We went to the opera last night. I got season tickets, which is why we keep going to the opera. I can assure it that it is not because of Mr. P's enduring love of Verdi. Indeed, accompanying me to the opera is an example of Mr. P's five-star-ness as a husband.
That said, even he enjoyed seeing The Mikado.
In part because it's Gilbert and Sullivan, and G & S operas are funny. The sets were interesting (still not spectacular, but perfectly servicable and not weird and distracting a la Aida). The costumes were interesting (see comment above re: sets). But also? The guy who played Ko-Ko was hi-larious. The performances of Pooh-Bah and The Mikado were also really good. The rewrite on the list of those whom Ko-Ko would execute was great (hipsters in their skinny jeans with fake fedoras. Right on, brother).
Meanwhile, I got my new passport.
I don't know when this happened, but the new ones are hiiiiiiiiiiiideous. What the hell? Every page has the most hackeneyed, cheesy, pathetically boring and so stereotypical as to be its own characiture picture of "America" on it. When did this happen? Can I get one without the ugly illustrations? It's like the passport Team America would have designed.
And, they don't send your old one back anymore. I asked. (* see update below) I got my last passport in Phnom Penh. My previous one still had about six years left on it, but the lamination came loose and I could pull the picture out. I didn't really think too much about it until 9/11. I was in Chiang Mai on 9/11, visiting a friend who was there to do dissertation research. I managed to get back into Cambodia, but thought that I needed to get that sorted because lots of places were going to be on security lock down. I remembered being really aggrivated that I'd just gotten a new six month Cambodian visa put into that passport and I was going to have to get a new one. In the picture I'm wearing a burgandy button up shirt I'd had made in Hoi An the year before and there are two stitches on my right cheek where the German dermotologist at the international clinic in Phnom Penh had just removed a mole. I had to wait in line at the consulate behind a pile of Americans trying to finalize the adoptions of Cambodian children.
The pages of that passport were filled with Cambodian and Vietnamese visas. There was page after page of entry and exit stamps marking my travels-- flights from Pochentong, arrivals at Bangkok International, motorcycle trips where I crossed out of Vietnam and into Cambodia at Bavet, once, twice, half a dozen times. A stamp at Poipet when I left Cambodia on a motorcycle for the last time, on my way to the Lao border and the untimely, car accident induced demise of my beloved bike and my own shocking survival. Stamps for Paris, Marseille, Paris again. And again. Trips to London. A trip to Spain for a wedding and a zip up the Costa Brava. A couple of weeks in Ecuador.
In a shredder somewhere, I'd imagine.
Also, as Mr. P pointed out, my new passport smells like a new car. Seriously. Which I guess means it's off-gassing. Awesome.
UPDATE: My old passport arrived in the mail today. Yay! I've got Bavet back! Thank you, State Department.