I was scheduled for a court hearing on December 12 at 8:45 AM in Philadelphia, as part of the eviction process to get my tenants out of the house. I had initially asked my real estate agent to testify for me in court, however he called two days before the hearing and said that he could not make it to the hearing.
Given the importance of the hearing, my attorney advised me to attend the hearing in case I would need to testify against my tenants. Since the hearing was at 8:45 AM, I booked the earliest bus trip from New York to Philadelphia at 5:35 AM on Greyhound’s website.
On December 12, I woke up at 4:00 AM to prepare for my trip. I knew the day ahead of would be full of obstacles and I was challenged from the moment I stepped out of my home. The weather was horrible. It was pouring outside and my feet were soaked by the wet grounds by the time I reached the subway station.
I had just missed the subway train and had to wait 20 minutes for the next one. It was already 5:15 AM when the next train arrived and I was pressed on time.
I arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 5:25 AM. The bus terminal was closed and did not open until 5:30 AM. When they opened the bus terminal doors, I ran to the gate number printed on the ticket, which was Gate #1. The whole area was empty, and there was no sign of a bus. I became worried and rushed to the Information Desk. The Information Desk was vacant and the Greyhound department was closed. I ran around like a chicken without a head, looking for help. The Information Desk guy was standing in a corner, he saw me and pointed me to the right direction. He told me to go Gate #69, and the time was 5:35 AM. I ran to Gate #69, I was one step too late when I got to the bus stop. The bus had already left.
I had missed the 5:35 AM bus, which was the only bus that would take me to Philadelphia in time for the court hearing. I went to the Greyhound customer service desk and told them what happened. The man working there was drawing pictures on a piece of paper and he seemed too busy to listen.
I paced around the bus terminal and thought for a moment. I decided to take the next bus to Philadelphia at 7:00 AM, even though I would arrive late in Philadelphia, at 9:10 AM. I called my attorney and left her a voice mail that I had missed the 5:30 AM bus and would be taking the 7:00 AM bus. I would rather show up in court late than be absent.
On the way to Philadelphia, the bus hit some traffic. The bus arrived in Philadelphia at 9:15 AM. I rushed to the court house, but mistakenly went to the wrong building. I had gone to the attorney’s office. I went out and walked to the court house, which was the building next to it.
I arrived at the Municipal Court of Philadelphia at 9:30 AM. I looked for the attorney that represented me. He looked for my case file and then told me to sit in the court room until he calls my name.
It was about 10:00 AM. The judge came and names were called. He reviewed other people’s cases and I sat there and watched. By 11:00 AM I became worried. I did not know if they would get to my case on that day. Also, I had purchased tickets for the 12 PM bus to return to New York.
One by one, I listened to the judge go over all the cases and people were leaving the court room. I was one of the last two cases remaining. Finally the judge turned to my case at 11:25 AM. The attorney representing me told the judge about the tenants not paying rent. Also the tenant did not show up for the hearing. The judge ruled in my favor. I would get possession of my property and the tenant owed me $5,270. The attorney said that I could leave and called the attorney office later for more details.
It was 11:30AM. I walked to the bus station and stood in line for the 12:00 PM bus from Philadelphia to New York. It was a good thing I bought tickets for the 12:00 PM bus. I arrived back to New York at 2:10 PM and returned to work.
I was glad that the court hearing was over. From the start of my day at 4 AM to the time I arrived back to New York at 2 PM, the whole process from end to end took 10 hours. Through the bad weather, ticket mess-ups, wrong directions, and long hours of waiting, things worked out at the end. It was definitely an experience that I never expected and having experienced it once was enough.
4:00 AM – Woke up and prepared for trip to Philadelphia
5:25 AM – Arrived at NY Port Authority Bus Terminal
5:37 AM – Missed the 5:35 AM bus
7:00 AM – Boarded the 7 AM bus to Philadelphia
9:15 AM – Arrived in Philadelphia
9:30 AM – Showed up in the court house
10:00 AM – Sat in the court room
11:25 AM – Judge reviewed my case and ruled in my favor
12:00 PM – Boarded the bus to New York City
2:10 PM – Arrived in New York City