By now you have read In residence and got the cold hard facts of the visit to the OFII immigration office. There was a lot of fun going on during this visit that made the time fly by.
Each and every person that we encountered was doing their very best to make each person feel at ease with the process. Casual banter about where you were from and how they had been there, too. “Good to see you back again” to someone who must have had a problem with the first visit. This is not your typical government operation of any government that I’m familiar with.
When my name was called the second time I could see a bit of hesitation on the part of the woman, who happened to be the nurse, so I asked if she were looking for Robert also. Bob heard his name and was there with his French translation that we were married but kept our own names. Into the office we went where we were weighed, measured and commented on. The nurse told me I definitely needed to remove my shoes before stepping onto the scale and then heard a bit of “tut tut” on my weight. Then she made a comment on how I was stretching to make the weight appropriate for my height. After Bob was weighed in then more jabs began from her. “It looks like you are eating all the bread and cheese and he is not getting any.” Really, I’ve just lost 6.1 kg but my French was not good enough to get that point across in a timely manner as they were both having a great laugh. Apparently I might have a few more miles to walk and skip the afternoon wine and cheese for a while. Maybe the butter with sea salt crystals should be put on ration, too. I really love that on bread in the morning with my coffee. There are a couple of different varieties and it has been my duty to try them all to make sure that we only buy the best tasting butter. Each time we go shopping there’s another variety with salt from a different area of France.
I think it’s time to go for a long walk to the market and stores to stock up on local sparkling wines. We don’t need much in the way of produce so the backpacks will have empty space to fill. There is a cooler bag in one of the backpacks for the butter and cheese that I should be ignoring.