What an exciting day!
At last the long wait is over and I can now apply for my new credit card sized plastic passport.
Be still my beating heart!
So what use is this new card? Well, no use is probably the best answer. It doesn't replace the old passport: it's more a card saying you have a passport but that it's lying forgotten at the back of your underwear drawer. So now you have to shell out between eighty and a hundred yoyos for a passport and then an extra thirty five yoyos to effectively say that you have shelled out eighty to a hundred already. The Yoof of today will clamber over themselves to get one though as it's a grand excuse to take dozens more "selfies".
The new card is [I gather] optional so I really don't see much point in it. They do say however that it will be invaluable as a card giving your age if you want to buy a drink or something. That sounds suspiciously like an identity card to me, so doubtless at some future stage we will be forced into an identity card scheme with the excuse that we already have passport cards, so what is there to bitch about. Yet another step on the path to becoming faceless numbers where we are mere chattels of the state valued only as production units.
I got my first passport back in '82 for my first trip to La Belle France. Frankly the only use I had for it on that trip was when I was cashing traveler's cheques. I remember in one bank the teller was amazed at there was an Irish language and she begged me to say something in Irish. Naturally my mind went blank [I wasn’t exactly prepared for this] and I recited the Our Father which was drilled into me as a kid. The teller was highly impressed and asked me what I had said. I told her it was an old Irish poem, which caused a couple in the adjacent queue to collapse laughing. I didn't know they were Irish too.
I have had a passport ever since and the only time it ever sees daylight is a brief flash if I'm driving on or off the ferry to France.
As it happens, I noticed that my passport expires next year. I contemplated whether it would be worth renewing or not, as the likelihood of further foreign holidays is receding somewhat. Then I remembered that I am entitled to a free passport as I'm over sixty five.
On checking, I discovered they abolished that little perk some years ago.