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.


Bienvenue! Welcome to Cuvee Appeal! This blog will be the chronicle of my adventures as I move to France to get a Masters in Wine Business Administration.

This adventure began with a whirlwind 5 weeks in early spring. I downloaded the application to prepare to speak with a wine maker who received her degree from Davis. After I downloaded the application I learned that I had to complete the application within two weeks! A late night interview, a sleepless night, and a few short weeks later I had been accepted to the INSEEC Bordeaux International Wine Institute.

It’s now the end of July and things are moving quickly. I have booked a plane ticket, tentatively leased an apartment – sight unseen, eep! – revamped my wardrobe (always important), bought a suit case, and completed the first stage of my visa application.

Now the waiting games begin…. I am waiting for approval to book an appointment at the French consulate in San Francisco and complete the visa process. Of course in typical bureaucratic fashion the process hasn’t been seamless and I am starting to worry. But fingers crossed all will work out in the end.

Then the real fun begins – the packing!!! Having previously moved across the continent and across the Atlantic I can testify that packing your entire life into two 50 pound bags and two carry-on’s isn’t fun. For me or – as she will testify – for my mother who is always the one who helps. Thanks in advance.

I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of the adventure with you! Sit back, sip that perfect glass of Pinot, and stay tuned!

A plus tard!