It’s hard to believe, but we have been here in Vietnam for just over 6 months now. When we arrived we had a multiple entry visa which became due for renewal on the 23 June. Fortunately for us our HR department at RMIT look after this type of thing and our visas are now good for a further 6 months. Now we will continue to apply for our work permits, a far more complicated procedure.
Mimi has just returned our passports/visas along with our house book. She came and collected them this morning and took them over to the police station as the house book needed stamping and our new visa needed witnessing. You see, you can’t simply move into a house in Vietnam. First it must have approval for foreigners to live in it and second you must have the permission of the local police. The fact that the police know where we are living and all about our comings and goings is something of a double edge sword I guess. In some ways it seems incredibly intrusive to us, people who are used to doing what we want, when we want to do it. But on the other hand, there is a sense of security in the knowledge that the police, and indeed our neighbours know if we are away, and for how long because they look after the house. In fact Mimi sometimes comes to the house and sleeps on the couch if we are not here. When the kids visit next January, they will all have to be recorded in the book and registered with the police also.
So, here we are, house book duly stamped, all legal and taken care of for the next 6 months and our house is so clean the tiled floors squeak – bliss.