I survived another French bureaucratic experience.
The law firm handling my visa sent an American to walk me through my appointment. I would never have figured out how to get into the building (major security)...or how to get a number to wait in line (the number machine was unbelievably complicated)...or how to get out of the building (we had to exit from a completely different side of the building)...without him! We spent lots of time waiting so we got to talk about everything!
American politics, French politics, British politics, Russian politics.
My companion today entertained me greatly. He was a professor at Yale at one time. He is trying to get back into the academic world after a stint of trying to make a business venture work between Russia and France. Of course he speaks French (and Russian) very well and has lived in Europe for many years. He currently free-lances accompanying non-French for such government appointments as mine today. He's got another woman to meet this afternoon. A bit of a painful way to make money (sitting in waiting rooms all day) but I'm glad he was there today! He was a wonderful conversationalist...I think he has had a lot of practice!
After we covered everything wrong in American and European politics we moved on to discussing food. I got his shopping recommendations...he lives near us so he had some good ideas for me. There is an American food store, "Thanksgiving," that sells canned black beans...I miss those. We have some dried black beans we brought back to Paris but I must think way ahead to prepare those. I am used to grabbing a can of black beans at the last minute and making a meal for myself.
I also learned that there are actually laws about stores being closed on Sundays...just like blue laws some states used to have for the same thing. Of course there are exceptions which is what confuses me so much! All my "local" grocery stores are closed on Sundays. Since produce has such a short shelf life here it can be a great inconvenience. Then add to it that many local restaurants are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
And to top off my appointment...I left without a new visa...10 days to process and mail to me. I could have an exciting re-entry to France when we go on a trip to the Canary Islands in February as my new French visa may not arrive before we leave...I'll worry about that another day! I find this all quite silly but I'm sure non-Americans feel just the same way dealing with the U.S. system.
On to quilting...two more blocks done! Just two left. (I'm having computer issues today...I don't know how to do some things on my newest laptop...so my photos aren't cropped...I'll learn on another day!)
I'm close enough now to start thinking about putting the blocks together. I packed up this UFO two or three years ago. I had that initial panic when I started looking for the fabrics for the sashings and border...I saw my notes about green 1895 batik colors...what did this mean? There were blanks...was I still working on getting greens?
I think I have everything to finish putting the top together...keep your fingers crossed!
And another little ornament started...calorie-free cupcake.