James and I were both dreading going to get our medical today for our French residency - the last step in obtaining our residency. After waiting 8 weeks in New Zealand for our visas thinking we had filled in all the paperwork only to have to produce more paperwork and waiting another week for our passports to be stamped in Wellington, we then discovered in order to gain residency we had to have a medical within 3 months of our arrival in France. We got all the paperwork together, paid the money (just for me as James is exempt as he is working??) and set off for our 9am appointment. We discovered that due to a late night at the office James had mistakenly left the address at work. So we made a detour to airbus and arrived at our appointment right on 9am.
We had heard all the horror stories about getting residency and bureaucracy in France so were prepared for a long morning and had Hannah all organised with the ipad. We were pleasantly surprised to see only 5 other people waiting and it all seemed to be moving quite quickly. We were seen by a nurse who ticked some boxes then said we would have an xray, then be seen by the doctor then get our visa. We were all done in just over an hour and once they said it was finished we walked very quickly out the door and back to the car and both let out a huge sigh of relief!! So we can now travel around the EU on our French visas which is great. They need to get renewed in a year but hopefully that will be straightforward. The doctor was hilarious as although I'm sure he probably spoke quite good English he just spoke in French. He asked us all these questions which we had no idea what he was saying except for "Smoking, no?" but he just ticked the boxes anyway!
We then headed into Toulouse city for morning tea and found a great cafe which had pastries and coffee for me but also sold grocery items. So Hannah and James were both able to get a packet of gluten free chips each and eat them at the cafe - perfect!! We will definitely go back there as it is so hard to find anywhere gluten free for a snack and this place ticked all the boxes. Hannah was hilarious though as she chose some plain chips but discovered that James nacho chips were much nicer so swapped and then wouldn't share! We then met another engineer from NZ that is over here helping James with the plane and they dropped Hannah and I home.
It was a lovely day so we decided to walk down to school to get Penelope and Jasper and then came home for lunch. We love the short day Wednesday as it makes the week go so much quicker and it is so nice for the kids to relax and rest during the week.
In order to keep us grounded and not to take all that is French bureaucracy for granted we still have the whole matter of trying to hire our wonderful teacher aide. You would think that in a country that has soaring unemployment rates they would be very happy for us to employ someone to work with Hannah - especially when that person is being paid by a company in another country, but no. The teacher aide is meeting the agency tomorrow then they come to us on Friday. Hopefully we will be able to get all the paperwork sorted and get the contract drawn up so Hannah can start school next term. We have already had to change agencies due to the first one inventing some paperwork that our teacher aide supposedly needed.
Oh well one battle at a time and today it is a win for the Lonsdales - residents of France!!