As long as I an in the US, visiting family and having a wee holiday, I thought I would entertain you by reprinting:
The Saga of the Titre de Sejour, French Paperwork in 4-parts
Part II April 5, 2006
We submit our visa application to the French Consulate in Andorra (the last place we lived).
It’s September, 2004 and we are 4 months into the 2-month process (there was July and August in there – when nothing is done…summer holidays, you know).
The French Consulate says we must come in person for an interview.
Fine, I could always do with some shopping.
They didn't actually need to talk to us; they just needed us to give them the '90 euros each' processing fee.
How long, we ask.
Ten days, they answered.
Fifteen days later, they said: Who told you such a silly thing, it's always two months. Everything in France takes two months.
So we wait two months.
I sent a fax asking the status.
I am told it is ‘en cours’ (in process).
Another month goes by…another fax….another reply ‘en cours’.
Then it’s Christmas.
Nothing is done over the holidays, which start on December 8 and go through January 6
(Remember, it’s the Andorran workers we are dealing with. They celebrate the French holidays, the Spanish holidays and the Andorran holidays.)
It’s January, 9 months into the process.
I send an e-mail as well as a fax asking the status.
I get an e-mail back ‘What visa?’
Hmmmmm this could be a problem….
I gathered up copies of everything and faxed it off.
‘We’ll look into it immediately’ was the response.
Now, for some reason, I have their attention.
It seems the file was ‘misplaced in the Paris office’ somehow but they (the Andorran people) would follow up closely.
I start to receive status e-mails every other day informing me that, while they still do not have the visas, they are monitoring the progress through the paperwork maize.
In the beginning of February, we finally receive the joyous news: our visas will, in fact, be issued on the 14th of February and we may come by the consulate to collect them on the 15th.
We drop the dogs at the kennel and off we go to Andorra…. In the middle of winter
Stay-tuned for Part III…
And try this lovely soup while you wait…. Well, it tastes delicious….
White Bean Soup with Red Pepper Coulis
1 tbs olive oil
1 can 15 oz white beans (450 gr)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp thyme
Red Pepper Coulis
Chop shallot. Drain and rinse beans. Heat oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until transparent. Add beans, chicken stock and thyme, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup of chicken stock and puree the rest, either in blender or with wand blender. Check for consistency, add as much of the removed stock as you like (or more) to get desired consistency.
This is a personal thing, mon mari likes soup very thick, my mother very thin…. Reheat if needed.
To serve: Ladle soup into bowls. Carefully drizzle 2 tbs of Red Pepper Coulis in a pattern or all in the center and use a warm knife to draw a pattern. It should float on top of the soup. Serve.
Red Pepper Coulis
1 red pepper no need to peel
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 tbs tomato paste
Clean pepper and cut into big pieces. Sauté shallot in olive oil in a small saucepan until tender. Add pepper chunks, thyme and chicken stock. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until pepper is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree, using as much chicken stock as needed to make a thick sauce. Add tomato paste and mix well. Use 4 tbs for the soup.
If you have Red Pepper Coulis left – stir it into risotto, mashed potatoes, hummus….