11 May 2015

New passport

My previous passport expired when I lived in England, and I applied for a new one in Wales. I thought it would be nicely symmetrical to apply for the next one in England, while living in Wales. There was a Dutch Consulate in Liverpool. I even knew the building! But it was not meant to be.

When the expiry date approached I contacted the consulate. It had closed! Shit! I had a look at the others. All closed! All of them! The cheapskate Dutch government had closed all UK consulates and only left the embassy in London. London? That's very far away! And there was mention of the possibility to apply for one on Schiphol Airport. I figured that would be the better option. If I go all the way to London I might just as well jump over the Channel and get to the Netherlands. And see my mum! And other people.

The sorting out of the paperwork also contained some frustration; on the list of stuff to bring features an official document that contains your address and nationality. Everyone has loads of documents with their address on, but one's nationality? I wasn't sure of that. For people living in Britain there was another option; some form of the "non-acquisition of British Citizenship". Well I could try that one! I had a look at it and got angry. It asked for my name; so far so good. Then it asked for the names of my husband and father. What the? Which century is this? The last time this would have been acceptable was in Austen times. Bloody Brits. But I dropped the Schiphol people a mail and they said they were less strict with documentation than the website suggested; just a gas bill or so (without the nationality) would do. Good!

I would be a bit awkward. It had to be sorted before the upcoming cruise. But it takes at least three working days to sort it, and I normally don't stay that long, especially with a cruise coming up. But what can one do. I need a passport! I booked a rather long trip, just before the Welsh exams, which would combine the passport hassle with some family commitments. I'll try to make the best of an annoying situation!

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