For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you will know that just a few months ago I was vigorously complaining about the horrible passport photos I had taken. If I could have, I should have waited until I got back here… here mug shots are doctored at the photo place.
Yesterday I accompanied one of my friends to the police station to act as her translator. After waiting 20 minutes our number was called and we hurried to the desk. We had double and tripled checked that she had all the paperwork she needed to apply for her new visa, but the police officer took one glance at the application and announced that we had the wrong type of picture. Attached to her application was the standard identification picture with its bright red backdrop. Apparently now you need a picture with a white background and a thin black line framing the picture. I had to work to fight down the aggravation that was rising in me. It is such dumb rule… but it is their country and we are the foreigners asking for the right to live here, so we have to follow their rules, and break though their red tape. Meekly I asked where we could get the right pictures taken, and we left the office.
Once on the street we found the picture place and my friend poised for her mug shot. The woman then loaded the picture into photo shop and started to work her magic. First she tamed down the hair, by getting rid of all the fly away pieces, then she erased all facial blemishes or marks until my freckled friend had a perfectly clear complexion. Next she eliminated the shine on her skin created by the flash. They even lightened the colouring. Her picture went from a mug shot to a beauty pageant photo in five minutes.
Thankfully, while this new shot looked less like my friend than the first one, it had the right back ground allowed us to submit her application with no further problems.