Thursday, 10 February 2011

How to Get a Passport #2

A cut out and keep guide

  1. Get passport form signed.
  2. Find Post Office that doesn't encourage the posting of twenty-two parcels at a time.
  3. Queue.
  4. Arrive at Plexiglass window. Smile. Present passport form with a flourish. Nod as woman behind Plexiglass checks form - yes, yes, yes - all appears to be in order. Produce debit card and prepare to be suddenly impoverished. Hold breath -
  5. Hold in silent scream as woman behind Plexiglass points out that passport form has been signed in blue ink which invalidates entire form.
  6. Meekly and mutely accept new, blank passport form.
  7. Return home and remain mute, meek and - indeed - blank for several hours.
  8. Search for black pen. Confiscate and destroy every blue, green and red pen in the house. Complete new passport form in black ink. Ensure passport is signed in black ink.
  9. Return to Post Office. Queue.
  10. Reach Plexiglass window. Submit form. Hold breath as woman behind Plexiglass checks form: yes, yes, yes ... YES!
  11. Become suddenly impoverished, but happily so.
  1. Return home very late after very demanding day. Find very demanding letter from Passport Office on table demanding evidence of name change by Deed Poll. Ponder on name change? What name change? What Deed Poll?
  2. Read demanding letter again and realise that the name on birth certificate does not match name on passport application. Remember that Registrar in Births, Deaths & Marriages seventeen years ago was a bit iffy about the lack of a hyphen in small, sweet baby daughter's surname and insisted on using capital letters for the two surnames which small, sweet baby daughter was saddled with despite the fact that one surname was meant to be a middle name and has subsequently never been used as a surname.
  3. Ponder on what happened to small, sweet baby daughter ...
  4. Ponder on likelihood of this being sorted without a) being arrested for making a passport application under false pretences and 2) being hospitalised.
  5. Check travel insurance. Again.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

How To Get a Passport

    A cut out and keep guide
  1. Collect passport form from kitchen table where it has been safely filed. Head off to find nearest Post Office.
  2. Arrive at nearest Post Office and discover it has been demolished and an enormous supermarket is being built in its place. Every little does not help, thank you very much.
  3. Find a Post Office a bit further away. Queue for twenty minutes. Reach front of queue, present passport paperwork. Take paperwork back when woman behind the Plexiglass window announces that this is not a something something Post Office. A what? A something something Post Office. Sorry, could you say that again? Recoil as woman shouts WE DON'T DO PASSPORTS.
  4. Find another Post Office even further away. Stand in a queue of nineteen people. Watch woman at front of queue post twenty-two separate parcels. Count the parcels. Yes, right first time; there are twenty-two of 'em. Listen to Parcel Woman discuss her imminent move to Chester. Wonder aloud why she couldn't have posted her twenty-two parcels in Chester? Adopt innocent expression when Parcel Woman turns around and glares. Queue for forty minutes.
  5. Reach front of queue. Present passport paperwork to woman behind Plexiglass window. Sag at knees when woman questions why no birth certificate has been included with the paperwork?
  6. Go home. Make cup of coffee. Search for birth certificate. Find button tin, Hugh Fearnley-Thingummy's recipe for macaroni cheese, and gold earring which has been missing for months. Eventually find Important Paperwork File under bed, under pile of unopened Mslexia magazines, under electric blanket with the dodgy wiring. Congratulate oneself on superbly organised Important Paperwork.
  7. Go back to Post Office. Join queue of seventeen people. Frisk everyone for excess parcelage. Apologise. Wait for twenty-five minutes. Reach front of queue.
  8. Present passport paperwork. Produce birth certificate with smug flourish. Laugh uncertainly when woman behind Plexiglass window points out passport paperwork has not been signed. Laugh less uncertainly when woman insists that, no, she is not joking. Get escorted, sobbing quietly, from Post Office by Security Guard.
  9. Arrive home. Answer phone call from school. Inform school that passport was applied for months ago and that of course it will arrive in time for foreign trip next Tuesday.
  10. Check holiday insurance cancellation policy.