Sunday, May 13, 2018

Having a few bad days

random picture, but makes me smile.
The last few days are what you would call "bad days," a string of them in fact. I think it was triggered by having problems filing my Reply Brief. And I was in the mountains, when the court told me I was a day late, where I didn't have a printer, and I didn't have access to the legal research database.

The receptionist ended up treating me badly at my hostel, and when I confronted her about it, it was obvious she wasn't going to apologize. So, I wrote a letter to her owner, and later, the owner apologized to me and the girl receptionist broke down in tears.

I guess the receptionist was going through a bad time and took it out on me. (I think this whole court thing though brought some bad energy back on me; somehow, someway.)

Then, I found out that my brief had a bad case in there. I was very worried.

I sat myself down and counseled myself, up in the mountains. (Not the best idea, but my counselors and advisors were back in Los Angeles, and I was here in the mountains by myself.) I was overlooking a view of the trees and the rocks on a deck.

So, I decided that I wasn't going to make excuses about it; I was going to draft a letter that tell the court and my opponents I made a mistake and that I was sorry and could I have permission to file a new brief. I felt really vulnerable about the whole thing, but I decided I was going to own up to what I did. I didn't like how it made me feel, but it was an honest mistake. Without having a legal database available to me and being on a faster timeline, this wouldn't have happened. But it was what it was. (Lessons for next time.)

So, I did that. I revised my brief. I apologized in writing. I asked for a new refiling. I prayed to God everything would be ok, and I moved on with my life. I was really worried that I worked over 100 hours on this brief, only for the Court of Appeal not to accept it. Can you imagine having that bounce in your head over and over again? (Anyways, that's what getting older has taught me: To give it up and not worry. That's what Jesus said - How does worry help your situation? It doesn't.)

The day before I left to Port Elizabeth, I took my opponent's brief and threw it into the campfire. I didn't know it'd attract so much attention. At the last hostel, I burned some papers and no one asked about it. But they all asked me - What are you burning?

I said - "My enemy's brief. I had to respond do it. I've submitted my response. That thing had some bad juju in it." And I swear, in my head - I could hear the ghost and ghouls moan, as those papers burned. (They were just full of deception and untruths. As Orwell once said, these "writing are largely the defence of the indefensible". Not nice.)

When I got to Port Elizabeth, not a nice city indeed, I went to a cafe to work. But I got overcharged there. Then the manager accused me of lying. And she started screaming at me. I was not happy and argued back. Another manager came out and assured me later they made the mistake. I just wasn't happy I was being accused, without them having questions first.

When I got back to the hostel in Port Elizabeth, at 03:00A, a strange guy was walking around in my room naked and started screaming. I told him to go to bed, and he said, "What did you say?"

I thought if this guy is this clueless, I'm not answering again. He woke me up at 06:00A, and I realized I didn't sleep well that day. I was not having a good day.

The next day, I had good news followed by more bad news. I checked my email, and there was some good news too. The Court of Appeal accepted my reply. Phew! That was a big load off my chest. Thank God (literally).

Then, I received a text from my host while boarding my flight that he wasn't going to host me in JoeBerg. I was going there just to see him and his family.

I wasn't in a good mood, but I was grateful that the Court of Appeal accepted my brief.

After landing into JoeBerg, I was at the airport, and I sat there for three hours trying to figure out what to do next. Some friends wanted me to come to Coffee's Bay. Another wanted me to go the Dragon's Mountain with him.

Where to go? What to do?

Imagine being stranded in the middle of nowhere, not knowing what to do. I called up someone. She told me, try to see it that God's redirecting you.

I told her, "I believe that. The problem is I don't know what to do or where to go."

I ordered a coffee. I drank. I thought. I had no idea.

I read some Scripture, trying to get some direction, some insight, some wisdom. Nothing direct came.

I ordered more food, some cheap squid rings, and decided to check into a hostel here, instead of catching a flight somewhere else. Why not? I was already here.

At the hostel, a Rottweiler came up to my luggage and bit into it not releasing it. He was just playing but he left a few tears in my luggage. There were a few tears in my luggage. I was definitely irritable about it.

I told the owner of the hostel that he needed to give me a discount on one of the nights here. He reluctantly agreed. I mean: Come on; it's your dog, and you're not disciplining it. 

I thought to myself, This is really a bad day. Then, I would have started laughing, except I was too tired and cranky.

Currently, as of May 13, 2018, I believe this entire country is in a transition. Most of the people I meet have an attitude of entitlement and anger and hence, a lack of gratefulness. In some ways, it's really become a society where people prey off each other and take from each other, all the way up and all the way down to the street thieves and other African invaders - like the Nigerians who sell drugs here.

I think the problem is that being at a place like this gets to you, especially if you stay here too long. (To be honest, I wouldn't recommend investing long term in South Africa, until things turn around. Can you trust the money you invest with the people here? Not sure.)

The final piece of good news is that I had the dorm room to myself. Nobody else. No snorers. No crazy guys from the Ghana. No drug addicts. No thieves. Nobody having sex in my room. No random and drunk girls trying to crawl into bed with guys. (Happened at the last hostel, but not to me.) No one calling me Bruce Lee or Ching Chong. No naked guys running around screaming.

No, I had the room to myself. I slept for ten hours. And that's the thing about bad days, they clear up as rainy days eventually do. 

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