Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sun, passport renewals, biking and the Eiffel Tower

This morning before work, I went to the Canadian embassy to renew my passport.  The last two times I renewed it, I had plenty of problems, including:

  • The employee at the passport office not believing that the picture of my previous passport was actually me.
  • Rejection of my student ID card as a valid supporting ID card (even though I called before going to the office to make sure it would be ok.)
  • Rejection of my photos because they were "too red" (since then I always take them in black and white).
  • Rejection of my references because they didn't live in the same country as I (even though this requirement is not specified anywhere).
  • Rejection of my Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor document, because, as any normal person, after living in a certain country for four years, I must obviously know a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, in that country, who has known me personally for over two years.
This time, I was so happy to see on the government of Canada website, that they have a new simplified process!  Even for Canadians living abroad. If nothing has changed since the last passport renewal (name, address, etc), then you don't need to get a doctor/lawyer/accountant to sign your photos.   I filled out the simplified form.   For the photos, I went to one photographer who could not produce photos for the Canadian passport because the specification is apparently a strange size (70mm x 50mm).  I went to a second photographer who was able to do this format.  However, there was a doubt about how zoomed in my face should be.  The specs say that the face should be between 31mm and 36mm, but the doubt was whether this dimension should include the hair or not.  I insisted that the photographer take two shots, just to be sure.

This morning, simplified application and photos in my backpack, I biked over to the embassy.  Taking the metro would have been a bit faster (10 minutes faster), but I figured I would take advantage of the beautiful weather.  It was already warm around 8am, with blue skies.  You really need to take advantage of this in Paris.  The ride to the embassy was about 8km.

Arriving at the embassy, a security guard would not let me park my bike in front of the building.  I had to park down the street. Once I got in the embassy, I saw a poster saying "Canadians living abroad currently do not qualify for the simplified passport renewal process".  So, I was sure that my passport application would get rejected again.  However, they accepted my documents and photos!  I hope they will be processed ok.  It should take three weeks.

I then biked to work, about 8.5km.  I saw the Eiffel Tower on the way, and had to stop to take a picture with the Eiffel tower, the Seine river, and my bike.  Part of the path from the embassy to work went through La Coulée Verte, a bike/pedestrian path in the south of Paris. 

Including my usual ride home from work, this makes for a total of 23km today.  Not bad to fit 23km of biking in beautiful weather, on a work day :)

Il fait beau !

La coulée verte


  1. I remember the time you had to call me from Montreal, with a lot of problems for your passport, and I had to speak to a lady who was giving you problems, and I gave her problems, and finally you got it. In Spain we have a funny say: "Who doesn't cry, doesn't suck". It is a reference to babies in nursing age, but it is true. You have to, not necessarily cry, but state your position firmly, once and again, and most of the times you get what you want.
    There's a lot of incompetence at all levels of government and private sector employees.
    Well, I am glad you are ok now for....ten years?

    Keep well, sweetie.

    1. Hah. Well this time, I didn't even have to cry. I'm set for 5 years, not 10. Too bad.

  2. I didn't realize you were Canadian. Nor did I know that your head is only 31 to 36mm wide. Pardon me for saying so, but that seems kind of small. Good luck with your passport, Carmen.

    1. I guess you can't accuse me of having a big ego. With a head less than 36mm tall, my ego is at most 10mm wide.

  3. I'll have to show that picture to Emmy (my oldest)...she's obsessed with going to Paris someday and seeing the Eiffel Tower LOL!!!

    1. Haha. Well I hope some day she achieves this dream :)

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