Weddings can be costly things, which was why I was umming and ahhing about whether or not to pop back to NZed for a quick trip before nuptials in April. A trip home always appeals. Christchurch has changed a lot since I left it in 2004, but getting to see babies, parents etc is fantastic. And it IS home.
So, with a very kind and magnanimous offer from a certain lovely donor (one of my dear friends back home) I booked to go home. Then I realized one small omission – and that was that my passport expired in September.
Now, I had been vaguely planning to renew it once we got married, so I could travel using my married name. But nevermind, methinks, I’ll get a passport for this trip and then get another passport. New Zealand passports only last five years after all.
Nope. Passport office calls me from Sydney this morning and advises because of the new 10 year tenure, the fees are now $215 AUD. Ouchies. I’m so organised with other stuff. Why did I not renew it last year?
‘Aw, that’s annoying,’ I said to the very nice kiwi woman who called me.
‘Yes it is rather isn’t, sorry about that. We are obliged to tell you about the fees so that’s why I am calling’.
‘Yeah, but was more annoyed because I have to change my passport once I get married in three months’.
‘You know you don’t have to change you name, right?’
‘Yes,I know, but it would be nice to travel on my married name’.
‘No no,’ she explained patiently, ‘you know you don’t have to change your name at all. Many people don’t these days. You’re not his property you know. After all men never change their names.’
I laughed. ‘You sound like my sister!’ I said.
Conversation turned to passport office lady’s job in Sydney, how long she had been here (longer than me), when and where I was getting married, and if it was to an Australian, at least he barracked for Essendon, so that’s OK.
I never thought I would change my name once I got married – but have my reasons. And I’m pleased to do it. Even for an Australian.