Passport Pages

A few weeks ago I filled up the last blank page in my passport. Cambodia uses a full page sticker, and entry and exit stamps, so it ended. I knew I would have to add pages eventually, and–with a trip to Vietnam on the horizon–eventually became now.

I made an appointment at the consulate, queued for security screening, handed in all my electronics, queued to hand in a form and drop off my passport, queued to pay the 70$ (USD) fee, queued to hand in the receipt to prove I paid the fee, sat in the waiting area reading a 7 month old copy of Rolling Stone because they took my kindle, and got called to the window and given a receipt proving that I needed to come back for my passport later.

The whole ordeal took 30 minutes in the consulate, which is actually not bad at all. What was disconcerting is how the next day I went to pick it up carrying only a 2″x2″ piece of receipt with a stamp saying I should come back to collect the thing. I went back and was in the consulate for all of 2 minutes. The consulate in Hong Kong is rather efficient.  Walked out with a passport that is half an inch thick. They used tape to add the pages.

My passport looks kinda silly now. It has two additional books that are the same size as the original, and different patterns on the pages because my passport is a bit older. But I have room for 48 more countries. (if they use stamps economically, which they don’t, so it probably is more like 20 countries.) Every country I have traveled to, except Mexico, is in this passport, and I’m excited to keep it going.

I’m glad America lets you keep the same one going; until you have added 3 new sets, then they make you get a new one. I doubt I’ll get to that point.

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