Victory is mine! Or at least I thought it was.

So. I had a fantastically wonderful rested weekend. I tried to remember what I did. I think it mostly involved sleeping and eating. Nothing wrong with that, right? I ran a lot last week so I spent the weekend resting my ailing hamstring.

Last night I took a car share through covoiturage.fr to Antibes with the BF to spend the night there, and see where he lives. I hopped a train back to Marseille this morning and decided that hey, why not try and pick up your Carte de Sejour? The prefecture is open for another 30 mins and it’s on your way…

I bought my timbres fiscaux this weekend…260 euros of monies for stamps. LAME. I had my old récépissé with me as well as my passport and whatnot so I marched on to the prefecture location in Marseille (which is not, as you might think, near the metro 1 stop called prefecture … different one. Make sure you go to Rue Saint Sebastien, 66b (note the B!) near Castellane).

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I walk in … not a lot happening. There are some windows, A-D I think, I walked to one of them, told her (in French, durrrr) that I was there to pick up my carte de séjour. She printed a little number and told me to go to the second floor (1ère étage). I get up there and there’s a screen showing which numbers are being called and to which window. I only waited about 15 minutes … I got there at 11:57am when the whole thing closes at 12:15p. Risky, I know. I had read so many horror stories about the process of the carte de séjour that I was nervous but I thought, if I don’t get it today, I didn’t lose a whole lot. I was already late to work. My number was called and I rushed to my window. Gave her everything she asked for:

She takes everything from me. Takes my finger prints. Then hands me my card, after looking at it carefully for a few seconds. Then … she says … it’s only good until October 31 … and that I should get the forms to fill for the next year … but not today since the windows downstairs are now closed. WHAT?!? Yeah. I got my carte de séjour. But it is only good until the end of this month. HAHA. What a joke. This means that it will expire before I go home and come back after Christmas AND I will soon have to pay the renewal fees (106 euros I think). They suggest you begin your file for renewal 3 months BEFORE the expiration … um. Ok. Too late.

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Yes. I got it today. It expires 31 octobre 2013. boo!

The problem is that I technically arrived in France November 2, 2012. This is when they started counting for me. Reason being because with my 7 month student visa last year I did not HAVE to get a real carte de séjour. So what we actually just spent 5 months doing (two récépissé) was a change in statute. I was under student statute now I was under a researchers. So I just paid 260 euros for one month of legality. I should have expected this. Everything was going much much too smoothly for me in terms of French bureaucracy ((Read many of Michael‘s posts!).  So. I will redo a dossier for my renewal of my scientific titre de sejour that will hopefully be pluriannuelle — up to 4 years … but most likely the 2 years that I have left in France under my PhD agreement with CNRS (multi-year will be 200 euros in timbres fiscaux).

My only worry now is that when I fly back to the states at the end of November … and attempt to get back into France at the end of December, that I will run into problems. I really hope not.

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I like ya, France, I truly do. I wanna spend more time here, hang out with you. But you are making things difficult.

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