Thursday, September 18, 2008

Préfecture à Nice

There was nothing I could do to get out of going to the Préfecture in Nice to renew my Carte de Sejour. Today was the big day. Got up at 5h30, left around 6h, took the train to Nice. Then the bus. Got to the préfecture at 8h15. There were only about 15 people waiting outside the gates. The gates don't open until 9h00 to the public. Not bad.

I have heard horror stories from two of my coworkers who have gone there at least 3-4x. And even worse stories from Timo about Paris. I was dreading this moment and preparing for the worst.

They opened the gates around 8h30. A few of us ran to wait outside the second set of doors. Well, I came prepared in my running shoes and cotton capris - I made a dash for it and was able to get in front of a few people.

9h00 came and when the doors opened, people started running. Using my sprinting skills from high school, I made a dash for the line - there was one guy working there that was telling everyone to slow down. hahahah. I made it to the line but there were still about 20+ people in front of me because all these fuckers in France always cut in line. But regardless, wasn't that bad. I probably waited another 30 minutes to be seen. No problem... sort of.

So my Carte de Sejour runs out on 30 Sep 08. And it takes 2 months to renew. I am only supposed to work here until 20 Oct 08. You can see the dilemma. They told me to go back to Paris to file it since I am going to work there afterwards. Well... you can see the dilemma again. And in their French way they said:

"C'est pas possible."

Uh huh.

5 minutes later - miraculously it was

"C'est possible...mais..."

The lady at the desk mentioned a special exception for me to renew my Carte de Sejour for 2 months in Nice, and after renew again in Paris... except that maybe the French police would stop by to see if I was actually working there and yada yada yada. With some discussion with the chef, we figured it was best for me leave early and go back to Paris to file. It worked out better for the both of us this way - no unnecessary police visits at the restaurant, and me filing my papers in Paris only one time. And the other good part about it is that my school will file for my renewal. All I have to do is provide all the necessary paperwork and fill out a bunch of other papers in person. No crazy lines in Paris. The préfecture in Paris is 1000x worse than in Nice. PHEW! Thanks, Ferrandi !

After a few hours in line and a few phone calls later - I was out of there by 11h45. Not bad ! But then the bus didn't come for 45 minutes but luckily I met some Philipino people who had been living in Nice for the past 3 years - I went with them to take another bus to a different train station. By the end of it all, I came back to work around 13h30.

So that would make my total trek to the préfecture only 7.5 hours including commute. Not bad at all !

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