Pink! (Or: Dutch emergency passports)

Here is a fun story for you. Of course, it wasn’t so fun for Marco at the time…

In the summer of 2009, Marco visited me in New Brunswick, New Jersey. As fate would have it, he arrived a few days before my job interview at the college I ended up working at as a librarian. He was thus able to come with me to New York for the interview, though he stayed behind in Pearl River when I took a taxi to the job. But that’s actually not part of the story.

The interview was on July 2nd, 2009. After it was over and the taxi pulled back into Pearl River, I was so relieved. I could finally relax and look forward to the fireworks show in New York on July 4th! We ended up going into the city in the morning and staking out a seat around 4PM for the 9:30 or 10PM fireworks showing. It was spectacular, of course.

Fireworks July 4 2009 New York City

fireworks set off from 6 barges in Hudson River… this was actually only the fireworks from two barges. The same show was repeated (exactly) on all barges at the same time.

The only thing you were missing was being so close to the fireworks that you could feel the explosions in your chest…

Anyway, so that was Saturday, July 4th, 2009. I believe that Marco was scheduled to leave the States and return to the Netherlands on Saturday, July 18th. On Thursday the 16th, early in the morning, I took a shower and left Marco to his business in my living room.

When I came back, it looked like a tornado had come through. Luggage strewn everywhere, clothes, documents — everything. I didn’t understand right away what the issue was, but Marco calmly told me that he couldn’t find his passport. 48 hours before his flight home!

Of course, I had taken so long in the shower (haha) that he had already looked up the rules on the Dutch consulate in NYC’s website, so he knew exactly what he needed to do. The embassy required a police report to be filed. Although he had last seen the passport on the morning of the 4th before we left for New York City, we had no proof that the passport was lost there. So we decided to file a police report at the New Brunswick police station.

When we went there we had to wait around for a bit for a police officer, but we eventually had one arrive. After a lot of filling out of forms, he told us that it normally takes 72 hours for a police report to be filed. After we explained that the flight was in 48 hours, he mercifully said that since it was a bit slow at the station, he might be able to speed things up. Come back tomorrow (24 hours before the flight or so!) to pick it up, first thing in the morning.

So we did – arriving right when they opened. We had to wait around a bit to be seen (not as long thankfully). Once we had the report we walked over to the train station. I had to go to work so Marco was on his own there. He went to New York, arriving around 10 or 10:30AM (not sure). He was told to get some passport photos. When he came back, he was told that he could pick up his passport on Monday morning, due to the time differences. It was 6 hours ahead in the Netherlands, so the offices were closed (after 5PM).

While of course Marco wasn’t too upset about getting to spend a few extra days in the States, that did mean taking a few extra days off work and changing his flight. He lucked out for a second time however — he had copies of his passport and he had his Dutch ID card. This turned out to be enough proof that they were able to go ahead with his emergency passport.

So in the end, he ended up getting home on time… I think it was a bit of extra questioning at the airport, but nothing too bad. The emergency passport was only good for getting back into the country once — he had to get a new passport before he came back to the States, and return the emergency one.

And here it is:

Dutch emergency passport

So that is the story of the emergency passport of July 2009. Pink! We never did find his original passport.

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