Day 5: Today, we slept in 15 more minutes than usual, had a Vietnamese class as well as a history lesson and made a trip to the Us Consulate, or the American Center. The US consulate was a very surreal experience. Originally, I had thought it to be another trip where we just go, and listen to some long lecture about life or politics. What I got was completely different. Everyone there was extremely friendly, and it was refreshing to be able to talk to other Americans who experience the same culture, as well as listen to their input on it and the whole situation.
We also listen to their daily lives, as well as what they do in a foreign affairs position. As an entry level officer, one of the people who worked there took part in listening to Vietnamese citizens’ pleas to get a Visa. It turns out that she had to, the entire work-day, take in and hear the pleas from up to 500 citizens a day. Visas may take a while to get or can be short depending on the records of those under scrutiny. Other members of the consulate have other jobs, like constantly communicating with the foreign officials, such as the Vietnamese. They have to constantly maintain a productive and friendly relationship, as far as hosting barbecues together or just going to dinner, as business men and women may do. The have to ask questions on part for the US government, questions they may already know the answer to, but that’s the details of the job in general.
The American Center of the consulate offers numerous services, including a vague 911 service, helping something get their passport if it is lost and having tons of books movies and others programs that represent America, despite being banned in Vietnam. It’s the perfect place for an American to cool down, relax and enjoy the American culture no matter what country you are in. The foreign service business seems so interesting that, honestly, I may be considering it at some point.