Traveler to be caned for overstaying visa in Singapore

Tourist visas and their respective extensions are a matter of hot discussion among travelers in Southeast Asia. Many countries only issues visas for 30, 60 or 90 days, but the long term traveler often has reason to stay beyond. As a result, many simply cross the border into another country, stay for a bit and turn right around, earning another tourist visa on the inbound journey. Some even riskier folks choose to stay past their visa date and simply face any punishment that the state issues forth. Usually, that penalty is minor.

That is unless you’re Kamari Charlton, a US citizen who recently overstayed his visa in Singapore and who has now been sentenced to three lashings with a cane. Mr. Charlton, who stayed nearly six months longer than his visa allowed, was in the small Asian city state while his wife was on a medical visa. On departure he was detained pending investigation of assorted fiscal adventures — when it was then revealed that his visa was past due.

The plot further thickens with Mr. Charlton’s claim that he was discriminated against in the ruling — a similar case with an Asian relative was dismissed with a fine.

Needless to say, this serves as a pretty extreme reminder to mind your visa’s due date when entering a country. The consequences could be stronger than you think.

[flickr image via Peti_Morgan]

SkyMall Monday: Cane Sword

The reason we love SkyMall as much as we do is because they keep it simple. Whether it’s the Garden Yeti, Cat Toilet Training System or Baseball Bat Pepper Grinder, the products sold in SkyMall never try to out-think anyone. They simply address problems that we never knew we had until SkyMall solved them. If there’s one thing I hate when it comes to gadgets, it’s when they are made complicated purely to show off bells and whistles. Who needs extraneous buttons, lights, levers, switches, wheels, cords and doodads? At the end of the day, I need a product to do what it is designed to do. So, when it comes to both supporting my body weight and defending myself against charlatans and men of ill-repute, I need a device that will do those two things and do them well. I can’t be burdened with two separate tools that will weigh me down, occupy both of my hands and slow my reaction times. That’s why I was thrilled to see that SkyMall was prepared for me to be limping and under attack. This week, SkyMall Monday wields an accessory that is functional, handsome and deadly. We’re brandishing the Cane Sword.What’s a Cane Sword? It’s a cane with a sword inside. Wasn’t that obvious? If it was a Sword Cane, it would be a sword with a cane inside. But what the hell purpose would that serve? SkyMall isn’t in the business of making baffling, useless products. That’s why the Sword Cane doesn’t exist. But Cane Sword? Yeah, that’s just the kind of logical, practical and soon-to-be ubiquitous product that every American with mobility issues and an arch-nemesis will soon own.

Think that canes should just be canes and that swords have no place in public? I bet you think that umbrellas don’t need flashlights and collar stays don’t need hidden messages. Are you carrying around a cane, sword, umbrella, flashlight, collar stays and a note pad everywhere you go? You must have a huge bag, an assistant or be Vishnu. Since you don’t believe in simplicity, let the official SkyMall product description break it down for you:

39 inches in length. Die cast handle. Stainless steel blade.

Need that broken down any further? It’s more than three-feet-long, has a solid handle and a blade that does the job when the shit hits the…well…blade. It doesn’t taken a rocket scientist to figure out what we’re talking about here. It’s a Cane Sword. And that’s what we want it to be.

Forget about wheelchairs with cannons and walkers with lasers. They’re impractical, expensive and fictional. The Cane Sword exists, does what it’s meant to do and does it well. It’s simple, really.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.