I had to renew my passport and after toting a God-awful passport photo for the past ten years, I was determined to have a better one this time around. So, J and I spent HOURS on it. No, not trying to make me look better or Photoshop me...just to do the shot, select one, make website formatting tools play nice, and get our printer to work. After wasting sheets of photo paper and buckets of ink, I showed up to my appt with several options, size-wise. Only to be told that they would not accept my background, which was white with a faint bluish cast, even though the "rules" state that off-white is fine. Argh. So I had to go across the street and have another taken, in which I look just as tired as the whole process makes me feel and all washed out to boot, thanks to wearing a white blouse.
I was asked to bring along "proof" of my citizenship, just in case. And spent more HOURS looking for said proof yesterday, only not to be asked for anything at all. ( I had sorted all these papers into a special pile, and then, in the move-house frenzy, packed them, instead of refiling them.)
Thank goodness I only have to do this every ten years.
And the lesson of the day: Stick to my guns and only take a taxi with a meter. On the way to the consulate, I ended up accepting a ride with no meter, agreeing to pay 40 LE because J told me that was a good rate. On the way back, we held out for a meter and only paid 20. o.O
Second lesson: If there are no signs saying which line you should be in, ask. Even if there is only one line. I stood in the "wrong" line for 30 minutes. I actually had a feeling it was the wrong line but did not make a move earlier because I was waiting on J and didn't want to go inside without him since a) I had his passport, b) phones have to be off once inside. When the time for my appt arrived, however, and I was only five steps closer (out of about 30 more) to the door, I did jump the line and got to go directly inside. I did not appreciate the slight smirk of the man at the barrier which seemed to say that he knew I was in the wrong place and could have done something about it.
I did get to see something unusual on the taxi ride this morning: A motorcycle passenger sitting sidesaddle, his ankle swathed in bandages, carrying his own foldable wheelchair.