Duly noted

By Dee Hornback
This item appears on page 17 of the February 2013 issue.
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My husband and I found ourselves with three days’ notice to go on a trip to Southern Africa in October ’11. A pamphlet given to us by our travel agent stated that to go to South Africa, leave and reenter we each needed three sets of blank pages in our passports, each set to be two blank pages facing each other. We didn’t have enough blank pages in our passports or enough time to get more pages.

On the few blank pages we did have in our passports, my husband put Post-It® Notes, requesting, “Please do not use this page to stamp passport.”

Three weeks later, after entering Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe and reentering and exiting South Africa, we had to laugh, as we came home with all of the blank pages we started with. Every one in authority, including those in South Africa, had just kept stamping on prestamped pages — and without any delay or protestation.

We have had more pages put in since.

We did go to the American Consulate when we first got to Cape Town, and they were knowledgeable about this requirement, but their machine that could add more passport pages was broken, so they wrote us a letter pleading with the South African authorities to please let us continue. We never brought this letter out, though, as the Post-Its® seemed to do the job.

DEE HORNBACK
Los Altos, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My husband and I found ourselves with three days’ notice to go on a trip to Southern Africa in October ’11. A pamphlet given to us by our travel agent stated that to go to South Africa, leave and reenter we each needed three sets of blank pages in our passports, each set to be two blank pages facing each other. We didn’t have enough blank pages in our passports or enough time to get more pages.

On the few blank pages we did have in our passports, my husband put Post-It® Notes, requesting, “Please do not use this page to stamp passport.”

Three weeks later, after entering Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe and reentering and exiting South Africa, we had to laugh, as we came home with all of the blank pages we started with. Every one in authority, including those in South Africa, had just kept stamping on prestamped pages — and without any delay or protestation.

We have had more pages put in since.

We did go to the American Consulate when we first got to Cape Town, and they were knowledgeable about this requirement, but their machine that could add more passport pages was broken, so they wrote us a letter pleading with the South African authorities to please let us continue. We never brought this letter out, though, as the Post-Its® seemed to do the job.

DEE HORNBACK
Los Altos, CA