Ok, so yesterday I learned that visas of over 6 months don't require return plane tickets. Therefore, I don't need a return ticket. The thing they put into my passport lists an expiry date less than three months in the future. So I started looking for the piece of paper which has my actual visa expiry date on it. I could not find the paper. I looked everywhere.
This morning I called the consulate to ask about my missing documentation. They said they couldn't answer visa related questions until 2:00. I checked the website, which did not say which documents I needed or how to request spares. I called back at 2:00. No answer. I tried several times. I went to the consulate (which is open monday - wednesday 9 - noon and 2:3o and thursday - friday 9 - noon) and it was closed. I knocked on the door and the security guard recognized me from yesterday and let me in. I went to explain myself to a guy behind the counter while the entire staff gathered around to see what this flustered person wanted.
The missing piece of paper is apparently completely unimportant, which they could have told me over the phone if they, you know, took phone calls. The police station in France will re-compute the expiry date based on my school admittance letter and the date my travel insurance expires.
At least I didn't decide I have tetanus or something.
what a wasted day. I was supposed to go to stanford.
(also, the security read me as male, which I think helped gain me admittance AND caused the staff to be extra-curious. I get read as male 70% - 90% of the time by waiters, security guards, clerks, etc: people who see me but don't spend much time talking to me and don't really care. So far, nobody has questioned my presence in the ladies room. I don't see how this is working.)