Passport gate

After we applied for a visa at the Mozambican embassy in Brussels four weeks ago, our passports were returned by registered mail. The package turned out to arrive in the Netherlands, however, addressed to a wrong (non-existent) house number and therefore: return to sender.

We had already planned to drive to Brussels last Tuesday, but unfortunately, something went wrong at the distribution center in Brussels so the package was sent back to the non-existing address in the Netherlands. Again.

Drama, I say. Error, says the Belgian B-post, who cannot do anything because the package is back in the Netherlands.

Calling with B-post and calling with our Dutch PostNL, but no matter how friendly they are, there seems to be no one who can free the package from his infinite drama.

It should be easy to solve, but no, our worst nightmare; the automated mail processing.

Who is actually going to look for that one envelope in a large bin with mail items?

Yes I! But that unfortunately is not possible. So we have to wait and especially call PostNL very very often.

Every five minutes we look at the tracking status of the package, as if it is now suddenly going to be delivered to us. The package has arrived in Rotterdam and leaves for Amsterdam for the second time.

Time passes slowly and in the meantime we gain some information about applying for an emergency passport. We must then have proof that our passports are not missing, a statement from the embassy that they are there. That can still be difficult, because they aren’t.

We have already had telephone contact with PostNL several times and in despair I also contact them via Facebook. I explain the issue and luckily our case is urgently taken up by the research team. I have to describe the package completely inside out and pass on our current address. They call around to some different depots and do their utmost to reunite us with our passports as soon as possible. It’s three days before our departure.

We’ll wait one more day…


Meanwhile it is Wednesday morning two days before our flight. We enter the tracking code again, this time in combination with the postcode of our hotel and YES! WOW! It’s there… it will be delivered this afternoon between 14:30 and 16:30! We just do not dare to believe it… Am I dreaming?!

A moment later I‘m on the phone with PostNL. They really did everything they could and succeeded big time!

With a beating heart I’m impatiently waiting at the door and watching everybody that dares to come close.  

Time passes painfully slow, every white van makes me nervous, we see a car passing by with a white envelope on the passenger seat and a postman holding a white envelope. I’m going crazy! WAAAAHHHH!!

Just past five thirty when we were just about to give up, the doorbell rings. There he is. Our hero. With a big smile we sign for the envelope and tear open the envelope: YEEEEAAAHHH!!!! Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got em!

Thanks to the great performance of PostNL we can skip a whole lot of misery. The day after tomorrow we start our dreamtrip with our passport ánd our visas!!

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