Last winter, while in Andermatt recovering from my first bout with vertigo, I mailed my application for my new U.S. passport. It arrived not too long afterward. Well now, the time has come for me to renew my Swedish passport too. It’s not possible to apply for a new passport at the Swedish consulate here in Zürich; one must do so in person at the embassy in Bern.
So today I spoke with a nice Swedish lady at the embassy, and booked a time to come in and take care of the paperwork. She explained that I would have to bring ID with me, a proof of Swedish citizenship (kindly faxed to my office by the Swedish tax authorities in Stockholm), and 215 Swiss Francs. The price seemed a bit steep to me. I knew I didn’t pay that much for my original passport. A quick search online revealed a page from the Swedish Police, explaining the costs of applying for a passport. Applying at a police station in Sweden costs 400 SEK; applying at an embassy abroad costs 1400 SEK. The higher price is equivalent to just over 200 CHF; this explains the 215 CHF price quoted to me earlier.
It turns out there’s another reason I need to visit the police in Stockholm. Back in October, I received a letter that had been delivered to my permanent address in Stockholm and forwarded to me here. The letter was from the police in Stockholm. The letter advised me that they had my Swedish driver’s license, and that I should come to the police station on Kungsholmen and pick it up in person. I had been missing my driver’s license for a few weeks, and was glad to learn that it had been found. But it took me a moment to figure out how it ended up in Stockholm! Looking again at the letter, I saw that the Police had received my driver’s license from the Swedish embassy in Bern. Then I realized what had happened. In September, there was an election in Sweden. I voted at the Swedish consulate at Stadelhofen, right here in Zürich. When casting my vote, I showed my Swedish driver’s license as proof of my identity. I must have misplaced the license there in the consulate. They sent it to the police in Stockholm because Stockholm is the location of the permanent address on file for me with the Swedish tax office.
I had been planning to go to Sweden sometime in the spring or summer anyway; but now I’m thinking that if I have to pay one thousand Swedish kronor more to get the passport here in Switzerland, I might as well put that money toward to cost of air travel to Stockholm instead. Then I could pick up my new passport and my driver’s license at the same time, and spend a few days visiting friends too.
So now I’m looking at the prices of tickets to Stockholm for weekends in February and March. Obviously, I need to be there on either Friday or Monday too, so that I can be there on a day when the police station is open. So, Stockholm friends—is there anything fun happening in the next couple of months?