Am I alive?
I really hate each year when I have to prove that I am alive in order to continue to receive my well gained pension.
In France, they we had to pay from our salary, month after month, for many many years to put it aside so to speak and for the government to pay us when we get sick or when we get old.
I arrived late in France, already 30 year old but I did work a lot, had two children and even proved the years I worked before. It did not make up a big retirement, just the minimum, but I did work or what counted for it till 65 years old. I did not think that because I do not live now in France, I will be obliged now to prove every year that I am alive.
I did not imagine, that with my activity, everyday blog, and facebook notes, and speeches and stories and contacts, I will have in plus to go and prove year after year that I am still here and alive.
I decided to take public transport as the consulate is not near where I live and cab not only cost a lot but also goes slower.
I looked up in Google how to go, where to change and at Green Park was suggested almost each time. Alas, once arrived at that underground, as we call the metro in London, station, I realized there were long long corridors to pass from one line to the other.
Here what you see is only a part of it, in fact I was here already at half. Of one corridor. There where more.
Yes, my legs are better now and I can walk without cane, but not a lot, or not without stopping on the way. Home, around me, I have some banks I sit, before going farther. Like the Levels reached each time in Pathways.
Finally, I arrived and South Kensington Station is a place I like to go out. French pubs and boulangeries and a lot of French living around there, not so much because of the Consulate, but mostly because of the Lycée, so their children can follow school in French. One pain au chocolat and expresso later, and I was one of the first to go in to "prove I am alive."
Am I alive? When I arrived inside and begin to take out and show my papers, prove where I live, I had more then the one needed, prove of identity was there, but where was the paper I needed them to fill? It was not with me.
Later, a lot later, I found that paper to fill in my agenda.
I have to admit, the woman before me working with us, old people was nice, and once she had seen I really do not find the form, she wrote on a blanc paper that I come and proved I was me and alive. So I did not have to return again as I feared.
I am afraid, I felt so bad and so ashamed, let myself down. Am I still alive?
Took the underground back, this time remembering that the exit at Victoria Train Station is short and the train will take me even nearer home, and as fast, or almost. I forgot, the steps to go up there, but not one, two very nice young helped me up the steps towards the end seeing how much difficulty I have to go up. Holding the hand rail.
The train arrived at my place, now a very short trip with an inexpensive cab: no cab available. I took the bus and got down one station before I should have. It was indeed shorter from there but in the sun. The sun at 11 am very hot that day indeed.
Today, I have send the papers on, after finding the stamps I had for a long time. We do not write letter any more. And because Research and Presenting did teach me how to search the web, I did find the address to send it, as the envelope was hiding somewhere. Here, a prove that a Project, as many others, can help outside Toastmasters!