As Hubby RC and I had recently decided to have a long overdue honeymoon,I required a passport. This would have been a simple matter of filling in a form, getting a photo done, getting a friend to sign the photo and sending it off, a few years ago. Six weeks later you were ready to go. Not anymore.
I filled the form,had the most awful photo taken( that scared looking, middle aged woman was me), found a responsible person who had known me for many years to endorse said photo and added long since forgotten documentation. Off I headed into the town to the post office. I didn't want to send it off with any mistakes,so paid for a "check and send" service so that my application did not get held up because my photo was the wrong size or I had forgotten to sign something.
I have since had a request from the identity and passport office to come and see them for an interview. Apparently, some applications require you to prove who you are by being interviewed, so that you can reveal things only the real you would know.
RC said he would come with me as the train journey would take three different trains.He had made this trip a few years ago, when he did some mapping work for the Police headquarters there. We left early as it was snowing and we didn't know if it would be worse inland. It only takes an inch of snow here to bring public transport to a grinding halt, sometimes. We made good time and managed to look around what had been a lovely medieval city,RC had his trusty camera with him.The shops were interesting and we found a department store that was closing down, who were selling off Le Creuset sugar bowls below half price. The purchase of this item was solely to calm my nerves before upcoming interview.
RC needed feeding if he was going to have to sit around in a waiting room all afternoon. We found him a Burger King as I do not allow MacDonalds (a story probably best if never blogged about). I was a bit nervous so decided on just the burger but RC wanted the whole meal. He was going to "go large",(I didn't know they did that in England). But then imagine his joy when he found they also super-sized it. Curiosity got the better of him. With no ice in his giant cup it was like a bucket of coca cola.The caffeine and sugar crash would be a doozy.
The walk to the identity office was quite nerve racking, what if I give the wrong answer?, What if I fail to prove it's me?Jokes about probably being deported to Romania were not helpful. When we got to the office I felt guilty, like a criminal. I asked RC in the waiting room if they would expect me to know my mobile phone number. He said that nobody knows that. People came and went and eventually I was called.
The lady was very nice, but what unnerved me was the way she just nodded and said," ah ha, umm, ok," when I answered as though she was just humoring me. She took notes and kept circling things as I answered and then would click and scroll her computer to check what I had said. Most were personal family and relationship questions, birth dates,death dates, events and finacial banking stuff. One of the questions was about phones, mobile phones, such as what your number was. Obviously I had no idea. It's strange when you're nervous and you draw a blank. After answering rather well on names,places and dates to do with my first marriage that was nearly thirty years ago, I was asked when me and RC had gotten married. It took me a couple of minutes that felt like an eternity to work it out through house moves, childrens' ages and then I remembered. I felt like an idiot. I know this. It is me who remembers this stuff at home.I came out not knowing if I had done well or not. I will hear in 7-10 days time. I told RC what I could and couldn't answer and he felt I had done well, then he told me he didn't know any of those dates. A good job it wasn't him doing the interview or a pizza parlour in Romania would be geting a new "Deported Chef".
I wanted to go straight home, lucky for us as it turned out. We had a long journey and RC was contemplating a trip to a supermarket first. But we went straight to the station, RC did get coke from the shop outside. We had just reached our home town station when they announced the next train was cancelled, due to trespassers on the line. So we would have been stuck for hours if we had gone shopping. So now we wait for notification that I can have my passport. Then it will be honeymoon booking here we come. Fingers crossed!