First Contact – Continued…

We returned to the consulate on Wednesday morning (precisely between 9:00 and 10:00) holding our documents proudly over our heads! We expected nothing less than to be carried around the waiting room on the shoulders of the other waiters as they cheered our victorious return.

This time our fonctionnaire would review our documents and swoon. We would be embarrassed by her rapturous stamping of approval – Yes! Yes! Yes!

Any of this sound familiar?


What we got was complete indifference from our document collector. We submitted two copies of our proof of lodging for our first four months in France. This was determined at our last meeting to be the absolute minimum, but you really should have a year, tsk tsk tsk.

We were also asked to turn in a copy of a receipt showing we had paid for passage to France. Again my first reaction to this requirement was – Huh? Why do you care how we get there? But we have no reason not to comply so we do.

Our carefully crafted documents were accepted, stamped (there really could be smiley faces or Hello Kittys on those stamps for all we know) and dropped into a pile. We were then abruptly told, “We will keep your passports. One of you can come pick up Visas in two weeks.” And voilà we were done. Two weeks is cutting it pretty close. We leave for Michigan a week after that. If there are any snags during the processing we could be in trouble.

And you have to think there is more “processing” to be done. Since the document collector didn’t look at our documents, they could have said nothing but “de Gaulle is a sissy” on them and she wouldn’t have noticed, someone else must be scrutinizing them. But who? When? Apparently Visa Processing is much like Fight Club. The first rule is the same and probably for the same reason.

So here we sit. Running out of time and clueless as to whether our trip to the consulate in two weeks will result in French Visas or a beating in the basement. C’est la vie. We ended on a high note with a walk through Central Park looking magical under freshly fallen snow.

New York Central Park Winter

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