When I left Texas my wallet was bursting with cards- credit cards, driver’s license, membership cards, and way too many “loyalty cards”. My new French wallet was embarrassingly thin for a while, but after 4 months is now respectably plump. Voila.
My very first card was my library card- how typical, I know. Remember how excited I was the day I got it? I certainly do. You would be surprised how many ex-pats I talk to who don’t know that there is such a place as an American Library here. What is wrong with these people?
The next card I got was my precious Navigo. This baby gets me on the buses and metros whenever I want, without the hassle of buying tickets. I “recharge” it each month in the metro station for about $80. Not cheap, I know, but that is good because I am even more motivated to get out and go places- gotta get my money’s worth, you know. No coins, no tickets- just swipe and go. I really love my Navigo.
This is my one and only loyalty card. Casino is the name of the big grocery store I use. I had to get one of these cards in order to get my groceries delivered, which is one of my simple pleasures here in Paris.
This is my “Friends of the Louvre” card. Who ever thought I would have one of these babies? The best thing about this card is that I get to skip the horrendous lines and waltz right in for free. I also am able to bring a friend at certain times, and I get a very nice program in the mail that tells me all about the expositions and programs going on at the Louvre for the next three months. I think it’s quite cool.
OK, so this one is not really plastic, because I printed it off the computer myself, but it’s my pass into the Grand Palais, the glass-topped building that I take way too many pictures of because I walk by it every day. I get in free there and also at an affiliated gallery , le Musee de Luxembourg, which at this very moment has an exhibit of Cezanne in Paris. I can’t wait to see it.
I saved this one for last because it’s such an amazing picture of me. It’s my Titre de Sejour, which I think shows that I am a resident in this city and allowed to be here, despite the fact that my visa expired long ago. This card requires enduring much French bureaucracy, including a trip to the police station and a trip to another government building for a physical. Thank goodness we have lots of help maneuvering the system here. The first photo I sent in for this card was this one.
It was rejected because, get this: I was SMILING. No, no, no. Try again, but next time don’t smile and can you pull your hair back away from your face? Very weird. As you can see, I complied, and was rewarded with my mug shot on the card I am supposed to carry with me at all times. Whatever!
We have reached the end of our tour of my wallet! I hope you have found it interesting, or at least found something to laugh about. Like my picture.
Y’all keep smiling. No matter what they say.