Yes its true folks, I have to stay here for the next two weeks and cant travel.
Don’t worry I haven’t broken any laws just that my passport needs renewing. In my line of work its so hard to get 10 working days where I wont be flying somewhere. I do have a trip to Helsinki in just under 2 weeks so here is hoping the British Embassy process my passport in a timely fashion.
Living in a capital does make it slightly easier as it means I can visit the Embassy and the Consular section personally. The British Embassy in Stockholm is situated in a lovely part of Stockholm. Its not too far from the office and I passed numerous embassies en route to it.
I was a bit disappointed when I arrived. Its probably the ugliest Embassy I have seen! Its more East Berlin than East Stockholm. There werent even any army or police on the gate! Boring!
It was really quiet as I made my way to the Consular door. I had to press a button on the intacom and wait. It seemed like ages for someone to answer, it was almost like that old Carlsberg tv ad. Remember the one with the phone ringing and the guy walking down lots of steps and corridors for what seemed ages. Only to reach it and its a wrong number! The sign on the door said ‘Carlsberg Complaints Dept’.
Eventually a guy answered and asked me to wait for security. About 5 mins later the said guard arrived and put me through an airport style security check. He was uber polite and even said ‘Welcome to the British Embassy’ a nice bit of Britain overseas that.
Again there was nobody in the waiting area, there were plenty of chairs and even a queueing ticket number machine. I couldnt help but wonder when it would ever get busy in there.
The paperwork was a formality but always nice to get them checked in person. The officer said it would take 10 working days, I explained how often I travelled and he said he would do his best to speed up the process.
The passport prices have certainly increased since i got my last one. I think I paid about 35 GBP for that this ‘biometric’ one set me back 130 quid!!! Another Labour Party stealth tax methinks!
So they have my passport of 10 years and 130 quid the only good thing about this is that if the Government bring out the ID cards for UK citizens I wont need to buy one as the biometric passport is good enough. Hopefully Brown ditches that ID card idea and hopefully I wont be resident in the UK if he introduces it.
Filed under: Our Man in Stockholm