It shouldn’t be hard to get a passport – right? You know who you are – they know who you are – job done. Like getting a driver’s license renewal when you are under 60 – what’s the big deal.
But here I sit in amongst over 50 people – similarly on hold – for someone to say – yup – you can get a passport. Worst part – it’s my 2nd long long sit for this benefit.
It all started 5 years ago – when I applied for Canadian Citizenship. After waiting, being interviewed, and waiting and waiting – I went on with my life – and planned a trip in the Spring of 2015.
Low and Behold – literally 5 years from the date of my original application – the Canadian Government decided to offer me the privedge of citizenship – so Wednesday last – I became Canadian.
Why is that an issue – Well – I have a trip planned. And while I can use my US passport to leave – if I want to return to Canada – my home, my house, my job – I need to prove that I’m acceptable. And during the citizenship process – they took away my Permanent Resident Permit.
No problem – as per the people I asked – just apply for a Canadian Passport. You’re a citizen!
Right – so online to find the form, fill it in, go to the office, be told that you didn’t have your guarentor sign your photos (hey – can’t you tell they are me? They were taken yesterday for goodness sake), leave, get them signed, come back – take a number again. Wait. Wait. Wait. During my first attempt – there were about 30 people waiting, and one person serving. Slow.
Finally – my turn. But you need the passport soon. We don’t do passports quickly here – you have to go to another office.
So – another office, another number, another wait. I’m surrounded by the Canadian Mosaic – Diversity is Us! There are several different numbering systems – A for simple, one person, new passport, B for multiple passports, F for just a question, D for difficult – involving legal documents. The numbers flash up on a screen over our heads – and if we aren’t quick enough when our number is called – the greeter hustles us along.
I think the greeter here must have trained at Walmart – or maybe SouthWest Airlines. He’s jovial and friendly – and frequently gets a burst of laughter out of what has to be the most somber crowd – Ever! A042 – Come on Down! D346 – You are going to miss your flight….
Eventually – job done. Money changes hands – and my passport will be ready the day before I leave.
That’s a comfort. After my travels – I’m going to be welcomed home!
Signing off – The Soup Lady