Passport Changes

15 Jun 2017 Karina S. Henkel

I still haven’t changed my name on my German passport. I know. I suck. But I keep postponing dealing with this, and it has been now five years that I keep procrastinating. I don’t know what my issue is, but it seems to be quite an ordeal to get all the papers and registrations settled until I will be able to change my passport. And I don’t like that kind of paper work – not at all.

I use my husband’s last name here in the US. But my German passport still has my maiden name. So far, I had no trouble traveling out and back into the US. But now, with these weird machines checking all the papers, visas, and passports at the airports, it might become more difficult for me. There are fewer and fewer customs officers working at the airports, and more and more computers are doing their jobs.

I just booked my flight for my next trip to Germany. This time I didn’t have much choice. I had to take the flight that changes in Istanbul, Turkey. Up until now I was able to avoid that because I didn’t want to enter the US coming from an Islamic country. Maybe I am oversensitive, but nowadays it feels quite unsettling for me to do that.

It is so weird to feel like that. I grew up with Turkish friends in Berlin. I love their culture, their history and especially their food. I think Turkish food is just the best. The Turkish community is huge in Berlin and there is not a single corner there where you can’t find their influence, one way or another. And here I am – afraid to travel through Turkey because of ISIS.

Well, and of course because of me being the mega-procrastinator in dealing with my name issues.

I hope I will overcome my worries and find the curiosity that will enable me to enjoy an airport that I have never seen before. For nine years I have travelled several times between Europe and the US and I know pretty much all the European airports by now. Each of them feels like home. I know exactly where the bathrooms are and where to get the coffee I like. But this time it will be an adventure again.

 But I surely will hold my breath on my way home, hoping that everything will be ok.