What Fresh Hell?

I just renewed my passport. I also needed a certified copy as I was applying for exemption from US taxes on e-book revenues. It took me four trips to the passport office and a half hour on the phone to the IRS. As I said to the IRS guy, this phone call will cost me more than the entire amount I have made on my e-book so far. The passport itself cost me $87, plus $13 for the photos. Then there were the bus trips down and back, another $20. I suppose really poor people needn’t apply. Or that is, people who don’t have credit cards and a line of credit keeping the wolf from the door.

Then there was all the time it took, filling out forms, gathering the various components, travelling to and from the passport office downtown. On the first visit, I waited about 45 minutes in line, then another half hour in passport purgatory before my number was called.

The new passport was mailed to me within a couple weeks. Then I had to go back to the passport office to request the certification. I had to line up again for a half hour, then move to the seated waiting area. I got an expedited number that time, so it was pretty quick. When I got back home, Passport Canada had called, I had forgotten to sign my new passport. Okay, my bad, but shouldn’t the intake agent have checked for that? Without my signature, they couldn’t proceed with the certification. So back down I went, to sign the bloody thing. Five days later, I returned to pick up the certification, a glorified photocopy. Seriously?

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