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April 15, 2006

Wanted - for crimes against Greek bureaucracy

Wanted Our guides to living in Greece suggest that at any moment you might be required to produce a passport photograph of yourself when applying for something, so on Thursday we went and got some new mug shots.

We went into a photographic shop on Hatzimihali Giannari, where a very amusing man took our pictures. I went first and got prodded and pulled into position, with my head tilted to lessen the squintiness of my eyes. He took a picture and showed me. "That's fine" I said. "No, no, no" he replied, unhappy with his handiwork, and he pushed and pulled me around again before taking a second shot that he was happy with. being a lady, Claire got offered the opportunity to fix her hair in the mirror before getting similar treatment.

I've not really kept up with developments in the passport photography world, so whilst I had been going around town looking for one of those old-style passport booths, he was using a state of the art digital camera which wirelessly sent the pictures through to a printer. I'm obviously easily impressed by technology.

The funniest thing about the shop though was that virtually from ceiling to floor it was covered with prints of photographs of the recent Independence Day parade in Hania. They'd obviously stationed a photographer by the side of the road and captured everyone as they went by, so that proud parents could subsequently buy prints of their offspring on parade. Alternatively, collectors of pictures of sullen school-girls, army cadets, and young children in traditional Greek and Cretan costumes could have a field day in there.

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