Drowning in admin
- · 148 passport photos showing me with a semi-smile, no teeth, no grimace – check.
- · A letter of no objection from every male in my family dating back three generations (including the family pets) – check.
- · A letter of no objection from all of my previous bosses, dating back 20 years – check.
- · 24 copies of my hamster’s paw prints – check.
- · A (colour) photocopy of our goldfish’s profile pic (squashed against the bowl, eyes looking straight ahead) – check.
- · A sworn affidavit from my great aunt that she’s never been to a luxury spa in the Maldives – check.
- · A photo of a black camel taken on a Tuesday with a Full Moon rising – check.
- · The name of the factory worker who produced at least 100 components of my car when it was made in Germany in 2009 – check.
- · And his passport copy (no Israel stamps) – check.
- · And his wife’s shoe size – certified by a lawyer and stamped by the UAE embassy – check.
You get the picture?
Since January 1, I’ve been driving around town with a folder stuffed with these kinds of documents, for all of my expat admin seems to be due for renewal this year.
Honestly, I don’t know how anyone in the UAE can actually hold down a full-time job given the amount of admin we have to do.
This month we’ve got:
- · Car registration (and insurance) renewal
- · Alcohol license renewal
- · PO Box account renewal
- · Gerlie’s visa renewal
- · Gerlie’s passport renewal (and which came first, the visa or the passport? That took a few days of full-time sleuthing, six taxi rides and 12 hours queuing to find out)
- · Emirates ID card for Gerlie
- · My own visa renewal
- · A new house maintenance contract (maybe? Maybe not?)
- · DS’s registration with the Emirates Identity Authority
- · DS’s application for big school (plus a trip to get recent passport photos of DS)
- · An executive health check-up for DH (and me?)
- · Renewal of DH’s Emirates ID card
- · DS’s visa renewal.
On top of that, I’m supposed to be booking a cruise for 10 adults and five children who live in four different countries “somewhere in Europe in July, as long as everyone’s happy and has the right stateroom and the right visas for entering each country on the cruise” to celebrate my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary, and writing cheques up until July 2013 to get DS into school (that required getting a new cheque book issued – sounds simple, but translates as a 100kms round trip to order it and pick it up).
So have I got any of this done?
No. My goldfish was looking sideways. I need to get a new pic. Smile!