So, my passport has run out of space and time. As Candace likes to bitch, as if it wasn't a pain in the ass enough to be one of the few countries without ten year passports, they aren't even really 5 year passports, since most countries require that you have 6 months remaining on your passport to let you in. Not Hong Kong, thankfully. Just one month and an outward flight. Which is how I ended up here on a passport with only 3 months left on it. And an ugly passport at that, seeing as I got it after being mugged in Italy, had to have the damn thing extended, thus making everyone who looks at it have to go to page 11 to see the actual expiry date, and ensuring that in my photo I look sweaty and annoyed by the process of getting an emergency passport in a foreign country.
So, a new passport is a good thing. However, it is also a pain. You have to submit it in person only between the hours of 9-12. Which, since I am on vacation is not really difficult but must be a pain if you are working. My bus managed to get hit by a car on the way to Central though, making me wonder if I'd make it on time. So I went and got my unsmiling photo, and as per usual they tried with my glasses and then without. And then I went and waited in a queue.
First, I had to get one number to hand in the application. This goes off fine. Then I need a guarantor. New number, new queue. First she gives me a lecture. Since I have recently (SEVEN DAYS AGO!!!) arrived in Hong Kong, they'll do it for me THIS time. But in 5 years, I had better know someone! Then you get to fill out five years of addresses and employers. Hahahahahahaha. Have you got space on the sheet for me to write a novel? Fuck, that one year in Vancouver I temped for 4 different agencies! I can't recall the house number or even the damn street I lived on there!
Then they kindly tell me to pick up my new passport two days AFTER I am due to fly out of Hong Kong. Fun!
Between providing high school transcripts for my Hong Kong visa (who knew they even existed?) and not smiling for photos, and guaranteeing my identity... I tell ya. But I am about to have a shiny new 48-page passport to have a shiny new work visa stamped in.