The Joys of French Administration

I am in the process of gathering paperwork to renew my carte de séjour vie privée et familiale. I thought I had everything I needed, but no, of course not. David & I were running all over Annecy this morning so I could take my stupid ID photos and get a recent récépissé de PACS to prove that we are in fact still PACSed before handing in all the papers to the préfecture.

The préfecture told us to go to the Tribunal d’Instance in Annecy to get the récépissé de PACS. No problem, we did that last year and it worked out fine (after going to the wrong building first, then finding out it had moved to Rue Parmelan.) I had checked out their website beforehand to make sure it was still in the same place, and what do you know? It tells me that the Tribunal d’Instance has moved to the Palais de Justice on Rue Sommeiller.  Ok, we can go there instead, it’s not far away or anything.

“Oh no no, this is the Tribunal de Grande Instance. You only come here to get PACSed, not to get the récépissé de PACS. You need to go to the Tribunal d’Instance on Rue Parmelan for that.”

“Then why does the website say that the Guichet Unique de Greffe, which includes both the TGI and the TI, has moved to Rue Sommeiller?”

“The website doesn’t say that.”

“Oh really?” (Pretending to be surprised, but secretly wishing I had printed the website to shove in their faces and prove that I was right and their stupid website was wrong.)

So off to the TI, wait 30 minutes, and…

“Oh no, we don’t give récépissés de PACS. You have to get a new copy of your birth certificate if you are French because the PACS is mentioned on it, and you have to request the récépissé de PACS from the TGI in Paris if you are a foreigner, as of January 2008.”

“Then how were we able to get a récépissé de PACS here last year in March 2008 when I had to renew my carte de séjour? And why in the world did BOTH the préfecture and the TGI in Annecy tell us to come here???”

“The law has changed and they are not informed. You need to tell them that their information is not correct.”

(Laughing on the inside. Yes, the préfecture will certainly believe me when I tell them that they are wrong.)

Race to the mairie of Annecy to get David’s birth certificate. It took about 10 seconds and the ladies were so nice.  I want to go back just to talk to that adorable lady at the accueil again.

Then come home to figure out how to request my récépissé de PACS from the TGI in Paris and…


their website is DOWN!!!

But really, did I expect it to be that easy? Nothing ever is in France.

So, has anyone had the pleasure of requesting a récépissé de PACS from the TGI in Paris in order to renew a carte de séjour? How exactly do I go about it?

Mon Amour, le Fonctionnaire

David took a competitive exam (concours) to become a civil servant (fonctionnaire) in France. It began with a multiple choice exam in December, and since he passed that, he was able to go on to the interview in February. We found out on March 9 that he succeeded and that he will become a fonctionnaire!!!  […]

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Carnaval Vénitien d’Annecy 2009

Annecy is the Venice of France, so we have our own version of the Venetian Carnival. The Carnaval Vénitien is currently taking place in Annecy. David & I went downtown to see the parade this afternoon, but then quickly remembered what “parade” means in Annecy. The Masques walk very, very slowly through the old town, […]

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Miss Harriet, Maupassant, and le break

“Nous étions sept dans le break, quatre femmes et trois hommes…” The short story, Miss Harriet, was written in 1883 by Guy de Maupassant. In the very first sentence is the word le break – meaning horse-drawn carriage. Nowadays it means a station wagon and when I learned this, I just assumed it was an […]

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Master’s in Teaching French at University of Arizona

Maybe it’s the never-ending cold inside and outside, but I keep looking for Master’s programs in French in warm climates… et voilà, I found the perfect program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. They offer a Master’s in Teaching French as a Foreign Language, which is exactly what I’m looking for before I decide […]

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Le Col de la Forclaz above Lake Annecy

David and I finally returned to the Col de la Forclaz to take photos of Lake Annecy from above. We last went up there in November 2006, shortly after we met. It’s where many hang-gliders begin their journey down the mountains, and there’s also a small ski station (mostly for children), some restaurants and souvenir […]

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Price of Stamps Increases in France: March 2009

Starting March 2, 2009, the price to send a Prioritaire letter (up to 20 g) within France & the DOM-TOMs will be 56 centimes, a 1 centime increase from last year. The cheaper Ecopli price will be 51 centimes, also a 1 centime increase. The price to send a letter within the European Union & […]

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International Mother Language Day – February 21, 2009

The International Mother Language Day has been observed yearly since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Yesterday at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the 3rd edition of the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger was presented in an online edition and is available free of charge worldwide. It contains information […]

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Is it 2005 again?

I heard some loud laughing down in the parking lot earlier tonight, but I thought it was just the noisy neighbors having a party. But because I’m so curious nosy, I decided to look outside and see what they were up to. Oops, my bad. Not a party. Just a burning car across the street. […]

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A dozen would just be too many.

Who says that French doctors overprescribe medication? 11 boxes is normal, right? I went to the doctor for help with my winter depression, fatigue and insomnia. That cost me 55 € just to see him, of which I’ll probably be reimbursed about 20 €. Then I went to the pharmacy to get the prescriptions, which […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.


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