Our Visit To The Consulate02 Oct 2002
Today was the big day. I had the day off alone with Christopher (both the Tagesmutter and her backup are on vacation this week, so Mama, Oma and I are juggling shifts), I had all the papers, so we were off to the US Consulate, the 'Little White House' on the shore of the Aussen Alster lake in Hamburg, to apply for Christopher's citizenship.
Security was immense. The street and sidewalk in front of the building are closed for an entire city block, with no less than 4 police containers and at least 8 German officers armed with automatic weapons. They checked my passport before entering the street, and escorted us to the gate, weapon in hand. There we were handed over to the Americans. My passport was checked again, my cell phone was taken away, and we were sent through the metal detector. We could then enter the passport office.
I hadn't planned to apply for the passport today, since I thought the 'Report of Birth Abroad' had to be processed first, so I had no pictures ready. But I was advised to apply anyway, since I needed to take an oral oath (raise my right hand, the whole bit) in front of a State Dept officer for both applications, and could thus save a trip by applying for both today. We also need Mama's written consent (I guess to prevent child-napping), but we can submit that along with the pictures by mail. Good thing I stopped at the bank. Cost: $65 for the Report of Birth, $30 for the passport with a $40 surcharge for a child, for a grand total of $135 (Euros accepted at 1:1). And please include a A4 SASE with the pictures.
Christopher was more impressed by the sailboats on the Alster.