The joys of immigration
I went to the préfecture last Friday afternoon. It was the last day of my holidays, and I had to pick up my new resident card before starting work again on Monday.
106€ and almost three hours later, I left with the little piece of plastic that allows me to live and work here for another year.
Yes, you read that right. Three hours.
For those who need to pick up a resident card, the préfecture opens at 1:00. I arrived at 12:30, and was 132nd in line. It closes at 3:30. If you miss out, you miss out, and have to come back another day. Too bad if you have other places to be, other things to do (like work a full day).
I tell you what, I was getting pretty worried by 3:00 ! Thankfully, my number came up at 3:20; I left at 3:21. Yes, really. I gave the fonctionnaire the receipt I received back in December, my old card and my 106€ worth of revenue stamps. I signed for my new card, which he gave to me as he wished me a bonne journée. Bam. Three hours of waiting for one minute of interaction.
The only thing that didn’t work out was the date change – June 2014 instead of June 2013 – but December is just fine !
I am now looking at exchanging my Australian driver’s licence for a French one, which is also a préfecture service. Oh joy. I have to get my current licence translated, but on the positive side – the application is done by mail !