29 June 2006

Paper Trails

I believe one of my earliest postings concerned my getting a criminal check to prove to the Vietnamese government that I had no background in illicit affairs. After I had received the letter of clearance, I had it notarized. It was then sent to Sacramento where the Sate notarized my notary, after which it was sent to the Vietnamese Consulate in San Francisco, where they notarized it. Apparently, the labor department in Vietnam decided that it was not valid because my name appeared on the initial notary form.

It has taken from then until now to figure out just exactly what is required for me to get my work permit. It turns out that the six or seven documents that I had notarized before leaving for Vietnam a year ago, are all null and void. All I ever needed was a letter stating that I had graduated from a university, and a letter of clearance from some sort of police bureau. The catch is that each of those letters must be signed by an official, and then that person’s signature must be notarized by a notary at the place of signing.

One of my universities’s flat out refused to do it. The other one complied. But then there was the problem of getting the criminal check notarized. After several phone calls and a hunt through the yellow pages, I found out that for a fee, a notary will come to any location and do the paper work required. I really wish I had known all of this a year ago. Or even six months ago.

Not that this is the end of it all. I now have to drive to the State capitol and have the Sate Notary authenticate my notaries. Then it is back to the Vietnamese Consulate in San Francisco to get their seal. And if all this turns out to be for naught, there is not much more I can do.

Other than that, I must say that the weather is pretty much behaving itself. To date, there has only been one day of total fog and cold. True, the nights are down in the low 50’s F (12 c), and that nasty fog is drifting in as I write, but all and all it seems global warming has arrived in the SF Bay Area. Great! I am also happy that it stays light until around 9:30pm, whereas in HCMC it is dark by 7pm.

We are coming up on the 4th of July weekend, a time to stay in and avoid the freeways. Maybe this year we will be able to see fireworks. Generally, it is a 50/50 chance that they will be fogged out.

I need to put on another sweatshirt.