Wednesday, September 26, 2007

sooo french

There was a woman at the French Consulate in San Francisco that Liam and I began to call 'So French.' She was hot, helpful, and once wore a pink off-the-shoulder sweater with the words 'so french' across the front (we assume it's a brand, but ourselves are not French-enough yet to know). She would smile sweetly at Liam, beckoning monsieur Carey over to say hello. She would ask us our wedding plans. She would tell me that my application would be denied if I showed this and accepted if I showed that. She was kind about speaking English and she smiled. I miss 'So French.'

I knew the process to get a carte de sejour (residency card) would be annoying. As a former Los Angeles USD teacher, I thought 'I've had my fair share of wasted institutional days' and yet, nothing prepared me, not even Liam's sister's stories of the same nature, for our two hour wait at the police station yesterday just to find out I did not have the right paperwork to apply. *
With my birth certificate copy en route from my mom (why do you need to see a birth certificate when I have a passport showing US birth? "We need to see your parents' names" can it be a copy? "a copy that is stamped by a translator is acceptable" are you sure we really need this? "not necessarily, but sometimes."), and our new landlord, a sympathetic ex-pat, writing us up a lease, we went to a covered market to find something for dinner.** Looking for something so good, so French, we passed a fruit stand with fraise des bois.

I have never had these european sweeties, so although they looked as though they had spent time navigating the residency card with us, we purchased them anyway (to the tone of 4.80 E = $6). I popped one in my mouth at home and found the texture to be weird and taste so sweet and fragrant it was as though someone made a fruit based on a candy. I decided to put them in a bowl with some Activia (Liam's favorite french yogurt that is really plain Danon and promises to make your insides regular if you eat it for 15 days. I think it recently made it's US debut? It was named 'Bio' in a previous French life.) and found some sugar/vanilla grinder that the owner has and sprinkled that on top - Voila!- it was a fantastic dessert with the fragrance captured in the creamy yogurt and the crunchy sweetness on top. Dare I conclude - a sweet ending to a long day, and soooo French.

*"So French" told me to just bring the same paperwork I showed in the US to France. Unfortunately, in France, they want none of the same paperwork and asked for others I didn't have.
**We are now stringing a cord across the tiny kitchen to use the kitchen unit with the burners. In fantastic news - we move into an apartment in the Marais in another week that has a full kitchen and stove (and tub) - unfortunately, at the expense of a bed, but more on our sofa-bed future soon.

1 comment:

morrow said...

soooooo french is sooooooo hilarious. your bloggervoice is On Point. looking forward to reading more avec ma cafe du matin touts ces jours! :)