In as you see fit, Hautvoir, Local projects, proto drafts, Sanford Meisner on September 7, 2015 at 6:32 am

bus to Albi in 49 minutes the calendar says. busses don’t wait so the rest will have to.


Does it matter all that much whether the cynicism is individualized or systemic?

The woman is ill. Can’t always attend to her own basic needs, let alone those of her two children. After months of foot and paperwork: she obtains a one year residency permit with the authorization to work. Ahem – excuse me? Working is out of the question. Out of the question, I said, because… yes,  we’ll see about her husband, thank you.

The husband who is not ill and must attend to the entire family’s needs. After more months of foot and paperwork: received this morning a six-month permit authorizing him to stay in France… but not to work.

“The family isn’t eligible for social aid,” I say. “How are they supposed to survive?”

“My superior isn’t in at the moment. If Monsieur comes back with a formal job offer, my superior will examine it and decide if Monsieur may accept it or not.”

Does it matter if someone is singled out for cynical treatment, or whether the cynicism applies at random?

How long would they last, I wonder, the administrators of the system, before losing it? “It” – their patience, their temper, their sanity, their will to live, and/or their willingness to respect other peoples’ rules or lives? How long would they put up with the bureaucratic version of strangulation?

The light was lovely in Albi this morning. Earlier, the night sky over this town was as clear as a mountain lake. Waiting for the bus ride home, I sat in the park with a group of asylum seekers or “aliens” falling under some other administrative category. The Bureau des Étrangers has “forgotten” one, “lost” another’s file. This one gets a one-year permit and the right to work; his underaged children? Can stay for five years. Three have eviction notices for the same day in October (batch work is so much faster).

and so on and so on for as long as you can stand it. Then, your choice: you give up or you stand it some more because going back from where you came is out of the question.


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