So my new job have decided to send me off to San Francisco in November for training purposes. They will fly me there and back, send me to the annual geekfest that is the Adobe Max conference, and put me up in a rather swish hotel, the nightly rate of which has three figures and the first figure isn’t a 1, or even a 2.
The project leader who fixed this for me and one other workmate has just announced that she is quitting, so we can only assume that this was her closing salvo to waste some of the company’s money. But, you know, whatever – I’m off to the West Coast and that’s good enough for me.
However…there is the slight matter of the Passport. I currently hold an Irish passport, and it’s a nasty piece of work. In fact it looks like it was thrown together by a kindergarten class after a hard night of rum shots.
It’s handwritten, for the love of Carl. Hand-written! Naturally enough , the US won’t accept such a dodgy piece of drivel and so now in order to get into the land of hope and glory, I will need a new passport. The Irish Embassy in Stockholm (a window in a building in the Östermalm district, about as impressive as a hot-dog stand) sent me the papers and I have spent a happy evening filling them in.
All until section 9, which demands that I locate a witness who will verify my existence. And presumably stand for the bail if I get taken for terrorist activities when I step off the plane.
The form helpfully suggests a list of possible “witnesses”, including:
- An Irish policeman
- A Priest
- A Doctor
- A Lawyer
- A Bank Manager (!)
- A Politician
- A Notarius Publicus
- A “Peace Commissioner”
- A School Principal
- An Accountant
So this is the official Irish list of “people who can be trusted”? Hmmm indeed. As we all know, Irish priests can always be trusted not to slip you one behind the bike shed. And Irish Politicians are as honest as the day is marzipan. Not to mention the rest of them, a sorry bunch of bandits if ever I saw one.
Luckily there is an accountant or two in my job, as well as a few lawyers. And they, despite having only know me for 3 months, can probably vouch for the fact that I have not been field-stripping AK-47s during lunch.
Hopefully the new passport, when it comes, won’t have any parts written in crayon. And it might even have those little boxes where you can mark “I am not a terrorist”, “I think the 2-party electoral system is just super” and “I promise not to steal your women, not even the ones from Ohio”.