Saturday, 11 February 2017

Passport Pickiness

As I am writing this my Swedish wife and I are sitting in the waiting room of the Passport Office. We're waiting to update my wife's passport. We are number 152 and the electronic counter currently reads 122. A while to go yet!

Kids are starting to go slightly loopy as the boredom sets in. Their parents frantically attempt to appease them with books, games, mobile phones...

In the UK you can do the whole process online or by post. But here in Sweden the photo must be taken in person at the Passport Office on a special machine, so that it's properly standardised. 

I can't help thinking that although the UK produces less 'standardised' passport photos, at least you don't have to spend ages in a waiting room!

This seems to be another classic example of excessive Swedish bureaucracy, where the need to do things 'properly' overrides all other considerations (even efficiency!). 

The waiting continues...

I notice an old man with an enormous white beard. He is reading a newspaper dated 1961. He looks at me with sleepy, ancient eyes. Then he turns back to his paper, scratches his balls and settles in to continue his long wait.

I'm going to be here a while... 

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