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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Custom Misfortune

I made a trip to JB last Thursday to buy 2 return train tickets from KL. At the counter, a train on its way back to Singapore arrived. I decided to buy ticket for that train to return to Singapore. Everything was in a rush and I was the last passenger for that train. I quickly bought the 2 tickets from KL-JB and 1 ticket for that just-arrived train back Singapore. I rushed to get my ticket punched and hopped onto the train. None of the JB immigration officers stopped me to have my passport checked. They just let me pass them. On the train, I realized I forgot to have my passport stamped to prove my exit from JB! I made a call to Regine and she advised me to go back to JB custom and have my passport stamped to avoid future problems. I reached Singapore-Woodlands arrival hall, had my bag scanned, made my way to Singapore-Woodlands departure hall again, exit Singapore, and then finally reached JB custom again. This time the queue was a lot longer than earlier. When it's my turn, I explained to the immigrant officer that the officers from the train departure side forgot to stamp my passport. He understood my problem and allowed me to pass through and enter JB. I made my way straight to JB exit point again and had my passport stamped at last. This time, I had to leave for Singapore by bus along the heavily congested causeway and not on a train because the next-bound train would only be coming in an hour's time. All in all, I had wasted about 2 hours for the mistake I made.

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