After 10 years I needed a new passport. It had always been very easy. I went to the German Embassy in Brussels with new pictures and my old passport, filled in an administration formular, payed 50 € and got it after 6 weeks because it was done in Berlin. Then I could travel again in peace all over the world. But it has changed. They became complicated even more than my parents' generation which made easy things complicated with their famous "German efficiency".
I had to ask for an appointment to get a new passport, 3 weeks waiting time !!
I needed a birth certificate ! I told the guy on the phone that they should know that I am born because I already have a passport. He said the rules are not invented by him but it is a new law. I told him that I was born in the middle of WW2 in a bunker in Frankfurt and that I had spent my first night in a drawer and that I wonder if there was any employee at that time filling out birth certificates. I knew that it was in my parents family book, but no idea where that was ! He suggested me to go to Frankfurt to ask. Now Frankfurt is just right around the corner only 550 km (342 miles) away and I have never been there since I was born. I asked him if I could check that with an Internet page or telephone, but he didn't know ! I wondered about his IQ.
I also had to bring my family register book to prove that I am married. I told him that this is also mentioned in my 10 year old passport. He answered that he needs a proof that I am still married to the same man. I said yes and after 40 years I certainly had no intention to change it could only get worse. There was a silence and then he asked me if I wanted to keep my name, or maybe have a double name he suggested ? No I said, I keep my name and that's it. I started to loose my temper.
Then we came to the passport picture. He proposed a list of photographers in Brussels and I asked with a smile in my voice if he gets a commission on them, because we also have photographers in Waterloo. He wasn't pleased.
The photos had a 2 page long list of rules. How you have and don't have to smile, how you have to wear your glasses, that your eyes should not be closed (???) that you are not allowed to wear something on your head, except the muslim women, but there also were rules. The color of the background, the pixels and the most important your nose has to be in the center of your face. Have you ever seen somebody who wears his nose on his forehead ?
Why is it so complicated to get a new passport if you had already one for such a long time ?? I mean I could understand if I was dead, and I needed a passport to the paradise, but that's not the case.
After this interesting telephone conversation, I just dropped in the next chair and pushed a deep sigh. Three cats wanted to know what had happened.
all I need is ...... paper !
below is more about my birth certificate