The law level is relatively high (no firearms permitted), but crime and violence are rare, mostly because everyone is convinced that the system of Bureaus which govern the planet under the general (but absolute) direction of the Bureau for Bureaucratic Affairs (of which visitors are rarely told) is a stable and benevolent way to run the planet. Basically it is, but many aspects of society are so strictly regulated that progress is difficult.
The Bureau for Health and Recreation is surprisingly advanced, and the hospital facilities are at least TL7. Health care is provided for all citizens free, and for off-planet visitors at the discretion of the Bureau for Interplanetary Trade (which runs the adminstration building at the field of asphalt they call a starport). There is an 80% trade goods import duty, but a loophole exists in the rule and it is not difficult to find a legal way around it (Routine, Admin, Legal). There are generally no obstacles to passenger transport or interplanetary trade.
Imperial credits are worth substantially more than their face value, and are the most effective currency for getting anything done on Ianic.
Transportation in the cities is almost exclusively through wheeled internal combustion taxicabs. Traffic laws are non-existent (no Bureau has ever been created to handle them) and so travel is a dangerous and frightening experience. Letting Italian taxi drivers loose in modern-day Boston might be a suitable analogy. On an average trip across town, a visitor would expect to see at least five accidents, of which one would likely be a multiple fatality. On the other hand, the taxi drivers know the layout of the city by heart, and will deliver anyone anywhere in a minimum(!) time. They are not really very talkative, because they know that the knowledge they hold is technically a military secret.
In theory, the Bureau of Personal Location knows where everyone is, but in practice does nothing of the sort -- by the time the appropriate forms are filled in, the person is invariably somewhere else. Anyway, it is of little use to travellers as a personal identification number is needed to locate anyone. Any traveller expressing a desire to soak in the local colour is invited to apply for a Sociological Investigation Permit. Some of the forms typically request the person's DNA sequence, X-rays of their last 3 generations, ask "Have you, or do you ever intend to vote in a democratic election?" and so on -- application of Imperial Credits usually reduces simple forms to a manageable level.
Visitors requiring more than simple answers to questions are usually referred to the Bureau of Publications.
The starport maintains radio watch, but the station is not continually
manned -- usually only when a ship actually lands! A penetrating scan of
the starport area may reveal unexploited heavy metal deposits in the area.
Initiates are directed through a curtain, struck over the head into unconsciousness (4 pts from staff on a bare head), then undergo an indoctrination/hypnotism/ritual in an open-air part of the stilt-mounted building of the order (1-story on 2-story stilts), during which they inhale burning plant material, watch members (dancers?) performing ritualised combat manouevres, and study the psychological symbols of the religion from a book (one symbol to a page). Eventually they wake up and are let out of the building and have a Master of the order to follow them everywhere and direct them on the Right Path. Members of the order have free passage anywhere on Ianic, and are regarded with respect (if not downright fear) by most of the citizens.
The Order is not under any Bureau control, and this is related to the lack of traffic laws. When a bureau to control religious martial activities was about to be set up, the TDS destroyed the entire bureaucratic chain of command sufficiently to put the bureau creation process into permanent limbo -- this chain of command lead through the Bureau of Traffic, which was completely eliminated, and up into the very top levels of the Bureau for Bureacratic Affairs. As a consequence, it is now legally impossible to set up a bureau to regulate the Order, and also impossible to regulate traffic laws.
David Brock and Chiang Ho go out into the town and find the local bar -- the local drinks are mostly strong spirits. They go on to look for martial arts books in local stores, and on bribing a bookstore owner are directed towards the Order of the Reptilian Black Things that Spit (known in the local language by the acronym TDS). They go to a back room of the one-story building on 2-storey stilts, are knocked unconscious, and wake up in some place open to the sky with some burning vegetable matter waved under their faces while dancers (ritual fighters, perhaps) cavort around them.
Sir Bridgehead is deported to the starport (with his visa permanently revoked) via the Bureau of Personal Identification, the Bureau of Military Secrets, and the Bureau of Deportation. "What is the reason for this?" he asks. "I'm afraid that to find that out you will have to fill out a form from the Bureau of Information, and as a deportable alien you don't have the right to fill in those forms," say the polite gentlemen with the sawed-off shotguns. As he is carted off in a box-like compartment in a car, he keeps ranting about complaints he intends to make with the authorities.
The traders spend virtually the whole day working through the horrendous red tape. They are a bit worried about the others not coming back, so try the administration building but it is closed until morning.
The ships will be loaded at 09:00 tomorrow. After dinner, Chiang Ho gives all his silverware to the Hermes--it seems that the TDS guys don't like these "barbaric weapons."