While I was in Uniqlo last month (before the horrific surge), Oxalee frantically informed me that the DFA had opened slots for passport transactions. My passport had expired a few months ago, so I immediately tried to get an appointment. I got a slot in a pop up DFA kiosk in SM Aura, on a date which, of course, landed in the middle of the ECQ.

It was rescheduled to last week, all the way to Megamall. As with most government transactions, I went in very anxious. There is always a threat that they will spring a surprise requirement, or reschedule you some other time, and such. I had already cancelled all my clinics for the day, so this better work! The guy in front of me said that he did not get a reschedule email, and he would just be trying. Which probably explained why there were so many people. After two hours, I finally got to the picture-taking and fingerprinting section.

After half a second of removing my mask during the photo op I quickly put it back on. No errant delta variant is going to kill me in this attempt to escape the country, I told myself, with unwarranted drama.

“Hindi pa kita napipicturan,” the guy said with much irritation. I removed my mask again and held my breath during the damn peekchurification. The guy showed my photo on the monitor. I looked like I was trying to keep something in my ass, and would therefore be mistaken as a drug mule.

He then asked me to register my fingerprints. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I always have a hard time with those fingerprint capturing machines. At least the guy in LTO was patient, because this DFA guy was eyeball rolling his way into a full-on seizure attack. Get a new machine then, I’ve been pressing my fingers the best I can, i whimpered, all the feelings of inadequacy I’ve ever had in my life rushing in. I rolled my eyes back at him, in a total eyeball rolling face off.

When I finished I decided to walk around Megamall for a few minutes. I missed the mall. I walked into Filbar’s and Comic Odyssey, but any sense of nostalgia was supplanted by the need to not die, so I grabbed a Jamaican patty and ran the hell out of there.

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