Wednesday, February 23, 2011
(PICTURE: Our flight to HCMC was almost as last minute as this one was.)
Maybe I'm paranoid but I'm 99.9% sure the US government is f-ing with me. Long story short, two days after submitting the initial immigration paperwork, I was asked by the US embassy in Hanoi to be an embassy warden. Basically this involves me being in charge of all the US citizens in my area if there is an emergency. Since the embassy had my paperwork/balls in their possession, I happily agreed to be a warden.
Coincidentally, every step of the immigration process has closely been timed with the embassy asking me to perform some chore for them. At the beginning of January, the embassy called and asked me to get in contact with all of the citizens on my list. I called everyone, wrote up a report and sent it back to the embassy on January 7th. I kid you not, a few minutes after hitting "send" I got an email from the consulate in HCMC telling me that Huyen's visa interview would be on Monday, January 24th.
This was great news that our final interview had been scheduled. However, it was terrible timing since Tet was about to happen which meant a) All flights were double the price b) There were no flights AT ALL from the 25th through the first week of February. This meant that we would need to fly out the night of our interview which would mean Huyen would have to fly back again to pick up her visa if we were approved (the embassy tells you it'll take a couple days to process).
You might be asking yourself at this point: Why do you have to fly to HCMC if the embassy is in Hanoi? Well, I'd like to give you a logical answer but unfortunately I don't have one. Luckily, Huyen and I had been preparing for the interview for months so we had all of our paperwork in order. Naturally though there was some last minute panicking because the government sent me a document which contradicted earlier documents I had been given. On this document it said we needed a few more pieces of paperwork that we didn't have. Thankfully my parents* and their accountant jumped on this and got us everything we needed.
And with that, we were off to HCMC in our quest to be allowed to come to America!!!
* My parents are co-sponsoring Huyen since my finances don't qualify under US rules. It's hard for me to be above the poverty line when foreign income under 80K isn't taxed and thus doesn't count towards sponsoring someone.