Posts Tagged ‘passport’

Anonymous.

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

I am feeling almost naked at the moment as I have just inserted my passport into an envelope and handed it over to Royal Mail. They will hopefully deliver it to the Australian Embassy who will then send me back a new version. That’s the plan, anyway.

My passport expired on 14 August, much to my disappointment. For the past 10 years, that little booklet has been a record of my great adventures – annual trips to Singapore with my parents and brother, and then my own travels through Europe, Canada and America. There are stamps confirming my entry and exit from countries and four visas for France and the UK. Whenever I am travelling and am sitting in an airport bored, I will flick through my passport and look at where I have been and what I have experienced. And suddenly, thanks to a 10-year expiry date, that little book of memories is no longer valid. The worst part is that the days of immigration stamps have gone and now you have to be lucky or request a stamp in your passport. My old passport was almost full and my new version will most likely remain practically unstamped.

My need for a new passport meant that I had to find a photo booth and pay an excessive amount of money for a mug shot. This cannot happen on any old day as this photograph will remain as the record of my face for the next 10 years – you want it to look good. I got my first passport when I was about 4 years old and I spent five or so years with a passport photo of me crying and trying to run away from the photographer. Being laughed at by customs officers every time you cross a country border gets quite tiring. But potential travel plans in the near future and the fact that I need to get on a plane back to Australia soon resulted in me taking the plunge this morning and getting the photo taken. Apart from a shiny nose, it isn’t the worst passport photo in existence and I managed to hold back the tears. I now just have to wait and hope that it ticks all of the boxes for what your photo MUST NOT BE LIKE. Then it will be time to go stamp collecting. I will have a new book to fill!

Passport photo

What a mug.

The BEST News Ever

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

FANTASTIC NEWS, EVERYONE!!! The French government have considered the pros and cons of allowing me to re-enter their country and they have decided that I consume enough food to keep their economy going and therefore have been granted a Visa! After waiting two very long weeks, plus numerous months before that worrying about whether or not I would be accepted, I am so glad to finally have the little green sticker in my passport. This means I have another year to live, eat and breath Paris. I can’t wait.

Eiffel Tower

Paris – home of tall things, including me.

And? How Did it Go?

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Sorry! I have been very slow with my updates recently… and I know you’re ALL hanging out to hear how my adventures in the world of The French Embassy went. Well, wait no longer! The moment has arrived.

I have never been the biggest fan of Sydney – I find it a bit commercial and there are far too many people wearing suits. I’ve always preferred Melbourne as a “If I had to live anywhere else in Australia” option as it is far more artsy and relaxed. But French bureaucracy and the fact that my best friend lives there, have resulted in me visiting Sydney numerous times over the past few years. I spent a weekend hanging out with my friends and we spent most of that time near Glebe – one of the more down to earth and small-community areas of the city. It was fun and nice to catch up with Gill again. But then Monday arrived and after a somewhat restless sleep the night before, I triple checked that I had all of the required pieces of paper for my visa and set off for Market Street.

The French Embassy is located in an awful tower block in the middle of the city and I really don’t understand why they force people to come and visit because surely the French would be ashamed at the lack of pizzazz their embassy holds. It is hardly palatial or impressive and really could be the offices of any old business. Anyway, I arrived ahead of schedule and was called up before my official appointment time of 10am. Things were progressing similar to when I first applied for a visa a year ago.

I had a woman interview me from behind a thick piece of glass. This made it particularly difficult to hear her although most of the time she was gossiping with her colleague in French. This had happened last time and so I was prepared for the lack of attention. I used all of my ear strength to follow the conversation and joked along with them when I realised they were talking about me. Oh yes, French Embassy People, I speak your language.

I have to say that I think the fact that I could speak French helped me win a few votes of approval and I responded to all of her questions in French to show just how much I like France and French culture. She went through my papers occasionally asking me questions and half listening to the answers. There were moments of panic when I thought maybe she wouldn’t be happy with my answers or that I was missing pieces of paper but in the end she took my finger prints and photograph, shoved pieces of paper into my passport and walked off saying “C’est bon.”

I took this “C’est bon” to mean “I will take your application and it is likely that you will receive a visa within the next few weeks.” When I asked about the time frame, I received a shrug of the shoulders, a roll of the eyes, and a very French, “Booofffffff…. About two weeks.” SUCCESS!

I walked out of the Embassy and searched for a paper bag to stop my hyperventilation (not really… but almost) and jumped around a little and smiled a lot and there may have been one or two tears. Nothing is certain yet and I am still waiting anxiously for the postman to arrive in his white van to deliver my passport but I am feeling significantly more confident. The fact that they accepted my papers is a huge relief and I am a step closer to being able to return to Paris for another year. I have heard stories from Tom and I have managed to miss so much over the past two weeks that I am keen to get back. I’m enjoying the beach and life at home with my folks here but there are so many more adventures to be had in France. Come ooonnnn Postman!