Purse- check, telephone- check, Self respect- uncheck
There was a time when I was a student, where I would be living from one allowance to the another. After paying for rent at the dormitory, I would have enough money left for some food and a couple of other measly expenses. Forget about buying tickets for using the public transport system. Who would buy me beer at the next party? Beer costs around 7 Zl. I need to drink at least three beers. Responsibilities are for adults. It doesn’t apply to students. Students are immune to responsibilities.
My friends would say ‘Jay, just say something in Hindi or Malayalam, and the conductors in the tram wouldn’t bother You. Those conductors don’t speak a word of english!’ And that’s what I did. I was able to get away a few times from those conductors. But there were times, when they caught me redhanded and I actually got the fine. Soon after I would leave the tram, the fine would go into the dust bin. ”I am a foreigner living in Poland. You guys can’t make me pay those fines. Fuck yeah! Winning…”
Then came adulthood. Now i have a job and a steady income. I thought to myself ‘Why should I live like a student all the time?’ So for the last 4-5 years I am a perfect law abiding citizen. I would buy tickets whenever I use the public transport system. I don’t want to be known as a ’typical foreigner’ in Poland(what’s wrong with foreigners in Poland? Don’t know what I am talking about actually.) Anyways, I want to respect the country where I am living in, and its citizens. As the saying goes ‘when in Rome’.
Eckhart Tolle says “live in the present moment’. So does that mean, that I dont have to take into consideration the fines that i collected in my past? Yes? 😉
I hate, I mean absolutely hate from my guts, the bureaucracy and red tapism in Poland. In India we do have our own red tape and bureaucracy when it comes to getting things done at the government offices. But In India, I had my father who always helped me in those matters. Here in Poland I am on my own.( I understand that. Adulthood responsibilities and that sort of things)
For the last 10 years i have been going to the Foreigners department at the Wrocław community office, to get my stay legalised in Poland. Those guys know how to make Your life a living hell in every way possible. Papers, attested copies, letters, tax returns. I mean this office has tested me in every way possible. At one point I was even asked to go back to India and get my visa again, because I was late while applying for my residence permit here in Poland(they actually took out this old law for good). I thought ‘if these fuckers can make my life hell, then i wont pay a single penny in fines.’ Let the public offices treat us like shit, but You will have consequences’
What do those fu***** need that money for from me anyways. Right?
I would always tell my friends that I have about 1400 złotychs in fines from the MPK(public transport system in Wrocław), for not having a valid ticket . My friends would laugh at me and say ‘Jay You are crazy!’. Actually while telling them this info, I was quietly asking myself ‘Dude why aren’t You paying those fines man?’ Actually not too long ago, this conversation cropped up again in my life, while I was talking to a very close person in my life.
And then came the barrage of questions. ‘So what if You buy tickets now? You were not buying tickets when You were a student. Why those fines doesn’t matter any more? You are a honest law abiding citizen now. But Your past mistakes doesn’t matter any more? You owe nothing to the city?
Shit. Actually thats when it hit me. I am a conscientious individual now. But my past mistakes does not matter any more?
I can be a law abiding citizen now, but my lack of integrity between ages of 20-25 doesn’t matter any more?
‘You used some one’s service. So You have to pay for it’.
‘But I don’t want to pay for it’. Sad face. :((((((((
(i will be honest with You. It hurts me to pay those fines. I try to save every penny that i earn. Maybe You can even call me a cheap individual. I would tell You about that later 😀 😀 :D)
So I paid it.
If I want to live in peace with myself I should pay it. I know that i can get away without paying those fines. But for my own good, I decided to pay it.(actually to be honest, i do feel a little better already)
Its time to live like an adult now. New possibilities awaits me. Its time for the new me 😀 😀
That does’nt change the fact that, I still hate the Foreigners department at the Wrocław Community office. All employees from that office will go to hell.