Un Chat

By Stephanie P., Current Au Pair in France

I’m sitting here, listening to the AC rawr as it battles the heat in my house. Every time I go to type a sentence my cat gets in the way. I have to keep deleting stuff he types with his big paws, but its so hard to be mad at a cat who just wants some love and attention. Now he’s meowing at me, like he’s trying to tell me ‘hey type your entry already’. His big eyes tell me to stop procrastinating, but the heat just makes it so easy to forget…

So I guess the reason for this entry is to tell you about my experience getting my visa. All I have to say is be prepared, have everything you need in perfect order and make sure you have it all. Oh also don’t forget your money.

It was 8:30 am on July 15th as I got up to get ready for the big day to get my visa. I got dressed, double checked my list, brushed my teeth, checked my paper work again, put on some shoes, checked my paper work, brushed my hair, checked it again. It was 9:00 am now, and me and my Dad left for LA to the French consulate. My appointment was at 10:45 am, so we had plenty of time… I thought. The traffic was so INSANE. I live in orange county, if there we’re no cars on the road I’d be there in 20 minutes. But instead I was 15 minutes late. Luckily they aren’t to strict on that. The guard checked my papers at the door, and said it was okay that I was late, and to have a seat inside. I waited for a while, then it was my turn to go up to the window. I went up la di da di da it was fine. Then he asked for my credit card, so I handed him my Visa… DECLINED!

I looked at the man and asked him to try it again. Still declined. I had to run outside to find my dad, and to my luck my phone was dead. Eventually I found him and he gave me his card and his ID, and also a check in case it didn’t work. Then I realized my Dad had accidentally given me my Moms visa card. But luckily the consulate worker was nice, and I’m assuming since me, my dad and my mom all had the same last name he let it slide. Then I got to sit and wait and wait some more. Eventually I was called up to the second window, she asked for all my paper work and copies of my Au pair agreement and the proof of enrollment in a language school. Copies? Copies? I thought I only needed a copy of my passport. By now it was almost noon, and they we’re closing for lunch. The consulate worker wrote me a pass to get back in, after I had made copies of course. I walked out found my Dad, and read the note. It said come back at 2pm. Two hours of waiting.

Next we had to find a place to make copies, which shouldn’t be hard but somehow it was. Eventually I found a place and asked for the copies. The nice man said, “25 cents please”… I didn’t have a quarter, but he was nice enough to just let it go. Thanks copy man! My Dad and I passed the time driving around Beverly Hills and up and down Rodeo Drive. We got sandwiches at a Deli shop by a gas station, and they we’re surprisingly good. It was nice to spend time with my Dad. It will probably be one of the last alone times we have together until I leave… It’s weird to think that I won’t see him for a year. It’s frightening to think that I won’t see my family, my friends, my house… for a whole year. I’m grateful actually that my appointment got messed up, because doing nothing with your Dad is nice sometimes.

Eventually it was 2pm, I went back handed the worker the copies, and my Visa adventure was done, and done correctly thanks to the nice consulate workers. An hour and a half car ride later I was back home and content with that fact that my departure date is creeping closer and closer. I guess now its time to think about packing stuff… Well France, see you soon!!!

P.S My summer to do list has gotten smaller. I can officially cross of pool party, BBQs, and went on a cruise to Mexico!

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