Sunday, June 22, 2008


Nesa was telling me yesterday about some absurdity that was being practised at the Immigration checkpoints. I had a good laugh but the full impact wasn't felt until i saw it happening this morning at Woodlands Checkpoint, en route to Senai Airport.

A Caucasian lady in a full length figure-hugging red dress that accentuated her willowy figure was lining up just ahead of me to cross the checkpoint. There must had been some issue with her passport or so, for the immigration officer and herself spent a long time explaining to each other, seemingly to no avail even with the help of waving limbs.

Eventually their animated discussion ended abruptly, and she was told to put her thumb on a scanner. She's not a particularly hot lady so I naturally turned my attention to the screen of the immigration officer's computer, trying to peek at the content. Surprisingly, this monitor was not protected with a privacy screen protector*.

*A privacy screen protector would make viewing angle so narrow that no one else apart from the officer directly in front of the screen would be able to see anything shown on the screen.

A detailed scan of the thumbprint turned up, then out of the blue the face of Mas Selamat popped out really big on the screen.

NO FIT, the system proudly declare on the screen in huge green letters.

The officer glanced at the Caucasian lady again, and satisfied with his visual assessment he dismissed the lady and beckoned at me.

He sized me up a bit, then took my passport and student pass to scan, never softening his intent gaze on me even for a bit. He then gestured for me to use the thumb print scanner.

The system showed error, and again i felt a pair of concrete-boring gaze befalling on my cheeks. Probably he was trying to make out if i was donning a mask ala Mission Impossible.

He must have decided that Mas Selamat would have more self respect to use a better looking mask, for he stop analyzing my face.

He asked me to use my left thumb instead, and this time it registered.

NO FIT. Those huge green words were plastered all over the screen again. He waved me goodbye coolly.

I sighed in relief. You know, i do look a lot like Mas Selamat in that picture.

I have brownish skin, 2 eyes, 1 nose, 1 mouth, 2 ears, and a short crop of hair too. Minus the facial hair. (I shaved them ok, not that i am not manly enough. Ha)

Maybe Mas Selamat was tall and willowy too, that must be why the officer was gawking at the lady. Did i say gawking?

Mas Selamat must be able to take many shapes too, as Nesa saw an officer trying the thumbprint of an old, hunch-backed lady who probably had genu varum from osteoarthritis.

Mas Selamat must be a magical being, for the immigration officials to think he is capable of taking so many shapes. If he is magical, then why bother.

It's just darn ridiculous.

* the lady's footwear shop PRETTYFIT should take a cue from the immigration officials. Instead of disappointing their customers by saying there's no more size with earnest face that tries extremely hard to be apologetic, they should just install a screen and say NO FIT, with Mas Selamat's face. At least we will all get a good laugh.

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