In an earlier post I discussed the merits of a holiday at home. Nevertheless, having an expired passport is a situation that makes one feel unnecessarily trapped. Next holiday break it would be nice to think that Collins Street, Petone ranks at the top against both domestic and international possibilities. Tomorrow is the day designated for completing the form and dispatching all the necessary paperwork to Internal Affairs. I have started the process, including ascertaining my height to the nearest centimetre and deciding on an eye colour. Now that a camera and computer are going to judge whether I seem likely to be the person on the 'smart' passport I will carry, these need to be spot on. Any old photo is not good enough either. I have had to make sure I'm not wearing heavy framed or reflective glasses, that my burqa is not covering too much of my face and I am posed in front of a suitably light background. The #1 instruction for photos though is to have a 'natural expression'. On the instructions they show a picture of a happy chappy with a big red X - a smile is not a natural expression. Actually, it would be nice to think the powers that be hoped happy faces would be the default setting for the population, but in the interests of a smooth application process I have had one taken looking suitably glum and dazed.