The Little Bureaucrat That Couldn’t…Part 2

Welcome back to my light-hearted series on how I’d like to burn down the bureaucracy in one lovely big cleansing fire. But I jest…maybe.

Last week, gentle readers, we were examining my dealings with the Polish bureaucracy. Today we turn things homeward as I detail my frustrating adventures in compiling all the necessary documentation for my marriage.

The first thing I had to get was a single status certificate to prove I wasn’t already married. A simple enough request one would imagine. Surely, I thought, it’s just a matter of typing my name into a computer system to see if any marriages pop up, but no. For some unfathomable reason they are only able to check in ten year blocks, with added fees for additional years. Sadly, seeing I am more than ten years above the marriageable age I had to pay for multiple searches.

I could understand this method of charging if they had to actually go foraging through church basements looking through dusty record books. I could even possibly forgive them if they had to search on a year-by-year basis, although I don’t see how in this day and age they could still be using a system as badly designed as that. Then, of course, this process takes weeks unless you cough up double the money, at which point it is miraculously done within three days. Don’t even get me started on the fact that the very expensive piece of paper I ended up receiving had the word ‘July’ misspelled.


The French do tend to get most of their documents given to them for free so a certain level of incompetence is accepted in people’s dealings with them here. My husband is often shocked and appalled by the fees I must face for the same documents with exactly the same level of ineptitude.

There were other papers I needed, this time from the Australian consulate, which again cost a pretty penny. Although to add insult to injury the application form states explicitly that my marriage won’t be recognised in Australia. Obviously to make it pointedly clear to me – and others of my ilk – that while my money is certainly as good as that of a heterosexual male, my love is most certainly not.

In the end, I was able to get the necessary documents and everything worked out fine and dandy. Unfortunately, we shall be dealing with them again in the not too distant future when changing our names to the double-barrelled newlywed version. I can feel the frustration and anger building already.

So does anyone have any good government experiences? Anyone at all?

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