14 September 2010

If it made sense, it wouldn’t be French, and other stories

Last Thursday, I went to the post office to mail in paper work in order to begin the process of completing my visa. This required me to mail in an OFII form (which requires a permanent french address), copies of my passport, visa, and stamp from entering the country to the immigration office; one week after receiving my paperwork, they will notify me that they received it, and one month after that I will be given a doctor’s appointment and be forced to pay 55 euro or some ridiculous sum for a “stamp”, until then I am prisoner to france, because if I leave they won’t let me back into the country unless I get a special visa from “the proper authorities”. This is annoying and pointless for many reasons:
1) What is the point of examining the health of a person 2 months after they entered your country? They’ve had plenty of time to spread around all their nasty foreign diseases.
2) I’ve already paid money for my visa, TWICE. 75$ for the completely pointless “Campus France”, and 55$ for what I believed at the time to be my visa.
3) Why shouldn’t I be able to leave the country in the mean time, isn’t the point of a visa that it gives you the right to BE in a country, not the right to leave it? How does this make sense?
4) I don’t actually have a fourth reason, but the first 3 were good.
This event and many others led to the now quite popular slogan, “If it made sense it wouldn’t be French”.

Why is everything closed on Sunday, despite the fact that most people have weekends off and might want to use that time to buy stuff, otherwise amuse themselves?
Why print stamps on envelopes? Wait, that actually kind of makes sense- BUT- Why should you have to fill out a mailing label form to mail a letter a certain kind of way, but still have to write the address of the envelope?
Why should one have to wait in line to procure said envelope and form, and again when one has filled them out?
What do the following have to do with each other: the erosion of beaches, the evolution of whales, feel good times in Madagascar (i.e. journaliste holds newborn baby, dances with children), and searching for a Mexican island that may have disappeared or maybe just never existed at all?

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