Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Misery Business - Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore's Changi Airport is in the business of misery. We have flown in & out & both times were possibly the most frustrating & stressful times of our travels. Singapore is like a perfect city - so clean and sparkly but full of rules that must be adhered to, so I guess to keep it that way the airport has to be the same.
We were super excited to go to Singapore, we had heard how it is like a break from SE Asia, which we needed. Although we love Asia things do get to you after a few months & according to everyone Singapore is completely different, as mentioned above - clean & sparkly, not to mention the language they speak is English so no language barrier for 5 days.
Even the short flight was ace, I spent most of the time staring out of the window as the clouds looked really different to normal & as we approached Singapore I have never seen so many boats in the sea.
When we arrived in Singapore Changi Airport we were very impressed. In the toilets & at immigration they
had screens to rate the service (this screen is regularly sanitised it assured you) & on the luggage carousel were beautiful orchids. It's not like me to take so many pictures before I even leave the airport.
We quickly picked up our bags and were leaving the airport when we were randomly selected & had to put our bags through the x-ray machine. The immigration guys saw 3 "dense items" and wanted to know what they were. We quickly realised it was the 2 spent bullets from the shooting range at The Cu Chi Tunnels & a bullet shaped key ring we had bought as a present at the same place. Both rooting through our bags Russell finally found all 3, I was thinking 2 things at the same time - 1) We're not getting into Singapore 2) Once they see the bullet is a key ring and the other 2 are empty cartridges surely it'll be all ok & we'll be allowed to go. Neither of these things happened. The immigration guys, who were surprisingly nice, said they had to question us & call the police. They explained the police would question us more & seize all 3 items but it shouldn't be a problem as this happens every day with people arriving from Vietnam.
The wait for the police was about 10 minutes but felt longer but once the police came they were as cool as the immigration guys. They took loads of pictures and seized the 2 spent bullets, they were under Russell's name so he got a 'warning' that if he did it again in Singapore he would be arrested. They went to a lot of lengths - phone calls & photographs to let us keep the key ring at least. Then we were on our merry way, but what a ball ache!
Posted by russell clark