Here’s the cliff notes version of the last four days…

Singapore airport

‘I’d like to check in for my flight to Bali please.’

‘Sorry your daughter’s passport is three days under the six months validity required to enter Indonesia.’

‘You’re kidding right? Kidding yes? Right?’

‘No, sorry ma’am. Please step away from the counter.’

On Phone to Foreign Office

‘The British High Commission doesn’t issue passports anymore I’m afraid. You need to go to Hong Kong.’

‘I can’t go to Hong Kong. I need six months on my daughter’s passport to clear immigration.’


‘I suppose I could tie her up in the butterfly enclosure at Changi and pick her up in four days.’

‘You could try to get an emergency travel document. But the high commission isn’t open until Monday, maybe Tuesday. And it costs 100 pounds and I’m not sure if Indonesia accepts them.’

On phone to John


Conversation with Alula

‘Is this our house now?’

‘No, this is where we have to stay for 3 nights.’

‘There are no windows.’

‘I know. And you can sit on the toilet to shower.’

‘I miss daddy.’

To Alula

‘Mummy only has her handbag. We have no underwear, no hairbrush, no toothbrush, no anything. We need to go shopping.’

‘To Toys R Us?’

‘Well, if you’re a good girl and let me do all the shopping for everything we need, then yes we can go to Toys R Us.’

On phone to John

‘I need money.’

Conversation with Alula

‘We just saw ‘Pung Fu Kanda Two’

‘Kung Fu Panda’

‘Pung Fu Kanda two…But you didn’t buy me popcorn.’

‘I bought you littlest petshop so be happy.’

‘What happened to the panda’s mummy and daddy?’

‘They died.’

‘When I die mummy I want to buried because then mother earth will keep me safe.’

Conversation with Alula

‘Sit up straight. No,  don’t slouch. Don’t smile either. Tilt your head this way a bit. Ok, stay still, don’t move…listen if you can’t sit still and they can’t get a good photo they might not issue a passport and then you’ll be stuck here in Singapore for the rest of your life.’

‘Cool. Will you buy me more toys?’

At British Embassy Monday morning

‘I need an emergency travel document for my daughter.’

‘I can’t issue an ETD without proof of flights out of Singapore.’

‘I can’t book flights out of Singapore until you tell me how long it’s going to take to issue this.’

‘We can issue it by tomorrow.’

‘Please, please please can you do it earlier?’

‘If you can bring me your travel booking confirmation by 11am I can issue by 4pm today.’

‘Please can you put 7 months on it just to be sure?’

At Bali immigration

‘Come this way please ma’am’

‘It’s an emergency passport. See the dates here? I needed validity. Here’s our flight out of Bali to London in three weeks…. Is everything ok?….hello?’

‘You wait.’

‘What’s happening mummy?’

‘Errrr, don’t worry. Everything’s fine.’

Conversation with John

‘Next time you’re doing the visa run.’

3 thoughts on “An unusual, underwearless detour

  1. Tara Lindis says:

    Unfrickinbelieveable. Making mental note that next time we live abroad, we’ll renew our passports every time we go home. What a total pain! And all that time in Toys R Us! How much alcohol did it take to recover from that? Never mind. Don’t answer that . I can guess. xoxo

    1. boublog says:

      i know! are you planning to move abroad any time soon? All that time in toys r us was awful. I’m still recovering. going for a massage later!
      big hugs to you 4!

      1. Tara Lindis says:

        No plans to move abroad. I’m still enjoying having my clothes in a dresser and not a suitcase. At the moment still planning on staying still and enjoying baby after it arrives, but I suspect it won’t be long before we get itchy feet again!

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