So, it's been a week since my French-ness ceremony, and it was a week filled with lots of tasks and challenges. Which is why I haven't had the mental energy to blog, though I sat down once or twice to try and come up with a decent post. The best I can do at the moment is give you the snippets of my life from the past week. Which feels pretty much the same as it was BEFORE the French-ness ceremony, when you get right down to it. I made the appointment for next Tuesday to go and apply for my French passport and the Carte Nationale d'Identité. The former costs 86€ and the latter is free. Tomorrow I'm going to chase down the timbres fiscales for 86€ since you can't go to any of these government agencies and pay in cash, check or bank/credit card. They only accept these fiscal stamps that prove you have paid but at a centralized location. Guess they don't want to bother the other fonctionnaires with handling payments. It's a good system -- for THEM. For the rest of us it means having to find a place that sells the damn stamps. Allegedly some...
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The ceremony is nice, but nothing has changed. Am I French? Am I American? Doesn't really matter. Because France has already made me a different person long ago, from the moment I stepped on the plane.
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We arrived back in Paris a couple of hours ago to pouring rain, and it's about 12 degrees (Celsius) colder here than when we left Saint Raphael. Not so great a start to our rentrée, but at least we got a taxi fairly quickly. Then, on arriving home, we discovered a clean house (thanks to Les Grands who have been camping here while we've been away -- they're apartment hunting) but not much left in the fridge, so I hot-footed it over to the mini-market across the street. I was so tired, but wanted to just get it done so I could come home and collapse. When I got back and was unpacking groceries with Georges in the kitchen, my step-son comes in and asks me: "So, who did you kill?" And I was all, "Er... huh?" And he handed me a letter from the Préfecture de Paris. Of course they never arrest you with a letter, so I knew it had to be about my nationality dossier. I wasn't expecting anything from them because the mandatory one-year waiting period wouldn't even be up until some time in October. I got a bit nervous when I saw the envelope because...
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