What it takes to live in France if you are an American
What it takes to live in France if you are an American (and married to an EU Citizen)
Leaving France and Returning to the US
Yes, I know that 2 weeks ago I wrote why I could never leave France. However, things change. You have one great day, and then you have a completely out of no-where really awful, no good, day. That was today.
So by 8:55 this morning I wanted to kiss France GOODBYE.
It has now been 17 months that we have been living in France and working their system.
In the outskirts of Paris, for the 10 months we lived there, we had to visit “Sarcelles” in order to try and obtain my Carte de Sejour or “Titre Sejour”. This is a SOCIAL SECURITY card for me . It entitles ME, and American, to LIVE in France . I am entitled anyway due to David being EU STATUS. as he was BORN in ENGLAND, never gave up his citizenship, the entire time he’s been a U.S. Resident as he thought he MIGHT need to work outside the United States one day, and indeed, he did. It’s called “being made redundant” – being “let go ” – being unable to find work past a certain age. All of you know this very well. If it hasn’t happened to you , it’s happened to a neighbor, a friend, a relative, anyone. It’s rampant in the US and it’s EVERYWHERE not just with those over 50 or 55, ……..it is a fact.
Because this happened, and because my husband had to totally “re-invent himself” he completed several assignments during several summers working as an English teacher in Bournemouth, England. The process for working elsewhere was started. He obtained his social security number, his insurance was in force in the EU – and in any country in the European union he would have this entitlement. Being married to him, I am entitled to the same. Really? And then I’m not. I have every right to live here, as I am a “Membre de Famille d’un Europeen” and even though as an AMERICAN married to a European Citizen, I’m on the “fast track”- it’s still not as good as my husband’s status, because I HAVE NO NUMBER!
Nor can I get ALL my medical paid, as he does. Nor can I legally work. Nor can I get a variety of entitlements that are readily available in this semi-socialistic country. (Super bad that I can’t have babies anymore because that’s a real plus if you live in France and 3 babies is the charm). Anyway, I really need that number. If I was to work, it would be to work “under the table” – as do a vast majority of people all over the European spectrum. It’s vast and wide. David works legitimately and even has been given a coveted CDI status, which not everyone can get. He is in the system, and can virtually work as long as he wants or is able. It is extremely desired, and it takes months or years to prove yourself to be able to get this from a company. He did it within 3 months.
Well, on this day, it was one of those getting up at the crack of dawn ( with David AND my beautiful French instructor, Sandrine,- who was to interpret things for us ) schlepping down to Marseille to their Prefecture and standing in line to show them our documents and find out if it’s all in order, or the next step. I have a very large file that I take with me each time. In Sarcelles, each time we showed this file, we were met with a glare and then a disappearance of the “clerk” and then told we needed something else, which was not ever written on the original document. We had everything on that document that they asked for , but , what you don’t realize until you get into this process, is that they can add different and various and sometimes RIDICULOUS requests in order for them to say either “Yes, – then – stamp stamp stamp on document, you’re done, you’re IN, or “NON, C’est INCOMPLETE” and you bow to them and the ridiculous other stuff that they’ve thrown at you THIS time. All the work we completed for them in “Sarcelles” outside Paris was never forwarded to Marseille. We had to start over. It has a lot to do with being an American. It has a lot to do with the U.S. giving FRANCE a difficult time in International matters over many years and visa versa. Atleast, this is what our translator, of all our documents, knows as a fact. He’s been doing translations for people like me, (Americans & other foreigners) for over 30 years. It might start somewhere in the closed rooms of a huge Defense building – but It filters down to the little people behind the desk, behind the great big room that holds countless persons from probably 80 different countries, atleast, trying to “get their number.”
Well, I digress. TO make a LONGER story short, we were turned away, again, because, ALAS, they had already taken the “60 ” people (and 60 only) that morning so we were out of luck. “You have to be here earlier”, they say in their broken English. “How early?” I say. ” Well, we open at 8:15, and we have people here at 6am. Sometimes they sleep on the sidewalk. ”
Okay. That’s enough. I’ve seen your crappy, dog pooped to death, smashed cigarette butt, teaming with bacillus sidewalk, and their AIN’T NO WAY this 60+ year old BODY with BAD GENOU’s (knees) is gonna be sleepin’ on that sidewalk. NEVER. I’ll go back to the U.S. first!
But, I really don’t want to. So, I will be there at 4 am on Friday to try and be one of the first 60 and we’ll do this all over again.
I’m “psyching” myself up for it already. I’m thinking POSITIVE. I’m thinking of VISUALIZATIONS. I’m thinking……..drugs. Maybe drugs. As long as I don’t have them actually ON me.
I’m going to do this.