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.