Diaries Magazine

Coming Up for Air....

Posted on the 03 October 2012 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine
Coming Up for Air....
Here's a present that I received today!

No, it's not from the Gods of Paris Fashion Week offering me a benchmark of an ideal weight for me (gross)...but it's a gift from La France herself. Awww, she shouldn't have. Really...
So we briefly interrupt this Paris Fashion Week to come back to reality, back to my real life with a trip to the doctors office at the Office of Immigration...
Will an immigration office ever sound glamourous? Doubtful.

Because I've basically started from the beginning with my new visa, I've had to re-do everything, including the mandatory medical check-up we all have to do shortly after entering France. I received the letter last week reporting me to their local office, and of course, it was smack right in the middle of fashion week. The letter finely stated that failure to attend would threaten my legal stay in France.
In that case....off to the doctor it was!
It's a good thing I'm working in such a cool showroom. With past jobs, coming in a few hours late would not be okay, even for something critical like, I don't know, potential deportation. Luckily the house I'm currently with understood the magnitude of this visit and told me to come in as soon as I could. In my 20's, I never understood the importance as well as luxury of working with rational people. Frankly, I didn't even think of it as I was just happy to be working fashion, but now in my 30's, I almost demand it.
One of the more extreme examples I've had with unreasonable bosses was when one told me to tell my father to please hold off dying until after fashion week when he was then free to "croak". Exact words. Yes, bitch, I'm going to call my father at St. Vincent's Hospital to tell him to wait until the collections have hit the runway before he's allowed to pass. This lunatic ended up firing me when it without question should have been the other way around, but hey we live and learn, right?
Fast forward to my real adult life working with professionals, I didn't get any grief for a necessary inconvenience and all went swimmingly (and somewhat speedy) with my appointment. Nothing too far out of the ordinary happened, just my usual random interaction with the French. For those of you who haven't done a mandatory medical check-up in France, it's simple: you get a chest x-ray, do a simple eye-test, get weighed, measured, get your blood pressure and a heartbeat check.

In France, there is a different doctor for each of these exams, so a visit that should take fifteen minutes tops, took almost two hours. Here are some highlights from the visit:
- I got scolded at for saying, "ça caille!" after standing topless under an air conditioning vent while waiting for the x-ray technicians to start-up their machines. Apparently that was a rude thing to say to a doctor whom I didn't know. I was really embarrassed. 
- One of the doctors shared with me that she finds Louis Vuitton bags to be vulgar and made for ugly old ladies. She prefers Lancel, but not the BB collection. 
- I almost had to get a prescription for eyeglasses because even after three years in France, I still confuse the pronunciations of the letters "G" and "J". Reading an eye chart certainly wasn't going to kick that habit and the English-speaking part of my brain logically said "G" when looking at the letter, forgetting that it's pronounced "J". Why won't it stick in my brain to just reverse the two? 
- And with my sit down meeting with the final doctor who could not wrap his head around the fact that I have a middle name (which was a ten minute conversation in itself), told me after dramatically throwing down his glasses on the table that HPV is part of the American scam to increase healthcare costs by scarring us with the "C" word, that it would be virtually impossible for a woman under the age of 30 to have per-cancerous cells in her cervix, and that there's no such thing as an irregular PAP smear.
All of this before 9 am. Only in France, kids...


I made it to the showroom in time for the big appointments and literally just got home from a grueling 13 hour day. My feet are in misery; swollen, cut and bruised as I try to break-in the designer ballet flats (I might as well have worn heels!) I was given and am rewarding myself with a big glass of red that is waiting for me in the kitchen. So I'm off to put my feet up, sip on a 2007 Bordeaux that I've been saving, and watch a slasher film because after all, it is October!
Not to worry, a full report on this week is coming soon and do I have some goodies for you guys...
I think the cray definitely got cranked up this season...
Like I said, Happy Paris Fashion Week!

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog