Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday (Identity Crisis)

It's funny how something you have taken for granted as true all your life can suddenly turn out differently than you expected. Growing up, I used to think all Chinese in the world spoke Cantonese since every Chinese person I'd ever known spoke that. I was shocked to find out that most of the Chinese in the world speak the Mandarin dialect and that we Cantonese speakers were just the fringe emigrant community that had collected in communities in other countries.

I was also shocked to find out last week that my name isn't Charlie Wing Hing Wong. Not legally at least. Even though I have a drivers license, a US passport, and a mortgage in that name. Tighter national security rules recently triggered an audit at the RMV and they sent me a polite letter saying I had to get my Social Security card (Wing Hing Wong) to match my drivers license before they'd renew it when it expires this fall. I figured it'd be simple to do, but I soon found myself jumping through bureaucratic hoops only to be faced by a clerk at the Probate office determined to treat me like an illegal immigrant criminal for having mismatched identification. "This is the problem with You People..." he lectures me while looking over my birth certificate and name change form. "You think you can do whatever you want and it's okay..." he says. You People? I used that birth certificate to get my drivers license. I used that birth certificate to get my US passport. If there's some problem with having it not match my passport, why is it my fault? I showed ID, they gave me a passport. The war on terror claims strange casualties.

[more sword stuff later]

2 comments:

Static Brain said...

That is totally rediculous that they made you suffer by jumping through all those hoops. We can thank george Bush and his illegal war for oil and profit for your troubles.

Iron Bowl said...

Bureaucracy in Boston sucks, there are several buildings not linked together and even getting a company setup, you would need to visit 3 buildings, and revisit them again to get forms.