Saturday, September 27, 2008


One thing we’re pretty sure of is Amelia is going to be a traveler. And for now if she wants to keep up with Mom and Dad she’s going to need a passport. So in her third week of life it was off to the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, about 2.5 hours south. In fact, this trip was necessary to register her with the U.S. government and get a U.S. birth certificate and social security number (and a passport). Unfortunately for her, she was quickly introduced to the law that passport and drivers license photos are not allowed to be flattering. Of course, having to have her head held up by Mom for the photo didn’t help.

Thankfully, she’s a good traveler so far, meaning she likes to sleep in the car. As long as the car is moving, preferably over bumpy roads. Our challenge came in finding the embassy which, to our utter amazement, does not announce itself with American flags but rather with two men carrying uzis. Welcome to the United States, dearest daughter!

After having to park a kilometer away (no cars allowed), and then having to carry her and her things another half-kilometer (the building is geniously set way back from the street), and then finally managing to push open the 4”-thick steel doors, we were able to submit her applications and announce her existence to our beloved home country.

On a positive note, this was our first encounter with American bureaucracy in some time. And what a difference! We had an appointment at 2:00 and met with the consulate at precisely 2:00. We were in and out of there in 15 minutes. We love Portugal, but there are some things that the Americans do far better. For all of you who complain about waiting at the DMV or to see the dentist, come live in Europe for a while. It will change your perspective.

1 comment:

pierre said...

WOa there!, Portugal is not Europe! Anyway, I know what you mean. Most of the time American bureaucracy is easier . If you get a Portuguese nanny, Amelia could become a very young Polyglot
Caio, Beijos