once a sports car, my passport is now a minivan

I do not want to drive.  I do not really care about cars, though do love a good car show.

So in the past couple years, as I went from childless to one kid to two, I have no stories about trading in the Porsche for the minivan, about tortured nights agonizing about a loss of horsepower and style and presence at red lights.

But I did once have the coolest passport around.  And that is gone now, lost in a series of pedestrian Swedish and American entry stamps.

I realized this as a I flipped through my passport in an office in downtown Stockholm applying for an Indian visa.  I am going for work … for one day.  Still, the Indian visa will be the exception to prove the rule, the highlight in a boring passport.

It would have been nothing in my first passport.  I got that one in 1993 when I was 20 and headed off to study in Budapest when Budapest was still an edgy post-Communist destination.  That passport was green, not blue, in honor of Benjamin Franklin.  By the time it expired ten years later, it had extra pages, blue ones, and the American seal had worn off the front.

That passport turned heads at customs posts, let me tell you.  At the end, I even got worried that it was too exotic, that some Macedonian border guard would refuse to give it back and arrest me.  It did not help that I was a bulked up football player in 1993 and a rather gaunt wanderer in many of the years after.

I got a new passport, and that was fine, but then I lost it in Penn Station in New York City.  I still have the replacement, and while it has Thai and Burmese stamps (Burma was only because we had to leave Thailand for 10 minutes), there is nothing edgy about it, except maybe two Swedish residency permits.

For since NK was born, all we do is fly back and forth – first New York to Sweden, and now Sweden to Tucson.  That is it.  Nothing more.

I know this guy from high school who was a fighter pilot and now flies commercial jets.  He calls himself a bus driver.

And I feel like just a bus rider.


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