MY NEW CANADIAN PASSPORT IS HERE!
I am VERY happy about it! Not only am I now able to venture outside of Switzerland, but I am also now all set for my trip to the U.S. at the beginning of next month.
It's funny how little things like getting a new passport are now big issues for me. When I worked, and had a zillion things going on, something like getting a new passport was a no-brainer. I barely gave it a second thought. But now, since I don't really have that much going on, I semi-obsess over things like getting a passport. No, I don't lose sleep over it. NO, I don't really worry about it. But...I would say that it kind of "weighs" on me.
Last month, the day after getting back from London, Mrs. TBF and I took the train to Bern so that I could drop off my passport application at the very low-security (at least when compared to the fortress that is the American embassy) Canadian embassy. When we arrived, we had to wait out front for a few minutes because THEY WERE CLOSED FOR LUNCH, but at about 1:01 p.m. we rang the doorbell.
Embassy lady (over the little speaker): Hello. May I help you?
TBF: Hi. I'm here to drop off my passport application.
Embassy lady: Please...come in. The four foot high driveway gate slides open.
We went into the lobby (nobody was there except for us), I submitted the application, paid the fee, and...that was about it. Oh...we both used the lobby bathroom. So, since I think entering the embassy meant that we were both legally in Canada, I can proudly say that we both peed in Canada that afternoon before walking back out into Switzerland. Fortunately (for the embassy's janitor), I was over my stomach flu (before coming down with it again a few days later) by that point.
Pretty exciting stuff, eh?
Actually, I guess there was one bit of excitement on the way back to the train station: we were both asked to show our tram tickets by Bernese tram inspectors doing a random inspection. Yes...OF COURSE we had valid tickets! I think I was only inspected three or four times during all of 2008 in Basel, and then were inspected in Bern on the one day we rode their tram. What are the odds?
After a quick, exorbitantly-priced pizza lunch at the Bern train station, we hopped onto the train for the return trip to Basel. As you can see, I was elated that I could now cross "submit passport application" off of my things-to-do list and focus on things like doing laundry, shopping, cleaning King's litter box, and vacuuming.
I'm guessing that I had pretty much the same look on my face this morning right after signing for my passport.