The OFII Adventure

Despite having an accounting class – or maybe because of it – today I braved the OFII, the Office Francais de l’Immigration et de l’Integration, basically passport control. Despite joking about accounting classes – I was required to present myself for a medical appointment and a rendez-vous today.

The OFII is responsible for managing all visas and residence permits in France. There are local offices spread across the company. And today it was my turn to brave this lovely French bureaucracy. Two hours. That’s right two hours. It took two hours to complete everything.

My visit began with a chest x-ray – yes that’s right – apparently the French government is concerned I might have TB. And not only was it an x-ray but I got to walk around topless. Yay! Or not. And not only that but they had to take two x-rays as the first was cut off. Then back to the waiting room.

And then my favorite part of the afternoon – a visit with the cranky nurse. Who seemed upset that I was struggling with some of the French medical terminology and was determined not to like me. There was an eye exam. I got to stand on the scale and get yelled at for being fat. And then was molested with a needle for a blood sugar test. I asked if I could use my left hand for the test as I am right handed. But no. Not only did I have to use my right hand but I had to use my index finger. After getting stabbed I was wrapped with some tape and sent back to the waiting room. Seriously though I have a bruise.

After Nurse Ratched and another waiting room visit I finally got in to see the doctor. Who ordered me to strip again. Yay! Did I mention the office was cold? At least this was just a quick listen to my lungs and heart and a quick skin check. And yes I am aware that I have a couple of moles I should be watching.

Then… you guessed it… back to the waiting room. I was finally called into the office where I got my lovely carte de sejour stamp. Really just another visa sticker. I now get to leave the country and come back! And the really great news…I get to start this whole debacle all over again in July when I want to extend my visa. Yay! I’m really looking forward to that little adventure. Or not.

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