Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Why We Lost The Empire...?

I went on first trip to the British Embassy today. Nothing serious - I just need a new passport. I was quite excited to go, I have to say (so easily pleased!). I've heard some interesting stories about the place including Pimms parties on the lush lawns! Sadly, I have yet to be invited to such an event...anyway...
It's set behind tall impenetrable looking white walls, with lots of lush trees hanging over them. Getting in through security was as you would expect, surrendering mobile phone and camera. Walkways offered enticing glimpses of aforementioned lush lawns, flowerbeds, and I swear I heard the tinkle of 'Rule Britannia' wafting over the breeze.

So, imagine my disappointment when I reached the actual passport office, only to find that it was a.....PORTACABIN!!! Yes, fellow UK citizens, our safety and interest overseas will be completely protected from within the walls of some corrugated iron and cardboard!

Whilst I wasn't expecting a stately home, I was hoping for something a little more impressive. 90 minutes later and 124 quid lighter I left with a slip of paper telling me to return in two weeks to collect my new, improved, biometric passport. As my UAE visa is in the old passport (the most crucial piece of paper you can have whilst living here) it's important to make sure this isn't lost. Again, I was amazed by the technological solution to this: you keep you old passport, attached to you new one, with.....a RUBBER BAND.

Britain, you really are pushing the boundaries. I salute you.

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