So, the road trip down the coast that I had planned with my sister and her crew has been slightly altered due to the fact that it’s INSANELY expensive to fly to Vancouver right now. Instead, Team Nancy is going to fly to Portland, where it isn’t nearly as expensive to fly to1, and I’m going to drive down to meet them.
The plan is to do this the first week of August. Which meant that the fact that my passport expires on August 3 would be something of a problem!
Thankfully, if you have a current passport and meet a few requirements, there is now a Simplified Passport Renewal Application you can use to get your passport renewed in a jiffy. Where a “jiffy” = 10 business days.
First, of course, you need to get your passport photo taken. I did some Googling to find a pasport photo taking place that was on the way from my office to the Passport Canada office in Richmond and then place I ended up going was a shop that mostly sold Bollywood movies on DVD and some other random stuff, but also does passport photos. And in the back there is a hair salon. I believe the shop was called “WTF?” Anyway, I gave them $6 and they gave me two passport photos and then I was on my way to the Passport Canada office.
Mercifully, there was no line up at the passport office, so I was able to walk right up the counter and some lady checked out my paper work and photos and then gave me a number, which was called immediately, so I handed everything to the guy at the next counter. He took my $87 and then lectured me on the fact that I shouldn’t have my credit card listed as “Beth,” since that’s not legally my name and thus it doesn’t match my government issued ID, so someone could refuse to accept it on the grounds that I could have just discovered a card that had been lost and that the original owner had not signed the back of, and then just signed it myself and started using it. Of course, the odds that I would find a lost credit card with no signature and the name “Beth Snow” on it, which very closely matches my “Mary Elizabeth Snow” ID, is about as good as the odds of my discovering an unsigned lost credit card that has the name “Mary Snow” on it. Furthermore, I sign “Beth Snow” on all my ID, including government documents that list my name as “Mary Elizabeth Snow.” Which means I’d have happened to discover some other “Beth Snow’s” unsigned credit card and I just so happen to have signed my “Mary Elizabeth Snow” passport as “Beth Snow,” and it all just worked out like that. But he was processing the paperwork for my much needed passport, so I wasn’t going to argue.
When you submit your passport application, they invalidate your current passport by stamping “cancelled” in it and cutting off the corner of it:
Which means I’m now trapped in the country for the next 9 business days! Sure, I haven’t left the country in *ages*, but now I have a *burning* desire to go to Seattle, just because I can’t. And, as Cath asked me on Facebook, “But what if the zombies come in from the north?! Did you think about that?!” Clearly I did not. So now I just have to pray to the FSM that the zombie apocalypse either comes from the south so I can flee to the north, or waits until after July 20th.
- Nor as expensive to get a hotel room and rent a car [↩]