Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Passports and Things Like Them

What is it about driver’s license, school ID and passport photos? Regardless of how hard you try to do your hair just right, wear just the right short of shirt and focus on keeping a pleasant expression, you always end up looking like the walking dead. This is also true for the most youthful and darling among us as you can see from poor James’ passport photo. Next week we have an appointment at the American embassy to register James as an American citizen and apply for his passport and social security number.

One interesting thing I learned from going through the process of getting James’ Danish birth certificate is Danes aren’t required to give their children an official name until six months after they’re born. That must be nice for those people who take longer than nine months to agree on a name. Traditionally Danish children don’t have a name until it is announced at the child’s baptism; for example the now 1-year-old Danish Princess Isabella’s name wasn’t revealed to the public until her baptism. This is also why birth certificates are handled through your local church parish and not a regular state agency like it’s done back in the States.

Lucky for James his passport is only good for five year. On the other hand I have to show customs officials a picture of my bloated, eight-months-pregnant face for another eight years.


Judit said...

Fascinating, about Danish naming traditions.
Totally with you on the mugshot issue. I practically have a mustache in my passport. When at age 6 weeks I took my Magdalena to Walgreens for a passport picture, the clerk took one look at her and said: "How many days old is she? She can't be photographed." Huh?! The woman eventually agreed to give it a shot (sorry for the pun) only after I expressed that I'm not leaving the store until I have passport pictures, period. You can see the pathetic results here:
Baby James looks like a bald, fat old man in his picture! Still manages to be cute regardless.

Rebekah said...

Aw... poor Magdalena. I wonder why the Walgreens clerk was being so difficult about it? I know it's a little more challenging than taking an adults picture, but still.

shelly said...

the nicest part is that you can do the passport photos part yourself with services like ePassportPhoto.com