I woke up today at the same time as if I were going to work and it was so much easier to get up knowing that I didn’t have to go into the office. I was relaxed and I didn’t have to automatically worry about all the stupid calls I would get. Today was different. I was going to get my passport renewed. I had to get all the way downtown Toronto, but I was happy. I had everything filled out and I had my pictures and the money to pay for it. I didn’t know what time the office opened but I assumed it would be 8 o’clock. The subway ride was uneventful. I closed my eyes and thought about stuff, mostly my trip and how amazing it is going to be.
Have I mentioned that I’m going to Portugal and Spain in 10 days? Read previous blogs if you haven’t heard.
I get off the subway and I head over to the passport office and when I turn the corner I see a crowd up ahead. I look for the building. I look over to my right and see I’m at 52 Victoria St.. I need to get to 74 Victoria St., and then I start panicking. The crowd seems to be close to the building I want to get to. Sure enough, I was right.
I get to the entrance and ask a guy that is in the line-up,
“Is this for the passport office?” He says yes. I start counting. There are 19 people ahead of me. I start realizing maybe my day is not going to go so well. I start imagining a 2-3 hour wait. I take a deep breath and psych myself to begin my calm breathing.
There is no such thing as calm breathing with me, but hey, why not start, right?
Two minutes pass and a security guard comes out and states that whoever is here to get their passports done, they can go upstairs and wait in the hall. The line starts going inside and we all slowly and politely make our way to the 3rd floor. We all make a single file in front of the office door and wait quietly. I truly appreciate the politeness of Canadians. They may do stupid stuff but they are polite, I’ll give them that. Another security guard joins us and explains the procedure.
When the doors open everyone must stay to the right to get their ticket which will in turn let them know when their turn is up. When you have your ticket you then move over to the main area which is on the left and take a seat. Above our heads in 4 different places throughout the office are monitors which will display your ticket when it’s your turn to get assistance.
We stand there and I start wondering if I truly have everything. What if I forgot a document? I start imagining…
“No sir, these are the wrong documents. You need to download the other documents that are available online.” Nope I’m good I triple checked the night before. But…
All the lights go off and the Eastern seaboard goes through a second massive power outage and there will be no way to get things done today or even for a week, for that matter. Nope, lights stayed on.
This guy bursts through the door, he has something in his hand and he’s looking for someone. The lady in front of me, who by the way is pregnant, see’s him.
“What are you doing here?” she asks him annoyed.
“I…I can’t let you do this.” he says out of breath, he obviously ran up the stairs.
“I have to, we discussed it already.” she pleads with him. He gets extremely annoyed and puts his hands on his face and that’s when everyone see’s the gun in his right hand. He begins to yell at her and says that if she leaves he’ll do bad things.
Wait, that doesn’t work. Canadian’s aren’t that violent. That doesn’t work either.
By this time, the doors have opened and everyone walks in. I’m looking around and I realize, I have never seen this office so empty. Things are happening fast now. Tow more people left and I get a ticket. One more.
I have my ticket in hand, C213. I go and sit down. All I can do is stare at the monitors.
C111 is flashing. That means that person should go to their perspective booth.
Then I hear an office worker start asking a loud,
“What the hell is going on here?” They seem to be having computer problems. Then another worker says the same thing and pretty soon all the workers start complaining. Their computers have all crashed. A virus has attacked their systems and now no work can be done. Ok this scenario is plausible. If it’s going to happen, it happens now when the ticket number starts flashing
C211 is flashing. So close!!
This is when the world ends, right at this part. Good bye world, I knew it was too good to be true. So much for my trip and all the partying I was going to do. To think I bought new clothes. Knowing my luck I probably…huh? What? Well will you look at that…
C213 is flashing
I make my way to the booth and present my papers and my pictures and the really super nice lady takes care of it in less than 2 minutes. I take a big breath. I have to go back on May 29th just to pick up my passport. I love life again. Now the trip is beginning to feel real.