Passport in My Hand-Now to Leave the U.S.A.

  I now Have my passport in my hand, so I head out my door jump on the city bus, and go catch the bus over the mountains to LAX. Making it to Lax without a glitch, I get my boarding pass, and walk around for a little while.  Time ticks down, and I head fro the security check point  for me to board the plane. Oh WOW! The line is so long but moving quickly. I get up to the scanners and the metal detectors where security is shouting out instructions. Everyone is scrambling to comply with their demands, as do I. It takes me four of their little trays to get my stuff through their scanner. Laptop in one by itself, backpacks in another, laptop case in one and everything else in another. Now I am carrying a laptop in my backpack as I am a camera inside a case. I get the laptop out set it in a tray by itself. Set my backpack in another, and my long coat with my hat in another. I still have to get one more tray for my shoes, belt, any coins I have, and  cell phone. Ha! my stuff is on it’s way through the scanner, as am I. A different kind of scanner. A scanner where they have markings on the ground that look like the souls of your shoes.  Placing my feet on top of them, I must now raise my hand as if the police are telling me to put my hands in the air.  Then the machine activated, and I have just been scanned.  Wow, I have never felt more violated as I did just then. Upon exiting the scanner I gather up my four trays and instead of putting myself back together right there. They have benches set up so you can redress away from the rest of the people they are processing. It only took me five minutes go get undressed, and fifteen minutes to get redressed.  Just when I am about to get to my gate that I will be boarding my plane, I remember I had a hat on my head.  Retracing my steps back to the security area, and when I get there this big African American woman starts approaching me. I thought she was going to beat the living crap out of me. I explained about my hat, and she said she had it, and jokingly asked if I could identify it. I told her I had a picture of me with the hat on my head. She gave me my hat, and off I went to catch my plane.

My next blog will be about me on the plane.      

Getting a passport

 I recently took a trip to Malaysia, A trip I never dreamed would have been possible.  Getting out of the country of the United States was a lot harder than getting back in. First I had to prove who I was, well that was just a matter of getting my state issued ID. Because for me to get into another country I must provide a passport.  In order for me to get my passport I must prove not only who I am, but also prove my citizenship,and provide my own passport pictures. Citizenship? I had to prove that I was a citizen of the United States. Now there were two ways I could do this. One I could give them a certified copy of my Birth Certificate, or two I can show them my Social Security Card. I had neither and lived in a different state from which I was born. I went and got my ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles, and it arrived in less than two weeks. I ordered my birth certificate, and it arrived within two days. I tried to get my Social Security card before my ID arrived and found out that I cannot get one without an ID. WOW, really? 

 Anyway, needless to say it took me about three tries to finally get my passport. First try was just to see what I needed to actually get one. My second trip, I thought, I had what I needed when I took a friend with me to verify my identity. You can prove your identity with someone you have known for two years wit a valid ID or drivers licence. That worked as far as my identity, but not for my citizenship. Thankfully my ID arrived a day after taking my friend to the passport office, So I wouldn’t have to ask her to go again.  So back home I go to replan how to do this. I get home order my birth certificate, it arrives two days later, and I am set. 

Armed with my passport pictures, my ID, and my birth certificate I enter the passport office. All goes well, but my plane leaves in 13 days and now they are telling me that it might take up to three week with expedited services plus overnight both ways. Just another nail biting wait for it to arrive. A week goes by and nothing, so I track the progress online. Finally it says it has been approved, Whew, now I have three days before my plane leaves, I have everything I need, bags are packed, ticket is purchased, room is booked, but no passport. Finally two days before I leave it arrives in the mail. Monday morning I leave to go get on the airplane for Malaysia.

Check out my next blog…Leaving for Malaysia.