Peter M Howard ::

Six Weeks Later...

07Mar2005 [france]

Well it took a while, but I'm finally online... That means there'll be a few little changes to the site, the most important of which is photos - by the end of the week there should be a few up, but I'm still working on the interface to it

In brief

Week 1: Arrived; it Snowed. Spent lots of time with the other Aussies sitting round Drinking Red
Week 2: Warming, somewhat Deceptively. Language school started, level 3 of 6.
Week 3: Boring Administrata
Week 4: Vacances already. England for the week. Bought two tickets back to France, as One of which I was on the wrong side of the Channel to Collect.
Week 5: Back to France, and School; suddenly Freezing again; Running Around collecting things for my Carte de Sejour
Week 6: Actually went to every class this week; not sure how. Needed the distraction though, as I had my First Run-In with French Bureaucracy when I went for my Carte de Sejour (an extended residency, as my Visa only gives me 3 months). Got rejected as I needed my student card, which the university had cleverly Neglected. Asked for another Appointment, but the woman just repeated "Bring your student card" over and over. Gave Up and Left
Week 7: Went for the carte de sejour again today, but as there was a long queue and I had No Appoinment was Ejected again. Forced them to make me an appointment, not till the month of April now.

Not having problems adjusting to the culture - loving the cold, and starting to enjoy the relaxed lunch breaks and Sundays. But the bureaucracy are driving me nuts. The bank cleverly took 7euros from my account while it was still empty. The next day my transfer from Australia came through, but they insisted on sending me a letter claiming I was now in debit (and charged me another 8euros for the privelege). I put it down to a French computer and ignored it, but a couple of days later, when I'm clearly in the Black, received another letter asking that I arrange an appointment. Went in this morning to complain, but they wouldn't even talk to me without an appointment ("But my account has 4000euros!" "This letter says you're in debit" "But I'm not in debit anymore, I was waiting on a transfer" "This letter says you have to make an appointment with me" "You still want an appointment?!" "This letter says...") So I made the appointment, for like 10 days away... Still not sure if I'll bother going, but of course that'll confuse them even more.

(I think it's people like the French that are pulling Humanity behind in the war against Machines, they don't seem to be able to think for themselves)