|The Visa office was right next door to my old french school|
After 30 minutes of literally sweating it out, I took my turn at the window, papers at the ready. The French woman started firing out forms for me to give her one after another. I forgot a signature in one place, pure stupidity, which I was sure meant they wouldn't let me in their country. She went through them, checking things with a red pen, and then she got to the insurance paperwork and she hesitated as I feebly tried to explain how this could possibly be the right paperwork, which garnered a shrug and a check mark. C'est bon! Next thing I know she's taken my passport, papers, more ugly mug shots, finger prints and tells me they'll have "an answer" for me in the next week or two.
While I wish I could say that I'm now home free, alas, there is a bit more legwork involved. I need to "register" in my arrondissement, which I hear can take the better part of the day as the lines wrap around the building and can be a bit confusing. Then there's a medical test I need to take, which I've been told some interesting and embarrassing stories about, so stay tuned for the next chapter, but at least my country doesn't mind me leaving. We'll see what the Parisians think!