Saturday, July 19, 2008


Yesterday we went to the french consulate in Chicago in order to get our long-stay visas.  It took about a week of both of us working day and night to get all of the forms filled out and letters written (not to mention photocopied, notarized, and translated into French).  

We took the tandem bike from the place we stayed on Thursday night and biked to the consulate, which is downtown.  We arrived no later than 15 seconds after our appointments were scheduled to begin, and only slightly sweaty.  The office was stark and dismal, and the two women processing the visa applications were separated from the waiting area by thick, bulletproof glass.  The signs posted directed us to wait until our names were called.  We watched as four other people in the waiting area became impatient with waiting and finally got up and approached the women behind the glass, who yielded immediately and processed their applications.  We finally decided to do the same.

The lady we approached was wooden.  She took our applications, passports, and two self-addressed express mail envelopes and explained that as soon as her office receives a labor agreement from l'ANAEM (the department that approves foreigners to work in France), both of our applications will be approved.  

This is both good news and bad news.  It is unfortunate that the my labor agreement has not yet been sent despite quite a lot of effort on my part.  But it's out of my hands, so we'll just have to be patient.  The good news is that the lady we spoke with gave us the impression that Jefe's visa will not be a problem (i.e. that it is merely conditional on my visa).  

We celebrated by going to see Tell No One (french title: Ne le dis a personne), which was spooky and  terrific.

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