Red Tape

France, you know I love you, but I don’t know if our relationship will last if you insist on obsessing over that other woman…paperwork.

I spent the morning following up on some important errands: applying for social security, opening a bank account, and searching for a French cell phone service that won’t cost me my firstborn when I end it upon my return to the US. Most businesses are closed on Mondays in France, so today was the first day since arriving that I could actually visit each of these places in person. Of course, each account requires various photocopies and forms to fill out, numbers to take and lines to stand in. Lots to do over the next few weeks.

Thank goodness I’m in a small town where all these offices are only a few kilometers apart! Walking around here is relatively easy and a great way to see more of town. Today I discovered what appears to be a Protestant cathedral (somewhat unusual in these parts) and a few pretty little parks. I scoped out several of the local boulangeries¬†before deciding on one that sold me the most delicious three-foot-long baguette I have ever eaten for 75 cents.

All in all, a productive and enjoyable day. Yes, the bureaucratic red tape that defines much of French life can be difficult to deal with, but it’s a small price to pay for the prize of living here. I’m looking forward to getting all of these things taken care of so I can focus on my lesson plans and the fun of being in France!


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