Saturday, 25 August 2012

(Day 35) Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center-day 22

Yesterday ended uneventfully and today has been fairly uneventful, so far. I talked to my mom briefly to assure her I'm still at Immigration and not in jail, yet. Although, if that's going to change, it should happen today. Again no one tells me anything, so I won't know until I'm in a vehicle being transported to prison.

I also called Z and with her help I was able to access my email. She's the only person I trust with my passwords. I should make her a list of every password I've ever used just in case something should happen to me. When my dad died, it was very difficult to access his computer without his passwords, so I was only able to contact a few computer friends to let them know the bad news. Usually, a few is all you need though-- bad news travels far and wide quickly. Perhaps, when I get out of jail in two weeks I'll get Z to go through my Facebook account as well. I can only imagine how many messages I have after a month of no access or activity.

The new Chinese guy looks like he has never seen another human being that wasn't Asian ever before in his life. He keeps giving the Nigerian and me funny looks and staring. I've seen the same look from little Korean kids before. On an adult though, I just want to punch him in the face. The look is part disgust and part amazement. On a child, the disgust is actually fear and I don't mind the amazement. I suspect the Chinese dude is a fisherman caught by the Coast Guard fishing in Korean waters. He doesn't speak any Korean and I overheard a caseworker tell him he had to pay a $35,000 fine in order to get out. That information was translated to him by another Chinese and a fine that big is so that he can get his boat back from the Korean Coast Guard.

It's hard not to be judgmental, especially since I'm stuck in the same cage, but a lot of these people at the detention center seem like complete idiots. I don't understand what they're saying-- they could be discussing deep philosophical questions of the universe for all I know, but from the tone of their voice and body language that is not the impression I get. It's something or more precisely, the lack of something in the eyes. A dull sort of glazed look, and their speech is loud like they can't hear themselves speaking. It doesn't really matter. I'm just bitching about nothing. My interaction with them is minimal since we don't speak the same language or have anything in common. The most I have to deal with, is being forced to watch TV I'm not interested in (I can read or draw or write instead) or listen to them talk on the phone loudly or to each other equally as loud. I'm just being petty.

It's late afternoon on Friday. I'm still at the detention center. I just saw my caseworker walk by so I asked him what was going on and he said he didn't know either, so now I'm in detention/prison limbo. I should have bought more snacks. I wonder if there is any way of moving this faster a long. The longer I wait for court dates, the more it costs the Korean government and eventually, the more it costs me. I'm not spending much-- mostly on phone cards, but even so, even $50 every week or two, adds up if I end up staying here for months. Eventually, I won't even be able to afford to go to Thailand.

The Mongolian left this morning and was replaced this afternoon by another Mongolian and a Vietnamese. Going into the weekend, our cell population is: 1 Canadian, 1 Nigerian, 1 Pakistani, 1 Uzbekistan, 1 Burmese, 1 Mongolian, 2 Vietnamese, and 4 Chinese. Of those 12, the Nigerian and one of the Chinese were here when I got here three weeks ago. The Pakistani and Uzbekistan have been here almost two weeks and the other seven arrived this week, five of which arrived in the last day or three. The Uzbekistan just changed rooms with a Mongolian...

The days seem to drag by, but it's hard to believe I've already been here for exactly three weeks. I'm a veteran now.