I just spent my morning in Izzi overdrive with my eyes bulging out of their sockets and the word “SERIOUSLY!” on repeat cycle!
So I gave up my Alexandrian nationality, I re-issued a national ID with my Cairo address. I xeroxed that new ID, my old passport, got photos taken on a hideous white background and was good to go.
Location: Agouza Passport Department
We stand in que to be given the application form. There are no surfaces which you can use to fill them. Be grateful for the invention of dry ink pens. You somehow manage to fill your form. You que again. You get assigned a window number. You que again. You are finally eye to eye with the woman who determines your fate.
Woman requests all the papers, takes one look at my ID and stops dead in her tracks. For profession my ID reads “associate consultant at Donald Duck and Sesame Street Egypt for Information Services” (or something to that effect 😉 )
Woman: That’s too long, I’m going to write “associate consultant at Donald”
Me: Hmm, either we write the company name or we don’t. I actually prefer we don’t. (I don’t have a track history of keeping jobs for more than 3 years, let alone for the 7 for which this passport is valid).
She: No, we have to. OK I’ll figure it out.
Dude behind her: Hmm, do you have a copy of your educational degree.
I hand him a copy of my MBA certificate.
Them in unison: We don’t accept certificates in foreign languages. Do you have a copy of your University degree.
I actually didn’t, didn’t think I’d need it. I had already submitted a copy when renewing the ID and they disregarded it and went with the job, so figured I wouldn’t need it. BIG MISTAKE.
Her: What does your old passport say?
Me: Student at the faculty of economics and political science.
Him: Since we have no way of proving you’ve graduated, I’ll just use your high school degree as a guarantee in case there are problems with your company name.
Me: I’m an IGCSE grad.
Him: Middle school?
Me: Was studying abroad!
So basically at this point I go psycho on his ass cause I can’t believe I need to prove educational information because he can’t make out what I do for a living. And apparently I’m illiterate by government standards since they have a language problem with my degree!!!!!!!!!!
So there you have it. I’m ILLITERATE!
If that wasn’t enough, she actually needed us to go to another window to verify that we’ve translated our names with honesty. Those very names and translations that appear in the old passport which she is holding a copy of and which they themselves have issued!!!!