This morning we went to the office which handles marriages for our district. We were up at 6:45 to make sure that we would make it by 8:00 in order to be the first in line. Visda had all of her papers, I had all of mine. Or so we thought.
We were called in (we were indeed the first in line!) and asked to present our papers. I handed over mine; Visda hers. The person handling us then asked Visda "Where's your original birth certificate?" We didn't have it with us but we did have the notarized (from both the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Iranian embassy) translation which was attached to a copy of her birth certificate.
They had to see the original document: the original birth certificate which is in Farsi, of course. Now, in this age of all sorts of digital authentication possibilities, you might wonder why they would need to actually see the original hardcopy birth certificate when they had a translated, notarized version right in front of them. You aren't the only one because we sat there and lisented incredulously as they explained that we'd have to come back again and next time, we'd need to bring the original.
On a lighter note, the highlight of the morning came from a gentlemen who's been there a while and knows how frustrated couples can get when dealing with the paperwork. I think that he could see the disappointment in both our faces and is to be commended for saying "yes, but don't forget that you're lucky to have found each other. Some people would love to have these kinds of problems if only they could find the right partner." So true.