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Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Passport

I can't believe I didn't have a valid passport for the past 14 months. I totally forgot all about it. Good thing, there weren't any emergency reason for me to travel out of the country.

This year, I really had to apply for my first Australian Passport because I'm sponsoring my Mom's visit to Sydney soon (yes, she's coming over and I'm getting more and more excited!) and we needed it for my Husband's application for permanent residence visa.

The application was quite tedious. There were documents that needed to be prepared and signed by a Justice of Peace. Sometimes I really hate applying for stuff here simply because they're tedious. But then, we all know that it's only because they just want all documents authentic. A matter of security, really. The only consolation after the passport is processed, it is good for 10 years (adult passports). In a way, it's worth all the trouble in going thru the application.

The memorable and irritating thing about my passport application was that the Post Office Manager that interviewed me was really very rude and mean. I was on time for the interview, greeted him hello and he only frowned back. He really scared me. He made me feel like I was a criminal even if I was paying them for their service. He was so unpleasant and he appeared angry as if I've done something wrong. After checking all my documents, he said it was good to go. The same day, he called me in the afternoon (at nearly 5pm which was closing time) only to tell me to come back and he forgot to photocopy one of the documents I brought. The nerve! I took the day-off just to attend the interview and now he calls to say that I needed to go back due to his inefficiency. I was really pissed off at him but I just let it go. 

With all the hassles the application has brought me, I'm grateful that it took the Passport Office less than 10 working days to send my passport to me. That's my only consolation. And now that I have a passport again, I won't have to worry about passport applications again for the next 10 years.

The Australian Passport comes in a neat plastic packet. When you open it, the left side contains the passport, while the right side contains a Travel Smart (Hints for Australian Travellers) booklet. It's a booklet especially produced by The Lonely Planet for Australian Government.


The Australian Passport is expensive but once I saw and felt the quality of paper they used, I found out that it's very good quality, definitely worth the money I paid for.

The Travel Smart booklet contains information that an Australian should know on traveling such as travel tips, insurance, entry permits, visas, travel money, packing tips, what one can bring in and out of Australia and most especially where Australians can get help when they're overseas. Really very helpful and handy. 

Now I wonder when I'll be able to use it. Hmmm....