Hulled Passport … I’m stuck in Norway …

My old passport has served me well.

It has been to Costa Rica (3), USA (5), Lithuania (1), Italy (3), Canada (1), Mexico (1), Netherlands (2), Finland (1), Sweden (3 – PS For entering Sweden Norwegians do not need to bring their passport – hence I only needed it the 3 times I flew in to Stockholm. Driving I never bring it), Copenhagen (1 – same rule as Sweden), Scotland (1), UK (5), Switzerland (2), Germany (5), Liechtenstein (1), Spain (1), Panama (1) and Nicaragua (1) if I did not forget about some now. In this list I do not count airplane stopovers.

It has also been through the washing machine and it has been ironed. The name of the country is almost washed off and the personal information page is almost falling out.

In Norway your Passport is valid for 10 years at a time and mine is just 6 monhts from the date of expiration. To be allowed entrance to most countries, the expiry date of your passport need to be a mimum of 3 months away from the date you depart from the country you visit. Some countries do not permit visitors with passports closer than 6 months to expiry date. I travel a lot and do not want to risk not being allowed to enter a country – so I decided to go for a renewal today.

Arriving at the police station just 10 minutes before they were closing the doors I found about about 400 people in the waiting hall. I tried getting my ticket and wait for my turn, but I was estimated more than 4 hours of waiting due to system failure and they had to do everything manually. I was considering whether I had time at all to wait it out.
I had not put on more money on the meter than for 2 hours of parking and I had an appointment just 1 hour after that. I realized I was not able to stay for 4 hours waiting. I had to leave (and today is the first day I have been able to even consider finding time to come down here since I got home from Scotland). Just in the minute of utmost despair a girl comes over to me asking if I want her ticket. She and her family had drawn 2 tickets and wanted to give me one of them – cutting my wait with 3,5 hours. I gladly accepted and waited for my turn.

I spent my time reading and suddenly my turn was up. The waiting hall was still packed with people, but I was so happy to skip the queue. I had my prints and picture taken, and I had to hand over my old passport to hull it.

Now – it is void. I am paperless and not able to travel out of the country for 10 days (except for sweden where I dont need a passport) until I have to pick up my new passport at the police station.


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