… is to be enjoyed lingeringly,” Kevin Smith told us before we even arrived in the country. I can’t quite remember who attributed the bureaucracy here to post-colonialism: “Take French bureaucratic procedures circa 1930; let them calcify considerably; add in Moroccan social norms of operating through family connections; et voila!” (Voila in Morocco is pronounced with gusto: Wala!)
Thursday we finally completed the application for a “carte de séjour” or residence permit–the first step of attempting to buy a car. Monday, James took passports and various forms of paperwork to the university. This made it possible for them to draw up a contract for him to sign. Then he needed 12 small photos–but it took a couple of days to find a photo place open during Ramadan. Wednesday, J went up to sign the contract, then we both had our photos taken (separate trips, to leave the children at home):
I think James looks quite nice here, as opposed to the “My teeth are rotting” look I seem to have adopted.
Then James had a medical: blood pressure measured, some listening to the heart and lungs, some discussion of medications and availability in Morocco.
One poor guy in HR was postponing his vacation to get James’s application in, so J made me a doctor’s appointment for 9 a.m. Thursday. We arrived at 9 a.m. Fools.
At 9:05 we were informed the doctor was not in: when might he arrive? 10…
It was a hot hot day, and the air was still and close in the waiting room. Tempers rose and James and I started to wonder why we had decided to bring the children this time.
At 10:30, the doctor arrived while J was taking Jeremy for a little wander: luckily, they came back just as the doctor was asking for my passport, which J had tucked in a pocket.
The medical exam? (in French) Madame, do you have any illness? Er, no, not really. Done. He stamps the form: ka-thunk. It’s a magical sound.
Now the HR guy goes to the police station to submit the application–presumably on his way to vacation with his 2-month baby. Eventually we’ll get a recipe (receipt) which is almost as good as the permit itself–and by that time, the guy selling the car may be back from his vacation and James can take the next steps.