A Lesson in Basket-Case Recognition

How to tell if the country you have just landed in is a basket-case:

1. Frayed electrical cables lie across the floor between the gate and the arrivals hall.

2. You pass six people in uniform, all wearing different uniforms.

3. None of the uniforms fit.

4. Or has been washed since issue.

5. The bloke behind the immigration counter is the only one without a uniform.  He’s in civvies, and looks as though he’s been wearing them for farm work.

6. More than one person handles your passport.

7. Immigration involves an immigration officer having to write things down in biro.

8. Your landing card has spelling mistakes.

9. Your landing card allows 7 lines for your date of birth, but half an inch for your employer’s name, address, and telephone number.

10. Your landing card asks for a fax number.

11. All-terrain wheels on your suitcase would be handy.

12. Dozens of men are stood about doing absolutely nothing except reeking of BO.  For most of them, this constitutes employment.

13. Being third in line results in a 20 minute wait.

14. Locals are handled as ineptly as foreigners.

15. Immigration officers get confused by visas issued by their own department.

16. Fancy e-gates are installed, but are not working, have never worked, and never will.

17. Immigration officers chat idly on mobile phones whilst processing your passport, which results in mistakes for which the visitor is responsible.

18. Meet & Greet service personnel opt to bellow random names in your ear rather than hold a sign.

19. Officials think reading your name off your documents is grounds for conversation, instant friendship, and a cash reward.

20. Somebody shoves in front of you carrying a stack of 25 passports.

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6 Responses to A Lesson in Basket-Case Recognition

  1. Howard Roark says:

    Makes you want to go back to Russia? Maybe not, but it does remind me of my experience traveling to India on business. When I returned to Moscow, I almost wanted to kiss the ground, I was so happy to be back compared to where I was. That was one of the biggest doses of “it’s all relative” I ever experienced.

  2. Brian, follower of Deornoth says:

    So that’d be London Heathrow?

  3. Pingback: The glamour of international travel « Christopher Saul's Blog

  4. Maartje says:

    21. You need a separate wallet for the local money as it smells so bad nobody will accept your ‘infected’ dollars or euro’s anywhere

  5. Apart from the thing about mobile phones it is the dead spit of Luanda airport 15 years ago …. but I guess it’s Lagos last week …

  6. nightswimmer says:

    number 19 – brilliant!

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