With Compliments from the Land Down Under

July 13, 2018 4:59 pm
IVAN
IVAN
Author

Do you have any idea how important Your passport is? Trust me, it’s pretty fucking important. I found that out first hand back in Australia. I had just become a brand new owner of a 1981 Toyota Celica or The White Sabre, as we called it. My very first car. Now that car was something special. An actual legend, which You’ll be hearing more about in the unforeseeable future.

I had owned it for about a week or so. GLive and I had been driving it around Perth and even all the way down to Albany, while looking for work. While we didn’t really find any work down in Albany, we did come across some friendly German backpackers. So we spent a night playing poker and drinking wine by the ocean with them. After GLive cleaned everyone out in poker, we decided to head back to Perth to regroup. And rethink our next moves after our fun weekend down south.

No city or place was too far for us now. For the first time in our travels, we had our own method of transportation. We had bought a brand new GPS-system, so we could even take on the endless deserts. We were probably sitting at some random Maccas, when we decided to start driving north. Seemed reasonable. Lots of different cities on the way – Geraldton, Carnarvon, Karratha. Ideal route to take as the winter was just around the corner and it was way hotter up north (geography, bitch).

Since the morning is always wiser, we decided to camp out at the Scarborough beach. Because why not? The parking lots were probably 200-300 meters away from the actual beach. We parked The White Sabre and set out to find some showers. There’s always some sort of fresh water showers on the larger public beaches. Well this time the only working one we could find, was at the dog beach and came together with leeches and arctic water temperatures. We’re from the north, so we went in nuts first. We even struck gold by finding a maintenance box, where we could leech some much needed power for our accessories.

After handling shit, we grabbed our tent, our sleeping bags and set up shop on the beach. Just so we could see that perfect sunrise in the morning… The night passed and before we knew it, the temperature in our tent was approaching doomsday levels. That’s considered a normal camping experience in Australia. So we opened up our tent and took in as much of our beautiful surroundings as we could. I could never get enough of those views. Welcome to the Scarborough beach…

It had already become a kind of a running joke for us, that whenever everything seemed to be going well, something shitty was about to go down. Our plans never used to work out. All that unexpected shit hitting the fan always fucked everything up for us. All we could do, was enjoy those breezes of cold air and smile, as we were doing our best to avoid getting hit by those flying pieces of shit. After a while it just became a regular ‘Survival Sunday’ for us. So as we strolled back into the parking lot, we noticed a bunch of people standing around The White Sabre. I wasn’t surprised. We had been riding that high wave for far too long. Some young fuckers had broken into The White Sabre and vandalized it while they were at it.

Not only did they just vandalize it, they also stole a bag full of GLive’s dirty laundry. Those sick bastards. Oh and they also took my sports bag with ALL of my clothes, my passport and our GPS. Guess they figured we had an Atlas so we could probably just go old-school. They did leave our laptops in the car though. So there I was. Checking out my beaten up baby. The only clothes I had left, were the ones I was wearing at the time. Fun fucking times. Guess all we could do, was get some breakfast and think about the lesson in all this…

As if things weren’t bad enough with all the damages on The White Sabre and all those stolen items, I soon found out that the real problem was my now missing passport. I did hand in my passport details to the local police department, just in case someone tried to pull some identity theft shit, but I still had no fucking passport. The same problem started reoccurring in every city and hostel we stayed in. You need to show Your passport in order to check into any hostels or visit any nightclubs. I normally fed them some bullshit about having forgotten it in my car, but having had the details written down, so I could just “show it to them later”. That usually worked. I was able to postpone my passport problems all the way up to the point when I had to start applying for a 2nd Australian Working Holiday Visa. I had just a couple of months left on my 1st WHV, when I started working on my 2nd WHV application. That’s when I decided to look into getting a new passport.

Turns out, it’s not that easy to get a new Estonian passport made from Australia. I had to scan a new signature and send it to my own country. After that I was told that they needed a new picture of me, as the previous one was too old by now. So I borrowed a camera from our English roommates, dragged GLive into our hostel kitchen and took the picture right next to some German backpackers feasting on their dinner.


Reply from the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

Hi,

If we encounter any problems with Your passport application, we will contact You. You will surely be asked to provide another photo, as Your mouth is open on this one.

Best regards
Service Center,
Estonian Police and Border Guard Board


My reply

Hi!

I’m sending You another picture, since I had my mouth open on the last one. So I made a new picture where I fixed the problem. I really hope that this one does the trick.

With compliments from the sunny land down under,
IVAN


Reply from the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

Hello,

This picture is still not good enough. Your mouth is still open. Proper passport pictures require Your mouth to be completely closed. Therefore the picture You have provided us, still doesn’t meet the requirements.

Best regards
Service Center,
Estonian Police and Border Guard Board


My reply

Good evening my favorite police officers,

I just read Your email and I just wanted to say that I hear You. You don’t need to say anything else. I have made another picture for my new passport. I hope that this one meets Your ever-rising requirements as I’ve put a lot of effort and sweat into getting it done.

With only the best of all regards,
IVAN


Reply from the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

Hi IVAN,

I’m sorry, but are You pulling jokes with us? This is the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board’s official e-mail address and is only meant for official business between citizens and the state. That being said, we can not accept Your picture as it seems to have been modified after being taken.

Best regards
Service Center,
Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

Who do they think I am? Some lame trickster? After a couple of weeks of back and forth with the fuzz, I was able to finally get my passport application accepted. Meanwhile I was able to send in my 2nd WHV application with my old passport details and got a reply, where they wanted me to go through a full-body exam in Perth in 2 weeks. As it turned out, my country has only one official in Australia, who’s just basically on an eternal road-trip going around in circles (Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth) taking care of Estonian problems. So I scheduled to get my passport from the official on the same day I had my 2nd WHV medical exam. I had to take another 400km road-trip just to get all that done. And then have my passport details changed at the Australian Immigration service, which was another head-ache. The moral of the whole story is that You should never-fucking-ever lose Your fucking passport. Guard it like You guard Your balls. It’s Your identity…

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