First things first, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!
What can I say, we’re finally back in the real world! We caught the 8am flight out of HK and touched down in Changi bright and early this morning. You may first and foremost be asking right now what the hell I’m doing home blogging right on the eve of the crossing into the new year. Well the short answer is that Erica isn’t feeling well and as such we’re spending the night at home! No matter, as long as we have each other that’s more than we could ever ask for as a wonderful celebration of the entry into the new year
Anyway, back to what I was saying originally, it had been somewhat of an interesting day today that involved me getting quite up close and personal with two very serious looking members of airport security armed with sub-machine guns, in a truck near the cargo bay of our plane that I was escorted to by an airport representative. And I have to say, I only have myself to blame.
I couldn’t resist it. I just couldn’t resist it. I purchased an Airsoft Pistol in Hong Kong yesterday and innocently tried to bring it into Singapore.
I’ve wanted an Airsoft pistol for the longest time (and I do mean the looooongest time) ever and I finally got my chance to purchase one. After perusing the many Airsoft shops in Kwong Wa St, I finally settled on a model of my favourite pistol of all time. It was the first pistol I ever fell in love with after watching one too many cop movies back when I was a wee lad and I’ve always wanted one since. It’s a Beretta M92FS. Without going into all the little details, the model I settled upon was one of the top models made by Western Arms. Painted in a carbon black scheme, this gun was incredible. Although it was made of plastic, it both looked, felt, and weighed like a real, full metal pistol. I even had to ask the guy twice if it was metal or plastic because I could swear holding it in my hand that it was made of metal. But no, it was plastic.
The gun itself weight about a kilo and was absolutely beautiful. So I bought it, played with it all night in the hotel room, and blasted a few rounds at a paper target hung in front of a bathroom in the room. I fell in love even more so. The recoil action of the gas blowback system was truly truly excellent. It is absolutely incredible how real these airsoft pistols look and feel. They are legal in Hong Kong and many other countries but unfortunately, Singapore is not one of them as I soon found out…. for real.
To cut a long story short, I packed the gun into my suitcase and checked it in as per normal. When we tried to board, the lady at the boarding gate say that there was a problem with one of our bags and that there was something they needed to investigate closer. I was to escort them to the bag and unlock it for them. And so I following the airline rep down the boarding gate, down the emergency stairs, under the cargo hold of the plane, and into a truck that was parked there.
The first thing I saw when I entered the truck were two heavily armed guards looking at me, and my luggage bag laying on a table between them. I believe they are there just as a security precaution in case it was a real gun. In the hand of one of the guards was a printout of the x-ray scan of my bag. And so I fessed up the truth as it was according to me, truth that was umm… appropriate to that occasion. I was all smiles and cheers and happily took the gun out of my bag for them to see and was told by the airline rep that I’m unable to take it on the flight to Singapore as it was banned there.
If it was to any other country that it was legal then it would be fine, but in this particular case, not Singapore. I asked her if this happened alot as I’m sure the temptation to buy a BB gun or airsoft would be very very strong for many many guys out there. And she say it happens all the time indeed! So they asked me a few questions as to my travel details of the past couple of weeks, one of the guards quizzed me about where I bought it from and how much, then they gave me a receipt for the confiscation of the gun and I was back on my merry way.
The end result is sadly, no new toy for me. The good thing is that they don’t keep the gun. I have 14 days to get someone to pick it up from HK airport before it gets disposed of. So what I may do is get a friend to pick it up for me and then resell it to get my money back. Sigh…. so sad…. that gun was just so incredibly awesome….
So there you go peeps. Some FYI if any of you are accidently buying things which you may innocently be trying to bring back into Singapore that are deemed illegal by local laws. It’s not just the random 1 in a million chance of a bag scan at Changi airport that you have to be worried about, it’s the clearing the customs at HK airport for that particular flight, assuming they have an agreement with that airline.
I honestly didn’t think this would happen as the item is still legal in HK and the airport wouldn’t really care if something that was locally legal was exported or moved out of their country but there you go! Modern scanning technologies just make it too hard for anything to get through that shouldn’t get through.
Guess I just have to wait and hope that Airsoft gets legalised in Singapore as it already is in New Zealand, most of Europe, the US, and most of Asia. The anticipate it to be legalised though strictly regulated in Australia sometime between 2009-2010. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but from the looks of it, Singapore being Singapore, I don’t like the odds of that happening….
Disclaimer: I did not know that it was illegal to bring what is basically a toy pistol that is locally legal, back into Singapore. Well now I know! 😛 Umm… yeah.