Once in a while, on a full moon or if I am PMS-ing I allow myself a moment of introspection – being one among the five billion people here on earth, as an outsider looking in.
It is ironic that while most airports paint their walls with large prints of ‘WELCOME’ in their language, their immigration officials at the check in counters (those coming from my county included) look as though you are- not welcome: that is especially if you come from a less developed country like mine. It’s like one of those smiley buttons on the lapels of food crews of burger chains that says Hi, I’m Jamie, happy to serve you but the only one smiling is the button and not the person. Get the picture?
See, if countries are wary about people coming into their shores, then why not build perimeter fences, seal off their territorial waters and skies and build gates or better yet multi-layered electrified barbed wires reminiscent of Guantanamo Bay. But of course this is barbaric and politically incorrect. Like I said, the world is evolving and shrinking into a tiny global village so that a borough in the UK can already comprise all the countries of the United Nations. So does a remote village in Italy. Or a small sea side village in Alona Beach in Bohol or a ten square meter of random space in Boracay.
Which brings me to the grim experience with people that takes the fun out of your holidays. Immigration check in officials.
I have come to the conclusion that as in any job detail or person specification there are certain criteria each candidate must meet- knowledge, attitude and practice or skill about the job.I have had my share of travel and goings in and out of ports of entry and exit in many parts of the world and I observe that these immigration officers at the check in counters of most airports (Except India, very friendly) anywhere and again, especially when dealing with non-EU nationals, to qualify for the job, must have earned a degree in Bachelor of Science in Bitchiness, Bachelor of Science in Grumpiness or Bachelor of Science in Paranoia and must have been hired based on the following: (knowledge) essential- ability to read minds , desirable: constipated or at least the ability to look constipated (especially Japanese women immigration officers- aren’t they taught how to smile?) and skill: ability to practice xenophobia or at least be afflicted with xenophobia. But, if you are a check-in immigration officer anywhere in the world (those in my country not excluded) and do not belong to any of the category, my sincerest apologies. You certainly fall under the exception rather than the rule and I’ll be kissing the ground you walk on.
But if you feel alluded to, so sue me.
Here, chew this laxative.