Being a very, errr, head-in-the-clouds sort of person, I had to go in a rush to renew my ID card. It expired yesterday, and I completely forgot to renew it before today, multiple warnings from friends, family and the occasional stranger notwithstanding. It's especially bad due to the fact that I sorta need it for an official thingamajig tomorrow, so it was kinda important to have it up to date... or at least not expired :p
Immersing myself in that weird place called a citizen's shop, where all the official stuff is gathered so it's easy to do everything in one place (you know, taxes, utilities, id renewals...), I went around looking for the proper booth or desk or whatever it's called so I could take my numbered ticket, and found it, easy enough. Actually, found two. First, there's the booth where you buy the forms. Gotta take a ticket for that and wait in line. Then there's the booth where you deliver the forms. Gotta take another ticket for that and wait in line. Yes, typical. Got both tickets before going to wait by the first booth, because, as I had guessed, the line to deliver the forms was at number 403 when I got there, and my ticket had the number 490. Typical. Cue long wait, punctuated by a trip to the photo store to take pics for the card... I had figured I would have time enough to do that, so I didn't bother doing it before going there :)
My number is up, get to the counter to deliver the forms, sign the id card.
woman: "oh oh"
me: "oh oh?
woman: "you'll have to sign the form again, the signature doesn't match the one you put in the id card"
me: *looks at both and finds no differences.*
me: "where are they different?"
woman: "can't you see? they're different!"
me: "I can't see it. Ok, maybe this one is slightly rounder, is that it?"
woman: "no, don't you see? look at it"
woman: "the G!"
me: *signs again*
woman: "they're still different! this is the id card we're talking about!"
woman: "you're missing a dot there on the i"
me: *puts the dot in*
Going smoothly so far. I get my finger all blackened up for the fingerprint, she takes my old card, I get the receipt of delivery with my data and when I can pick it up, and then...
me: "so... will this receipt serve as a standin for my id card?"
me: "so... what do I use if I need to identify myself?"
woman: "your driver's license will do"
me: "so... what if I don't have a driver's license?"
woman: *blank stare and pushes the buzzer to call up the next number*
These things are always so much fun.
Note: it's not that uncommon here for people not to have a driver's license, but you must carry your id card at all times. The id card expires every 5,7 years, while the driver's license lasts about 50 years without needing a renewal, so if you're 50 you can be carrying a license with a picture of you when you were 18... not a particularly trustworthy piece of identification if you ask me. :)