Singapore: Jail, mysterious girl and I won 100 dollars!

I have crossed their customs many times – the first time when I went to Singapore from India everything was as usual till I reached their immigration point. The guy at the counter checked my passport and visa and then he called a Police Officer and asked me to follow her. In 30 seconds I found myself inside their jail. I realised that I was not alone in the jail, there were two other (a lady and a man) who were already inside ignoring my presence and later I realised that the man had come from Australia and had some visa issues and he was abusing the Singaporean authorities and a representative from the Singapore Customs was trying to pacify him and at the same time was warning him that he would be deported if did not mind his language. But the guy was out of control. There was a lady who was also there I didn’t know why and I did not try to strike any conversation with her as I myself was a bit worried so did not find courage to ask anything to her. The lady police officer who had brought me inside took my passport and visa (Singapore provides e-visa, so I had taken the printout) and went somewhere without saying anything to me despite my repeated queries – why was I being detained! She took a good 5 minutes before she came back and by the time she was back I was quite worried already deciding that if there was anything that they were not liking I would take the return flight and come back to India immediately.
When she came back she apologised for any discomfort and told me that since I had only one name (Rahul, without any surname), the system did not accept that at the counter and when their system did not accept anything it went directly to the police and they then investigated and corrected things. The same lady police officer saw me off to pass the immigration point; I felt hell relaxed!
So, it all started with Jail in Singapore. I was there (and in Indonesia – I have already shard my stories from Indonesia) for two weeks and then I came back to India only to go back to Singapore again for more than a month. And this time Punam Punam also went along with me. But this time another incidence happened at Delhi Airport! We saw a girl standing in the same queue that we were standing and she looked a bit in a hurry. In the next five minutes, we saw the lady at the counter refusing to issue the boarding pass to that girl! When our turn came, I enquired the lady at the counter about that girl and was told that the girl was denied a boarding pass because she had cancelled her return ticket! We thought that the girl was in trouble and decided to help her. So, we started a conversation with her and she told us that she was from Punjab and this was for the first time she was going abroad and almost the entire village had come to see her off till the village border and if she had to go back from here, it would be a real shame to her. She did not know how and why did her ‘agent’ cancel her return ticket. Thankfully her father was waiting outside and we asked her to ask her father to buy a ticket for her. They bought a one-way ticket from Singapore to India from Delhi airport and then she showed that to the counter after which the airline issued the boarding pass. Once inside the aircraft, I and Punam sat on our seats and that girl sat three rows behind us. There was another man sitting beside us. We requested that man to exchange his seat with that girl so that we all could sit together. He agreed and we travelled together. She was very thankful and when she called her father just before the takeoff she told him that there were two ‘angels’ with her without whom her travel would not have been possible! She said that she was going for some beauty-parlour course in Singapore and she would return in a week.
When we arrived in Singapore, as usual, I asked Punam to wait for me outside the customs point because I would be sent to ‘jail’, Punam did not understand that! When the custom guy asked the police to take me along, Punam was surprised and shocked to know this! However, I told her that I would come out in 5 mins, but she remained anxious. To my surprise, when I was inside the ‘jail’, I saw that girl also coming inside. I was soon ‘released’ as expected, and I went passed customs and joined Punam, but we waited for that girl to come outside. She also came outside and said that the customs guys were suspicious she did not know why and they had really grilled her, but later decided to let her go.
I and Punam took a taxi and went to our apartment in Singapore and as soon as we reached there, we realized that my bag was missing! We immediately came back to airport and informed the Police. The Police inquired everywhere and then checked the cctv footage of the airport only to say that we were not captured by cctv because when we were passing the airport, the cctv, which was a revolving cctv to capture movements in all directions, was actually looking at the opposite direction. So, we were not there in the picture!!! By the time we reached our apartment it was already 11 at night. All my clothes were in the missing bag. That bag also had all my bills from my Indonesia trip that I mentioned in my post on Indonesia (more than three lakhs INR), that I had to keep them to get them reimbursed at my Singapore office. But the immediate concern was to get a pair of formal clothes because I had to attend my office the next day! So, we went to the famous mall “Mustafa” which was opened 24-hours, and bought 2 formal pants and 3 shirts along with a t-shirt and swimming short! My bag did not had space so I had kept my formal shoes in Punam’s bag, so that was saved.
I spend one and a quarter months in three shirts and two pants (of course the jeans and the t-shirt that I was wearing on the flight was also with me) and I also borrowed a t-shirt and a short pant from Punam which came in handy. 🙂
One more incidence that is very interesting and happened on the trip is from Casino. One day, rather one night, we went to the casino and I wanted to play. Punam was a bit skeptical that if we lost, we would lose dollars (and converted to rupee that might be a substantial amount). We decided that we would not play and only watch others. We were standing beside someone who was from Sri-Lanka and was also watching others playing Roulette. Those who do not know what a Roulette is – this is a game where you call a number/numbers on a spinning table and if true you get money else you lose your money on the call. In the three games I very slowly (audible only to we three – I Punam and that Srilankan guy) called numbers and to my surprise all three came true! So, that SriLankan guy persuaded me to play the game. But the problem was that the tickets were starting at 100 dollars (5,000 Indian rupee then). So, we decided that I would buy 100 dollar ticket and we (I and that guy) would divide that 50 dollars each. We did accordingly. I took 50 dollars from him and gave him half of my tickets. Within 10 minutes I had won 60 dollars (on investment of 50 dollars it was a profit of 10 dollars). So, I gave 50 dollars to Punam and said that now I would play with the remaining 10 dollars and if I lost we would leave playing and we would be in a no win-no loss situation. However, over next one hour at times I lost and at times I won, but eventually I won 100 dollars (100 dollars pure profit) and then we decided that greed was not good and 100 dollars was a good amount and we should go for dinner! We had a good dinner after that! 🙂

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