What does being half naked and weighed by a stranger have in common (besides the humiliation factor, that is)? Why gaining French residency of course!

A couple weeks ago I went to Rezé, a small town not far from Nantes in order to officially become a (temporary) French resident. Until May. Yay me! I finally did it, halfway through my stay here. All it took was months of paperwork, dozens of emails, copious amounts of anxiety, obsessive mail-box checking, AND just about every type of transportation known to humankind besides horseback. These months of toil then led me to an hour-long doctor’s visit where I got to press my bare-naked chest against an unforgivingly cold, hard surface for a useless radiological scan of my lungs.

My prize for ongoing discomfort, carpel tunnel, and significant financial investment? A shiny new sticker on my passport, a sticker that is so damn special it means I get to stay in France for a whole ’nother five months. I feel like people who make it through the other side even somewhat unscathed should be given more than just a sticker for this kind of commitment, because this stuff is like the Olympics of moving. Then again, I suppose the gift of being allowed to stay in France without filling out more paperwork is prize enough.

But who am I kidding? Being in France nowadays and never filling out paperwork is like being in the US and never seeing advertisements. Some things are just an inevitable part of life, no matter how much we would like to ignore them.