⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

January 31, 2010

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Paris.



Ah. Le bonheur. There is an interesting dynamic between New York and Paris. People in both cities concur that the other city is the finer than their own. At least, generally, this is the reaction I get. In Paris, when I told people we had moved from New York, they would reply, "New York ! Vous avez eu de la chance ! Pourquoi vous êtes partis?" (New York! You were lucky! Why would you ever leave). And now that we are back in New York, I get: "You lived in Paris for three years! My dream is to live in Paris." The yearning on both sides is proportional. People love these cities.

It is precisely for that reason that I am back for a week. So that I (we) can be in a perpetual state of unrestrained in-between. I am back to secure my hard-earned carte de séjour, without which my path to citizenship would be stymied. In like manner, Xavier is here to hand in his French passport to the American consulate, who will award him a green card and then return his passport (we are hoping) with the right to be an American one day.

This is all dandy, barring the bureaucracy involved. On both ends. The French are renowned for it - n'est-ce pas my American friends in Paris? As it turns out, the American side is not necessarily less baffling.

Here, for your entertainment, Xavier explains the situation as we wait for my interview for the carte de séjour. Mainly, it involves a whole lot of waiting.



"Here we are waiting for the carte de séjour. Our appointment was at 11:30; it is now 12:20, nothing abnormal there. But now the thing is that we are going to have to wait until the lunch hour is over; they've all left. There are perhaps one or two of the minions left - probably interns, who have the privilege of staying around while everyone else eats. Lucky us. I think your camera is a bit crooked." (Remember, the French lunch hour is a full 60-90 minutes. We sat there at least that long).

10 comments:

Gina said...

Oui. 7.5 hours for my first CDS appt. And like you I watched them leave for lunch...and return when they were good & ready. Just got my 2nd CDS in November, and it expires...Feb. 28. Not even kidding.

Emilie said...

Oh Gina...you know the struggle...

Anonymous said...

Just curious: which language do you and Xavier speak with one another?

Emilie said...

Both. Our first language was English. We met in NY. Then French became much more important (being in France) and slowly it entered. Often to avoid conflict, we each stick to our own languages, we speak to each other and sound like weirdos; me asking a question in English and Xavier responding in French or having a full out debate in both. Today we try to speak French in New York so that it stays.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if this is too nosey, but is Marguerite moving to New York too?

Emilie said...

to be honest, i never know quite how to respond to the anonymous. suffice it to say, marguerite will absolutely appear on these pages with us in new york. we love that girl. and so does her mama in paris.

Davide said...

Immigrant! Stay quiet and suffer like an Italian (stallion) in this RTT Country.

Fight for your RIB...

Davide

Shelli and Gene said...

Hi Emilie,
I loved the transcription of Xavier's thoughts, particularly the use of 'mignons" for what I think you meant to write: 'minions'. How generous to think of how cute those poor interns were, working through the lunch break!

Missing you writing about Paris, but loving you writing about NY.

Emilie said...

how true shelly! thanks for the catch. i was thinking in french indeed. they are periodically quite cute, but most become ugly once you open your dossier or they open their mouths...hee hee.

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