Wednesday, January 25, 2006

End of an Era

We're finally making concrete preparations for a 2-week trip to China in May, with Rob's parents, uncle, and aunt. His aunt is originally from Shanghai and can speak three dialects of Chinese, which will be very VERY useful and will help us not be scared. Yesterday, we got our first Hepatitis B immunization, and we both will get tetanus shots next month. Yay, repeated pokes in the arm.

Also, the other day I got new passport photos taken because I need to renew my passport. (See left for old mug shot - the new one is very similar with the exception of longer hair and a different shirt.) Upon looking at the paperwork, I realized that I have to mail them my old passport. This kind of makes me sad--I'll be parting with all those rubber-stamps that are like badges of the places I've been in the past ten years.

visa stamps 1Like back in '96, when I first got the passport in order to spend the summer working in London. You can see the June 2 stamp from when I entered the country, and the handwritten "three months" indicating the length of my student work visa. You can also see where I went in and out of London on a four-day trip to Germany.

visa stamps 2There's my stamp for leaving the UK. You can also see where I went to Canada. This was my very first Welsh course, in Toronto, and my first trip to Toronto ever. There was lots of beer and merriment and language-fumbling, and now I'm Vice-President, so I guess it all worked out.

Here you can see another trip to the UK in 2000, where I attended the Welsh course in Carmarthen, Wales, while Rob journeyed about the countryside without me. Then we went to London for about a week and met up with my friend Greg, who currently divides his time between Connah's Quay, Wales and Dublin. You can also see the stamp from me coming back from a Welsh course in Ottawa. in 2004.

travel visas 4You can also see where we went to Japan, in and out of Osaka Kansai airport, which was an awesome trip to which Beth can attest. What you can't see, because for some reason it's not there, is our trip to Paris in winter of 2001-02. That's sad, because that was sort of our honeymoon trip, plus we got to spend New Year's in Paris and watch the changeover to the Euro. There were many Euro-related festivities, believe me. It was also quite literally freezing. Like, lots of fountains were frozen over.

But China will be a great stamp to inaugurate the new passport. I hope I get a chance to blog from there.

4 comments:

a. fortis said...

Now that I look at it, that is really a terrible picture. So is the new one. I only ever look that squinty in photographs. It's like magic: point a flash at me and I go all non-photogenic. Here's a better picture.

Chloe said...

I've had a couple trips where I got no stamps. I wonder what goes into the border agent's decision to stamp your passport or not...

a. fortis said...

I don't know, but it makes me feel ripped off!

MeiMeiLn said...

I know that feeling. When I went to France this past summer, I practically begged them to stamp my passport. They refused and I don't know why. They did, however, look at me as if I had three heads.