Today was a long one, mainly because we overslept and started out two hours later than expected, really three but whose counting? Me. I'm counting!
We headed toward Hanoi proper and the Travel/Visa Agency around 1pm instead of the planned 10am and it was hot ya'll. Not as hot as it could be but hot enough to have me sweating and mad about it. We arrived 40 minutes later and $10 lighter on this small back alley like street where we proceeded to sweat some more as we tried to locate the business. I'm telling you all this so as to prepare you for the office.
So picture it, Hanoi, 2020 and two black women who should have used more deodorant and possibly sunscreen are standing on what amounts to a paved lane masquerading as a road staring at words written in Vietnamese hoping they will magically change to English. They don't but the sweat continues to pour.
We see the sign for the Agency but no door leading to said Agency BUT (and here's the interesting part) we do see a young lady sitting in a cemented pathway between two buildings. I glanced at her a few times and she us but she was painting a flower pot so... After messaging the Agency asking for clarity on directions to I finally turned to the young lady in the concrete pathway and pointed to the signage for the Agency and asked LOUDLY, cause that's what you do when you don't speak the language, where this was she waved for us to come down the concrete pathway. Great! Finally a solution to the problem.
How come as we walk in to move past her, because obviously there has to be a door further in, she points to this small seat in front of the table she was painting at. Ya'll this was the office. A chair. In an alley.
If it hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't have believed it. But here we are in the concrete pathway filling out paperwork and exchanging money. It almost felt like a drug deal. Not a great one, but still.
All that to say, we have started the process AND should have our new visa in hand in 7 to 10 business days AND the powers that be changed their stance (overnight) about the issuing of 3 month visas and has decided to allow them again. Whew. This was a ride of emotions in 24hrs. See ya in 7 to 10 and again in 90.