Thursday, 16 August 2012

(Day 27) Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center-day 14

Almost a month spent in some form of detention now. I've been able to talk to some friends on the outside who have promised to visit and bring me more books. In the meantime, I write and draw.

It's nice to be able to socialize with people, but some of my fellow detainees are just plain annoying. Being locked in a room together and being civilized to each other is what separates us from the animals, but its hard to do if we are not considerate of other and our surroundings.

Things like talking on the phone. The whole cell block doesn't need to hear your conversation. There is a built-in microphone in the handset for a reason. Or talking above a whisper after or before the lights are turned off/on. Some of us want to sleep. I have my own shelf off my stuff. The pens on that shelf, are pens I paid for. They are mine. They are not community pens to be used whenever you need a pen. If you ask me, chances are I'll lend it to you, but if you just take it forget it-- you're never using it again. The same goes for paper, books, or anything else from my shelf. you don't have to speak the same language to be polite and considerate.

I've been having some interesting debate about religion with the Nigerian and Pakistani. The former is Christian, the latter Muslim and I'm atheist/agnostic. I look at both the Bible and Koran as philosophical text with elements of historic truth. I believe the events that are described in both actually happened in history but their explanations or reasons 'why' are the superstitious beliefs of a primitive people, like the myths of the Greeks and Romans or the Norse or Aztecs. Whereas both the Nigerian and Pakistani believe the reasons 'why' are truly the acts of a supreme being's wrath. My final thought about all this is that opinions are like assholes-- everyone has one. You are entitled to believe what you want. As the Bible says in Matthew 7:1, who am I to judge? I'm not God. I try to respect other people's beliefs as long as they also try to respect mine. I think its pretty stupid that everybody essentially believes in the same God, but how they choose to worship Him is different and they have all been fighting about that for thousands of years. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results... insanity.

I talked to JO today. Through him, I'll be able to let my friends know what has happened to me. I talk to JA, too now I don't feel quite so isolated. I'll be sure to have a few visitors in the next few weeks. At the very least, I'll have a resupply books. I started a list to keep track.

Now that I've read the Old Testament cover to cover, I think it's safe to say, Wow! Was that ever boring. All you really need to read is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and that's about it. The rest of it is mostly repetition of everything else... 31 separate chapters or books and it just tends to repeat over and over again. There are a few choice nuggets of wisdom, but you really have to search through them. Chronicles give a pretty good summary of the first 12 books and certain chapters like Daniel and Jonah do add new stuff not heard any other chapters, but most of it can be summed up with "I am the Lord and God who brought the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt to Judah, the land of milk and honey where my children forsook me, time and time again, after a hundred warnings, so I exiled them to Babylon, brought them back to Jerusalem after 70 years, where they ignored me again, so I killed everybody because I'm a jealous vengeful God." The end. And "Oh yeah, here's a list of every Hebrew born in history" over and over again. Reading it the first time was kind of fun and interesting, but after reading it again for the 50th time, it's sort of lost its luster (bluster?) What God really needs is a good editor.

I got a box today, but I won't be able to look at it until tomorrow. Yay! new books! Thanks JU. I have some really awesome friends. Not a lot of friends really, but the ones I have are some of the strangest, yet some of the best people I know.