Sunday, 19 August 2012

(Day 30) Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center-day 17

Sunday Funday or it would be if I wasn't here. I've been reading the Bible lately because I'm bored, never read it before and I have nothing else to read. I'm not a big fan of religion, especially the organized kind, so this is definitely not my usual fare. Its been educational, for sure, but I won't be converting and repenting my sins anytime soon. The Nigerian however, is a God-fearing man who has read the Bible four times and reads from it daily because he's a true believer and I have to say, I really like the guy, but sometimes he is a bitter, hate-filled man. Very unchristian like. He's a nice enough guy, but some of the crap that comes out of his mouth... yesterday, during his yelling match with the Pakistani, he said the Pakistani was a fool for staying in Korea for 10 years and asked why didn't he want to go home. Today, on the news, was a report of a roadside bomb in Pakistan that killed a family of 5 and I said to the Nigerian, "That's why he doesn't want to go home. he doesn't want to die."

His reply was a tirade about how Pakistanis come to Korea to make money to send back to terrorist organizations for the jihad and don't want to go home because they'll be forced to become suicide bombers (I'm sure my blog just got red flagged by the CIA and NSA just now. Welcome, I hope you enjoy it, guys). I was stunned... I just gave my best Mona Lisa smile and nodded. Maybe there really are people to do things just as he described, but I'd like to think/hope that most people are really just looking for better, more peaceful lives.

Contrary to popular belief, I may be an arrogant, opinionated and passionate about my beliefs, but I am NOT angry. Not like that, anyway. I may be bitter towards Korea and one Korean in particular, but I don't hate everybody in the country. I'm just guarded about my interactions in relation to this country.

Experience has taught me to be suspicious, but it doesn't mean I think every Korean is a dirty lying thief-- just to be careful in case they are. And to be truthful I'm like that with everybody I meet for the first time, no matter what is your ethnicity is. Not only that, but lying and stealing is a far cry from believing you're going to blow me up.

Most of the time, I think people with religious convictions are more racist, prejudiced and close-minded than the average person on the street, which is the total opposite of what every religious text tries to teach. Peace is achieved through tolerance, understanding and compassion, not dogma, tyranny and tunnel vision. Can't see the forest through the trees or looking for zebras when it's really just a horse. Whatever the case, it's a sad state of affairs that has existed for thousands of years. It's time we evolved beyond that.

I gave the blog address to the Nigerian soon after I met him. If he ever reads, this I hope he takes the time to reflect on what I wrote instead of getting upset in a knee-jerk reaction because I posted stories about him online. Even though these posts are public and anybody can read them, only the subject and myself really know the identities. If you are a third party and you can figure out who I'm really talking about, then you already know the story I'm telling, so there should be no real surprises... I hope...

Another glorious Korean lunch of rice, kimchi and kimchi soup, which is essentially just hot water with kimchi added to it. Nobody likes it and the only reason they keep serving it to us is because everybody keeps eating it. It also creates lots of food waste, but the Koreans don't care because they just feed it to the pigs, anyway. Essentially, we're being fed the same slop they feed to the swine. I can hear them at night when it's quiet and if the wind blows through the windows a certain way, I can smell them, too.

Although the occasional interaction with English speakers is nice, and its not even the socialization, it's the TV channels telephone access and mattress, I think I almost prefer the solitary confinement of prison. Then I don't have to deal with all the inconsiderate bullshit. Like the Vietnamese kid who stays up until 2 a.m. talking and then sleeps all day. It's not the sleeping all day that bothers me, its the fact that he does it in the common area on the benches, so no one can sit down. Yelling at him is pointless because he doesn't understand a word I'm saying to him.

I did another pointillism drawing today. It literally took me all day to draw... Great time waster, but hell on my pens. I think I've used up about 5 pens in two weeks and I may not be able to get another one until Tuesday...