This week when I looked in my post box there was an envelope.
But this, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, was not just any envelope.
This envelope had the little green words “carte vitale” printed on it.
I opened it, awaiting another hurdle, another form to fill, or the declaration that my application had been refused because the wind had blown over a gnome on a tuesday in march and the circumstances were as such not conducive to my receiving a card.
I have a Carte Vitale.
I HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE.
I feel like a hacker that has finally broken into the pentagon.
This means that next time i get myself into an improbable situation like being mugged or getting concussed I can let France pay for my stupidity instead of me. This also means that I can complete the inscription process for the association I have been part of since last October (the official inscription form for me at the moment reads ‘no social security number’ as if I didn’t exist. But all that has changed now. I am counted as an actual physical human being living in France who can get payback on medical costs! (said like that it doesn’t sound so great). This battle is over.
However in a cruel reversal of fate I still don’t have a student card. I was going to write a whole post about adjusting to my new university but I looked at the draft I had saved and frankly I feel like it sums up the state of bewilderment when confronted with a new environment better than anything else I could write:
Is it an impression of a man in a valley, this blog and its readers or Paris in August? The world may never know.
Be that as it may the strange phenomenon of the french rentrée has now kicked in and while the whole country is nigh on uncontactable and silent on August 31st at 9AM on 1st September everyone clicked back into action as if the holidays had never happened. Somehow I too have internalised this “life truth” that everything must start on September 1st. I realised this when a friend told me she was had not yet properly moved back to Paris for the school year on September 5th. This is, quite clearly, insane since not a single university actually starts back until the 19th.
So where am I in all this? Well, in age-old style, I, who greatly dislike change and disruption, have moved house and am starting a new course (again) this September. So far my review for my university’s admin procedures is “better than my last university”. But then again we all remember how well the quest for my student card went last year. Although one must never speak too soon. I have had to redirect my post and since my student card is meant to arrive by post it’s all too possible that it just won’t. Because post, because France, because there is no way I could actually arrive somewhere with all paperwork completed.
But all that aside I am now preparing for my rentrée in a cinema course. This shouldn’t be such huge news, especially since I’ve sort of known it was what I wanted to study since I was 17. Somehow, however the winds of fate made it so that I am only beginning my official studies at the age of 21. Looking back, I don’t really know how this happened. I mean, I have two and a half years of blog and four years of diaries that ought to explain it but and it really really seemed to make sense at the time. I think we can all take a moment to have a deep breath and hope this one lasts more than a year. Either the home or the school, I’ll take anything at this point. At least I have my student association that I joined last year and am still a part of. Let us celebrate the small amount of consistency in the things I do.
There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes over this summer that will all come out in later posts I hope. My posting schedule has been held up by the general impression that August is not a real month and that anything I wrote during it would never be read. Also I was travelling and couldn’t fix my laptop which currently has an issue where it sounds like a small aircraft at all times which makes it surprisingly difficult to concentrate on writing anything.
So, talk soon, sooner than October by any rate.
PS: while writing the title of this post I realised with shock that this really is my third French rentrée which really ought to mean I’m better prepared….
When you walk out into the future you will undeniably be walking on shaky ground.
I’ve noticed with a creeping, growing sense of irony, that I have been waiting to start my new, shiny united blog until I had confirmation that my two previous blog subjects were going to be united (namely, that my cinema blog and my education blog would meet in the middle as I head off to study cinema). Recent developments, that would make even the most experienced of red tape warriors cry, (including a situation where I had to provide a piece of paper I never had, due to a previous series of poorly-planned decisions), have brought home to me that this might not be something that happens.
In a clumsy segue, my country just pulled a shock move and voted to leave the European Union. I am a British student living in Paris. That’s the most technical definition, but I am also European, English and the daughter of an immigrant. Until this morning none of these identities seemed to be a contradiction in terms. There’s talk of an independent Scotland, an independent London, and a re-unified Ireland. We have no Prime Minister, potentially no leader of the opposition, and no unity.
Everything is up in the air but we have to keep moving until it hits the ground.