Sunday, July 19, 2020

Stateless in Switzerland

For a brief period in May and June, I was a stateless person. In April, I discovered I'd mixed up the expiration dates of my American passport and my daughter's: mine was expiring in May; hers in October. Due to coronavirus, I could renew my passport at the American Embassy in Bern in mid-May. When Switzerland's borders were opened in mid-June, I still hadn't received my new passport, so I couldn't leave Switzerland. This is nothing compared to what actually stateless people experience, but until my new passport arrived a few days later, I had at least an inkling of what it is to be without papers in the globalized world. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 19 July)

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