It was my last day of a 3 night stay in Taipei, Taiwan and I was to pick up my authenticated affidavit concerning my birth in Taipei. So bright and early I made my way to the BOCA (Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs ROC) to pick up my 4 copies of authenticated documents. To this day I am still amazed at the efficiency and speed of this government office. In under three days they authenticated 4 sets of documents for just NT$ 1600 (US$ 49.40).
Before heading to the NTIO (Netherlands Trade and Investment Office) I took a stroll down a street with many expensive looking shops. I can’t even remember exactly where this was, but I do remember getting lost in the side streets where there were many quirky little boutiques and restaurants. I also remember seeing a Converse store and finding a cute shop with all kinds of leather jewelry and loads of pendants and bracelets in the red, green and yellow (reggae). This is the only shop I bought stuff at to bring home to Bali. Since I was traveling on a very tight budget I never once used my credit card and only spent the cash left over after paying for everything like documents, notary and transportation. I had a reserve of NT$ 3000 for the NTIO and my bus ticket to the airport.
At 1 PM I decided it might be time to go get the 4 documents proving my birth in Taipei, Taiwan to the NTIO for legalization. It took about 20 minutes for the official representatives of The Netherlands at the trade office to write that they could not legalize my documents i.e. my birth because of political relations with Taiwan. To get into this would take too long at the moment, but it is an interesting tidbit of history and politics to read up on. A brief summary can be found on Wikipedia. I was not too worried about this, but frustrated at the fact that I had to fly to Taiwan and incur all these expenses for something like that!
So all of you who think I have a wonderful life as a nomad or TCK, remember that this kind of past can turn and bite you.
Normally a birth certificate would be a one page print out with your birth facts….. My file on my birth is competing with the Taipei 101 ! Yes I know, the construction of the Taipei 101 cost a bit more……..
Ticket KLM € 1242,96 (US$ 1395,85)
Hotel NT$ 5940 (US$ 183,45)
Notary NT$ 750 (US$ 23.16)
Ministry of consular affairs NT$1600 (US$ 49.40)
NTIO NT$ 3800 (US$ 117.36)
Total – approximately US$ 1769.22 or € 1579,66