It’s August, so that means it’s time for a trip to the French Consulate in Houston – right?
Apparently. Last year, I had my interview for my first French visa for my exchange program through Baylor. This year, it was time to step it up. I was interviewed for my second French visa for my teaching assistant position. Just like last year, I made my drive more bearable by stopping in College Station to visit one of my best friends, Helen. I stayed for a couple of days and was glad to be able to spend some quality time with her and her dogs (my god-puppies).
We talked about my upcoming appointment, and she told me that we should make this visit a yearly tradition – you know, every year before I get my French visa, I should come visit her. Ha!
I woke up early the morning of my appointment to make the 2 hour drive down to Houston and luckily had some time to spare before I had to be at the building. Just like last year, I hung out at the Starbucks across the street in order to pass the time. I grabbed a seat in the crowded room at a long table and spread my papers out in front of me to make sure that I had everything (even though I had already checked many times before). I could feel the man sitting next to me staring at the envelope, and then he asked me, “Vous etes francaise?” I laughed, said no, and explained that I was American and going to France. He was American too, and he and his wife started talking with me about their travels. He had been to Paris and some of French Africa, and his wife wanted to go along with him! I told them about the French Alliance in Houston, encouraged them to take a trip back together, and then it was time to walk across the street to the Consulate office!
I was called in immediately, carried on my whole interview in French, and was out in 10 minutes (all of this, a change from last year). Everything went perfectly. After spending those lovely 45 minutes in Houston, I drove another 2 hours back to College Station, hung out for a bit, and then drove the last 4 hours home.
It was a long day. It was a good week. And I can’t wait for my passport to come back in the mail. (Is it crazy that I’ve already pulled my gigantic suitcase down from the closet?)