I have to renew my Mexican passport at the consulate. The good news is now they have an 800 number to get an appointment, and the man I spoke to was a very courteous bureaucrat. Living in New York, I have forgotten the soothing dulcet tones of Mexican courtesy.
The bad news is I also have to bring my original birth certificate, plus another ID plus enough photocopies of all three documents to fell an entire forest.
Plus a writing instrument with black ink. No other ink will do. This, for some reason sounds Napoleonic to me.
Mexicans cannot be weaned off their love of mountains of useless paper.
Either that, or they so not trust themselves, that they don't trust the very passports they issue (which are full of cool modern stuff to avoid counterfeiting). I can understand asking for another form of ID. But the ORIGINAL birth certificate? Do they also want my Mom's placenta?
If they only knew what it took me to get a copy of the original birth certificate the last time I had to renew my passport. Heroic efforts not to pay someone a bribe and get it done in fifteen minutes. Hence, a full day of pointless, Kafkaesque, infernal, bureaucratic errands.
In the US, you mail order your new passport and send a check in the mail. Or you get it at the post office. Next they are going to ask you to print your own, it's so convenient.
But the Mexican government, as hard as it tries to get with the times, still is passionately attached to the XVII Century, when it comes to pushing paper.
If countries were fined on their waste of paper, (brilliant idea, no?) Mexico would go under in a minute.