staying at the
Compass Living Parkview Residence in
Saigon, Vietnam. Itís a
long way from family and friends.
thousands of miles away, we received the news that Billyís aging Mother had
passed away, and that family at home needed papers printed, signed, notarized
and sent back.
Grief was gripping at
us and we were already discombobulated at the loss of a family member. Where
would we start to find a Notary in the busy city of Saigon? With the language
barrier, how and to whom would we explain what we needed?
The first solution
that came to our minds was: ďLetís ask the Concierge. They will know what to do,
they will figure it out. And they speak the language.Ē
The practical matters
of death donít wait and they donít spare any of us.
Billy took the
elevator down from our residence on the 7th floor to the ground floor
where the Concierge works. Sorrow was written all over his face as he explained
the situation we were in.
The Concierge knew
exactly what to do and jumped into action. Miss Tina called the U.S. Embassy and
found out that if we told them that we had a family emergency we would be able
to get through the lines quickly. Otherwise, we would have to go online to their
website to book an appointment which could take weeks. Then Miss Tina called the
Compass Living driver.
We were whisked away
by Mr. Tang, the driver, and taken to the American Embassy. We explained our
situation to the guard at the door, and were waived on. Our cell phones and
cameras were taken from us and then we walked through x-ray security. Passing
via several 5 inch thick doors, we finally arrive where we needed to be and we
see about 20 or more people waiting.
Billy approached one
window where he explained in English why he was there, and the Consulate
employee took his passport and asked him for payment of notary service which was
$50USD. Returning to his seat, he waited for his name to be called. Moments
later, he is at another window swearing that he is who his passport says he is,
signs his paper, gets his seal and we are off.
Itís back through the
heavy security doors and we exit the building. We collect our gear from outside
the building at the front door, and then Billy calls our private driver on his
cell phone. Once again it is only moments before Mr. Tang shows up and takes us
back to the residence, with signed and stamped documents in hand.
The whole process
took less than an hour. It would have taken us days if not weeks if we had to do
it all on our own.
We began the day in
mental disarray because we were in a foreign country and were required to have
official international business taken care of, and didnít know where to start. Because of the
Concierge services at Compass Living Parkview, in the shortest time imaginable
we had everything completed.
While this might have
been just another day of problem solving in the life of a Concierge, we are very
grateful for their help.
For more stories and photos
of Vietnam, click here