Thursday, June 2, 2011

Batam-phetamine!

After reading Chyng Reyes' horrendous experience in Bali recently, I think it's time that I wrote about mine.

I was on a holiday with five friends of mine last November. The trip would start in Singapore, then we'd fly out to Penang, Malaysia, followed by Kuala Lumpur and back. On our third day in Singapore, we took a ferry to Batam Island, an Indonesian island off the southern coast of Singapore, a place popular among tourists for its food.

After a 40-minute boat ride, we hopped off the dock and took a few pictures before heading for immigration. Our passports stamped, we underwent security checks. I was frisked by a man who looked like he was head of security. I still remember his thick mustache and ridiculous face. He felt something on the left pocket of my jean shorts and asked me to pull out the object (no it's not what you think!). It was a small plastic box that was part of a larger pill organizer that I left behind in my hotel in Singapore. Inside was one multivitamin pill from Healthy Options. He held it with his bare fingers, gave it a few sniffs and asked me what it was. I said it's a multivitamin. "What?" Seriously? "It's a multivitamin, I take it everyday. It's supposed to keep me healthy." "What?" The language barrier frustrated the hell out of me. He called out his colleagues whom I hoped could understand what I was saying. I said what it was again, and that one guy kind of got me. They conversed in their native tongue. I had no clue what was happening. My friends were worried. The guy with the ugly mustache scanned the pill with what I surmise was a machine used to detect drug content. It looked like a shower head, but smaller. After one try, he said it came out positive with amphetamine. I'm like WTF!! I said HELL NO, it's a freakin' vitamin that I bought from a store that sells vitamins, NOT DRUGS! He asked me if I had more of it, I said yes, it's in my hotel room. I can get it for you if you want. He scanned it 2 or 3 times more, still with the same horrifying results. He insisted it had amphetamine in it, but I was adamant. Do I look like an addict to you, I asked. The guy really had nothing on me. That drug machine was a total sham. Either he was waiting for me to run away like a guilty criminal or was waiting for a bribe to happen.

After 30 minutes of badgering, he laid his pitiful cause to rest. I remember his words succinctly: "I'll let you go, because I trust you." Errr.. ok, how am I supposed to respond to that? "You had me at hello" or "You complete me"? How about "Do your job right you idiot!"

I walked out without saying anything. My friends were terrified. Not because of the prospect of me going to jail, but of how they'd explain this to my mother! LOL I refused to let this stupid incident ruin my vacation. So I smiled and said let's eat lunch!

In retrospect I thought I handled myself well. However, Indonesia should rethink their way of how they treat their tourists. I am not a drug addict nor am I dumb enough to take illegal drugs into a foreign country. I guess it was standard operating procedure on their part, but come on! If that shower head slot machine scanned a cheeseburger it would still turn out positive for amphetamine! Some things these retards should know about amphetamine and drug testing:


  1. Amphetamine is white and odorless. The pill was a bright yellow and smelled like rust. He sniffed on it. What a dumbass. He should have swallowed it and perhaps gained a few IQ points in the process.

  2. The guy held the pill with his BARE hands. Don't they have money to buy latex gloves? His fingers could already have been tainted with amphetamine from the very beginning.

  3. The drug testing machine looked poorly maintained. Again, it could already have been exposed to the drug, rendering the test results suspect.



I am never going back to Batam Island or Indonesia for that matter. The way they treated me and Chyng is beyond bizarre. And besides, Batam Island? It SUCKED. BIG TIME!

13 comments:

  1. I remember how terrified you were that time. I even suggested that you have that multivitamin pill from healthy options tested, right? What happened to Chyng is really traumatic. I don't want to generalize the Indonesian people, but i hope the concerned individuals will do something about this.

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  2. susmaryosep! buti na lang di ka nagpanic drew! kahit sa bitung, indonesia ganun din ang immigration/customs -- they will always put you on the spot para mawindang ka and give them something to appease them.

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  3. outrageously ridiculous...

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  4. Dami na plang incidences na nde maganda sa Indonesia, to think they are worst than us.

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  5. Di ko lagi to alam. Kaluuuurkey!

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  6. @Mica: Yeah I hope they get their act together. It can really ruin a vacation, but I still enjoyed the rest of my trip.

    @Orman: What happened to you in Bitung? I kept calm as much as I can, but scary thoughts were racing through my head. What if I go to jail? Shet baka magahasa ako! Lol

    @Faust: IKR..

    @Ria: Oh, I guess I forgot to tell everyone. I think only my mom knew about it.

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  7. Gosh! You even know more than that dimwitted officer. Sakit nila sa bangs!

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  8. How terrifying and horrifying experience you had with the hands of that dumb officer.:-)

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  9. Another blow to Indonesia. tsk tsk tsk.

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  10. I've heard so many negative things about Indonesia - its accommodation, place, its people... everything. Hmmmm. Nagdadalawang isip pa ako to visit Indonesia dati but after reading this post... wag na. Tsk tsk.

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  11. maybe they really were waiting for a bribe to happen.. siguro modus operandi nila yun pra kumita ng extra.. i'm not generalizing them pero sana mkarating to sa mga kinauukulan para makita naman nila ang kabulukan ng sistema nila.. tsk tsk tsk..

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  12. I know this is really wrong, but I just can't help but laugh on how you have written about everything humorously. It maybe that, or I just have a bad judgment on what humor is! hahaha! :D but thanks for the heads up, Koya! Balak pa naman namin ng family na pumunta Indonesia soon.. kaso, wag nalang. :|

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  13. LOL @ #1. Those officers are either one of two things: bumbling idiots or greedy bumbling idiots. We have a lot of the same at NAIA... iba lang ang M.O. nila (which reminds me, malapit na ang pasko! better get the handouts ready) haha

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