Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Stand up and get thee counted!
So yesterday I discovered that when your child reaches the age of 16 s/he has a month in which to go to the mairie for a recensement. Very biblical if you ask me. Oh youth of France, come forth and be counted when ye hit the age of la majorité minus 2 years. How you're expected to know if you're not French I'm not sure. I've never seen one of these posters.
We went to the mairie with the required bits of paper (id, proof of my address, livret de famille which I have yet to send to wherever it is to rectify my marital status. I'm probably in dead trouble about that... expect thee a fine!) and waited while the lady sat in front of the computer filling it all in.
"You're a bit late" she said (my son's birthday was last September).
"Did we receive a letter about this requirement?" I asked.
"Oh no, she said, you're just supposed to know."
"Well I'm English and I had no idea" I said.
"Never mind" she said, "that's a good excuse."
So the bit about going within a month of your sixteenth birthday is flexible it seems. She was actually impressed that my son's passport was valid. Often kids go with out-of-date identification. This is a bugger because they'd first have to apply for valid id before they can get the recensement attestation. As they need this attestation to sit their Bac it could get a bit hairy. My son is sitting part one of his Bac next week. He was given the list of papers necessary to validate his application on Monday (he says).
He was also give some information about some civil duty day they all have to attend which is supposed to have something to do with national security. I asked if it meant they would learn how to fire, clean and use a gun. Apparently not, it involves sitting on a chair for several hours and being told some stuff. I wonder if they also have to read 'Papa porte une robe' too just for good measure while they're at it. Or maybe by 16 they are too old and cynical to have gender theory rammed down their throats. That's being reserved for the little mites in CP aged 6.
Back to military service, I was sitting in the hairdressers this afternoon and asked Jordan who was doing my hair if he had had to do it. It was abolished several years ago but I wasn't sure if he had caught the last wave or was too young.
"Heavens no" he laughed (in French), "can you imagine me asking if I could take along my nail varnish?!"
He's a right merry one is Jordan (and yes he is). He had to sit through being told stuff though, with or without nail varnish...
My son has yet to have the pleasure of this precious moment as I only found out about it today when we got the attestation. My son apparently knew about it because he has friends who have done it, but of course didn't think to tell me...
Anyway, a heads up then, for all foreigners who don't know that 16 is an important age in France and that all kiddies have to get down to the mairie, to stand up and be counted.