Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oh Dad, Poor Dad..

Today's post title reminds me of a play I read as a teenager called Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad. The father in the play is dead, but the wife/mother and son takes him on vacation by dragging his casket along. 

Whenever I have to deal with something father related, it pops into my mind. My dad is dead too and I had to drag his memory around with me yesterday. About every six months, my brother seems to uncover another death benefit that we are beneficiaries to. Each of them is a piddly amount, none that would even cover a month's mortgage payment if we were living in the US still, but heck it does reimburse some of our expenses that were not all that willingly shelled out.

For his last few years, dad had cried poverty. The fact of the matter is that this was true since he housed leech for 8 years that stole his credit cards more than once. He went from a triple A credit rating to one that makes Greece look bountiful. My brother brought him food on a regular basis. Ron and I sent checks monthly. It was only close to his demise that we found that all of the money was gong to Jamaica for some scheme he had been hooked into. 

When I received a notice that I was going to get yet another trickle from the French fountain, I was excited, but not overjoyed. The authorization had to be notarized. Dread! That meant a trip to the US Embassy, but before that making an appointment, jumping through hoop A, flying through hoop B and shelling over $50 for the service. People who think a US Embassy is there for American citizens' needs only learn the truth when they need one. 

Looking on their site, they list alternatives. I opted to test a different route. Time will tell if it works. I was going to use a Hungarian notary. After all, a notary is a notary. I chose the first on on the embassy website, went to the notary's website. Mind you, this notary had a website many would give their teeth for, it was beautifully set out with all the info needed readily at hand. He was also a lawyer, but this was his notary page. It stated he is on the US Embassy's authorized list of professionals for US citizens. I struck gold and called him for an appointment. It was 1:20pm. He answered the phone with a drugged sounding "Hello" with greeted my ear more like Meow. I asked if he were Balint Dadada and he said he was. At first I wanted to apologize for disturbing his nap, but I trudged forward with the purpose for my call. Maybe after we finished, he could fall back to sleep again. 

He said "I am not a notary." 
I respond with an apology. "I am sorry, I was trying to reach Balint ..., but I must have called the wrong number.
"This is Balint ..." he claims.
"Oh, but I found you through the US Embassy website as an authorized notary for Americans."
"That is a mistake."
 However, your very own website clearly shows the same thing with an American flag, your picture, you are quite handsome by the way. It is clearly written that you have provided numerous notary services for US citizens in the past. 
"That is a mistake." 
So you don't offer any of these services and both the US Embassy and your own website are providing erroneous information. 
"That is not a mistake; that is correct. You should call Zsolt ..."

I called the other notary for an appointment hours later that day. When I reached the office, I had realized Ron and I had papers notarized here in the past. After a half hour of waiting, I was called in to produce my John Hancock. There was a lovely ribbon on the side of the document with the apostille attached. The form that I presented, based on American notary law had a place for the notary stamp, but this notary put it on the apostille.

Just to be safe, I asked if he would bang his rubber stamp on the front page where it is labeled "Notary Stamp Goes Here". Why he asked, it is on the next page. Yes, I said, but I want it to be obvious. He had to concur with this staff. I had already been invoiced for the 3,000 Huf. Their being in a huddle made me wonder if they were discussing how much more to charge me for the extra rubber stamp ink needed for this second imprint. Finally, with great hesitation, he did it. Reluctantly he also signed the line that said "Notary Sign Here".

Here is hoping this does the trick, because I really resent having to give the US Embassy $50.00. I would rather give it to Balint to update his website.
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