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After long times, again something to tell you!
My last trip to Singapore was a big disaster. In my 27 years as a busker, first time I got in big trouble with the emigration
I traveled for 14 years regular to Singapore. In the beginning, every body told about the hard time in Singapore. But
I never had any difficulties! I expected on every trip the worst, and after 14 years I actually felt safe. I knew, when a
few years ago, they started with permits for busking, that the busker permission was not a good thing as only citizen and
PR's can get one.
More and more local buskers started playing every day on the same spot, what was an annoying thing as people stopped to
I actually wasn't effected too much, but they got jalouse as they could see, I still got some money. I increased my daily
hours of playing from 4 to 7 hours, in this way I still could earn enough to survive.
I never stayed longer as 14 days, and I changed every day my place, to catch not to much attention, but I think it didn't
work out. On my last arrive in Changi Airport, an emigration officer asked me if I came again busking. Politely I answered,
yes a little bit. He answered that he saw me, many times on Orchard road, and that I couldn't do that without proper license,
and as a foreigner I couldn't get one.
And than he added that if he saw me again, he puts me in jail. I knew that the fine for illegal busking could be up to
10.000 Sing $, but I didn't know that it was possible to get jail term.
Any way, I understood what he try to tell me, and I knew that Singapore was not the place to joke about law, so I did
what he ask me to do, or better not to do. I left with a bad feeling in my stomach as 14 years in paradise to busker was over.
Don't let you mislead by "International Busker River festival", we are not welcome, in the eye of the emigration.
Only on invitation and with proper documents. And now I know why I didn't see my old friend Richard, with the German "Drehorgel"
Eric the Busker