I got my new passport today and it’s the most high-tech thing I’ve ever owned.
Some of the ways it’s different to my old passport include:
1. It contains an electronic chip so now I don’t have to talk to a human when I pass through Australian immigration
2. My photo looks like a hologram with all these wavy colours over the top of it (apparently it is printed over security linework)
3. It has a retro-reflective floating image (a what?) – images of a stylised kangaroo and emu appear to float above and below when the page is tilted
4. It has retro artwork – no, not Ken Done – Viewed under collimated light, retro-reflected virtual images of the coat-of-arms appear as wallpaper across the entire page
5. It has an Australia wave – The word “Australia” appears as a continuous wave under UV light
6. There is a picture of me as a ghost – official name “ghost image”
7. It has loads of pretty pictures where my old passport had a couple of geometric shapes. Kookaburras, tassie devils, lifesavers, netball. It’s the best of the best of Aussie cliches
8. It has 64 pages! Attaining frequent traveller status is pretty much the highlight of my life
The thing about this passport that is exactly the same as my old one:
1. The photo is the ugliest damn thing you’ll ever see.