Took a trip out the other weekend to do some food shopping at Carrefour. Carrefour is like a Target or Walmart type mega shopping center. They have everything from home appliances to fresh seafood. Being stuck where there’s only one supermarket (and the selection is quite modest), having a choice of products is one of those little tastes of home that you need to keep you sane.
But before we crossed the border I remembered that I forgotten my passport. We were already in the queue to enter Spain so we couldn’t turn the car around. We told the border control guy that I left my passport and he said we had to leave and then come back in and get it. That obviously seems a little strange as instead of letting us turn around we’re now making two illegal border crossings. But we complied and entered into Spain. When we looked at the line of cars waiting at the border control checkpoint it was about 1/4 mile long so we said screw it and went to Carrefour and figured we’d deal with the passport issue on the way back.
Driving back across the border the immigration guy asks for my passport. No passport. We tell him that I forgot it and that the other guy said to go out and come back in. Of course we didn’t mention that that was over an hour ago. Why volunteer incriminating information if you don’t have to? But he called my bluff and went and talked to the guys on the exit side and then he came back and asked how long ago had they told us to go out and come back in. I fessed up and they asked me for proof that I actually lived there. I had nothing on me. Nothing. Sure, a US driver’s license, some credit cards, and such. That I had. Anything even remotely indicating that I belonged there? Not so much. Well, except for a dry cleaning receipt which . . . he accepted! He waived us right in on nothing more than a dry cleaning receipt.
So, I’ve scanned a copy of the dry cleaning receipt (click on the image for a larger copy) so that others can use it as a proven valid form of ID should they also forget/lose/misplace their other identification documents.
I’ve since purchased a wallet large enough to hold my passport as well as some credit cards as I’m not sure which other countries actually accept a dry cleaning receipt.