This is the story of how Austria came to embrace the pasta headgear. Being a symbol of religious faith in the Pastafari movement Niko Alm was allowed to show a pasta strainer on his driver’s license. The full story, part 3.
It didn’t take long to accomplish the next step to the driver’s license I wish for. Last week I stopped by the mundane licensing agency in Vienna with my already familiar passport photograph meeting the necessary criteria. Through all official acts and my presence there – including waiting time – I protected my head from the rays of the flying spaghetti monster with a pasta strainer.
The following did happen: while getting my waiting number a friendly female official asked me: “May I ask you why you are wearing a pasta strainer?” I answered truthfully that I do that out of religious reasons.
After 30 minutes in the lounge counter #3 deals with my request. The efficient official cuts out a photo of a block of four photos, takes my application and the payment. He doesn’t comment on my pasta strainer on my head or on the photo. Apparently the church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster hast already spread as a religion and has gotten accepted. I am excited to be able to get my driver’s license next week and am leaving the licensing office.
But only 5 minutes later the official calls me on my mobile which I left on the application form. “You’ve just been here, your photo doesn’t meet the criteria. You have to bring a new one,” he tells me. – This hits me like thunder. The official planned this, as he apparently was too shy to confront me directly. His justification: it isn’t allowed to wear a head gear on a driver’s license photo. He requests me to explain my argument (that this happens out of religious reasons) to his superior. But I’m already miles away from the licensing agency and therefore I call for a written statement, which I naturally will publish here after its arrival.