Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm the Junk in his Trunk...Cadam Part 1

Today we made the trek out to Cadam, the administrative offices, to get my Titre de Sejour (work permit, kind of like the American Green Card).  Well, we had a long talk with a managerial type woman at the counter upon entering, which is as far as we got, about what we needed, the process, etc. It didn't go as well as we had hoped or like the internet had informed us it would.  Many more documents were needed and those documents needed to be prepared in special ways that we had not done.  

Such as....copies of passport, both of ours, and not that old one you have James without a microchip - seems a lot of Portuguese are faking their way in (really?), my birth certificate, our marriage license, apartment lease, bank account, tax documents if you are not a salaried employee of a company, a utility or mobile phone bill, AND ALL TRANSLATED IN FRENCH. Because as she said..."The French, we protect our language", and don't forget to have all those documents officially stamped. 

And don't even think about trying to do this if you can't speak the language.  Thankfully I have James who speaks French very well.  Oh, and before any of this, James must declare himself at the Town Hall and register what he does for a living. Everyday I understand more and more the plight of those trying to come into America legally. 

So then the managerial lady proceeds to tell us that...

"You are whatever your husband is (how he's registered), he carries you with him.  If he's a salaried employee then you are, if he's a student then you are (how two students could support a family I'll never know), if he's an entrepreneur, then you are, etc.  She is in your luggage. (huh??)  She is whatever you are, so decide what you are wisely.  It can never be changed."  

Never??? I'm sure that part was lost in translation. Could the French laws really be this condescending or ancient?

So, if any of you ladies think you are going to be strong independent women in France, think again.  By being a non-French foreigner, you are just junk in someone's trunk.

How it all plays out in the end?.....stay tuned.  I won't be beaten that easily!  I WILL live and work here, I will, I will, I will!

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