I’m currently in Antigua, which is a remarkably beautiful island. But nice places nonetheless have un-nice governments.
When I arrived yesterday, I didn’t know the address where I was staying. That detail didn’t seem important since I was being picked up at the airport.
But there was a “residence in Antigua” slot on the immigration form and the bureaucrats refused to let me in the country without knowing that irrelevant piece of information.
This isn’t the first time this happened to me. I was once detained at Heathrow Airport in the U.K. because I didn’t know the address of my friend’s flat. After a couple of minutes, though, the bureaucrat was overcome by common sense and let me through.
That was not the case in Antigua. I had to wait an irritatingly long period of time before one of the bureaucrats accompanied me into the arrivals section to find the person who was picking me up. Then, after putting the address on the immigration form, I was finally allowed in the country.
I realize I’m whining a bit (just like I did with my personal stories about Amtrak, tax returns, traffic tickets, and air travel), but what possible purpose did it serve for the government of Antigua to create an unpleasant experience for me?
After all, there’s no welfare system in Antigua, so I wouldn’t be sneaking in the country to mooch off local taxpayers.
Unfortunately, the government did recently introduce an income tax after decades of independence without that burdensome levy. So perhaps it’s just a matter of time before politicians augment that mistake with a welfare state.