Just left the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv. If you happen to be an Australian married to an American and you have children together, then I don’t have to tell you how much more of a pleasant experience it is to acquire Aussie citizenship and passport for your tri-citizen child.
The embassy is located at the Discount building in central Tel Aviv, a building which actually made me a little homesick for New York City (mainly due to the complicated elevator system).
When you step through the glass door of the embassy, the security is… a guy. With a metal detector. The check is as laid back as the atmosphere of the embassy itself. The corridors and stairwell are peppered with Australian photographs and imagery, mostly places I recognize and animals I just want to cuddle.
The view from the tower windows is a bird’s eye of Tel Aviv and the beginnings of the Mediterranean. My Aussie half said it reminded him of Melbourne and the bay.
At the reception window, a guy best described as a ‘good solid bloke’ was hanging around with some paperwork. He must have taken this embassy job because of the location; he was the perfect fit as an Australian relocated to Tel Aviv: light cotton shirt, beaded necklace, shoulder-length blonde-highlighted curls, and the accent we all associate with the late Steve Irwin.
My husband took care of business and I wandered and wondered if either of us could get a job working in this paradise. Imagine hanging out in a little piece of Australia every day, just 40 minutes from home?
As we wrapped up, the Aussie passport clerk told us how much my husband’s preparedness was appreciated; you see, the application was not only complete, but he even brought back-up copies. He shared with us how most people don’t fill in all details, bring documents with mistaken information, or as one applicant did – take the photo details too literally (it says to submit the photo face down; the man tucked in his chin and pointed his eyes to the floor).
“Y’see,” the clerk said, “some people just don’t realise at first they get the birth documents with misspelled names… then they get he-yah and it boomerangs back at ‘em.”
I guess the best thing, aside from the whole thing taking about fifteen minutes, was sitting at the little table by the window with the view and reading a pamphlet about immigrating to Australia. “Retire the Australia way!” “Start your own business in Australia.” “Watch your kids grow up Australian.”
My little Australian paradise. And then… my paradise broken in half and shattered into a million pieces when a guy walked through my happy hallway dreams and yelled into his cell phone, “Yossi? Yossi! Shomea oti? YOSSI!!!”
At least I’m leaving Tel Aviv today with two Australians of my very own.