Thursday, October 01, 2009

Department of Foreign Affairs, For the Win!

I had been panicking for a while now as I thought I had run out of time to renew my passport (it turns out that I cannot travel NOW because my passport has to be good for 6 months more). So I went to a travel agency, whose rep has stopped replying to my texts yesterday, and found out that if I wanted to be quick, I had to go to the Department of Foreign Affairs myself.

Two days ago (September 29, 2009), I booked an appointment online: I got an email, telling me to wait for my appointment date and that I would be receiving another email for it. I took my PhD Qualifying Exams yesterday and was out the whole day. When I got back later that night, lo and behold! Another email from DFA telling me that my appointment was at 8AM to 9AM...on OCTOBER 1, 2009. I was like...Whuwaaaaaat? I didn't even have time to take a better passport pic (I looked like I could kill someone as opposed to my sis, who looked angelic in hers), have my requirements photocopied etc. etc.

I decided to go to the DFA at around 7AM, so I left at 6AM. I got there at 6:30, shooing away potential fixers while I was having my documents photocopied. So rude, when they say, "Psssst!" to get your attention, especially that dude with a stick, whom I responded to with an impatient wave and a curt "Cheh!" Cris was right, these fixers really are bullies, trying to frighten you with their big bellies, fake IDs and thin sticks.

By 7:20AM, the guy at the renewal counter opened his terminal. Everything went smoothly. I was done by 7:44AM, not noticing the time because I was chatting with this caregiver, who had been working in different countries. The cashiers took some time to open, I think around 7.30AM? That's not even official government time, so I really admired what these guys were doing!

My appointment was at 8AM, but I was out of there before my schedule and got home at 8:30AM, with enough time to finish all my piled up work. Talk about fast service!

Picture taken from World News.

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