Lucia has something to say

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Passports

Me? I'm waiting for a universal passport. One where everyone can go anywhere. And abolishing visas too. It would make my life a lot easier.

These new passport regulations are crazy! Our friends in Canada cannot come into the U.S. without a passport. That should effectively stop the easy flow of people across the border.

And Americans? Only 27% of Americans have a passport. Under the new regs (with the silly name Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative), everyone (including kids) will need a passport when traveling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda. No more Caribbean trips without passports. No more cruises without passports. (I don't do cruises, but for a lot of people, that's the only way they get out of the U.S.)

All of this made me think of my own passport, which I like to look at once in a while, so I pulled it out. It has additional pages, which I wish they'd add from the get go since I'll need 'em.

The great thing about a passport is that you can look at where you've been. When my first passport expired, I felt a sense of loss. But now the one I got two years ago is starting to fill up. There are visas and stamps from (from front to back) Indonesia, Vietnam, Argentina, Australia (where I've never been...only through airports), East Timor, Kenya, Mali, Cameroon, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh (as yet, unused), Ethiopia, the Philippines, Ecuador, Madagascar, and Chile. So, I guess that's where I've been in the last 2 years.

I'll come back to that topic of Horowitz and dangerous professors soon.

15 Comments:

Blogger Thailand Gal said...

I agree completely. The security mentality is turning this country into something unrecognizable.


Peace,

~Chani

8:35 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

What Thailand girl said. We are sort of like a national security state now.
Oh and ignore the porous borders both on the North and South of our nation and the cargo in the holds of passenger aircraft or the container ships.

I wish I could be to all those places you have been to. :)
As for Horowitz, he is a moron. I know of him thanks to the progressive blogs that I frequent. He is some piece of work!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

"Lucia would you like to do a book review about the Jaffrey book?"

Hmmm...maybe. Depends on how the book is...and whether I've got the time when I finish it!


Lucia there is a book review at Lotus's blog here, and I would love your take on it, if you have the time to do it all.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

i agree. and passports are prohibitive for many based on the cost to outfit a family of five with them. (land crossers i am referring to here, not those cruise types)

i also like perusing the pages, the time when SARS was an issue and I have a medical screening attached, etc. it's like a bitty travel diary.

2:29 PM  
Blogger QT said...

I keep looking at my blank pages and thinking I only have until 2010 to fill them up! I don't know that I'll be as accomplished as you, but I guess a girl can dream.

It is just our nation's way of making sure everyone has a barcode attached to their name - muy George Orwell.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

Not only the cost... I had a cold when I got my last passport photo taken; and now for the next 9 years, I have to look at the horrible photo.

It's so unfair.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Gordo said...

Requiring a passport, I can deal with. I'm used to that from our won travels. Ask for my fingerprints and I'm staying home. Neither will I hand my children over to your government for prints & pics. Forget it.

Bruce Schneier calls it "security theatre".

Rebeka, check out my picture. I look like a wanted poster. It actually got a laugh out of the customs person in El Salvador. ;-)

9:08 PM  
Blogger St. Dickeybird said...

I have a European Community passport(born a Brit), so I can run through about 25 countries without any issues.

However, I need my Canadian Citizenship Card (greencardlike) to get home!

9:25 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Now how come I never commented on this? I was sure I did? Where did my mind go off to? I knew I never should have ordered a passport for it, it keeps leaving me here stranded without coherent thoughts...

9:51 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Ok, so I can kind of understand needing a passport on a cruise. But Canada?! Why do they have to pick on Canada?

10:26 AM  
Blogger Bobealia... said...

Everyone is getting all gejjigitty about this, but I can't imagine not having a passport. Why shouldn't everybody have one? I say, everyone should have one, why not? And MAKE THEM CHEAPER.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Thailand Gal said...

Lucia, I forgot to mention yesterday that as long as we're dealing with universal passports, lets also get rid of residence visas. Anyone can live in any country he or she chooses, as long as laws are obeyed. And, oh yeah, anyone should be able to be a citizen of any country he or she chooses.

Hear that, Thai Embassy?

:)


Peace,

~Chani

12:48 PM  
Blogger Thailand Gal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oooo... I have some catching up to do! My passport is only half full - gotta work on that.

Living on this side of the border, I'm rather saddened about the new rules for getting into the States. I prefer the "friendly neighbour" approach. We live only an hour from the American border, but you can bet I'll think twice about investing in passports for my whole family just to hop across the border for a few days.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Snooze said...

I agree with Bobelia - I've never not had a passport. I don't see the big deal, except for the prohibitive fees.

2:41 PM  

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