Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Customs Story

If you’ve been an avid reader – despite the ailing frequency of updates – then you know that I have a tragic history when it comes to travelling. I’m plagued with a perpetual incidence of mis-adventures, contributed by a kaleidoscope of factors that lists carelessness, ignorance and stupidity as contributors.

I could say I’ve almost done it all. Missed a flight, ran on the tarmac to catch my flight and even found myself on a cross-country cab ride back to SG. I’ve learned to accept that I am a magnet for disaster, but up side to that of course is that it makes a great read.

Some weeks ago, LB, RotiPrata and I decided to drive into Johor Bahru after our golfing session for a dinner. It was a last minute unanimous decision to unwind from our torrid time at the driving range because out instructor is quite possibly the worst qualified coach ever and to date, all I’ve managed to pick up from him is that gloves are worn on the left.

This is the second attempt we’ve tried to get into JB this year. I must confess. I screwed that up because when I got home and couldn’t find my passport, I was convinced that I had left it in the office. And when I got back there and couldn’t find it there either, I thought I lost it. And it was on my room table all this time when I was wondering if I had left it on the cab.

I have serious issues.

This time round, I had my passport, there was a smooth traffic to Woodlands checkpoint and it sure didn’t look like rain was going to spill from the sky. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything it seems.

As soon as we gave our passports the officer took a glance into the car and then stepped out of the booth and started walking over to the passenger side of the car where I was seated. If you’ve been across the causeway, you’d know that this is not the standard procedure and something is going down just as you would imagine if you were to go for a anal probe and the doctor brings in a mule and a video recorder.

The officer then signals me to wind down the window, which I diligently obliged.

Officer: “XXX XX”

He reads out the first name. LB waves his hand to acknowledge the identity. The officer looks at him, glances back at the passport then moves on to the next one.

Officer: “Tan XXX XXX”

There was silence in the car. LB and RotiPrata had confusion written all over their faces because they had no idea who the person was. Certainly it wasn’t any of us, none of us even had that surname so surely it wasn’t a case of mispronunciation.

The officer recites the name again, his glare shifting between our faces.

Then it hit me as a million things ran through my mind. Somehow, just somehow there was a tinge of familiarity to that name. Then it hit me, harder than a bevy of bad silicon implants, I had taken the wrong passport.

Me: “Errmm, I think I took the wrong passport.”

The officer glares at me.

O: “Where is your passport?"
Me: “I think I mixed up the passports.”
O: “So where is Tan XXX XXX?”
Me: “I have to idea..”

He pauses. A long silence fills the cabin of the cozy sedan. For a moment, I swore I saw a that look of disbelief that shot across the customs officers face. I had probably given him the most exciting moment of the year because he had no idea what he was going to do about the matter either.

O: “Wait here.”

He made a comms report back to what I would imagine to be the office, relaying the absurdity of the matter. And all this while my mind spiraled into a frantic recovery of ailing memories on how I could have ended up with a swapped passport with my friend, while I flooded my speed dial with calls to him that never got though.

And just when I thought things could never get worse,

LB: “Dude, I just remembered. I have cartons of undeclared cigarettes in my boot.”
The only thing that could possibly make the situation any worse was if we ran out of gas and a flash mob of breakdancing customs officers jumped out to make an arrest.

Then I figured it all out.

A week ago..

Prior to my trip to Hong Kong just a week earlier, I’ve already had a distinguish record of having a travelogue that would make great bar stories. I have after all, missed a flight - near misses on many, told to chase down a plane on the tarmac and refused alcohol on board a flight among many others.

While I am not proud of it, this is also a necessary process for attaining maturity, like puberty, but just a lot more costly.

If Hong Kong thought me anything, it was that I am capable of more fuck-ups in travelling than I ever thought possible. I will not lament on the details – for now - on how I missed 2 flights and a hotel stay just to make it back to Singapore, because this is a proclivity I’ve come to be associated with. Oh yes, two fucking flights. I am a quite a travel prodigy it seems. This is another story all on it’s own.

Now, I know for one, I definitely had my passport with me when I crossed the immigration counter because how else could I possibly have made it pass the biometric prints. It all boiled down to a simple switch up when one of them took my passport to purchase duty-free alcohol.

Fast track a week later, and I’m sitting in the car frantically trying to get my friend on the line. What is going to happen to me? And more pressingly, what is going to happen if they searched the car?

Finally, the customs officer signals us to park the car to the side and follow him to the main office. In there, I spend the next 5 minutes explaining to the chief officer why I had apparently in their opinion, tried to enter
Malaysia with another person’s passport.

I don’t know if they understood the concept of a ‘taking the wrong passport by mistake’ or if they had drawn their judgment on me and was convinced that I was en route to becoming the dumbest criminal caught on film, because I had to answer questions that just made you dumber simply by listening to it.

Officer: “Why did you try to enter Malaysia with another man’s passport?

Officer: “Do you know it’s illegal to pass through immigration with someone else’s passport?

I don’t know if I was getting through to them that this was all a huge misunderstanding, because I had to explain in specific detail on how I came to be in possession of somebody’s passport and why I would even try to cross the border with a passport that clearly didn’t resemble me. It was like trying to get vodka out of a brick.

Having finally convinced them that I was in fact not trying to get into Malaysia illegally, I had to give an official statement and sign off on some document. I was then asked to contact the owner of the passport for a final verification.

Finally, I managed to get my friend on the phone.

Me: “Hey, I’ve got a problem. I’m stuck at Woodlands checkpoint because I took you passport by
mistake. I need you to come down here with my passport."

There was a mild pause. Then,

Him: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

The laughter went on for nearly a good half minute. At the point of sitting behind the desk at the customs office, having spent the last 15 minutes being held up, I could not see any hilarity in it.

Me: “Dude, you know what's really funny? Your passport has been confiscated.”

And there was silence.





19 Comments:

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you should write more often!
Also, it is actually standard procedure for the officer to come out and check. It has been like this for some time already.

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be continued.... dun dun DUNnnnnnnnnn~~~~~

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!! WHY HAVE U STOPPED POSTING REGULARLY????? I MISS YOUR HILARIOUS POSTS!!!!!!

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Coach Factory said...

longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet online, jordan shoes, ray ban outlet, christian louboutin shoes, gucci handbags, louboutin shoes, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, nike shoes, michael kors outlet online, coach purses, red bottom shoes, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet store, louis vuitton outlet, oakley vault, polo ralph lauren, longchamp handbags, tory burch outlet, coach outlet, prada handbags, nike free, longchamp outlet, nike air max, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, true religion, tiffany and co jewelry, burberry outlet online, kate spade handbags, coach outlet store online, chanel handbags, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet online, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike air max, michael kors outlet

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Coach Factory said...

burberry pas cher, oakley pas cher, nike air max, scarpe hogan, abercrombie and fitch, sac vanessa bruno, air jordan, converse pas cher, nike air max, longchamp, nike huarache, nike roshe, louis vuitton uk, ralph lauren pas cher, lululemon, timberland, mulberry, north face, nike trainers, nike free pas cher, new balance pas cher, lacoste pas cher, nike free, nike roshe run, hermes pas cher, tn pas cher, sac michael kors, louis vuitton pas cher, ralph lauren, nike air force, chaussure louboutin, hollister, ray ban uk, barbour, guess pas cher, air max pas cher, air max, hollister, longchamp pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors canada, north face pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, vans pas cher, michael kors uk, true religion outlet, longchamp, sac louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ray ban pas cher

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Coach Factory said...

babyliss pro, soccer jerseys, canada goose outlet, herve leger, birkin bag, lululemon outlet, bottega veneta, asics shoes, insanity workout, moncler, roshe run, ugg, jimmy choo shoes, ugg outlet, ferragamo shoes, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, wedding dresses, canada goose, giuseppe zanotti, mac cosmetics, p90x workout, ugg soldes, uggs outlet, canada goose pas cher, new balance outlet, north face jackets, valentino shoes, instyler ionic styler, rolex watches, canada goose outlet, ghd, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, beats headphones, soccer shoes, uggs on sale, moncler, reebok outlet, nfl jerseys, mont blanc pens, marc jacobs outlet, north face outlet, ugg boots, vans outlet, hollister, moncler, moncler outlet, chi flat iron, celine handbags

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger selected case said...

Samsung Galaxy S5 Cases

Galaxy S5 Cases

samsung galaxy s5 cases coach

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, prada handbags, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, jordan shoes, nike outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet, longchamp, tiffany jewelry, cheap oakley sunglasses, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, tiffany and co, oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, replica watches, louboutin outlet, louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet, nike air max, burberry, nike free, chanel handbags, ugg boots, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, michael kors, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin, gucci outlet, oakley sunglasses

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley pas cher, nike air max, true religion jeans, tn pas cher, coach outlet, nike blazer, vanessa bruno, north face, coach factory outlet, lacoste pas cher, coach outlet, true religion jeans, hollister, ray ban uk, nike free run uk, abercrombie and fitch, vans pas cher, north face, ralph lauren pas cher, nike air max, burberry, lululemon, air jordan pas cher, michael kors, true religion jeans, kate spade handbags, nike roshe, ralph lauren uk, nike roshe run, nike air max, louboutin pas cher, ray ban pas cher, new balance pas cher, michael kors, converse pas cher, coach purses, air max, hermes, sac longchamp, hogan, nike free, true religion outlet, timberland, air force, sac guess, longchamp pas cher, michael kors, hollister pas cher, mulberry, michael kors

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

ghd, louboutin, chi flat iron, timberland boots, mac cosmetics, new balance, longchamp, baseball bats, iphone 6 cases, nike huarache, soccer jerseys, hollister, vans shoes, celine handbags, asics running shoes, ferragamo shoes, babyliss, iphone 6 plus cases, mcm handbags, s5 cases, north face outlet, iphone 6s cases, mont blanc, p90x workout, insanity workout, soccer shoes, ipad cases, valentino shoes, reebok shoes, jimmy choo shoes, lululemon, nike trainers, hollister, iphone 5s cases, nike roshe, wedding dresses, birkin bag, giuseppe zanotti, instyler, herve leger, iphone cases, iphone 6s plus cases, ralph lauren, bottega veneta, nfl jerseys, oakley, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max, beats by dre, north face outlet

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

marc jacobs, doudoune canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, canada goose outlet, moncler, vans, converse, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler, hollister, ugg boots uk, barbour jackets, gucci, bottes ugg, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, lancel, canada goose outlet, converse outlet, canada goose, pandora charms, barbour, canada goose, links of london, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, coach outlet, moncler, pandora charms, replica watches, louis vuitton, canada goose, louis vuitton, nike air max, hollister, moncler, pandora jewelry, michael kors handbags, wedding dresses, ugg pas cher, swarovski, karen millen, juicy couture outlet, doke gabbana outlet, montre pas cher, canada goose uk, moncler, toms shoes, louis vuitton, ray ban

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger mmjiaxin said...

belstaff outlet
coach factory outlet
oakley sunglasses uk
swarovski crystal
roshe run men
tiffany outlet
cheap uggs
ray-ban sunglasses
rolex watches,rolex watches,swiss watches,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
kobe shoes
celine outlet online
ray-ban sunglasses
canada goose coats
michael kors outlet online
mulberry uk
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet online
tiffany outlet
herve leger dresses
lacoste pas cher
mm1221

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

christian louboutin uk, louis vuitton, kate spade outlet, christian louboutin, jordan shoes, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet, tiffany and co, uggs outlet, replica watches, chanel handbags, nike air max, nike air max, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, prada outlet, prada handbags, polo outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, uggs outlet, ugg boots, burberry handbags, nike outlet, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, jordan pas cher, longchamp pas cher, ray ban pas cher, converse pas cher, polo lacoste, hollister uk, nike blazer pas cher, air max, nike tn, michael kors, polo ralph lauren, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, replica handbags, hollister pas cher, sac hermes, nike free uk, true religion outlet, new balance, michael kors pas cher, ray ban uk, nike air max, timberland pas cher, guess pas cher, hogan outlet, nike roshe run uk, michael kors, louboutin pas cher, mulberry uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, true religion jeans, coach outlet store online, lululemon canada, coach purses, burberry pas cher, north face uk, nike free run, oakley pas cher, kate spade, coach outlet, ralph lauren uk, sac vanessa bruno, nike roshe, nike air force, north face, vans pas cher

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

instyler, hollister clothing, beats by dre, s6 case, nike roshe run, nike huaraches, ralph lauren, new balance shoes, oakley, iphone cases, bottega veneta, iphone 6 plus cases, nfl jerseys, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max, babyliss, north face outlet, herve leger, iphone 6 cases, insanity workout, ghd hair, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, nike trainers uk, hermes belt, longchamp uk, soccer jerseys, vans outlet, jimmy choo outlet, giuseppe zanotti outlet, hollister, celine handbags, wedding dresses, baseball bats, ipad cases, iphone 6s cases, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, timberland boots, north face outlet, p90x workout, iphone 5s cases, louboutin, lululemon, mcm handbags, iphone 6s plus cases, reebok outlet, chi flat iron, ferragamo shoes, soccer shoes

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ray ban, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, canada goose, moncler, moncler uk, converse outlet, canada goose uk, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, karen millen uk, converse, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, vans, canada goose, canada goose outlet, replica watches, lancel, moncler outlet, canada goose jackets, barbour, ugg pas cher, hollister, louis vuitton, moncler, marc jacobs, canada goose, pandora charms, pandora uk, ugg uk, swarovski, hollister, juicy couture outlet, moncler, supra shoes, wedding dresses, moncler, coach outlet, montre pas cher, canada goose outlet, nike air max, pandora jewelry, barbour uk, canada goose outlet, ugg, pandora jewelry, gucci

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20160618
michael kors outlet clearance
cheap nfl jerseys
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton bags
oakley sunglasses outlet
vans shoes sale
rolex submariner
coach outlet store online
polo ralph lauren
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban wayfarer
ralph lauren outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
jordan 13
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton outlet
true religion jeans
coach outlet store online
jordan 3 white cenment
tiffany and co
burberry outlet
ray ban sunglasses
ralph lauren outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
true religion
ray ban sunglasses discount
nike air max
fitflops
christian louboutin sale
ralph lauren uk
nike free run
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet
cheap ray ban sunglasses
adidas superstar
fitflops sale clearance
oakley sunglasses
authentic louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton outlet
true religion sale
as

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Accurate Gold Calls said...

thank you for this blog you have done good work on this post keep doing well

Gold Jackpot Call

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger عبده العمراوى said...

شركة تنظيف منازل بالخبر

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home