"Excuse me Sir"

Trip Start Nov 02, 2006
Trip End Jun 21, 2007

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"Excuse me Sir." Her voice jolted me out of my airport sound induced hypnosis. "Yes," I responded, recognizing the woman as the same person who helped us check in our bags at the Tiger Airline counter. Jessica and I had been relaxing and waiting in the terminal for about 20 minutes. Jessica was using Singapore Airport's free internet and I was sitting, thinking about our time in Vietnam. Our flight didn't leave for another hour and forty five minutes and everything was good until... "Sir, did I help check in your luggage?" "Yes," I replied. At that point the airport police who was standing behind the awkward acne ridden flight attendant saying "Sir, you need to come with me."

"Anywhere but here," I thought. I was a little worried, but mostly confused. "What's going on?" I asked.

"Just come with me sir," he said.

"Can you please tell me what this is about?"

"Just follow me sir."

"I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what's going on!"

At that point the chubby airport police officer replies by saying something about out baggage having been searched. A strange sense of calm overrode the outside of my body, while a growing feeling of fear grew within. I knew we hadn't broken any laws, we weren't trafficking narcotics, weapons of illegal immigrants...so what the hell was this all about!

After getting Jessica off the internet and telling her to watch our bags, I followed my law enforcement buddy through the terminal, outside, through a normally locked gigantic "prison fence" and into a very cold, cement room with a florescent light, a chair, a table, air-con, and eight armed cops. At this point I was feeling a mixture of "This is great, what an experience" and "Oh my god, I am going to jail, of I'm gonna get my left hand cut off" and "How did I get into this situation in Singapore of all places. A city where chewing gum is illegal and they execute drug traffickers." Singapore is the only place where the Dali Lama himself would have to be careful not to get arrested.

On the table rested Jessica's huge like green check-on bag. Behind the bag stood Singapore Airport police guy numero uno. He was a no-bullshit straight shooting man of the law. I don't think a new born baby ferret could have made this guy smile.

"Please take the handcuffs out of the bag."

I looked at him, then at the large bag on the table, then back at him.

"Sir, take the handcuffs out of the bag!" The words flowed from his mouth like he'd said then a thousand times. I unzipped the bag and attempted to find the handcuffs. All around me I felt the presence of the eight officers, none of whom seemed to have moved an inch since I entered the interrogation room. They were like stalky little fear-inducing Asian law enforcement statues. My fingers and arms began to shake as I searched through the bras and underwear for the handcuffs.

"This isn't my bag," I said under my breath, worried that they might think I was a cross-dresser on my day off. Finally, I found the handcuffs and pulled them to the surface.

The tension of the room lifted as I stood in the middle of the room holding up a pair of handcuffs covered with black fur. Most of the policemen stood their ground while two of them looked at the floor to try to hide their smiles. I was standing in front of all eight of then grinning from ear to ear thinking "This is the greatest moment of my life?" Even if I went to ail, it was worth it. After I laughed and they ensured me that they weren't going to stone me to death f chop off my left hand, we went through a thorough bit of ask-and-answer paperwork.

"Where did you get the handcuffs?"
"A sex shop in America."

"How much were they?"
"About twenty bucks."

"Were you aware that you needed a permit to have handcuffs in Singapore?"
"No, but those aren't real handcuffs. They are a novelty. Would I be here if they were plastic?"

"No, its because they are metal. Do you have the keys?"
"No, they have a safety release lever on the side."

"How long have you had them?"
"About a year of so."

"What do you use them for?"
"Umm....well......how about recreation?"
"No, no...that sounds too much like drugs."
"Well I'm not sure..." the officer and I sat there thinking until he suggested the word "pleasure"
"Sure," I said..."pleasure sounds OK"

After I gave them information about my educational background, mother's maiden name, and my brothers cell phone number they handed me the two best souvenirs I've gotten since I left America five months ago...two pieces of paper. On one was a full description of the illegally possessed item listed as "metal handcuffs with black fur and releasable lever," and the other was a signed agreement stating that I wouldn't break the same law again.
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anony girl on

Too late for a comment but I also brought one to S'pore last night and got interrogated by two officers. It was a metal handcuff I got from my girlfriends as a bridal shower gift from Manila. I had a hard time getting it out of Manila too since I was also asked and it almost got confiscated. I still talked them out of it and said it was just a toy. Without knowing it was illegal to bring it here, there you go, I got interviewed 7 hours ago at the Changi airport, got my passport and ID photocopied, and got a warning. Geesh I was scared, at the same time pissed.

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