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When we’re not playing elaborate six degrees of separation games in Santiago, where the number six is replaced with the number two, expats are giving each other travel ideas and tips for the weary and passport-pageless. The sewing in of extra passport pages is a thrill, to be sure, though they won’t sew anything else, those discriminatrices.

Here’s the story. In Chile, go to the consulate, which is at the embassy. You wait, you go in to the little hut, you surrender your electronics (including any bikelights and electric toothbrushes you may have with you, not because you’re crazy but because you’re going to the dentist in a few minutes). Get one chip with your cubby-hole number on it (to get back your electronics) and one chip for the order in which you will be seen at the consulate desk. Head over to the consulate, being sure to say hello to the guards, because one of them is an old co-worker of mine, and they like that. Also, roses along the walk. Smell them!

You bring in your completed DS-4085 which you cleverly filled out online and printed (one sided, black ink on white paper) here, or you fill out a form that they’ll have there for you at the consulate, talk to the nice lady (or man) behind the counter when they call your number, and surrender your passport. You can come back in two days (usually) or have them messenge it to you for a small fee using Chile Express.

You then have story upon story to tell, at least until someone like Chris shows up in your town, and takes out his thunker of a passport with extra pages sewn in until the cover retracts like a book that fell under your bed and stayed there for a month (what? just me?!). And then all your lookitme stories pale, but actually they don’t, because he’s an all-around nice guy and is so well positioned to play the “one-upmanship” game that he doesn’t need to, not in the least.

And hey, in case you were wondering about other travel forget-me-nots, check out this new article I wrote for Bootsnall. Because what’s a little plugging among friends. Thumbs up it if you like (now without registering!)

Edited: new passport pages now cost $82. Check out this post where I talk about that.