Thursday, October 20, 2005

Of Mice and Men

So, the best laid plans often fall apart, as was made very evident to me during this week. I am still living with the family. Sleeping in the basement on a futon that makes noises, squeaky ones when ever I roll over in the night, and wakes me often. I was hoping to be in my little apartment by now as I want desperately to put up all my posters and pictures on a wall, and just to actually unpack would be nice as well. However, My ceiling still isn't finished as they didn't buy me the supplies to fix it with till yesterday, and the stuff they bought is questionable at best. (I ask it a lot of questions, but although it sort of looks like the type of thing I need, it really doesn't know what type of life it is supposed to have on the ceiling, and it's directions only speak french.) I was also hoping to have received my drivers license in the mail by now, but I haven't. God bless the Wisconsin D.M.V.!
Yesterday I followed some vague directions, given me by my boss, Bruno, to the American Embassy in Paris. On the way I was asked for Id on the street by a paris cop and told that I had to walk on the other side of the street. Whatever! I went the other half of the block on the other side and then realized that at the end of the block I had been walking on was my elusive Embassy. It was completely surrounded by fences and I watched as a car that drove up was asked to open its hood. I presume to be checked for bombs, or other terroristic thing-a-ma-bobers. Lord help us now! I asked one of the 30 cops standing outside how I was meant to get into my embassy, and he asked me why in a rather suspicious way, and I said. "I got this thing from the French government saying that I had to get my birth certificate translated by my embassy." He informed me that I was at the wrong place entirely and that I needed to go to my Consulate instead. "Oh, ok, where is the American consulate?" "Two blocks straight and then go left." I was now following even more directions to a place that I wasn't sure I needed to be going to. It was actually just as he said, though if it wasn't for the small line outside of foreigners waiting to go in I would have just walked past it. Unlike the embassy it didn't have my flag out front. I got to skip the line, because I am so cute, not! They let all the American go through first just in case they are being chased by monsters, gangsters, or police and need political refuge. I went through the customary half strip search and proceeded to the room I was directed to. Still not knowing if it was the right place. I went inside and saw all the sad people! So many sad people waiting to be "helped" by an official. I stood behind a line as the sign said to do and then was called to the window, where I went and stated my plea for a translated Birth Certificate. The first lady I spoke with was nice, but said that all she could do was give me a list of approved translators. "I said, but the French Prefacture gave me this paper." Handed it to her and was promptly proven to be correct in my coming there, and in being correct, as she could not be incorrect in her statements, concerning her inability to really help me, she said that the French Prefacture was wrong to have sent me there. Yeah, I was thrilled. Then it got better. Her coworker stepped over and said that even if I had a translation of my birth certificate done by one of the approved people on the huge list of names given me, I would still need to have a birth certificate issued with in the last 3 months. She said that the French government demanded this for all of the documents they received. No one in the French Government had told me that! She gave me a stack of more papers. A form to request a new copy of my birth cert., and 10 pages of other, so far as I can tell, useless crap. I promptly left, slightly nauseous with the glooming idea of how many hoops I still had to jump through in order to be a legal au pair for the year.
in other news, complainings, I want to go dancing, but the discos are rumered to be so expensive that I have lost the gumption to even try. I some how managed to leave all my nice clothes at home, or in a van, and every time I am in class I am reminded of how bad I look by the other thinner, smarter, well dressed, foreign girls who have that foreign girl walk down perfectly. I have one prospect of a real friend. She is Hungarian, though her passport says she is Romanian. You'll have to look up the reason for that one all on your own. Some stupid treaty that mangled her real country and divided it between it's neighbors. I have tenativcely joined a group of Catholic evangelists, who ask silly questions about how to show this or that about the Faith to each other and maybe even somebody of a different faith. I was asked a total of 3 questions and I aced the first two; One was something about how do I reconcile the fact that Jesus was man and God. Oh, so hard, not really, but they seemed to be having difficulty thinking and were amazed by the simplicity of my answer that: "He had to be both or the whole thing wouldn't work". I tried to explain my thoughts on the old testiment sacraficial killings, and the fullfilment of the covenant, the institution of the eucharist, but I think they lost something in the translations. The second was my age. I knew that one. But the third was how can I believe in God, prove to others the existanc of God when so many terrible things happen in this world. One of the ladies was having a crisees of faith as her neighbors son just died and he was so young. I really couldn't say much, I told her that I had lost my neice, and that I was sorry for her I knew aht it felt like, and I refered her to "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis. They think I am a genious or something and I feel like a prick for feeling superior to them. They, like so many others, have not had a Catholic education. Sorry this is so long. I think it's fairly interesting though...

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