Daily Prompt: Passport

via Daily Prompt: Passport

Passport application form
Passport application form

I’ve always been rather fascinated by borders. If you live in Australia you need a passport  if you plan on going anywhere offshore, except to Tasmania contrary to what some people believe.

My most vivid memories involving passports are from the time that David and I travelled to the UK via China and Russia. I was travelling on a British passport while David had an Australian one.

As we travelled by train the passport control officers would usually come aboard at the border to check passengers passports. Most of them did not have a lot of English. In our compartment were two other tourists, one carrying a Canadian passport, the other a Japanese one. It was quite unnerving the way they would stare at our photos and back at us stony faced.  Sometimes we had to leave our compartment and stand in the corridor while it was searched. We heard that some Chinese passengers were put off the train. I have no idea whether their passports were not in order or they were stowaways .

Corridor in a carriage on the TransMongolian Express 1990
Corridor in a carriage on the Trans Mongolian Express 1990

Some weeks later we arrived in England on a ferry from Rotterdam. Passport control at the ferry terminal had two queues. One for British and EU passport holders and one for non EU. I joined one queue and David the other.

Surprisingly I was processed very quickly. The officer even said “Welcome home.” although I had not lived in England for more than twenty years. David meanwhile was still working his way to the head of the queue. I mentioned this to my officer and he quickly called David over to join us and stamped his passport on the spot. I guess it did help to be married to a British citizen on that occasion. I wonder if that queue is going to be way longer after Brexit?

Travelling with a new passport last year I noticed that passport officials still stare at your photo and at you with a stony expression. Perhaps they are just concentrating.

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

2 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Passport”

  1. My whole life it was so easy to travel from the United States into Canada and back. You did not even need a passport. It is very upsetting to me that this has changed. Oh, I want the world to be the way it was! Sure, problems, but not as bad as now.

    Liked by 1 person

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