As you might guess, the #1 industry in iGosia is tourism, followed of course by agriculture (cucumbers and tomatoes), and services (iGosian Airways). With tourism bringing the republic so much income, you could expect that iGosians would love tourists. And they do. Nothing brings out smiles, songs, cheers, and random hugs like a fresh group of tourists arriving in iGosia.
But that doesn’t meant they will let just anyone in, either. Yes, iGosians love tourists, but one of the safeguards of this love is the security screening process by the iGosian Customs Unit (ICU). Over 3000 tourists have visited iGosia in the last 12 years alone, and it is likely that every single one of them would describe ICU with some if not all of these words.
ICU does not play games. Fail to take this seriously, and you may find yourself on the outside desperately trying to get in. It doesn’t take long to determine that the iGosians approach entry to their country with as much gravity, determination, and intensity as this guy does his job. Everything in the ICU area lends to this atmosphere; whether it be the inconsistent lighting, the desultory air-conditioning, or the palpable seriousness in the building. You do not want to say the wrong thing, cross over the line, move too fast, or move too slow. The intimidation factor eliminates many problems at the very beginning, thus further enhancing healthy relationships between iGosians and the tourists.
It has been said before that time seems to stand still when you are in the line for customs in iGosia. ICU agents have been known to take a break just when things get busiest, which can be maddening to some visitors. One tourist, wishing to remain anonymous, said, “I was next in line at one point after finally locating and filling out the correct immigration form. Instead of calling for the next person, the lady just announced she was closed. She then turned to the lady next to her and started talking about a movie she wanted to see. No one came to help me. I had to find another line and start over. Who does that?” ICU does that. And while you may not want to believe it, Nathaniel, there is a method to all of the madness.
iGosians have made a ton of concessions over the years in order to accommodate the number of tourists that visit each year. Some of their historic customs and traditions have been set aside in their efforts to be more hospitable. But they haven’t given up everything yet. They still expect visitors to learn their systems, eat their food, and observe some fundamental traditions. And ICU is no exception. Tourism is significant, but the majority of travelers through iGosia are iGosians returning home. They know what forms are necessary and where to stand. This is what you might call a High-Context culture. iGosians have a tremendous amount of history together. They know how things work and need very little written instructions. It may be confusing, but it will only help you learn as you proceed.
After you are released from the ICU having filled out the proper paperwork and checking your luggage with iGosian Airways, you then get to experience a true iGosian welcoming party. iGosian vendors, greeters, children, beggars, etc. are all waiting just outside to welcome you to the beautiful land of iGosia. You can expect random hugs, songs, dances, and the occasional pickpocket. iGosians are known for their helpfulness, so you can always find someone willing to help you get a bus ticket, carry your bags, or assist you on your tour of iGosia. Just know that iGosians want to help even if they don’t know how. It is their culture.
So there you have it. Do any other words come to mind when you think of your experience with the iGosians Customs Unit? Any memories you want to share of mistakes made? How about that welcoming party? Please hit that comment button and let us know. You may even tell us something we didn’t know ourselves.