Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Passport control

I need to renew my residence visa to stay in my wife's country and for the application form I have to indicate the time I spent out of the country during the past ten years.

Walking back from the visa office, I started going through the dates I could remember. I knew the month I had come here to get married in 2001 and when we left to stay in my country 18 months later.

Thinking of where we first lived, I remembered sending Christmas cards to our neighbours having returned to my wife's country for a few weeks in December 2003. Vaguely I remembered leaving for extended visits to my wife's country in 2005 and 2006, which brings me to the time I have started to reconstruct on my mental calendar working backwards from the current time.

But it was all too vague for the declaration I need to submit.

So I have gone through my old passport and noted down the dates of all the entry and exit stamps. From this I know exactly when I was where.

There are trips I cannot really remember making. I knew my wife had gone home to see her family for a few weeks before her first Christmas away. I remember saying goodbye at the airport back in 2002. But I had forgotten I joined her a few weeks later.

The passport stamps give me some firm dates to pin to my mental calendar. How and when this will happen, I'm not sure, but it is interesting to have the true shape of the time we have spent in our different countries.

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