Saturday, February 13, 2010

herein to pass without delay or hindrance

The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests all whom it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.

This is my second passport, ordered in in 2000 to replace one issued in the early 90s and then stolen just as we were crossing into the new decade. I was the kind of skinny then that you get when you’re in the middle of a divorce that you didn’t see coming.

But should have seen coming.

You can't see the knot in my stomach but it was there, and stayed with me for a good couple of years. Maybe three. I’m fatter and happier now. (And no: you can’t see my new passport pic. It’s miserable.)

This one is heavy on Central America -- Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador -- and light on other International destinations, although Dublin’s in there along with Osaka and a brief week in Paris (with an overnight in London).

The one that was stolen was littered with backpacking trips and otherwise to Greece, Norway, Paris, Thailand, Singapore and London.

It’s been too long since I’ve spent any real time in London.

Which is why I’m shipping this one off today, seeing how it expires in March and I plan to be in London just after that.

Wanted a snapshot before it goes. I hear the new design is hideous, and I don’t want to forget what American passports looked like before they went mental.

updated: just penciled in a couple forgotten -- but how could I forget Thailand? and Singapore? oh. right: finally trips in the final days of a dying marriage.


karigee said...

I have so much work left to do. Sigh. But it's nice to finally see your lovely face somewhere :)

suttonhoo said...

you must be at T-minus-pretty much nearly the wire by now -- when do you fly off for your beautiful adventure?

Leslie F. Miller said...

You're beautiful, and I want to see the new picture.

suttonhoo said...

fat chance. (and thanks.)

p2wy said...

Wonderful post... I know that type of skinny, I still use it for online avatars from time to time as the thinness was about the only good to come out of that time.

Scrivener said...

I agree with Leslie. I also know what you mean about the thinness. I have finally recovered the weight I lost during my divorce--I was looking really scary for a year or so.

suttonhoo said...

divorce really is a remarkable diet technique. too bad it comes with lasting trauma and attorney's fees.

and thank you, too, to you, mr. scrivener. (I'm always tempted to call you bartleby.)

glad y'all got ur plump back. divorce aftermath is a super unhappy place to be.

Scrivener said...

I just remembered that I posted my first passport photo to Flickr a long time ago. That's from almost 20 years ago, getting ready to spend a summer in Greece with a nonprofit, building a school for politically stateless orphans.

suttonhoo said...

whoa. politically stateless? that's like being orphaned twice.

(&, as noted, love that mullet.)

Scrivener said...

It is like being orphaned twice. At the time there were stories about thousands of orphans being essentially trapped in orphanages in eastern Europe & no one would do anything about the kids because their nation-states had dissolved, leaving them not only parentless but stateless, hence essentially nonexistent within the philanthropic and governmental agencies that should have been helping them.

It was a really cool, small group I worked with. My history professor owned 12 acres on the island of Andros and we were taking apart buildings that had been empty for 100 years and putting them back together with some bare bones modern amenities. I spent 6 weeks there building a cistern and rebuilding terraced walls for planting an olive orchard, and had planned to return and become a resident instructor once we got the first group of kids there.

But, as seems to happen fairly often with groups like this one, it collapsed under the weight of egos and, probably, some financial shenanigans.

b1-66er said...

apparently stress and divorce also makes you look vaguely chinese -- or does it just bring out your teutonicy?

b1-66er said...

oh, and a trivium for you ... all passports have to be translated in french ... a side effect of 18th century diplomacy and the creation of broader international travel papers.

Lolabola* said...

Was also thinking you have an Asian flair here. Or Greek? I probably just think that because I keep thinking of another of your posts about a trip there. Great photo!

Interesting about the french bit, B1-66er, I just assumed mine was like that because everything here is. It would never have occurred to me to wonder at other nations' passports' frenchness. (did I just write the best sentence ending or what?)

suttonhoo said...

I always figured the French was a holdover from -- was it the Age of Reason? -- when French was conferred special status as the language of diplomacy. that "have to be" reads to me like there are laws in place to mandate it? I didn't know that. I thought it was just convention. very interesting, especially given the way the balance of power has shifted in the intervening years.

and speaking of foreigners: I was mistaken as Greek *by* Greeks several times while in Greece -- which made me all kinds of happy because 1) they're known to be pretty insular about their tribe and 2) I'd love to grow old drinking raki and listening to rebetika in the open air tavernas of Chania with no one knowing that I didn't really belong there.

although the height might give me away.

I pretty much inherited my Grama's almond-shaped eyes and olive skin tone -- she skewed super dark for a Norwegian. I think I blogged before about how we suspect her family was from Russia because their Norwegian surname (prior to being Anglicized) was, actually, "Russia". There's also a chance that they were more Sami than Norwegian -- they definitely looked more Laplander-ish than anything else in that country.

suttonhoo said...

p.s. my theory is that we're descended from Scythians, but that's mostly because I like the cowboy/nomad element and the way the word is spelled.

(okay. now I'm really done.)

Sarah B. Roberts said...

We need to be in London together.

suttonhoo said...

we will.

(& we will drink strongbow.)

Related Posts with Thumbnails