Spent Wednesday morning picking up Isaac's passport. It was like a family affair, with Grandpa, Grandma, Papa, Mommy, Faith, and of course, Isaac. We dressed him appropriately for the occasion, and we even picked out a collared polo shirt for him. I thought it would be sloppy to be photographed in a round-neck tee for your passport.
I had applied for his passport online earlier, but the photo of Isaac I submitted was not good enough, so we had to go down to Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at Lavender Street to take Isaac's photo again, and do the collection of the passport on the spot.
I have to say that next to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), I think the ICA is one of the most efficient Government departments in Singapore. You can apply online, at kiosks, by post, and in person. And almost all processes, from application to collection of a passport, are super-fast and smooth. I once settled an urgent passport application within 30 minutes, complete with the interview with the officer to tell him why I needed it so urgently.
The photo booths were on the 2nd to the 5th floor, and we found a relatively shorter queue on the 4th level. The wife lined up with Isaac in her arms, and when it came to their turn, the Photo Auntie who manned the booth and the PC which took the photo, told her that his hair was covering his eyes and needed to be tidied up.
They tried to brush his hair to one side, but it kept coming back down. So Photo Auntie whipped out her Secret Weapon to deal with his disobedient hair — The Water Spray. A few squirts of water on my squirt's head later (who also closed his eyes and winced when the water hit his head), his hair could be styled and made tidy.
They waited for the photos to be printed out, and in this post-photo-session shot you can see Photo Auntie's hairstyling spray to the left. In the drawer beneath that, there are also a few brushes and combs, in case you did not bring your own. This woman was prepared, man. She was also a multi-talented hairstlylist, photographer and photocopying expert all rolled into one.
I hope the wife used her own comb though. I couldn't tell because I was standing outside the crowded room (they did photocopying here too). Who knows how many people have been styled by Photo Auntie and her set of combs.
We finally got a good enough shot for the passport, so off to the counter we went, to get it scanned. If you look closely enough, you can see my wife's fingers where she held him up to be photographed. Half and hour later, and after a hearty lunch, we went to pick up the finished passport. We had to hand over his Birth Cert and show him in person to the collection counter lady to verify that it was indeed him in the photo (though I took his fingers out of his mouth before I showed him to the lady, just to be safe).
And thankfully, the final shot in the passport had Mommy's hands cropped off (in the photo, I mean). Isaac could now travel as an International Infant of Mystery.