Saturday, 20 February 2016

How to become French - Part 1.5

I've been waiting and wondering for four months. What's happened to my application for naturalisation? I think about it every day, and today JC came in from the letterbox with an official envelope from the prefecture of Indre-et-Loire (Tours). Inside was a letter confirming my application and instructions on how to go online and request an interview.                           Yay, I now have a dossier number. Also included was a copy of the Livret du Citroyen, a handbook on the rights, responsibilities of citizens and possible subject areas I could be tested on at the interview. Many people have indicated it's a grilling or interrogation to test your determination to become French and your command of the French language as well as whether you are of the 'right stuff' to be considered a French citizen.
I shall be studying this book before JC starts testing me on the contents. It's one thing to swot up something but another to do it all in a foreign language, hence the nerves everyone suffers from (except those who are bilingual, which I will never be). Technically I have more than enough competence in French to be accepted but... it has to be tested in person under stress and will include questions of a personal nature designed perhaps to throw me off my guard - well, I've heard that.

My knowledge of French history should be fine as I seem to know more than my French students and I understand the three principles of the Republic but there's plenty else they can ask that isn't in the book though the book is well presented and interesting. I shall spend this weekend swotting the book and then sometime next week I have to go and request yet more documents (especially relating to payment of all taxes over the years) to take to the interview. What I have already supplied is now considered out of date. At the same time I will organise the date of the interview. Maybe I will have to go to Tours which is nowhere near where I live but rather in the heart of the region full of historic chateaux. We'll see.
Next step: get the interview appointment. In the meantime I continue to keep my university students on task and JC is occupied having the tree stump dug out while he collects and then slices with his chainsaw, the branches of the tree he had felled recently.  
I'm very impatiently awaiting Spring and the re-creation of my potager. Each time I tuck into a jar of my delicious home-made beetroot relish I'm reminded of the organic bounty a well-composted French potager can provide. If only they wanted to talk about gardening at the interview...