Today started out with traveling (yes, it felt like traveling) over to East Jerusalem to arrive at the American Consulate to report my 1/3 American son’s birth and apply for a passport for him. Well, almost 1/3 American. Apparently there was a chunk of the application process which I missed: proof I’ve lived stateside for at least five years of my life, at least two of which I was over the age of 14.
Something that a whole bunch of people forgot to mention when I double, triple and quadruple checked I had everything I needed. Before going through the process today. For no less than three hours.
Life’s a series of expensive educational experiences. Or something.
Although I did get a funny story out of it:
Obviously, two numbers before we were called in from the outdoor waiting room, my baby starts to get hungry. I try to hold him off until we can at least be inside and know we are *thatmuch* closer to getting seen by a clerk. Finally we do get in and he has started wailing, which, I can’t really blame him for.
The room with the clerks is ridiculously crowded; Charedis, Arab Israelis, American-Anglo olim… everyone’s in for the waiting party. I look around but can’t find a bathroom or even a private corner to nurse him. I have never nursed in public before, but I figure – here goes.
Just as the shirt comes up and the blanket goes over me and baby’s head, my husband reaches over and tells me the guard said there is actually a nursing room in the back. I scramble myself up and get out of there, behind some ghetto curtain.
Meanwhile – what I didn’t find out until later – is that as I was starting the nursing dance in the public waiting room, an American consulate clerk was getting pissed off that I had done this. After I left, I heard on the loudspeaker a message in Hebrew that “those who need to nurse should go to the back, behind the curtain.” Apparently, he asked one of the Israeli guards to announce this. An Israeli-Arab guard who heard the announcement laughed and said loudly in Hebrew, “What, this guy has never seen tzitzim before? He’s never seen a woman’s tzitzim? His mother didn’t give him the breast to feed him?”
Of course, grouchy American consulate guy didn’t understand this. But lots of members of the room did.
I actually find that doubly funny since in the States, until recent decades, breastfeeding was not at all common. So, no. His mother didn’t. The dude probably has breast-envy.
And, so… here is ALL the information so you don’t make the same mistake I made regarding documents:
Note: They are actially great at emailing back ASAP.
Also note: If you gotta feed, feed behind the curtain or feel prude America’s wrath.