Membership has its privileges. I am not referring to the elite status of owning a platinum Amex, or the uber rare black one. I am talking about that lucky or un-lucky accident of birth and geography, citizenship. Now, I am lucky enough to come not from a first world country, but from The first world country, the USA. This does cause a certain kind of immigration arrogance when clearing borders. Passing immigration in most countries is relatively easy, you flash your passport, they chat you up, get a stamp and off you go. I mean in most countries they love Americans. Right? Traveling in Europe is even easier now within the Schengen countries, I don’t even need to flash said little blue book. Brilliant! So, sitting cocooned in this blissful state of first world-ness, why would I want to become a member/citizen of an EU country?
Well, where do I begin? For one thing once you have broken free of the brain-washing about how great the US is, you start to realize that there are other countries that also have hot running water, indoor plumbing, and the natives wear clothes and walk upright. You discover they don’t eat their young(except in Longford-rumor has it), you can eat the food, and not die on the spot in most cases the quality of the food is better, and not all purple soda is grape-thankfully.
So, now I have the unique privilege of having dual citizenship to two first world countries,what does this really mean? For one thing clearing borders within the EU has just gone from queueing in the Other Passports line, to queueing in the EU passports line, which always seems to move faster. I now get to find this out first hand. My new passport will be pristine and stamp free, unless of course I travel to Asia. UAE, or the US. Advantage no. 2 is I will no longer be quizzed by UK border patrol like an asylum seeking refugee immigrating from a country ending with ..stan, they do really go over board with the stupid questions. No.3 whilst traveling within the EU countries, I won’t need a passport at all, I can just use my ID card. Yippie. No.4 the biggest advantage to me having an EU passport, is the fact that I can apply for a Privium pass! I have always wanted one of these things. I mean seriously, if having an EU passport means shorter queues, then Privium means no queues at all. It scans the iris and fingerprints to identify you. You just walk up, pop your card in, scan your vitals, and poof, that is it you have just cleared immigration. Yahoo! I mean seriously I have just cut my time at the airport by 30 mins, and we all know how I just love the girls and boys at airport security, so anything that gets me in and out faster is good all around for everyone.
But the best one of all is no. 5 is the fact I can no longer be deported to the US for illegally working in Ireland! Not that they ever would, god love the garda, they are rather loath to bring work down on their heads. So, as long as you are not disrespectful to them, they are quiet happy to pack you off and send you on your way, with a light slap on the wrist. Even the one time I had a problem in a small town, the garda asked me to leave and threatened to make a note in my passport, so it would be difficult to get back into the country. Brazen hussy that I was, I kept going back for months after that incident, and when some bright spark did decide to check my passport, and the notes came up, they just handed my passport back to me and told me to go on. Bless them.