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
18 Jul 2009
17 Jul 2009
More participants are here at Kelly's
This time I show you something very special, which I even ignored I had ! It all started with the fact that I need a new passport. You get it for 10 years but then you need a new one.
While looking for our family book, I found the one of my parents, I even ignored I had, and that was quite something !
My parents had married in 1942 in the middle of the war in Frankfurt/Germany, and the whole book was written in gothic. I can't read the handwriting, because I had never learned it at school, and the responsibles now in Berlin, they probably can't read it either because they were all born long after the war.
That's the book. It was like that under Hitlers 3rd Reich
my birth certificaten, followed by 10 pages of empty birth certificates, instead of having 10 children my parents dared to have only one !
A page to be filled in for racial purposes, beeing jew or half jew etc. As there was no jew in my family the page is void. I remember my parents telling that they had to prove until the 3rd generation that no jews "spoiled" the good german blood ! Unbelievable !!
Here should be the family tree start, but it's also empty
and then pages and pages of recommendations and laws which would let us climb up the walls today ! First there was a "Blood protection law" forbidding the marriage between a German and a Jew, or a person who had jewish blood in his veins.
The marriage's most important signification was to make a lot of (healthy) babies, to increase the German race ! The man is the chief of the family he only decides. He chooses the place were to live. The woman is not allowed to work outside the house without the permission of her husband. He also administrates her money. etc etc.
I didn't read the whole book it affected me badly all these racial laws ! I had read and heard about this but it seemed history and concerning other people. Now I found this book amongst the things my father left when he died, and it is the proof that they had lived all this !
16 Jul 2009
more participants here
Even on a "Fun Monday" I complained about the bad weather in Belgium. That's why you can read here
13. Quotes about weather
1. Bad weather always looks worse through a window. (I should live in a house without windows)
2. Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.
3. If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.
4. Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
5. Snowmen fall from heaven… unassembled
6. Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.
7. Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.
8. The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
9. Rainbows apologize for angry skies.
10. On cable TV they have a weather channel - 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window
11. To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
12. Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. I must be very happy !
13. Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the whether, Whether we like it or not
Belgian "Hold Up" !
15 Jul 2009
14 Jul 2009
13 Jul 2009
Janice asks us : Since the Lazy Hazy Days of summer are upon you now, tell us what activities you enjoy doing outside and how do you stay cool. Share some photos of both if you wish.
Living in Belgium this question seems to me like a dream. The last years where everybody is complaining about "Global Warming" we should complain about "Local Cooling". After a week or two of unusual hot weather 32° C (90F) (where I was in Italy) we dropped down now to 16°C (61 F) which is more like an Australian winter and of course it rains.
The average summer temperatures, when summer is so kind to show up its nose, is around 25°C (77F) and with that you don't need something special to stay cool.
But when it is hot, then inside the country it's almost unbearable, because it's sticky with no wind. What I do then, is opening all the windows early morning and try to make drafts to cool the whole house, then close the shutters and leave the windows a little open. That's the way they do in Italy and it works to keep the house "cool". 6 years ago I bought an air conditioner on wheels for the living room, because it was so hot, we exactly used it twice, because the next day, the temperature dropped to the half !
Outside activities are limited, a little work in the garden when it doesn't rain. When it's nice at the coast, I sometimes take the train and go to Ostende at the sea. There at least you get some air when it is hot.
Brussels' market in summer !
The same here in Waterloo
I could sit here even when it rains but
16°C (61 F) is a little too cool !
The sky is grey, but the grass is green
The cats don't go out and are laying around
and I had to put a little heater in my room ! (Instead of an air conditioner !)
Long live Belgium's summers ! Even in my archives I couldn't find an appropriate summer photo !
12 Jul 2009
More participants here at Sarcastic Mom Weekly winners
On our way to Italy we spent one night in a little hotel in Bavaria. Just in front of it I found this shop and factory where artists carved all kind of sculptures in wood ! Just have a look at these masterpieces !
beautiful hand carved furniture
a special bar
look at this special table behind the two statues
and even a big slide with father Christmas, almost man sized