Thursday, May 24, 2012

Passport Panic

I have a really busy week coming up but in a very enjoyable way.  That's if I haven't totally stuffed up by forgetting the most obvious item when travelling - passports.

Yes, even though I have known we were travelling to Fiji for my sister-in-law's wedding for many months now (since last year even!), I left it till the last minute to check our family's passports.  The Moneymaker's was fine of course, he travels for work throughout the year, but upon checking the kids' I realised they only had about two months left till they expired and Fiji requires you to have six months at least.

This was not the worst of it.  My Kiwi passport expired last month.  I discovered this on Tuesday night. We fly next Tuesday.  I had exactly four working days to get three passports.  And go to work. And The Moneymaker was up in Queensland working till late tonight.  The online option wasn't possible as I couldn't print on the two inoperable printers in our house.  So I had to print out my application and fill it out AND process it the next day.  Plus pay the huuuuuge Urgent Fee to get it done in time.

Why I didn't wash my hair on Wednesday morning when I had to get a photo done at the Post Office, I don't know.  Maybe I wanted to look like a zombie drug smuggler when they looked at my passport at customs. Who knows, I've given up trying to work out how my brain works. The other problem was I could not think of another Kiwi who knows me who is not related to me. My Kiwi mate had moved to Melbourne and I could think of every non-Australian friend but no Kiwis.  Luckily The Moneymaker rang back and had remembered a work colleague was a New Zealander and he could vouch for me.  I must admit I was surprised at how reasonable The Moneymaker sounded when I told him of my slackness.  He must have heard the panic in my voice when I told him and (wisely) decided telling me off would not achieve anything from another state away.

So yesterday I dashed out at lunchtime to the local Post Office for the photo (horror movie shot) then caught the train to the city to process an Urgent and Expensive application at the New Zealand Embassy.  I don't often go into the city even though I only live about ten minutes away, but it hadn't really changed since I worked there 14 years ago.  Wynard Station looked (and smelled) the same, the beggars were in the usual spots and I was able to dash across the road against the lights just like I used to as a younger woman.

After a 5 minute process (and the pleasure of hearing broad Kiwi accents), my application was lodged and the estimated completion and pickup date was Friday (tomorrow). I rang and checked this afternoon and it is ready to collect! Yay! Now for the little Aussie munchkins.

Yesterday I finished work at 4pm, picked the Chicken up on the way home and collected the Nugget from after school care.  Then it was a dash to another local post office to get the photos and forms before they closed at 5pm. No parking available outside of course so up the street to the supermarket parking and a run down the road.  We were the last customers and the very helpful lady behind the counter advised that rather than processing it there it would be a whole lot quicker taking it the office near Central Station.

Fortunately I do have tomorrow off work, unfortunately it is because I am flying at 11.55am to meet my sisters and cousin at the Broadbeach Blues Festival for the weekend, now an annual getaway tradition.  I know, I know, how many holidays can one Mum have?  Well, I figure you only live once and you have to squeeze every little drip out of it.

So tomorrow morning at 9.10am I will be begging the Passport Application office to please please please process my children's passports urgently, otherwise, as they have already planned, they will be staying home alone making pizzas for a week.  After all,  I'm not missing out on a trip to Fiji!

Don't forget you've got till Sunday 27th May to get a chance to win the Elastoplast $150 Bunnings Voucher Competition, so get your Oops! moments in quick!

4 comments:

  1. Well I felt not only exhausted by your post but felt the panic. Why do we leave these most fundamentally important details until the last moment? A woman's lot is a heavy load, or is it because the expected frivolity of the upcoming occasion is more important than the finer details.

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    1. All panic forgotten as soon as we started the frivolity though ;)

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  2. Even though knowing that we are responsible grown-up, trying to be as logical and well-organized as possible, life challenges proove us not to be such, at least at times. I guess, we are distracted by some many things to do that our arranging thoughts just fly away.

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    1. To true, so many things in my head that week was good to let it all go as soon as I landed.

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