I guess you’ll know it from every second big project you have to drive. You have a plan, you start on executing and you have the feeling that everything is going alright. You have the things under control it seems. But of course, you’ll know that it doesn’t go on as smoothly. That unforeseeable things will happen. How good you are, you can see in your reaction handling the situation. Panic is never a good thing. So, let’s see.
Two weeks ago, we tried to cross out some of the open issues on our ToDo-list. One thing was the application for a tourist visa. One is needed for Australia, the US and Cuba. In case of Australia and the US you have to fill in the details in a web-form and off you go. Annika did just that. Name, check! Surname, check! Date of birth, check! Validity of your passport, damn! 09/2014 is passed and we - PANICED. Annika quite visibly, me mostly inside. As I know too well the problems the German bureaucracy can cause with those kind of issues, I saw us begging in front of the Finnish embassy to print a passport as soon as possible. Or, going with the boat instead of the plane to apply for one directly in Finland. So, I took care of the kids and Annika googled. Fortunately it was not that bad, but unfortunately not that good either.
It’s not possible to do it in Munich, but in Berlin, Vienna, Bern or Hamburg. Bern and Vienna were not an option, as you simply don’t want to leave a country without any valid documents and with a child. So, Annika chose Berlin and arrived there pretty late in the evening, and after a 7 hours train-ride with an unsatisfied, bored and screaming 4-months old, just able to stumble into the motel really close to the train station. After a short night, she ran to the embassy, filled in some forms, gave her passport picture, fingerprint - all over in 10 minutes. Then she went back to the train station and went through the same endless train ride again. Flying was not an option - without a passport. Me, I had two daddy-daughter days, which we could enjoy a bit even though work and kindergarten were in the way of fully doing so.
It ended well, holding all 4 valid passports in our hands now. After the initial panic, we got it done. So we passed the test I’d say. But hoping anyway, that those things won’t happen too often.