Friday, February 25, 2011

I didn't want the month to end without me doing some name-dropping/bragging/gloating. So, this is where I casually mention that I was in PARIS this month.

I was there for reals, taking in the culture and whatnot!

Of course, I wasn't just there on a whim, satisfying my need to feel stylish and cool. I was actually on a mission: the renewal of Sev's USA passport.
This was not a thing lightly undertaken, believe me.

This process used to be a piece of cake back when we lived in Ouagadougou (it sort of helped that the US Ambassador there sang soprano with me in a little choral group....) But, sadly, I do not know the US Ambassador to France. I don't even know if Mr. Charles Rivkin likes to sing. (He kind of looks like a tenor, though. JMHO)

So....we had to play by the rules here- and they are crazy!
First of all, the passport can only be renewed in Paris.
Secondly, as Sev is under age 16, he has to be physically present at the embassy in order to get his new passport.
And thirdly, BOTH parents must be present with the child.

You may think that sounds insane, but the best is yet to come: this passport can only be obtained from Monday through Friday from 10 am until 10:30am.

As Dave Barry would say: I am not making this up.

You carefully make your appointment online weeks ahead of time so that your name goes on the list that will get you inside the front gate. Then you wait outside the door of the security checkpoint. Once inside, they will mercilessly confiscate your cellphone, ipod and your brand new tube of Lancome Color Fever lip gloss.
While I may not personally know Mr. Rivken, I just can't think that Charlie could have any objection to me having lusciously glossy lips.
But just try explaining that to those crabby old guards...

But it all turned out well - Sev got his passport and we had a nice two-day stay in my favorite city!


Joy said...

OH, you were in PARIS!!!! *sigh*

Your story of dealing with the American Embassy is remarkably similar to our story of getting Visas from the French Embassy in Toronto. Big trip. Short little appointment. :)

Heidi said...

I was realizing just the other day how long it's been since I've been to Paris and how much I miss it!

Lucky you!

US Embassies are absolute shite. I remember going to the one in London to get Ciaran's passport, which they refused to give me because, at the time, I didn't have proof that I'd lived in the US for five years. When I asked, worriedly, if they would let him into the country (we were traveling to Seattle in just a couple of weeks) without a US passport, as a US citizen, the woman snappishly replied, "Well, he is NOT a US citizen!"


oreneta said...

There are advantages to being biggish fish in smallish expat ponds, no?

Tya said...

I wanna go to PARIS!!!! :D