Thursday, 4 October 2012

(Day 76) Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center-day 63 C-20

sit-ups push-ups chairlifts
50, 2 x 50, 100 2 x 35, 30 40, 2 x 30

Breakfast 2 hard boiled eggs
caramel flavoured bread
soy milk
Lunch rice & kimchi
bean sprouts in hot water
Dinnerrice & kimchi
spicy chicken
soybean and tofu stew

The Russian kid went back to the motherland to his grandparents. I gave him some drawings of superheroes that I didn't jail. They weren't that good, but he was thrilled.

I heard the unchristian Nigerian fighting with the room supervisor about the TV remote again. This room supervisor guard is actually one of the better ones. He doesn't talk down to the detainees like Mr. Asshole does and he always tries to be pleasant. Many of the room supervisors have a very sour disposition and I imagine it's a thankless job dealing with foreigners, always at their beck and call, but there's no need to make a bad situation worse by being an asshole about it.

After drawing over 40 pictures using pointillism, I haven't gotten any faster but I've evolved my technique. I basically go over the same picture four times. First I draw the initial framework for basic outline, then three layers of shading-- each building upon the previous layer and the last pass to add and refine details. As for the subject matter, I've done scenes that people familiar with my work will recognize, some portraits and lately just some patterns I find interesting. I think the drawings combined with this writing might make it interesting book. Neither has anything to do with the other, other than the location, circumstance and dates. It's not like I'm drawing what I'm writing about or writing about what I'm drawing.

Apparently according to the Uzbekistan,  I was giggling in my sleep last night at about 4:30 AM. I wonder what was so funny. I wish I could remember that... I woke up one night after I'd kicked the Filipino and I still remember what that was about. I was fighting with my dad in my dream, yet the funny stuff I can't recall it all... I think there's a joke in there somewhere...

There are actually two types of guards here. The first type is actually referred to in Korean as 'room supervisor' and they are the ones the detainees have the most interaction with. The literature refers to them as immigration officers. Whenever we have request to see the doctor for example, or get something for our personal belongings, they are the go-to guys. Mr Asshole is a member of this group. They also have control over the TV, phone, lights, tell us when to wake up, go to bed, exercise and so on.

The next set of guards are guards more in the tradition sense. They stand or sit around watching us. They have cop-like uniforms with dime-store candy-machine badges and stars on caplets with a little whistle and a Mace gun that actually looks like the handle of an automatic pistol without the barrel, in a  holster on their toy store cop belt. They are also all over the age of 50, if not over the age of 60. Even the smallest detainee could easily take out one of these guards, if there was a riot. Which brings me to pointing out the fact that security here is a joke. Our cell is room is rudimentary, at best. Sure there are bars and locks, but the 14 detainees I am with could easily rip the tables out of the bolts on the floor and use them as a battering ram on the cell doors. And as I mentioned, a 60+ year old man with a can of mace ain't going to do shit against the 60+ detainees just in this one cell block.

On the other hand, if we all successfully escaped, where would we go? We're all wearing shirts that say "foreigner detainee" in Korean on the back and we stick out quite a bit in a country where everyone is the same race. Not only that, but there are no means of escape from the country. The only land option is through the most militaristic, oppressive regime in the world. That means by air or boat-- again in a country where everyone is the same race. Bottom line, even trying to escape would be futile. There is a very, very, very, very slim chance you could get out on the Russian freighter... But you have to get from here to the port first.

The last group of people the detainees interact with are the "managers," as they're called here. In western parlance, they're your caseworker. They are your go-between with the outside world such as the embassy, bank, ex-boss or whoever or whatever is going to get you out of the country. In 2 months, I talked to my case worker maybe 3 or 4 times. I talked and learned more from my Embassy. All this stuff about court? He just handed me the mail and walked away. And since the mail was written in Korean, I had to get one of the other detainees to help me translate it. My caseworker is practically useless as far as I'm concerned, but like everything else here, from the food, to the room supervisors, to the 60-year-old guards, there is some good and bad-- but mostly just SNAFU.