31 Jul 2009


A couple of weeks ago I had called the German Embassy here in Brussels, because I needed a new passport after 10 years. (I wrote about here).

Finally the day had come where I had an appointment. I had everything what they requested and only hoped my picture was good enough, with all the special requests they had for the photographer. But my nose was in the middle of my face my eyes open and my glasses didn't send any lazer rays.

I think it is easier to break out of Sing Sing then going into the German embassy. First I had to go through a metal detector, like in airports and then through automatic anti bullet glass doors. I finally arrived at counter nr. 4. Behind bullet safe thick glass sat a young man, who talked to me with a terrible french accent. I thought that is strange that in a German embassy they employ frenchs but it turned out his father was German and the mother French and he had the German citizenship. I wondered about the thick glass because I had no intention to take out my gun and shoot him. Anyway this was ridiculous, because if a terrorist gets so far he can take all people applying for a new passport as hostages and the thick windows wouldn't protect the employees !

He went through the papers until he saw this :


my original birth certificate. !

"I can't read that" he said, I can't read it either, I answered and those who still can read it are all dead or don't work anymore. Ordinary people usually retire at 65 and only politicians are allowed to work until 80 or more until they drop dead. He said he couldn't accept it, because it was too old. I draw his attention to the fact that my parents were both in heaven or hell now and they couldn't do a remake of myself only to get a more modern birth certificate.

He looked at me with big brown cow eyes. "I'll ask my boss, if we can accept it". After a while he came back with the excuse that they couldn't accept "handwritten" certificates and it has to be printed. I should call Frankfurt city (where I was born) and ask for a printed version, then come back also with a new certificate of residence, as if I wanted to move after 33 years, now in one week. But rules are rules. Then it will take 6 weeks or more for the creation of my new passport in Berlin. I have a passport since more than 40 years but it had never been so difficult to get a new one and never lasted that long either !

Meanwhile they will give me a temporary one, because I want to go to the UK and finally it isn't my fault if the government services only hires snails.

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TopChamp said...

ridiculous.... so you're coming to us! Yey.

EastCoastLife said...

I can't believe it!
Isn't it a legal document?

Puss-in-Boots said...

Oh, isn't that typical government bulls**t! It's an epidemic of governmental pedantic stupidity that is sweeping the world...it makes swine flu look quite harmless...lol!

Maribeth said...

When I moved back to New Hampshire from Florida, (I lived in New Hampshire for 20 years then in Florida for 6) I needed to get a new New Hampshire drivers license. Okay, I thought this will be easy. Not so.
I needed:
1. My original birth certificate
2. My first marriage certificate
3. My divorce decree from husband #1
4. My marriage license to Hubby #2
5. My Social Security Card
6. My passport
7. My latest tax bill showing I live in New Hampshire!
8. My Florida Drivers License.

Now this was hysterical because I had a New Hampshire license before I went to Florida, but apparently they forgot this.
Eventually I did get my new License, but I have decided never again to move!

Gledwood said...

Don't you just fill in a form with a cheque for a hundred euros and get a new one... I'm sure that's what I did last time.

Perhaps this time it will be a real rigmarole... specially as I don't even KNOW where the old bloody one is, which is so torn you can practically remove my old photo with tweezers and replace with one of Prince Charles/etc ... no-one would know any better...

Pamela said...

this totally stinks. Unfrickenbeleivable.

Jientje said...

Snails with a thick French accent for that matter! They call them escargots! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I would be livid if I were you. The red tape is not only alive and well here but over there also. Snails even move faster LOL

Rabbit, rabbit!

claudie said...

Incroyable! Cela ressemble à de la science fiction! cet employé de bureau ne semble pas bien se rendre compte du ridicule de ses propos! Et puis tu ne dois pas être la seule allemande de ton âge à demander un passeport!!! J'ai préparé le menu pour les cruisers qui arrivent le 4! C'est sur mon blog!

Lifecruiser said...

That sound so ridicilous!!!! Totally insane. I hope we don't get that kind of trouble when we're getting new ones - after our upcoming trip. Hubbys passport is getting damaged already.

I've been standing on the head in the laundry basket for 2 days. 4 weeks of laundry. phew.

Exhausted. Now there are washed summer clothes everywhere, drying. I hope. We'll begin to pack them tomorrow even though we don't fly to France until the 4th.

Claudie & Pierre is going to spoil us!

Dr.John said...

Here they would take our old expired passport as proof for the next one. But we have our own mountain of red tape.

Jo said...

Oh Gattina;) these beaurocrats are the same all over the world. I finally have my temp passport. I'm interested to know: are you able to enter the UK on this document? We South Africans are not, but then there have been so many fraudulent passports in the past decade that the UK and most of the First World out there have said they don't want / need us in their countries. LOL Hugs Jo

diane said...

How frustrating for you. I thought the Germans were supposed to be ultra efficient or is that only the Swiss.