Only a doting and fanciful mother could fill in a passport application for her son: Colour of eyes – hazel. One can understand what her thinking was: colour of eyes, well they’re not blue, not green nor are they grey or brown, I know – hazel. (i.e. mud)
My first passport was to go away to school in England when I was nine years old.
How vulnerable young Master Thomas looks with his unknowing eyes (colour: hazel)
Little does he know what lies in store for him …
We next find our hero embarking on his African adventure. Note the de rigueur well-thumbed look
And the Beatles haircut
The Algerian Immigration Authorities in those days had a neat system: entry to the country was free but you had to pay to get the hell out!
All that bureaucracy just to go on a couple of weeks leave.
Getting this work permit cost an arm and a leg too. It was the classic Catch 22 situation – you had to have une Carte de Residence to get your Permit de Travail but you couldn’t get a job until your were a resident in the country (or something like that).
Not an Arabic reader? All is explained when you open it up.
Notice how they had to rubber-stamp each page Take that! And that! And that! (And when they went home at the end of the day and their wives said to them after dinner: um … I’m tired … think I’ll get an early night … how about you, honey? they go no, you go on up, hon, I’ve still got a bit of rubber-stamping to get through … and wife flounces out of the room thinking wish he’d come up and rubber-stamp me for a change!
While I was flicking through this passport a bunch of Algerian banknotes fell out:
I like the gazelle
The desert dude is cool and I like the pink but the design is a tad tasteless, don’t you think?
Now this green one with the herd of goats trotting along has a certain retro-chic
and the back of it with that rather bizzare couple on that tractor thingy was one of the designer’s less happy attempts. So to sum up; quaint – yes, De La Roux – no.
I must gone through fairly hazy phase in my life because I failed to renew that passport, so the next one has a make-shift temporary air, a gotta-get-it-together-because-I-just-remembered-I-gonna-go-abroad-next-vacation look about it:
note the hippy look.
Next ‘ole hazel eyes finds himself in Lisbon:
I remember that photo; we were all advised to get about a dozen taken for work permits, metro passes etc; it was taken in a small booth half-way up the Rua d’Ouro on hot afternoon in October.
Then the new look, the EU look, the cheap and nasty look:
Welcome the age of cheap plastic, of easy money, welcome to the Euro-Zone.