Letters to the Editor: Arrival could be more pleasant

On
Monday, 21 June, my wife and I disembarked from our flight in the pouring rain
and ran to the Cayman Immigration to be processed.

It
was bad enough that we were a bit wet, but then we encountered a very long
visitors’ line up, served by only one immigration officer. The small line of persons
with Cayman passports was serviced by three officers. True that after the
Cayman citizens were processed some of the visitors were allowed over to that
section for processing, but then another planeload of visitors joined our line.

In
the meantime there were at least two other persons in the official area,
including a lady walking around and I have to assume that they were immigration
officers or supervisors. Then another immigration officer appeared, he looked
at the crowd of visitors for a good four minutes. He then went into the office
for his work tools, came back out, stood by his booth for another few minutes
again looking at the crowd of visitors.

Apparently
he was totally unconcerned about trying to alleviate the length of our wait for
processing. He then got into his booth, sat down, looked at the crowd for
another couple of minutes, after which he motioned to us, who were next in
line, with the flick of a finger. After we were processed by immigration and
customs, we hurried outside with the hope that our friend, who came to meet us,
was still there. Thank goodness she was patient.

Incidentally,
that warning notice sign facing the visitors in the line is a really bad joke. Especially
since it appears to be applicable to visitors only. I personally found it
objectionable since I and I’m sure other visitors too are responsible adults
and need no warnings for us to behave responsibly in someone else’s country.
This surely was not a good first impression on entering a country where tourism
must be of some great importance to the economy, judging from the amount of
visitors at immigration and cruise ships anchored off shore.

It
certainly would have been nice if we were greeted by some courteous hostesses
and immigration officers with a welcome to Cayman. We enjoyed our visit and
were impressed with the buildings, the good roads and the cleanliness of the
Island. Hopefully when we return we will not encounter the same immigration chaos
and that some effort will be made to make us feel more welcome to your lovely Island.

Oscar
Hoo

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Mr. Hoo – do you know what it is like for foreigners to arrive into your country? Have you ever waited in the non-US Citizen line at Homeland Security/Immigration or whatever they are calling it these days in the US? have you ever seen the treatment that foreigners are given by immigration and/or customs upon arrival and going thru those lines in the US? Please, there is no one in the US less welcoming than the immigration officials. They dont even look you in the eye, they dont want you to touch their pens, most of them dont even respond when you say hello or good morning or good evening. They want your forms handed over quickly, no chit chat or anything, and dont even try smiling at them. And this is coming from a US citizen living in Cayman with a Caymanian spouse and that is how we are both treated when we go to the US for a visit, not just the foreigner. So please, really, it’s a pain in the butt experience for us all, not just you alone coming in here to Cayman. On the other hand, glad you had a great stay. But like we do not do when we go to the US, dont let the bad taste of your wait to go through immigration, taint your whole stay and/or perception of the Cayman Islands.

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