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Only Romania

emoticon:world My wife has had another typically Romanian [1] experience - but this time in England Mad .


The story below gets a bit involved - which is kind of the point Very Happy .

We got married about two years ago, here in the UK. The way it works here (apparently..) is that upon marrying an English citizen you're given two years temporary leave to remain in the UK. If the marriage is still intact after two years then you are given permanent leave to remain (we hope Laughing ). I guess this is to make marriages of convenience a bit more difficult.

Because things were a bit hectic after the wedding, Delia didn't get her visa until October. This means that in October she'll need to renew her visa. Her passport runs out not long after - so it makes more sense for her to renew her passport first (or so we thought). It was also the opportunity to get her passport in her married name.

Straightforward Confused . Well maybe getting a new passport isn't simple in a lot of countries, but here's the story so far....

First of all it turns out that Romania doesn't even recognise our marriage unless she gets it officially recognised [2]. She can't change her name on the passport unless she can prove she is legally married.

This means she needs to have our marriage certificate translated by a registered translator. One it's been translated by an official translator, it needs to be legalised - in London at the consulate. She needs to take my birth certificate and proof of her address as well. Every step of this costs of course.

So today Delia went for a trip to London to visit the Romanian consulate [3]. She took all the paperwork with her of course.

When she got to the embassy they'll only let six people in at a time, so she waits out on the street with the other people queueing. When she gets in, they send to the consulate - where she gets to queue in a corridor.

Finally she gets to the woman behind the glass barrier. Thankfully Delia has filled in her form in black ink. The people in front have been turned away to fill out their forms again - they had blue ink [4]. The woman looks at her form and the heap of paperwork that Delia has brought.

Proof of address, Proof of address, she squawks - waving the form at Delia.

Now Delia has brought her driving license which clearly has our address on it - so she points it out to the woman. Same response :

Proof of address, Proof of address, she squawks - waving the form at Delia.

Now get this... Delia has a visa giving her temporary residence in the UK. This means that they won't legalise her marriage without proof of her permanent address in Romania (where she hasn't lived for nearly four years now).

The problem is that means she needs her Romanian ID card - which has now expired. So the next step is to get her parents to post her the old ID card, so she can get that stamped by the consulate and then sent back to Romania to be renewed. Once the new card has come back from Romania(presumably with her parents address on it Confused ), she's one step closer to renewing her passport.

Either that or she can keep her old name Laughing .

[1]Actually the experience described here (and in the Romania article) are unfortunately not unique to Romania. The corruption and bureaucracy described here are the lingering corpse of the communist era - and unfortunately endemic to much of Eastern Europe.
[2]The possibilities here are many Smile .
[3]She had to go on a Thursday - because they don't work on a Friday. Nice.
[4]Hmmm... this happens in English institutions too.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-08-25 22:40:40 | |


Time to Confess

emoticon:target Here's an interesting meme that might spread It's an anonymous board to post your confessions - either as text or an image. It gives people the opportunity to anonymously express things they want to get off their chest....

I think there are a lot of people who have a lot to express - but no-one to listen. This site has a forum as well, so it could become more than just an anonymous art form. I wish it well.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-08-25 09:49:19 | |
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emoticon:dove I've just heard an interesting classification of friendship. Obviously it's fairly basic - but it's a useful way of instantly categorising friendships.

It divides relationships into four levels :

  1. A shallow and trivial interaction. Restricted to jokes and greetings - nothing substantial.
  2. A sharing of facts - for example discussion of work and the weather. Avoiding anything personal or possibly controversial.
  3. Sharing opinions and views as well as facts. For example discussion of politics and religion. This risks controversial subjects and exposes you to disagreement and argument. You need a basic trust to venture this far.
  4. Sharing personal details and feelings. Exposing yourself to friendships of this level risks rejection and manipulation - but allows for a true meeting of souls as well as minds.

To some extent these levels are all portions of a spectrum - and there are much deeper levels to find. This framework is useful because it is simple enough to instantly evaluate any friendship or acquaintance against.

It helps me to realise that I sometimes keep people at a bit of a distance - restricting them to a level 1 or 2 relationship but kidding myself I'm friends with them.

The deepest level of friendship is where you are able to share everything with someone - not having to keep any secrets. I think I used to have many friendships like this, but these days I'm not so sure Confused .

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-08-23 10:39:51 | |


Which Came First ?

emoticon:beaker Ok - so I normally try not to make silly posts Razz , but this one was too tempting.

A question that has long dogged scientists has finally been resolved. In an empirical study it has been unequivocally determined that :

The chicken came before the egg

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-08-23 09:06:56 | |


The Old Blog Archives

There was so much ancient wisdom distilled into my old blog, that I couldn't let it just creep ignominiously into the pages of cyber-history. More to the point I'm still getting some hits from google with the old entries. Here are the archives of my previous Blogger based blog.

The Old Voidspace BlogThe Old Techie Blog

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