Monday, June 14, 2004

I Better Damn Well Be in Love

I've never been all that romantic, but I am becoming less so with each passing day that I try to marry the Belgian. It is as though some amorphous cosmic force of bureaucratically inspired bad luck had it in for me. I expected the immigration process to be a bitch, but not the marriage one. Other couples complain about how the size of their wedding explodes, or how relatives takes over, or whatever. I'd kill for that kind of frustration!

I'd expected to finish a chapter draft this afternoon. But, no. Instead, I've been on the phone with three different departments of the Glasgow City Council, trying like mad to get a letter -- not a fucking utility bill!!!!! -- that proves I live in Glasgow. I've not discussed this, but others have: the British form of identification, because their general fear of identity cards, is the utility bill. Because Belgium is addicted to the national identity card, the can't fathom people pulling out utility bills for identification. As such, despite the proximity and purported European unity, both countries are trying to hold me to completely different standards. In Belgium, I need the letter that Britain cannot provide; in Britain, I need translated documents (for Katrien) that, so they tell me, can only be had in Belgium, except for the annoying fact that, no, they can't be had in Limburg because they don't speak very much English there. I've finally been told that, yes, there are some official translators in Glasgow, and I can expect a list of them in the mail tomorrow. If these 'official' lists are anything like that supplied by the U.S. Embassy for photographers I can trust to give me acceptable passport photographs, I can be sure that I'll be scammed out of a pretty penny. E-Fucking-Gads.