I am wondering if I just have a lot of bad karma. As you have seen through many of my blogs, the strangest things continually happen to me and only me while many others go unscathed. I remember once telling a friend to call me “Seepaul” after the local saying Gopaul luck aint Seepaul luck. He didn’t see the humor in my discourse as he is one for positive energy , universe “TheSecret” blah blah blah nonsense.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have had my share of good luck and blessings beyond measure and comparison and for that I am extremely grateful. However, there comes a point in time when begins to wonder if these things happen to me on purpose or some divine force is trying to teach me lessons that I keep missing.
I used to think that in a former life I was one evil S.O.B and that to correct that life, karma has spilt the correction process over into this one. I mean how does one explain incidents where I seemed to get picked on out of the blue. Judge for yourself as I present recent experiences that make me wonder:
I love to travel but I don’t think travel likes me. Actually, travel throughout the Caribbean I should say. I have started to Web Check-in everytime I travel on Caribbean Airlines for the expressed reason that no matter how I am dressed (and I usually dress plain so as not to draw attention to myself), I seem to be the one that ALWAYS gets searched. They claim it is random searching but how does one get searched every inch of the way.
CASE: On October 25th, 2009, I entered the Piarco airport with hopes of having a smooth flight to Antigua, on my way to St. Kitts. I get to the Caribbean Airlines counter and there is no one in sight. Lines are empty. I go to the Web Check In counter because I don’t need to be in the general area. Then out of the corner of my eye I see “him” coming. “Him” being the person who asks me if I can step to the side and subject myself to a random search. I sigh and walk with my bag there. I tell him that this search is definitely not random as I always seem to get called. Then he says that I just happen to be the only person in line so that is why he called me. Lo and behold, while searching my bag a busload of Guyanese enter the line with tons of suitcases and sail straight to the counter while he searches through mine. Seepaul….
I leave there, go through immigration and decided to have a bite in Rituals before proceeding to my Gate. I lose track of time ( because I was chatting with my friend Nisha) and now there is a long line of people to go through the scanner. I spend like 25 to 30 minutes slowly inching up the line only to be told to take my shoes, belt etc off (crap I am wearing my favorite socks with holes). I get through this stage easily then get called back because some officer didn’t know what an external hard drive is. I am doubly late for the flight and I hear my name being called for the third time. I rush to the gate only to have another random search person pull me aside.
“You can’t be f*%$ing serious. I just got searched and they calling my name over the intercom”
“Sir, please stop using profanity and just place your bag on the table.”
I pitch my bag on the table
“ Here!!! Search it. Tell me what you find that security didn’t check three mf seconds ago!! Un-F&^%ing believable!!!!!”
“Sir please stop using foul language. This is my job”
“You aint done yet?”
He searches through the bag, pulls out my external hard drive case, examines it, looks puzzled and seems to want to call someone (Jesus!!!). He changes his mind. I grab my bag and storm onto the plane where everyone is staring at me for keeping back the flight.
Everyone knows my love of food and there can be no end to the number of restaurants I go to and now there are a number of them that I just don’t patronize anymore.
I must preface this by saying that I am not a snob when I enter a restaurant. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and I am always smiling and courteous to all who serve me. However that doesn’t mean that I will not still get horrible service or just be ignored.
There have been too many times that servers come to a table with me on it and assume that the other party on the table is the dominant person and therefore shower them with affection and service my drink order is barely remembered or my request that no nuts be present in the salad is forgotten. I like this approach. It helps me better decide what NOT to tip them.
I love to see the faces of the servers when they come to drop the bill and they place it on the side of the person not paying and when I take it up, they always look mortified.
Why am I always the one that gets their order messed up when I am ordering straight off the menu and the other person told them to hold the lettuce, croutons and change rice to fries etc etc etc (trust me I could go on).
So what if I don’t have time to chat up the servers, umm I am there for a meal not to make a new friend on Facebook!!!!
Service should not be geared towards whom you think is paying but should be universally good (if that make sense).
Apparently my parents stuck me with a face that reminds EVERYONE I meet of someone they know from another country or from the gym, park, AA meetings, Church, Camp, library, fish market, DMV, a restaurant server (sigh) , or just from anywhere USA. It gets tiring after awhile.
While the other two areas described above would have you believe that I am not approachable and therefore rub people the wrong way, I present this section to prove how wrong that assumption is.
Strangers love to talk to me. As a matter of fact, while in New York recently with my older brother, we were constantly stopped by all and sundry asking for direction etc. We just couldn’t understand it. It was as if we just looked friendly and local? We laughed a lot at some of the questions asked.
No matter where in world I am, strangers come up to me to ask questions and some even smile at me on airplanes, buses, subways and even across a lane of cars and ALL try to engage me in conversation. It is a curse, I know. There have been so many times that I have had an I pod in my ear, and a book on my lap and suddenly I feel the person next to me or across the aisle, just staring at me trying to make contact. Don’t they see that my body posture indicates hostility? Nope they are totally unaware of it.
Alas, it is who I am. I am a recognizable face from Ghana, Nigeria , Surinam, Antigua, Maryland, Houston, Atlanta, Berne, Bristol, Cork (yes Cork), St. Kitts, Durban, Guyana, London, Paris, Wales, Berlin and Ivory Coast ( to name a few places). You just name it. Wherever a black person resides, there is someone that looks or resembles me and apparently they are all friendly people. Hmm might explain why I am so hostile sometimes as all these people get the goodness.
My recent seating companion ( old lady who didn’t smell) on board a LIAT flight to Barbados told me I looked like a boy from Dominica who works in a bank. I laughed to myself at this and just told her that I don’t live in Dominica. She however forgot this statement 2 minutes later when she started to talk about how she think I might have short changed her on her pension cheque a few months back. She then called her son from another seat to tell him the same thing. If he had a window seat I would’ve changed with him but I need a window seat on flight.
There once was this guy who saw me in line at the bank and proceeded to talk to me about cricket. BAD idea (anyone who knows me knows that I loathe cricket). When he found my responses were short at best, he just started another topic he thought I might be interested in. This one turned out to be relationships and sex. Turning to him and saying that I was uncomfortable with the conversation he was trying to have with me didn’t phase him. He asked for a drop to town afterwards. Why do the crazies gravitate to me?
I’ve been proposed to by both men and women on trains, buses and even outside a urinal in Hamburg (not a pleasant experience).
Even at work, where I am sometimes regarded as being rather impersonal, there are some people who see no problem in walking up to me or entering my cubicle and just invading my personal space just to ask me an irrelevant question. Once insulted they seem to come back for more.
I could go on and on about this Karma thing but in writing this I hoped that by the end of it I would’ve gotten some breakthrough as to why these things happen to me. I am still clueless.
My mother once told me that I was the only person she knew that a stranger within seconds of meeting me would either try to kiss or hit me. 10 to1 they would always end up hitting me. Not a strike but someone a slightly not-too playful choke or a blow to the arm. She says I bring out latent hostility in the gentle soul.
What’s your take on that? Do I do that? After meeting me, have you ever wanted to strike me for some reason or another?