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Monday, 19 September 2005

Trying to get an identity card, a bike, soy milk

I went today to the Prefecture du Police or something to try to get an identity card. They gave me a form that told me to go way the heck across town to the university area and try there. And the reverse of the address form has a list of required documents. One of them, I'm pretty sure, translates to "birth certificate." Nobody told me I would need such a thing. The consulate said I would just need my passport, my school acceptance letter and a proof of lodging. Not only do I not have a birth certificate with me, I don't have one in my possession at all anywhere. I (or somebody) would have to request one from Santa Clara County and then mail it to me, and then it would have to arrive no later than friday, because I have to register within 8 days of arrival. . . . Maybe they'll just take my passport.

Confusion lead me to wait in two long lines with metal detectors. The first one was in a castle. There's something very intimidating about going to the "Office of Strangers" in a castle. If I can't produce an original birth certificate, will they lock me in the dungeon?

Nicole didn't even get a passport stamp at all. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered with the visa thing.

I went to look at bikes today. They're expensive. Everything here is expensive except wine. 200€ will get you a headlight (generator powered) front and back breaks, a splash guard, cruiser handlebars and a built-in lock thingee that clamps down the back tire. On a used, single-speed bike. Not that bad. There are some cheaper ones that lack back hand breaks. Maybe they have coaster breaks? I've been walking everywhere like a tourist cuz, yeah, well. Really want a bike. There are people biking everywhere.

I went to a largish chain grocery store today called the Monoprix and I bought soy milk. Huzzah! I gave up, however, on finding dried beans. Do french people only eat canned beans? Then while trying to find bike shop #3, I discovered I live very closely to an Indian / Sri Lankan neighborhood. Aha! I can buy all the food items I desire. All I need now is a source of soy sauce.

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