Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fill'er Up

It was that time again when we had to have pages added to our passports. We had them added once before and had the standard numbered pages and then the alpha pages. So many countries require a full page for their Visa, filling up the pages fast. We had a full page for China in the past and one for Chile. Now the Zimbabwe and yearly Hungarian Visas have pages all of their own. Then the Vietnam Visa required a full page too. We called the embassy here in Budapest and found that we could download the application for more pages and bring it in. It is form DS 4085. I had to have a letter from Ron saying I could have pages added to his passport to save him from having to appear too.

The embassy has the x-ray machines like at the airport and this is long before 9/11. I purposefully left my mobile phone at home; they make you leave it with the guard. After x-raying my bag, the guard pointed to a small object on the machine, but I could not make out what it was. I opened my bag and told him to have at it. I guess they can't do a search. He called someone over to interpret. It was my nail clipper. They made me leave my nail clipper there while I was inside. God forbid I should suddenly go crazy and do manicures while I am waiting. Adding pages is free, but time consuming, especially if you have to mail it in. It can take up to two weeks. I took a number from the automated machine; only one option for US citizens. The wait was 20 minutes for my number to be called. I tried reading my book while I waited, but eavesdropping was too much fun to pay attention. I had to listen to everyone's story. With the forms filled out and tucked into the passports, the guy looked over the application and the passports and told me to wait for my number to be called again. I had to wait for 45 minutes and we now have beige and white picture pages of American scenery in our little blue books.

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