Thursday, May 30, 2013

Voila mon passport

Oh my, but it is a BAD sign when you can't remember your own URL.  So anyways, I'm back.  It's been 6 months since I last posted!  What a terrible blogger I am.  I've gotten a couple of international trips under my belt in that time that I'm planning to post proper entries on in the near future.  In the meantime, I've been looking at my passport wistfully and thought I would post some pictures here, because maybe you're like me and love the look of stamps?  Haha.

Voila mon passport.  (By the way, if this makes you think of "Foux du Fafa", we are now best friends.)  I bought the passport holder from YesStyle many moons ago - in fact, I think I blogged about it?  Maybe not on this blog, maybe on one of my other abandoned children :/

The actual cover.  I always keep my Suica and my last Japan boarding pass in here because I have a weird notion that maybe I'll need to fly to Japan at a moment's notice and need my Suica?  As for the boarding pass, I can't explain that.  Superstition?

I was going to post a picture of my ID page but decided against it on the ground that a) I hate the photo so very, very much; and b) I remember reading something once about terrorists stealing passport numbers through the internet or something.  Mostly the photo thing, though.  I think next time I'll just take it myself.  The good people at Australia Post are lovely but they're not great at making you look like Not A Swamp Beast.

Memories!  This was the first overseas trip that Ant and I took together, and Ant's first time in Japan.  My goodness I was so happy.  We flew in and out of Narita that trip (obvs) but we also went to Kyoto by shinkansen and did some day trips around Kansai.

This page cracks me up.  "We are French we will just stamp wherever we damn well please, even if it makes everything illegible."  Also on this page, a bundle of Singapore entries.  Some of these were actual trips, one is just a day pass in transit to Japan.  It was Ant's birthday that day and we thought we'd go to a qualifying session of the Formula 1, seeing as how we were there.  But as it turns out, standing room tickets?  $400 per person.  For QUALIFYING.  Seriously, Singapore?  So instead we just did what we always do and ate a whole bunch of char kway teow.

Another trip to Singapore, and a couple of Europe stamps - immigration into Schipol last year (which is a GREAT airport, by the way) and leaving Venice back in 2009.  That was actually awesome because we got a free upgrade to business class!  Huge blessing because we were travelling with Ant's sister Ruth and her husband Trav, who were pregnant and freakishly tall, respectively.  Trav is still freakishly tall.

Aww, these trips.  The left one was a trip with a bunch of friends who were all in Japan for the first time.  The second one was a church trip, and the immigration guy flipped through my passport while idly commenting "しきりに来ます" (you come here often).  And I was like "もちろん、日本が大好きです!" (of course, I love Japan!), and then he stopped what he was doing and bowed super deep to me and told me he was sincerely grateful.  It's not often I get weepy before I'm even in the country, but that guy managed.

Dubai.  This was a 24 hour transit on my first trip to Italy.  I can't really recommend Dubai based on my limited experience with it, though I sure do love Middle Eastern food.  Emirates put us up in a transit hotel for free, and buffet at the restaurant was damn fine.  I was very dubious about it (I mean come on, free food is almost never good food) but it was actually fantastic.  The ful medames was probably the best I've ever had.

My San Marino visa!  One of my travel goals is to go to all the European microstates.  So far I've done San Marino and the Vatican (who don't stamp your passport, boo).  I have Andorra, Lichtenstein, Malta and Monaco to go, and I'm hoping to get at least Monaco (maybe Andorra too) crossed off next year.  KL stamp is just because you have to clear customs, retrieve your bags then check in again if you have a connection through the KLIA LCCT.  Shortest time I've ever legally spent in another country - around about 20 minutes before going through immigration again.

Last year's cherry blossom trip (blogged!), and entry to Rome from my first Italian trip.  That trip is unlikely to be retroactively blogged because that was during The Fat Years and I try to pretend most of that never happened.

This year's stuff.  Into Haneda on New Year's Day!  I got to say "あけましておめでとうございます!" to the immigration guy, who was quite surprised and chuffed about it.  Hee.  The KL stamps are for a free (!) trip to KL that I won (!!) on Facebook (!!!) from AirAsia.  I'll blog about this soon.  

It's another (slightly dumb) travel goal of mine to pick up Japan entry visas from all of their international airports.  (OK, it's a seriously dumb goal.)  So far I have Narita terminals 1 and 2, Haneda, Kansai and Fukuoka.  I've also travelled domestically to Chitose, but no stamp there.

...ok I just googled to find out how many more I have to go and it turns out A LOT, because a lot of the small airports have flights to Korea, Taipei and Shanghai.  Revised goal!  All of Japan's first class international airports?  That just leaves Chubu, but I don't know how likely it is that I'll ever fly into Nagoya :/  Maybe this is a goal I won't achieve.  Never mind.

And lastly a lonely stamp right up the back from Australian immigration.  What the heck, guys?  Everyone else puts their stamps in the first handful of pages but you aim for the very back?  TBH I don't mind because I don't get AU stamps now that they've introduced SmartGate technology for AU passport holders.

So that's that for now.  I have another ski trip in Japan already booked for the end of this year/start of next (in and out through Narita; maybe I should change to Chubu?  Hahahahahaha.)  More excitingly, Ant surprised me by planning a trip to Paris for our 10th anniversary next year T______________T  He wanted to just surprise me by taking me to the airport but he decided that it would be better if we planned it together.  He's been secretly learning French!!!!!  I was really very moved T_____________________T  So there's that too :D  

Coming up soon!  Japan ski trip last January!  KL trip a couple weeks ago!