In the past three months I’ve had to visit the embassies/consulates of four different countries to either obtain visas to visit the respective countries or simply accompany someone who was planning a visit home. I must say that you learn so much about the culture of a country through the first impressions that you have at a country’s embassy. For example, I’m sure many of you can relate with what I’m saying when I refer to the ‘red-tape’ one experiences when waiting in line. How about the common ‘passing the buck’ service where you’re sent from one floor to another or from one phone number to another until eventually someone just decides to hang up on you. Perhaps the worst experience one can receive is when you’re totally ignored at your own nation’s embassy or asked to wait in line only to be told at 5:00pm that you need to return the following day as your passport is still not ready. Someone should write a book on life spent at the embassy.
Nevertheless, I think there’s such a gold mine waiting to be mined if only some countries took a second or two to rethink the way they handled and treated potential investors, visitors and especially residents. You never know what will happen if you just go the extra mile to represent your nation.