Yes, this is a rant.
Okay, I understand that government authorities aren't reknown for their customer service attributes, but would you like to see this as you make your way into international arrivals at an airport terminal in a country you've never been to before after deplaning from a long flight?
There, up on wall facing you as you get your bearings in this strange terminal, are huge posters depicting the complete set of immigration/customs/health/quarantine cards/forms that you need to have completed before you enter the bureaucratic maze that you must successfully traverse before being officially able to enter this country. Further, beneath these posters/signs is a long counter with copies of all the required forms that the airline didn't give you so you can fill in any missing ones before you get to front of the line after waiting 30 minutes!
Good idea don't you think? Anyone actually seen anything like this anywhere?
To arrive in Australia for example all pax, citizens or not, fill out out the same single card, but now there is also a SARS form - were you given that on the plane? In Mauritius you get hit with completely 3 separate forms (or should be, more than likely the airline cabin crew will only give you 2 of them). In the US there's only one card to fill out but there are 3 different versions - citizen, non-citizen with visa, and non-citizen with visa waiver - and woe betide you if you try to hand in the wrong one!
Wouldn't something as simple as what I've suggested above alleviate so much hassle and aggravation at the immigration and customs counters. The last thing I need is some officious self-important bureacrat snarl at me when I either give him/her the incorrect form or don't have one to give them at all and they send me off to look for the form which I then fill in on a window ledge or something; then have line up all over again! Okay, I'm probably the 100th stupid foreigner to stuff them up today, but both of us will have far less reason to feel aggrieved if, upon entering the terminal after leaving the plane, we were presented with a clear representation of the formalities we needed to complete.
End of rant.
[Edited 2003-07-04 12:15:42]