Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)
TITLE: Travel Preparations Checklist
By Brenda Kern
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Next on the list: "In order to travel to your desired destination, a visa is required."
Okay. How hard can that be?
"To secure a visa, select an authorized agency, fill in the application, then send the forms, along with your passport, to the agency for processing."
Wait. I must have read that wrong--I thought it said I had to send in my passport. Skim, scan, re-skim, and re-scan. Ewwww. It did. In order to go where I want to go, I have to give up my passport?
Well, no. I don't wanna. That has all my vital information in it--everywhere I've gone, all my memories, all the hopes and dreams that went into my travels. And they just expect me to turn it over to them, just like that? I don't think so.
And who are <i>they</i>, anyway? I don't know them. Why should I trust them: "an authorized agency"? What if they lose it? They might damage it, and that passport is my whole life!
Oh, and while I'm getting all riled up here, consider this: <i>they'll know everything, and I mean <u>everything</u>!</i> I'm not too terribly proud of some of the places I've visited, and I make it a point to keep my passport information private!
Maybe I should just give up on the idea of making this trip, anyway. Surely I won't qualify for a visa to get in there, not with my background and all. And, whew, look at that photo: not very flattering, to say the least. That alone will probably make them decide I'm not good enough to get in, right?
But I really want to go! Whine, whine, whine. What to do, what to do?
Hey! Maybe I can just tear out a page from my passport booklet, and get the visa on it! That way, I don't have to turn the whole thing over to them, just that page! Terrific idea!
Not so terrific--I just went back and read the fine print. The entire document must be submitted--every page, the front and back cover, all in one piece.
Maybe I can unearth some other loophole in the instructions somewhere. Let's see...
Um, this part can't be right. "Upon approval, your passport will be stamped, or, in some cases, receive a sticker. The stamp or sticker indicates that you have been determined to be acceptable, and will allow your entry into the desired location. Then your passport will be returned to you."
I could get an actual stamp of approval, indicating for all to see that I'm accepted. Me--accepted!
So, I have to surrender my passport, but then I get it right back?
One more question: when does this visa, including my acceptance and my entry pass, expire?
Let's see: there are four boxes on this form to check off... But that's weird. They say "Eternal," "Everlasting," "Forever," and "Never Ending."
Here's my passport, Lord, messy as it is, cover to cover.
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