People who use their passport as ID are more fun

We’re living life on the edge and we’re loving it

My passport has been to more places than I have.

Once, it travelled to a police station in south London, in a plastic bag. On another occasion, it went home with an Uber driver (naughty). Once, it almost went on holiday with my mate, who had it in her bag. My passport is inadvertently intrepid because I am invariably drunk and it’s my ID.

Most 17 year-olds apply for a provisional driver’s licence. I, on the other hand, offended that my parents hadn’t offered driving lessons for my birthday (“we just didn’t think you were the sort of person that should drive,” my mother mused), didn’t apply for one. It eluded me – at this point – that the only person I was spiting was myself, since a driving licence is used chiefly as proof of age and rarely of proof of your legitimacy at the wheel. The penny dropped pretty quickly – then we moved house and I forgot to organise one.

Obviously, I could get one right now if I wanted to: it’s £34 if you buy one online (compared to more than £70 to replace a passport). Except carrying my passport on a night out has become my favourite signal that I’m a laugh.

If you don’t have a provisional driving licence, every night is a big one because you could lose the most important document you own. In the event of the sudden declaration of war, I could literally be prevented from leaving the country because I went out with two bags and left the one containing my passport on the night bus. If you’re going on holiday in the next two weeks – meaning you’d need to get an expedited replacement passport – then the stakes skyrocket.

Also, every time I go out, one of our extended party will ask me about it, which is a really appealing invitation to talk about myself and how I’m a fucking loose cannon. Someone once called me “brave”. It was a real ego boost.

Summer’s more fun, for life is about risk. You turn up to Glasto scared because you’ve got £400 worth of drugs stuffed into toiletry bottles in your rucksack? Get through the security checks at the gateway and you’re laughing. On the other hand, I’ve got my passport on me at all times and I keep tipping out my Yeo Valley tote to find my filters. My passport made it home both years but three of the pages are glued together and last time I went on holiday the German border guards looked at me like I had £400 worth of drugs stuffed into toiletry bottles in my rucksack.

Libertines like me don’t think about logistics. You’ve got your safe, unimaginative provisional in your wallet, which is in your pocket; I’ve had to stuff my passport down the front of my tights because I don’t want to take a bag out with me this evening. It falls out every time I go to the loo.

Plus, mornings after the night before aren’t anticlimactic if you must check whether your passport made it home. Waking up kickstarts a frantic sequence (do I have my phone? Did I send humiliating texts? Where’s my wallet? Shit – do I have my passport?). It propels you from bed, gulping air.

Unless your passport has ended up at a police station in south London, in which case your parents ringing you, repeatedly, to confirm you are not dead, is what gets you out of bed that day. I’ve lost it three times, and got it back every single time – which I see as validation for being a massive laugh.

And you can drive me home, anyway.

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