August 27th, 2010

Cocktopus

Passport Woes - Vancouver people, a little help here?


So, I'm beginning the process of getting myself a passport so that I might go down to the uninhabitable wasteland of Arizona in order to visit my brother (coincidentally also named David). He and I actually haven't seen one another in seven years now, since I took the unbearable and astonishingly eye-opening two day bus journey from my home here in Vancouver to Tucson Arizona (Highlights included a young woman sitting across the aisle of the bus from me repeatedly interrupting me while I was holding a conversation with the person next to me in order to inform me "Yo, the way you be talkin; be trippin' me out", talking to a sixteen year old about where I was going, showing him a map of his own country, the United States, in order to indicate my destination, only to have him stare in blank incomprehension at it before asking me what this was a picture of - causing me to have to explain what a map is and that this was a map of his country - and trying to get a water bottle filled up at a bus terminal restaurant, only to have the manager snatch the bottle out of the hand of the server who was about to help me and pointedly inform her "YOU DON'T NEVER GOTTA DO THAT FOR THEM. TELL 'IM TO GO FILL IT UP IN THE BAFROOM." Honestly, it's a charming country).

Indeed, there had been one occasion on which my brother travelled as far as the Canadian border, hoping to get across so that he could see our dying father one last time, only to have Bush issue one of his periodic "Keep 'em scared an' keep 'em guessing" meaningless and pointless terror warnings which closed the border to this type of travel, thus preventing my brother from crossing and seeing his father again before he died.

So now here I am, ready to make the trip, and I'm discovering that the process of getting a passport has one very significant hurdle which I'm not sure how to get across: You are required to have a "guarantor"; someone who will co-sign your application form and your passport photo, who has known you for at least two years, and who either has a current Canadian passport, or who has had one recently. I'm not sure I know any such a person in my immediate social circle, really. I'm sure my friend Paul could help, but he's out in France, as indeed are most of my travel-prone friends out and about in the world.

And so I ask you, Vancouver-area internet friends, who have known me so well through this blog over the course of years, do any of you have a passport or have had one recently, that you might be able to aid me in this endeavour? I'd really like to see my brother again, you know? 

I wish the operator I'd spoken to had been able to answer my question: "How on earth did the FIRST person get their passport, then?"