On Dual Passports and Secret Agents

I can’t quite recall if I ever officially mentioned it here, but a few months ago I finally officially received my Hungarian passport.  This statement probably confuses many people who know me in the real world who always just assumed I had it (Hungarian isn’t one of those languages you just pick up usually), but the long and short of the situation is when my twin brother and I were born in 1986 all male Hungarian citizens were required to enter the army.  At the time no one thought the communist government was going to topple in a few years, so what was the point of registering two American-born children for their Hungarian citizenship with a nice requirement like that looming over one of them?

Fast forward about a quarter of a century, and it turned out that one of those twins was getting tired of paying exorbitant visa fees on her American passport, and both of those twins were considering moving to Europe.  So I decided to get that ball rolling, which turned out to be a mess of a process that dragged on for well over a year due to a mountain of paperwork one would expect from a former communist country. Lots of forms in Hungarian that at times made even my mother pause to understand their meaning (to give you an idea, my favorite was one just to confirm I wanted my name spelled “Yvette” instead of the traditional “Ivett”), all of which disappeared into the consulate… and while the process was supposed to take six months, it dragged on to over a year.  Klassz!

But in the end it all worked out, I finally had the Hungarian passport itself in hand in November, and it’s around this time that I discovered my new travel hobby.  Because you see, I now have a passport from a former Soviet Bloc country that is as yet not scanned or marked in any way, on a citizenship that a few months ago did not yet exist on paper…

That’s right, now when I go to the airport I alternate between my Hungarian and American passports when asked for identification to ensure the bad guys can’t trace me.  And I’ve been pretty successful shaking them off so far, except of course for that one gun fight on a speedboat racing through the Amsterdam canals that I don’t like to talk too much about.

Plus hey, my flirtations as an International Woman of Mystery aside, the visa fees to many a country just got a lot cheaper and the E.U. can now never kick me out. Win! As for where it may take me, I will just refer all curious folks to the cover of my passport holder:

7 responses to “On Dual Passports and Secret Agents

  1. Oh, so that was you on that speed boat gunfight yesterday?

  2. Hi your story of your passport fiasco is interesting.My self am half Magyar as my father Janos came to England in 1957 atfer the the 1956 uprising,he later met my mother got married and had me and 3 sisters.I would like to visit Budapest were my Dad is from one day ha but would need to renew passport, also its been said i could get a Hungarian one as well because of my Dad been Hungarian.I Have been to Amsterdamme twice lovely city! I came across you via Twitter and i follow you there,if you like please follow me you will have to send request hope you don,t mind i set it like that as got head bangers just following. Its karolyfeher
    regards Karoly.

  3. Hi i like your story about the fiasco of your Magyar passport. My self am half Hungarian because my father is from Budapest and came to England in 1957 a year after the uprising of 56 later met my mother decided to stay and not go to California were some family was already there,met my mother had me and 3 sisters 🙂 I would like to visit Budapest one day but ha would have to renew my passport. I have been to Amsterdamme twice its a lovely city nice people 🙂 I .m following you on Twitter and if you like please follow me its karolyfeher


    • Szia Karoly!

      Thanks for your kind words- I highly recommend visiting Budapest sometime as it’s a great city, lots to see and do and good nightlife. 🙂

      And yeah you can get a Magyar passport too if your father is a citizen, it’s just a rather muddled process so go into it with lots of patience!


      • karolyrfeher

        Hi Yvette thx for your reply yes i have a half brother from my fathers ist marrige Feri came to england in 1970 and has been talking to me about going to Budapest he said he can show around as he is from there to 🙂 maybe this summer work depending for time off.
        Kind Regards

  4. A nice passport cover 🙂 … It’s the glory of THE RIDE

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