Saturday, August 14, 2010

Alexander the American

Our week began with a trip to a local photo shop to have Alexander's passport photo taken. There, the couple-proprietors expressed, through lots of famous arm-crossed negative Korean hand-gestures and also through some lengthy Korean sentences about clothes, and stripes and colors and such - that his off-white union suit was inappropriate to the passport photo process, and that we needed to come back with Alexander in darker clothes.

The next day we returned, with Alexander in a brown cardigan (the only dark thing he owns). The woman of the couple then took him and began trying to bounce him into awakeness, while the man of the couple stomped and clicked in front of him with a big camera. Alexander, indifferent to all of it, flopped around and slept. Thaddeus then tried holding him, and the photographer caught one picture of Alexander with his eyes somewhat sort of open, and so these pictures were printed.

Upon arriving home, we read the e-mail that the US Embassy had just sent us, warning that Korean passport photos are a different size than US photos...So we returned to the photo shop and got the right pictures.

Then, we went to Seoul for two days and Alexander slept.

We arrived at the Embassy early (it looks like a mid-American library built in 1965...if you picture such a building surrounded by fifteen-foot walls, barbed wire, and too many Korean guards) and completed all the steps to receive Alexander's Certificate of Birth Abroad, Passport, Social Security card, and Entitlement to Resent and Dehumanize Any Human Being who Doesn't Happen to Have these Items card (he's planning to save this and use it when we return to America and he moves to Arizona...).

While waiting at the Embassy, Malachi requested that we go to a Coffee Shop and then to a bookstore and then out for ice-cream, which is pretty much an accurate description of what we did with the rest of our time. Malachi also had a night-terror about some kind of cracker famine, and that kept him up for a few hours one night, but - other than that - it was a largely uneventful and also perfectly productive trip.