A lectrice…what is that?

The best English translation of my French job title is “adjunct professor,” which seems slightly too fancy, considering my lack of advanced degree. Based on what I hear from other lecteurs and lectrices, the position varies somewhat from university to university but, in a coquille de noix, I’m a teaching member of the English department at a…

Indiana Jones and the Missing Apostille of Doom

When I submitted my application for the Carte Vitale, the infuriatingly elusive piece of plastic entitling me to the medical benefits for which I already pay taxes, I was told that it would be processed within three weeks. That was more than three months ago. Still, hope flickered last week when I received an envelope emblazoned with “Carte…

How I Ran Away to France, the Third Time

After I participated in the Teaching Assistantship Program in France for the second time, I didn’t want to leave Europe. I loved working and living there, and decided that if I could get another job offer abroad I would take it. The only position I could target that I felt fit my experience and French language level (in which…

Jill: 0, CPAM: lost count

ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! It took every bit of self-restraint not to scream like that in the face of the impassive man I just encountered at the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie. To get the medical benefits I help fund with the taxes I pay to the French government every month, I need a social security number and Carte Vitale. These…