A couple of week's ago, I went to get a photo taken to get a visa for my upcoming trip to Vietnam. Being paranoid about passport photos, I had that slightly spaced out, closed lip face when posing for the photo. The friendly guy who was taking my photo goes "you can smile for visa photos" so I was like "oh, okay" and so put on a demented toothy grin and had the photo snapped.
While I was putting the paperwork together for the visa application, I realised that my passport expires in November and even more paranoid about being stuck in Vietnamese immigration, I thought I had better renew the passport. The new passport photo guidelines meant that the photos taken for the visa were useless and I had to get new ones.
There is no such thing as a pretty passport photo. My passport application interview at the local post office was at 9am on a Saturday morning. At 6pm on the Friday evening, I was desperate to get a photo taken and so went to the pharmacy down near Circular Quay. After a day of staring at the computer and dealing with bossy bankers, my eyes were bloodshot and the bags were big enough to make Carrie Bradshaw proud!
The BFG grabbed the photos eagerly as soon as they came out of the machine and went silent. I was like "they can't be that bad?" They were.
The next morning at the post office, the woman taking my application goes "you look much younger than you do in the photo" and promptly processed my application. Guess I've got that for another 10 years.
When people ask if I've ever been to Vietnam, I've found it rather difficult to answer. I guess I was there in 1977 for all of 6 months, but I don't remember any of it. So yes, I have been but I can't tell you where to get the best Pho. And my belief is that all the best Pho chefs probably left Vietnam and have all opened restaurants in Cabramatta.