Steps Of Getting A Passport Made
You go on the official website and pick out a date. Since the passport offices are only open on weekdays, you’ll have to take a holiday from work or school. Then you see the list of the documents must carry. You don’t have half of them so you look for them in the piles of important documents you have. An hour gone. If they’re not in these messy piles, you will have to get them from somewhere because you wouldn’t get your passport without them.
For instance you can’t find your original birth certificate, you have two options-
- Go to all the schools you’ve been in and look for the certificate.
- Get a new one made.
If you go for the first option, you would have to go whichever school twice, at least and they still might not have it.
If you go for the second option, you’ll go to a government office and request for a new one. It’s supposed to be free of cost, right? Well if you do think so then you are most definitely wrong. How can you expect the person sitting at the desk to do your work for free? Absurd, right? So don’t forget to take a wad of cash with you.
Even after you do give the cash (under the table, of course. What if a good official or citizen sees you and reports it to the police? The police won’t expect another wad of money from you. They’ll catch you and you’ll have to pay more money. A fine, of course.) you’ll have to go there twice, at least.
Phew. So this is done.
Next step: The dreaded passport office.
You need to stand in a queue even for going inside the office. It’s not boring, really. There are so many different people around you. Some are fanning themselves with a newspaper because the AC isn’t working or is entirely absent. Some are clad in prefect formal suits, talking feverishly on their phones. They’ve missed important meetings to come here. Then there are kids, standing with their busy parents, getting bored. There are even some people who’re taking selfies for their Instagram and Facebook profiles. Because the whole world must absolutely know they’re standing in a line to get into the passport office.
And if you’re not interested in any of the interesting people around you, you do have your smartphone. No need to worry.
You step into the passport office and sigh in relief as the cool conditioned air hits you. And then you open your eyes and the horror unfolds. There are more lines. The people in the lines are mingling so you can’t tell them apart. All you can see are people. So damn many people. You sigh, a defeated look already on your face and stand behind a sweaty man.
If you think turtles are slow, then you should definitely stand in a queue for a passport.
As you dreaded, the horror continues for at least half an hour. The time wasn’t eventless, of course. There are mothers with screaming children. Let’s not forget the fathers with crying babies. There are toddlers, running between your legs. But all you can do is smile at their parents and the children’s snotty faces. There are big sisters concerned for their little brothers. And big brothers teasing their little sisters. There are old men and women, sitting on marble ledges because the couches are occupied by more old people. They’re not standing in the lines because their children or grandchildren are. They’ll join them once the wait is over.
And once again, if all this doesn’t arouse your inner poet or painter, you can go back to staring at your phone’s screen. If there’s nothing to do, there’s always Candy Crush Saga. The never ending game with difficult levels. You spare more brains for the game than you ever did for your studies. Well, it’s all about priorities, right? You cannot bear the mere thought of being behind your father on the high score chart. It’s unthinkable, incomprehensible. You have to be the best player of the Candy Crush Saga.
The wait is over (or is it?) and you are finally in front of a woman. She doesn’t look at you but asks for your documents in a monotone. You shrug (It’s not like you were in a mood for pleasantries anyway. You’ve been standing in lines for an hour now.)
She snatches your perfect file from you and goes through the papers. She asks a few questions and you answer them hurriedly. You’re not in hurry. She is.
When she’s done, she hands you your papers back in a flimsy brown envelope. Before you can do anything, the woman behind you pushes you out of the way. You look around and find your next destination.
And this, is of course not it. The pain has just begun. The next few parts will be in Steps Of Getting A Passport Made.
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