Friday, August 17, 2012

Erma Bomeck Travels in My Memories

Erma Bombeck
Erma Bombeck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There was an American humorist, Erma Bombeck, who had a syndicated newspaper column. She was hysterically funny most of the time. She had written a number of books, but  being an avid traveler my favorite was When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home. A title that really came home to roost yesterday. 

Our passports don't expire until May 2013. I love our passports. Pasted inside are the Visas for Vietnam, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, and dozens of stamps from countries that still stamp your passport when you enter and exit: Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania other many other joyous travel mementos. 

The problem is that we will be going to Ecuador in December and will be there through the first two weeks of January. Ecuador requires that your passport be current for 6 months beyond the time you intend to leave. Even if we still have months left on our passports, we have to renew it for this trip. When you get a new US passport, they stamp the old one with holes, which really mars the stamps and Visas, plus you don't get to reminisce each time you pull it out for the next adventure.

I went to the photo shop to get my new photos taken, which was recommended by the embassy. They require that the photos are no older than 6 months with strict size requirements and so forth. Earlier today, our friend Melissa Rank had sent this photo she had taken when we met with her family for our last coffee before they head off to Turkey to live. I hate my photo taken, but this turned out fairly well, so I was a bit encouraged for the passport photo.This is what is called a false sense of security. 

This is what the passport photo looks like. OMG, if I didn't know better, I would swear these were two different people and the 2nd one should have never made parole. After the photographer shot the photo and had it on the computer, he asked if it was okay. I asked if he were handy with Photoshop, but he looked at me blankly. When I said it was as good as it was going to get without plastic surgery, he did break into a smile. To add insult to injury, the US is going to charge me $110 for the passport with this mug in it.

I took Erma Bombeck's advice though. I went right home..crawled under the covers with my Galaxy Tablet and priced plastic surgeons.
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