yes, we all know that with L’Administration Francaise there are guaranteed delays, but they’re actually admitting it on a poster and it’s on a poster that says how they’re working to make things more streamlined!! Ohhh, the French, they’re such players aren’t they.

I wanted to take a photo of the poster (you know how I love photos of odd French stuff) but there happened to be a police man in the office and being that I was in a government office I did not dare snap the shot. I wasn’t about to turn my quiet morning into a newspaper headline.

When our turn came up, we followed a lady into an office. She simply asked Dude and me for our passports and ID’s and had Tinki sign her card. Then the lady laminated it and handed it to us with a merci and bonne journée and we were done! Was I dreaming?! It was that easy?! No asking for more stuff and telling us to come back another day?! Yes, progress and during this whole process (18 months-I’ve been counting) we definitely hit their guaranteed delays but somehow missed their friendly customer service (paleeze-we never even got a smile), their longer window hours (still not open during lunch), open every day (nope closed on Wednesdays) and use of the internet to help us along (never could do anything on line-we ALWAYS had to go in person).

Well, that being said, I guess hitting one of those is a plus even if it’s the worst one. I think I would like to avoid the guaranteed delays next time. They can just keep that bullet point for themselves.

By the way, one of the reasons Dude doesn’t have his Carte de Titre yet, is because they didn’t like the paper the picture was on. They said it scratched up too easily and he needed a new and improved photo on better photo paper. Here’s the clincher, when the lady handed us Tinki’s card, her photo was all scratched up and looks totally stupid!  N’importe quoi is all I got say on that one.

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 April 28, 2012, in French Daily and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I’m sure you’ve worked this one out already but un délai in French is a bit of a false friend because it can mean a waiting period so délais garantis would mean guaranteed waiting limits, i.e. you won’t have to wait indefinitely as they are promising to deal with you within a certain amount of time. It did make me giggle though! Thanks for a great post!

    • Hey Clare-that’s good to know, cuz that was totally causing confusion amongst us! Although, if that’s true, then it’s not really:). Delays abound and nothing has changed. We are always still waiting and constantly told to give them additional stuff. I still think the French are players!

  2. Frustration, Patience, Perseverance, Submission, Acceptance, you’re almost French 🙂

    • Totally love it, CLaire! That’s going up somewhere in my office! That way I can see it and know it EVERY day 🙂

      • All so familiar, but oh so difficult to navigate without foreknowledge, that absolute necessity, near obligation to go through this process which sometimes misses a step for no reason and then we celebrate, knowing it is no precedent for the future 🙂

      • So true, so true and patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait (at least I hope that’s true in this case). If one doesn’t have patience, they’ll either have it by the time they are finished with French paperwork or they’ve had it with French paperwork and left the country! I’m struggling through the former and patience is something that I’ve acquired s.l.o.w.l.y. I definitely didn’t have an ounce of it as a child but I think having 4 children helped! They were my prequel and test to withstand French Administration 🙂

  3. Hey congratulations to Tinki an d you for your perserverance. I hope that Dude’s papers come through shortly.

    • Thanks Michel- Me too, unfortunately once they do, the lady at the Maire said we had to right away start the process for his renewal again for next year cuz it takes so long!

  4. Hi Ashley . . .catching up here, congrats on Tinki’s status. So glad things are progressing for you guys!

    • Hi Debra!Thanks so much. I hope things are going well for you and you are still keeping the dream alive of coming to France.

      • Ashley, I am actually coming in October!! Yeah, finally! I have been volunteering the last few years with our Sister Cities program – gotta fuel this passion for France and the international community. Last year, a wonderful group came to my town from Cergy-Pontoise. We hosted them in our homes and arranged points of interest visits to nearby DC, Baltimore, and the eastern shore of MD. This fall, it’s our turn to go visit them! The trip is for a week, but as I am sure you know, I want to stay MUCH longer! Trying to figure that out – any suggestions? (I will be 18 miles outside of Paris). Plus, it’s been crazy here working 2 PT jobs as the recession lingers on for my husband’s business. Thanks for keeping your blog going, it keeps my dream alive.

      • Congrats Debra! Yippey for you and hopefully October will be super nice weather wise. It was last year 🙂 My suggestion would to be start looking on FUSAC for any jobs in Paris and see if you can nail down some interviews while there. That would be a great place to start. Look at their small employment adds and their bigger adds. Who knows, there might be some one perfect whose looking for a great American employee right at the time you’re there. Start looking several weeks before you leave and see if you can set up some interviews in advance for when you get there.

  5. Thanks, Ashley. I will definitely look before I go, thanks for reminding me of your awesome suggestions. There are just so many things I want to see in Paris. . .Normandy, etc. . . .getting to the south would be a dream. I’m thinking that I am just going to try to relax and soak up every single second.

  6. Ashley – I would love that!

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