I usually tell people I’m an American making wine in the south of France but the truth is that I’m a dual citizen or at least I was born that way. It gets tricky because I let my French passport expire, and trying to convince the French government that I’m still French was a hoot and a holler (a phrase I’m afraid to teach anybody over here since they’d probably pronounce it:”Ay ‘oot an’ ay ‘oh-lehr”).
To get a new passport I had to show them a National ID. To get a National ID I had to show them a passport. You know the drill. Well now I can show them both! In the end I had to prove to them that I had NOT renounced my French citizenship after turning 18. As it turns out, it’s rather hard to prove an absence of an act, but surrender isn’t in the French dictionary. …not when it comes to bureaucracy!
Somebody remind me when this is about to expire.
So, above is my mandatory sourire-sans-dents face. The photo booth encouraged me to look happy but reminded me that smiling is not allowed if the photo is to be used for an official government ID. And those joint stipulations were thought-provoking. I reflected quietly upon the true nature of happiness while the photo booth timer ticked away. First photo was a botch.
What was even more distressing was the second photo when the photo booth knew I was smiling. I guess the computer in there can tell the difference between my pearly whites and my wan face.
The third picture I tried keeping my eyes wide and my teeth hidden, while expressing some degree of joy. That sickly smirk is now my official identification in France. I got the best of it in the end I suppose… unless this is all a roundabout way of getting me to look exceptionally smug in my official French ID. Clever system, clever.