surrounded by clouds

On identity.

Today I applied for a new passport. Not my favourite activity in the world, for a number of different reasons:

  1. This passport-less limbo is disquieting. I handed my old passport through a window at the post office and watched a stranger seal it in a bag to be sent off ‘special delivery’ to the passport office (despite the fact that the passport office is approximately two minutes walk from the particular post office I was patronising). Now, for two to three weeks, I wait, bereft of any way to prove that I am who I say I am, or that I have any rights to live where I do.
  2. The cost was not small: nearly £90 for a little book. I’m not sure how I feel about the price to be honest. Perhaps it is a symptom of living in a country with such a prolific welfare system, but I feel irritated by the fact that I’m forced to pay for the privilege of being able to prove who I am, or at least by the fact that I’m forced to pay such a lot. Why is it so jolly expensive?
  3. The photograph rules have changed in the last ten years. Back in 2002, when I applied for my last passport, one was permitted to smile in your passport photo. Not any more. Now one must affect a ‘neutral expression’, which generally causes everyone to look equal parts like a convict, and entirely unlike themselves. My new photograph is not an exception to this rule.
  4. I’m sad to say goodbye to the fullest passport that I may ever have. Pretty much all of the travelling I’ve done in my life has been with that passport, and it was full of cool stamps and visas. I will miss them.

In summary: bereft of identity.


This entry was published on May 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm. It’s filed under Randomness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “On identity.

  1. Fullest you may ever have? Goodness, child, you’re only 28. Plenty more stamps to collect yet…

    • ellidhcook on said:

      I just don’t think I’m going to do as much travelling in a ten year space again, or at least not outside of Europe. Although, the new one should get its first stamp pretty soon (supposing it arrives anytime soon!)x

  2. don’t you get your old passport back though? xx

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