Once you recognize it, it becomes like a scene from a sci fi movie; frowning face, deep in unsatisfied thought, taking his application from one government official to the other.  Never looking at the surrounding, or having consideration for people nearby.  There face says, “I need to be out of here.”  Then I looked at the government official behind the counter, his face says, “I cannot be good enough.  whatever I do, these people will keep complaining, and for what, for the peanuts they pay me.”

On the brighter side, there were few people awake.  there was a guy with a very nice  fresh aura around him.  He even had a smile on his face, and acknowledged my eye contact with a a bit wider smile and a nod: “How are you?” he said, as if he knew me.  He does know me as a fellow human being, even if he does not know my name. He knows enough; that I am God’s magnificent creation, deserving respect, if for nothing but for that.  We never exchanged but glances and he and I moved our different ways without hesitation, but his smile stayed on his face, even though most were oblivious to it.  It is not that he was not in the same place everybody else seemed to dread, but it looked like he chose to be awake and accepting.

Another one awake was an officer, sitting comfortably on one of the chairs.  unlike the three or four next to him, he did not seem to carry a worry in the world.  He saw me approaching, and made room for me to sit.  I said hi and took a seat by him.  he and I were observing the surrounding, and we started reminiscing on how things are different today.  “There seems to be more people, but less meaningful bonds and less relationships,” both of us concurred.  We chit chatted as if we knew each other for ages.  It was a five minute encounter, before he was called by his friend who seemed, unlike the officer, sleepwalking and in a hurry to get to the next destination.  The officer nodded and smiled good bye and moved on his way.

Another sleeper is the agent who was helping me with my application that day which had to do with selling a piece of land.  he looked very depressed, tired, and if his face is saying, “Come on, give me what I want so I can get out of this miserable place.  I wonder if the place is miserable or it is our thoughts that make it miserable.  I cannot say the place would be my choice for a relaxation spot; it had no air conditioning, it was crowded and with some who were not necessarily following “the hygiene code.”  However, it is what it is  and I was there anyways.  I am conscious of making the choice more than once during my 2 hour visit to choose to occupy my mind with positive rather than negative.  “La Ilaha Illallah,” I repeated my mantras over and over again”Subhannalla wabihamdeh”  they are very soothing.  when I take a break I go back to observing the surroundings.

A woman freaked out.  She was shouting at the staff:”I am trying my best to be, and this is the kind of treatment I get, what did I do wrong?” Obviously she was not accepting of where she was or what was happening to her.  I have to be careful not to sound like I am better than her, or I know better, or even that I can tolerate what she, and the other sleepwalkers, were going through with more grace.  Maybe I could not.  I know myself, if I choose wrong in tough situations I can become worse than her in not accepting and in getting stressed.  However, at that moment, in that place, God gave me serenity, and I chose to accept it and use all of it.  I think God’s serenity is always there.  It is our choice to accept it or not.

The land sale I was there for did not go through.  I did not have the right paper work, and we found that out only at the last step of the process after around three hours going back and forth between different buildings.   Oh well 🙂

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