Life in Germany: A visit to the British Consulate

Culture, emigration, Frankfurt, Germany

It’s been an eventful few weeks of life in Germany since my last post, involving broken elbows (not mine), lost passports (thankfully also not mine) and seeing some beautiful German countryside as my train zooms through it.

Last Wednesday I accompanied a friend visiting from the UK to the British Consulate in Dusseldorf in order to secure an emergency passport for her return home.
Beautiful German countryside
on our way to Dusseldorf

Let me explain how we came to need an emergency passport in the first place. A few days prior to our unscheduled trip to Dusseldorf my friend, Charlie, lost her bag, presumed stolen, in Frankfurt’s Hauptbahnhof. The Frankfurt British Consulate office informed her she could get an emergency passport to travel home on. However, only the Dusseldorf office would be able to issue one.

Bright and early Wednesday morning (after I had convinced staff at Charlie’s hostel to let me in and wake her up at 5am using a muddled early morning mix of Deutsch and English), we boarded an IC train and started our journey across Germany.

Some hours later, Charlie and I arrived in Dusseldorf Derendorf and attempted to find the British Consulate. In a way that only Charlie can, she accosted a man who alighted at our stop and in the strongest English Midlands accent first said, ‘Sprechen Sie English’ and then before the man could fully give his response, Charlie launched into ‘Do you know where the British Consulate is? Passport problems you see.’ Thankfully the man obliged, explained how to get to the Consulate and bid us good day.

She can go home!
Charlie with her Emergency Passport.

The Consulate itself is an understated building. The only clue this was the Consulate was the four Polizei standing outside and the Union Jack hanging slightly limply from its flagpole. As we approached, a darkened (and probably toughened) glass door opened and a cheery but serious German guard greeted us. Once he established we had an appointment we entered the building where we were ordered to hand over all electronic items, our bags were searched and a metal detector was run over us.

And to be honest, that’s all there is to say on our trip. Our time in the Consulate wasn’t especially interesting being as it involved form filling and a lot of waiting, but she got her passport! So on that note, I’ll sign off for another day. Tschuss!


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