Rolling with the Punches - Prison, Detention, Deportation, Traveling, & Return to Steemit

in life •  5 months ago

For the past 9 months my life has taken a turn, crashed off road, and is now in repair mode.


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Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Penninsula, New Zealand


In September of last year I was sentenced to 18 months in a state penitentiary with 4 months to serve until parole. I knew it was coming, consolidated my assets, paid my legal fees, and took it on the chin. As you can imagine, life behind bars was not fun. No internet or phone, little contact with the outside world, and only pirates to talk to; 4 months felt like forever.

Australian prisons are okay. You're trapped in a 50 man unit with an exercise yard attached. If you're in with a good mix of blokes you won't have any issues. I spent my time exercising & reading, because aside from finding some dodgy guy with drugs, that's all you can do in prison. Chess became my favorite game; I read a whole text book on Javascript; Started with 50 push ups/squats/sit ups each morning/night and got up to 200, whilst exercising in the day; Stayed out of fights; and, left prison feeling accomplished for having spent my time well.

Upon my release I was detained again. This time because my visa for entry to Australia had been cancelled. Any Kiwi holding a visa who's sentenced to more than 12 months loses that visa. And so I had a choice; to stay behind bars and fight for my visa, or return immediately to New Zealand and fight from there. I chose to stay because Australia is where I call home!

I was sent 5 hours by plane to a detention centre north of Perth called Yongah Hill. The centre had two compounds of people who could walk freely around the centre until midnight when you'd return to your compound until 6am the next morning. Each room was 4m x 4m and had an ensuite, fridge, and lockable cabinet. You could spend your days doing activities for points which were used to purchase items from the canteen. Of course this was still a prison with guards & fences but a whole lot better than actual prison.

After a month in Yongah Hill I had gotten comfortable, having an xbox 360 sent to me where I played Skyrim day n' night, when little did I know I was about to be sent to a new detention centre in the Indian Ocean, just south of Jakarta, on an Island called Christmas Island; known for their red crabs and not for the numerous refugees trapped there. After 3 hours driving and another 5 hour flight, driving into Christmas Island Detention Centre sucked. It looked & felt exactly like prison. It didn't take me long to request to see the Removalist Officer in charge of sending people overseas. The day after I arrived on Christmas Is. I signed to go back to New Zealand. A month later, once all my travel documents were finalised, I was on a flight.

Arriving back in New Zealand I was greeted by New Zealand Police for unpaid fines. I could have been detained again however the police officers were kind enough to let me go saying, "we understand what you've been through, we don't agree with the Australian Government deporting you guys." I was given 200 dollars, a hotel voucher, and after a shitty 6 months, was officially free.

A week after being back my lawyer informed me that I won my visa case and that I am now allowed to return to Australia. I've decided not to because I have 12 months of parole in Australia and only 6 months of probation here in New Zealand (I would like to travel to see my partner as soon as possible so staying here for 6 months works out for the best).

In the 2 months I've been back in NZ I'm working towards settling in. Although I got my visa back I've had my mother sell my stuff in Australia so I can get on my feet here. I've found a car, a home, & am currently looking for work. My partner and I just spent the past 2 weeks travelling the North Island of New Zealand. She was willing enough to fly back from Israel as we hadn't seen each other since July of last year (she's a dancer who travels a lot). I've spent the rest of my time getting back in touch with my family; "Hapu" in Maori.

I've learned a lot about who I am throughout the time I've been away. I've been able to reflect a lot on my past, and lately I've been reflecting about my time here on Steemit, more specifically on the business we started & never got off the ground. I let a few people down, namely those closest to the project, and for that I'm sorry. I know now that I should have stuck to my blogging instead of a project with a scope too large for such a small & self-funded team. I hope in time those involved can forgive me for not seeing it through. I still plan to finish the app we started and release it as an opensource software in the future (now I know Javascript).

With all that said and out of the way, I plan to rekindle my blog and focus my attention toward posting content that drives views rather than chase rewards. My next post will address Blog Titles and how we can all use them to better SEO on our beloved platform. It seems that reward hunting is killing the platform as it's rare to see globally trending topics that drive views on our trending page. It's a problem that we can address easily, quickly, & together.

Hopefully this post has addressed any & all concerned Steemians (or those following @thirsty @thirstyrecords) wondering where I had gone. I'm back & ready for this years' crypto season!

Peace & Love

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Dude welcone back!

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Thanks! @knozaki2015 hope all is well

Is it crazy looking around Steemit & seeing all of the changes? Have you seen Dsound, dtube etc? SBD went up to $17 at one point., not sure if you were around when that all happened. I am still forever thankful for you introducing me to Steemit. I have a friend that worked on Christmas island, and I am so glad you didn't spend more than a day there. That place sounds fucked. Glad you're out <3

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A lot has changed but still the same atmosphere I guess. I spent a month on C.I. It was pretty fucked haha. Thanks 😊❤

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Ah shit sorry, one month is way too long.

I wondered what had happened to you. That truly sucks.

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It was a blessing in ways. Just happy it's in the past 😊

It's good to have you back. Sounds like you had some tough times, but I hope things will improve. You'll probably notice some changes around here. Definitely a lot of new people. Stay safe

Whoa man, I had no idea you got locked up. I thought about you a few times and wondered where you'd gone. Sending you all the way to Christmas Island is fucked up! It's good to have you back.

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hey @pfunk, I'd say I was thinking about you too but I've had a lot on my plate 😅 Hope you're well man. It's great to be back!