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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.

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