Thursday, 31 January 2013

(Day 194) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 99 D-57

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 2

Yesterday, the new worker he's really just a kid-- maybe 18 or 19, asked me to draw a picture of his girlfriend and him on the same page. As I have mentioned previously, I don't really like doing people’s portraits and especially don't like drawing for anybody without some sort of compensation. I've spent years learning how to draw well enough that people are impressed enough to pay me to do it. Why would I suddenly start doing it for free? Anyway, I thought what the hell, why not? And I drew the picture. It took me maybe 20 or 30 minutes out of my daily 23 hours of boredom.

And then today the kid reminded me of why I dislike doing shit for free. I don't know what he did with the picture I gave him, but he came back and asked me to do it again... I'm not a human photocopy machine. You don't just push a button and expect something to come out of my asshole. I'm sure it took some courage to ask me in the first place. I respect that and was happy to do it the first time, but if you are ever in the position of asking any artist of any discipline to do something for free remember, it's their job and livelihood. It doesn't have to be millions of dollars in compensation, but don't take advantage of a kind heart. I felt bad having to say no, but I'm not a circus act. Even in jail, it’s still my job. It takes effort and time, no matter how fast and effortless it seems. I guess I'll look at the picture I gave him before and see what he did to it. Maybe he tried to copy it or trace it. If it’s ruined, I might redraw it, but if he just wants to have two pictures, then forget it. Show me some money, honey, and I'll happily prostitute myself.

There's nothing wrong with picture I gave him. He wanted me to make another copy. Use a photocopy machine, kid.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

(Day 193) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 98 D-58

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 1

You know who loves you by the people who write and/or visit you in jail. After no visitors since November, A and P came to visit me today. For the first time since all of this shit started, I feel actual hope that things might finally go my way. Both P and A are people who get shit done. With them on the outside working to help me, I feel a lot better about things. JU and JO are both great friends, but not always the type to get business done. P is the type of person to get into government people’s faces and argue with Immigration about getting my visa properly extended or allowing me to go to the country of my choice when I finally leave this place. However, it is yet to be seen if anything will actually happen. There's still almost 2 months ago.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

(Day 192) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 97 D-59

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 7

I read somewhere once about the subject of writing and being a writer that every morning one should get up and set aside 4 hours to write. One didn’t have to actually write anything, but they couldn't do anything else.

I was awake for exactly 1 hour before I put pen to paper and even after the last paragraph, I still have nothing to write about. Of course, nothing has happened today-- yet. And I haven't quite sat here and done nothing. I drank 2 cups of coffee, combed my hair and shaved... And I thought about writing. Doesn't that count? I wrote seven thousand words in my novel in two days. That's gotta count for something, although my creative juices are feeling pretty drained as a result. Plus, I've added a daily entry to this notebook.

I changed my daily newspapers from the Korea Times to the international edition of the New York Times, so instead of reading Korean nationalistic crap day in and day out, I can read American nationalistic crap day in and day out with the facade of being global. As long as I don't have to read about “the Korean population aging in dog years” every day or how Korea has accomplished in a few decades what Europe did in centuries, I'll be a happy man. What these Kimchi Cowboys fail to realize is that without Americans support and European examples and guidance, it took just as long to get to the same level that Europe and the US managed to accomplish 100-200 years earlier. Not to belittle Korea’s accomplishments, but come on-- it's not hard to copy and Korea is renowned for the ability to copy things. Why not industrialization, too? Give credit where it’s due-- sure what Korea did was incredible, but it had lots of outside help and support. Making cheap products is useless if no one buys them and that's exactly what Korea’s export economy did, and why it's in trouble with a strong won now. Whatever. New newspaper, different viewpoints. Change is good, but I bet actually getting the paper delivered will turn into a hassle. Nothing is ever easy here.

Monday, 28 January 2013

(Day 191) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 96 D-60

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 6

Sundays are so boring. So far, my only excitement for the day has been cleaning my bathroom. Since I only have a cold water tap and a toilet brush, cleaning involved lots of scrubbing with a brush and throwing buckets a very cold water everywhere, but very little actual “cleaning” since I have no other cleaning agents such as soap or hot water. And I've come to the conclusion that whomever designed the toilet never had to clean one because the outside ceramic has lots of tight spaces following the internal plumbing that the brush can't reach. As a result, some very black mold has taken up residence in these crevices. Finally, cleaning the bathroom is a lot more interesting than the train wreck of a rural life they call a drama that gets shown every Sunday morning. I just can't watch it. It makes me cringe with revulsion.

Every character is so petty and conniving towards every other character. I'm not sure if it accurately portrays Korean culture or people in general, but whatever it is, I find it sick and saddening. I feel depressed watching it and would almost rather stay in jail then to have to interact and socialize with people like that again.

The next show after is even worse because it is not a drama, but actually real people treating animals badly, except the hosts (and by extension in the Korean audience) think it’s cute. In North America, these people would be arrested for animal cruelty. In Korea, there's a TV show showcasing them. It’s on episode 598. To be fair, sometimes it shows vets helping some of these poor animals, so it's not entirely damned, but there have been times in the last 10 or so weeks that I've had to turn off the TV because I just couldn't bear to watch it anymore.

Pickled garlic last night, raw onions today at lunch-- my once clean bathroom is a very dangerous place to enter right now. Fire in the hole!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

(Day 190) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 95 D-61

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 5

Less than 60 days to go. After nearly 200 (still 10 more days until that barrier), it hardly seems possible. If I only had $3000, I could leave today. I don't really care too much about such things as money, but I wish I had some now. About $5000 would make me happy.

Tonight's movie is called The Box with James Marsden and Cameron Diaz. Very strange movie based on a book called The Button. It didn't really have a very good ending, if only because it felt like it wasn't finished.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

(Day 189) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 94 D-62

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 4

One of the new workers saw my origami penguin and brought me some origami paper today. I've been using scrap paper. Now I have a new menagerie of paper animals, except now they're all colorful. In exchange or as a sign of appreciation for the paper, I drew instructions how to make the penguin step by step. That’s the first thing I've drawn in a month.

Totally lacking in the inspiration department sitting in my 1 m x 2 m cell day after day. I've been writing a novel instead of drawing, so it’s not been a total waste. I wrote three thousand words this morning and this entry is the final one in this notebook that I started November 7th. Another 30,000 words in about 2 and a half months and a fourth notebook started on my daily diary while I'm in jail. I wrote three books and drew almost 80 pictures in 6 months. What did you do? Probably had much more fun than I did. It's not much fun in jail, regardless of how much work I got done.

I used to know how to make a lot more things from origami like Yoda, but from memory, I can make a penguin, a dragon, a turtle, a frog, a crane, a lily, two types of roses, the Millennium Falcon, an X-wing, a TIE fighter, and a F-22 fighter jet. Making flowers from paper or napkins is a great way to pick up girls in a bar or coffee shop, or wherever you go to pick up girls... or boys, if that's your thing.

I drew a picture today. I didn't realize it's been exactly one month since I drew the last picture. That's a pretty long time even for me. It felt good, natural, almost Zen-like, compared to writing and thinking all the time.

Friday, 25 January 2013

(Day 188) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 93 D-63

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 3

Only one more week of this crappy menu and then a whole new week of a whole new crappy menu. At least I'll have something to write about for a week.

I noticed they no longer have that segment on the radio with the foreigner gushing about how great Korea is. Small victories. My sole accomplishment today was figuring out how to fold a square piece of paper into a penguin. I'm that bored. I have a menagerie of origami to keep me company in my cell. And I half finished my new novel or reached the climax of the story anyway.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

(Day 187) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 92 D-64

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 2

I've finished almost half of my second novel. I don't know what's more impressive that I finished half a novel in about a month or that this is the second one.

I admit it wasn't too much of a stretch to find the characters or locations, but the rest of the story is entirely fictitious and there's no resemblance to any events. Any resemblance to people or events is extremely coincidental. Certain locations do exist but are used for narrative purposes only. Descriptions used in my story are in no way a reflection on the actual establishment. Above everything else, this is a work of fiction. There is no truth to any of it. People, places and events, characterizations-- everything has been greatly exaggerated purely for entertainment purposes.

That ought to keep me from getting sued, I hope.


On December 29th 2012, Yoko Ono took a full page ad in The New York Times that was completely blank except for the words “Imagine peace” written in the middle of the page. I took it and glued it on the door of my bathroom for decoration. While I was taking a shower today, the guards came into my cell and tore it off the door, crumbled it up and tossed it into the garbage. I guess Korean prison guards have no compassion or imagination. Besides if we had peace on earth they'd be out of a job. They would have to rely on some other skills other than the ability to press buttons and issue commands, well brandishing batons against the defenceless, handcuffed prisoners.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

(Day 186) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 91 D-65

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 1

It’s been raining for a couple of days, which is good because that means it's warm, but bad because we're not allowed to have any exercise time outside. As a result I haven't left my cell in 83 hours. Talk about stir crazy. I have also not talked to anyone but myself for about 4 or 5 days. I can't actually remember the last time I had a conversation exactly. It's been less than a week but more than 4 days. I'm feeling more than a little frustrated with loneliness, but I just have to think of people like Liao Yiwa, a Chinese poet put in jail for 4 years for having an opinion and a couple of days by myself just seems like a whiny, white boy, first-world problem. I hardly have much to complain about-- I haven't been sexually violated with chopsticks, for instance.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

(Day 185) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 90 D-66

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 7

I'm into the home stretch now. I only have one fine for the obstruction of justice. The fine that I spent 3 months at Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center waiting for a trial to get reduced, all for naught. If I had just waited it out in July, I'd be going free today and to Thailand or home, tomorrow. It’s a bittersweet milestone, but it also means this adventure/journey/nightmare is nearing the end. My info card on the outside of my cell says I'm supposed to go free today, but that was before the additional charges got tacked on. Mr Kim is convinced I'll be released in 3 weeks as a result of the presidential pardon. Since I've only heard of it from him and have not received any confirmation of truth from a more reliable source, like say-- the warden, I call bullshit until I'm walking out the door and getting on a plane.

Monday, 21 January 2013

(Day 184) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 89 D-67

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 6

The amateur singing contest on TV every Sunday, where the contestants sing old music, is at episode 1641. If it’s a weekly show, that means Koreans have been watching this show for 31 years, 6 months and 3 weeks. That's a pretty steady gig for the host, who also happens to be the spokesperson for the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

(Day 183) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 88 D-68

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 5

Today's deep thought: the importance of a toothbrush when the zombie apocalypse comes. There will be no dentist easily available...

Do zombies have souls? What happens to the souls of people who turn into zombies? Do they go to heaven or hell or purgatory or do they remain attached to the zombie until it's permanently dead? And before anyone says it doesn't matter because zombies don't exist, the same could be said about God and if one accepts the existence of God, then they have to be willing to accept the existence of all supernatural and fictional phenomenal. It would be hypocritical to pick and choose what you want to believe when the entire system is a matter of faith.

At least I'm safe from all that in my prison cell. If there is a sudden zombie outbreak, I’ll starve to death with no one around to feed me, but I won't be eaten by zombies. Unless they learn how to press the buttons to open the cell doors and if they make it through all the barred gates to get here.
And what if war between the North and South happens to break out while I'm here? What then? That's much more likely than a zombie apocalypse...

Sometimes, when I'm shaving with my electric razor made by the Korean Prison Industries (like my shoes, socks, underwear, pants, jackets and blankets), I feel like my beard is growing in faster than the razor is capable of cutting it. Especially when the batteries are low (there’s no cord, so I can't hang myself). The little blades oscillating under the foil sound like they're about to give up under the pressure of cutting my white boy hair. They never had to deal with this when they were cutting the con man’s hair once a month, but this everyday shit-- no razor should have to put up with this-- it’s undignified. When the blade are no longer laboring, that's how I know that I've shaved as close as I can get it, although I still seem to have a5 o'clock shadow. It’s a good thing batteries are cheap because they don't last that long when you use them every day for at least 15 minutes per day.

That didn't take long to train the workers that I don't want rice, but I'm fine with the “spicy” kimchi and watery soup. If anything, it's not spicy or salty enough and I'd rather eat more of strong tasting vegetables than the bland tasting lump of carbohydrates they call rice. Yet, they are surprised because the Korean propaganda machine has fed them this lie that only Koreans eat spicy food... using only one kind of pepper imported from South America when the Portuguese brought it to Japan in the 1600s. Even the (yellow) curry Koreans eat is only of one variety that happens to be the least spicy variety of all and Thailand and  India are a lot closer than South America.

Tonight's movie was Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Kind of appropriate with all my talk about God lately. Nicolas Cage plays it way over the top this time. It's humorous how campy he plays it and the special effects are much better.

I've been locked up for exactly 6 months as of today. Half a year gone-- it's surreal.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

(Day 182) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 87 D-69

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 4

Thinking about those poor African kids made me think of the phrase “God helps those who help themselves” and it occurred to me that it was a stupid piece of advice. People who help themselves don't need to God's help, they're doing just fine-- stealing old ladies’ retirement funds raping countries’ natural resources medieval jihads in the names of gods. God's doing a pretty good job of lopping off hands and suppressing women in Mali. Is that a god you want to believe in?

Friday, 18 January 2013

(Day 181) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 86 D-70

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 3

We got new inmate workers today. Now I have to retrain them. So-- no breakfast and no rice with my meals. And this time none of them speak English which puts me at an even bigger disadvantage because I'll have to use Korean. They'll discover how much I really understand. That’s bad. It’s so much easier to plead ignorance when being commanded to do something I don't care to do. I'm also no longer able to get the New York Times from Kevin. That's probably the thing I'll miss the most.

After the news on TV, they broadcast a show about poor Africans who live in huts, wash their clothes in and drink dirty water and do whatever menial tasks they can to make a few cents a day to buy a loaf of bread for their clan of 9 kids. It’s sad and filmed to portray that sadness, to tug on the heartstrings. In the corner of the screen is a toll free number and every so often throughout the show the number is shown at the bottom of the screen with a message in Korean. I'm pretty sure that it is an appeal to call and donate money. Why doesn't the cameraman give them any money? Surely he can afford to give him a few more cents for another loaf of bread. Is there a behind-the-scenes party going on we don't know about after they finished shooting for the day?

 I have nothing against these types of shows. More people with money should do more to help those less fortunate. However, this TV channel is exclusive to the Korean prison system so I'm wondering what's the point? All of the people in my particular prison are here for some kind of fraud or indirect non-violent crimes like theft or drugs. This means they're greedy and unlikely to give up any money they have and second of all, no one has or is allowed to make any phone calls to make a donation if they were so inclined. I had to get special permission a month in advance just to call my daughter on Christmas day. The last thing I'm going to do, if given the opportunity to make a phone call, is squander it on some poor kids in Africa. Sorry little malnourished black boy, I have my own shit to worry about. At least you're not in jail, kid.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

(Day 180) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 85 D-71

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 2

Translation gone wrong or too much Political Correctness? In the sporting section of yesterday's paper the Special Olympics was referred to as a sporting event for the “intellectually challenged.” What about all the athletes missing their limbs? Are they intellectually challenged too? How does a missing arm affect their mental abilities? Is the quest for political correctness in itself prejudice? Or is it a case of the editors for the Korean Times mistranslating the English?

Sometimes I wonder if the Korea Times actually employs any native speakers of English as editors. They should. They really need one. Especially since one of the writers just loves to use the same idioms that he has obviously originated himself, over and over again. If I have to hear about the Korean population aging in dog years one more time, I'll cry. I would do something more drastic, but I'm limited because I'm not allowed to have any heavy blunt instruments or sharp objects in my cell.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

(Day 179) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 84 D-72

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 1
Happy birthday, Dad.

My rant to the warden about shaving for sanitation reasons as being unreasonable resulted in new pants and jackets today. So now, I have clean clothes, but I haven't had a shower in a week.

On TV, after the news, was a new program called Five Minute Yoga, which given the confined nature of my circumstances is a great idea. Except that it requires you to a flat on your back and be able to stretch your arms above your head and out to the sides-- neither of which I am able to do because the cell is too small. Nice try, Korea Prison Broadcasting System. You failed. Still, the girl doing the yoga is hot


I've come to the conclusion after 5 months of not seeing any woman that jihadists must be particularly crazy because they hide all their women. If everybody just walked around naked, they wouldn't want to blow themselves up so much-- at least not with explosives. All that repression makes everybody insane.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

(Day 178) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 83 D-73

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 7

Today I mailed the letter I wrote on Saturday. How exciting. Nothing but wall-to-wall action in this place. My head bouncing off of one wall to the other wall and back again, like a pinball.

Exercise times have been moved to the afternoon, which is nice because it's slightly warmer.

I finished the New York Times crossword again. It must be Monday. Puzzles are purposely easier after the brain twister that was Saturday’s puzzle.

Monday, 14 January 2013

(Day 177) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 82 D-74

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 6

Today’s deep thought-- because let's face it I have nothing but time to think... We are all like drops of rain in the ocean of the universe. The difference is only how much of the ocean we take up. Like tears in the rain, to paraphrase Rutger Hauer.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

(Day 176) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 81 D-75

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 5

Tonight’s movie was Wrath of the Titans. Ho-hum. At least it was in English. I wrote a letter. That's it.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

(Day 175) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 80 D-76

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 4

Mr Kim told me today that there will be a general pardon for all people with fines less than $5000 on the Lunar New Year or February 10th. I said “yeah, right. I'll believe it when I'm walking out the front door.” That would be a very nice birthday present, but I've put my hope in so many things since I've been here, I no longer have any left. I believe in reality and my reality says I'll be here another 76 days until March 27th.

Friday, 11 January 2013

(Day 174) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 79 D-77

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 3

I got nothing but rumors of presidential pardons which don't apply because I'm not important a friend of the President or actually convicted of a crime. Shortest entry yet.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

(Day 173) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 78 D-78

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 2

I can't complain about the food, I did that already. The warden asked to talk to me today, so I went. He asked if there was anything at all he could do for me, so I asked for my computer. He wouldn't let me have that.

Then he started to tell me all the special options prisoners have, like vocational training. So I asked to do that, but I'm not allowed because I'm not a prisoner. Like everyone else. I'm here because I didn't pay my fine. He asked why I didn't pay my fine to leave and I told him I had no money because I couldn't work because he wouldn't let me use my computer. He still wouldn't let me have it. He said all the other prisoners have smartphones and if I was allowed to use my computer he'd have to let me let them use their smartphones. I said not the same at all. I don't want to use the Internet. I want to write, draw and read the things on my computer. I have 1000 books on my computer. I have 8 notebook in my cell and 2 sketch books. I want access to the books on my computer and to transfer my notebooks, so everything is on one thing instead of spread out among several things. It will eventually cause twice as much work for me since I will have to transfer everything to the computer at one point anyway. I like to think that he almost considered it at that point, but still no luck ultimately. I haven't shaved in a couple of days. He said I had to shave because it was unsanitary. I said to him I had been wearing the same pair of pants for 3 months, and he was worried about my “dirty” beard? Then he complained about my long hair and I said if he tried to cut my hair or beard I would consider that a violation of my human rights and I would make a complaint.

I told him the guards were always mad at me for not following the rules. I don't even know what the rules are because everything is in Korean and no one spoke English, accept him. I sleep because I'm bored. I can't watch TV. It's all in Korean, but I get in trouble if I try to sleep. If I lie down because sitting cross-legged on a hard floor all day is painful, I get in trouble. If I don't eat rice, I get in trouble. If I turn off the TV, I get in trouble. There was nothing I could do that didn't get me in trouble for breaking some unknown rule. And there is no independent method of communication with the outside world, so they are fully capable of abusing their power and authority and there is nothing I can do about, it since none of my friends or anybody for my own government even bothers to check up on me. Thanks, warden. At least you give me something to complain about today. I was a little worried for a moment...

I watched a documentary on TV. There was a scene with a foreigner with tattoos on his upper arms just like millions of other people and they censored it. His arms were so blurred out, it made him look like he was in an armless half naked foreigner on a beach... It was so distracting, it was all you could pay attention to. It emphasized the difference rather than drawing attention away from it. How are people ever going to learn tolerance and diversity if we are intolerant of difference?


I saw another documentary that showed a woman who had cerebral palsy and I felt pity for her. As I watched the documentary, my pity turned to shame and pity for myself because this woman ran a theatre group with other disabled people, one of whom she was married to, with a child. I felt shame because I assumed she must have a difficult and poor life and although her life was difficult, it was far from poor. It was actually rich with love and happiness and my pity for her turned to pity for my own prejudice and judgment.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

(Day 172) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 77 D-79

sit-upschair-lifts
1000
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = January 1

The end of today marks the point of no return. Tomorrow, I'll inevitably write about this again-- it being the actual day that marks the Solstice of my time in a Korean prison. It doesn't end  my time locked up though, as I'll still have to deal with immigration immediately upon my release. Fun times.

The guard just came and told me my release date is March 27th. That's one day earlier than I thought. It also makes today the point of no return. It's all downhill from here on in!!!

re: Chillout Korea - Jane’s Americanology, Korea Times

The problem, Ms. Han, is all those catch phrases are in English and to us foreigners, including potential investors visiting, it comes off as desperate, nationalistic and pathetic. If it's meant to be for Koreans, so they can feel proud of their accomplishments on the world stage, then change all the advertising into Hangul. Visiting foreigners don't want to be told that Korea thinks that it's better than their own hometown (which may have been consistently voted one of the best city in the world to live in). It smacks of racism to a visitor. The visitor doesn't know that Korean culture is so competitive-- everybody is trying to outdo everybody else, It reflects in Korean advertising to other Koreans, but doesn't translate well culturally. It makes the entire country look insecure, like someone practicing daily affirmations in front of a mirror.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

(Day 171) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 76 D-80

sit-upschair-lifts
1000




Breakfastcoffee

Lunch
rice & kimchi
sweet potato bread< curry mussel & slimy seaweed soup

The bread was a nice addition, but I could do without the soup. This is the only meal I’ll eat with rice. I actually felt full
Dinner
kimchi
kimchi & hotdog(ham) soup
Korean-style omelet
veggies & glass noodles

I love how hot dogs are considered ham. The chop-chay was cold and so was the egg.

If I had $4000, I could leave jail today. In two weeks, I'll have completed serving time for all of my transgressions, but one. We're finally getting down to the wire. Not too much longer now. I've finished with my lame prison food review so I'm back to ranting about manufactured K Pop, recycled plot lines in cookie-cutter dramas, Konglish ruining English learning, and corruption in business. Or maybe, just keeping track of the date...

Monday, 7 January 2013

(Day 170) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 75 D-81

sit-upschair-lifts
1000

Breakfastcoffee


Lunch
kimchi
fish cake & cabbage in red pepper sauce.
raw onion in soy sauce
rice cake soup

The only thing not kimchied was zucchini and the hamburger. The Hamburger was only because it was January 1st.

Dinner
yellow radish
Chinese cabbage soup
bok choi/onion kimchi
sweet & sour pork


Pretty good meal, but need bigger servings. I feel like a mouse picking at crumbs.

Sunday, ho-humday.

Last night's movie was not played yesterday. It was played today instead. Totally screwed with my weekend. It was a Japanese movie called “Shall We Dance?” about a bored salary man who starts taking dance lessons at the school he sees from the subway on his way home each day.  As he passes the school on the subway, he sees the dance teacher staring wistfully out the window, and after starting lessons, enters the cut-throat world of ballroom dancing. By reading the Korean subtitles and hearing the Japglish, I can almost understand what's going on... I laughed, I cried, good times.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

(Day 169) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 74 D-92

sit-upschair-lifts
1000

Breakfastcoffee, bread. Strawberry jam & milk


Lunch
shredded radish kimchi
little tiny fish
grass? Red pepper sauce
spicy veggie stew

This is of those weird Asian meals where it’s better to mix everything together and dump it in the soup

Dinner
kimchi
blood sausage
pickled raw garlic in sweet chili sauce
fish cake & turnip soup


One of the more original meals I've had here. Bonus points for variety, but not much on the subsistence. Still hungry.
I got a lot written in my new book today. The method of writing is different with this one... With the last one, I just kept writing day to day and the parts developed as I wrote, but with this new one, since it's a murder mystery, I already know who dies, who did it, why and how, and I'm still just writing the plot as it happens, but I'm writing towards a conclusion. It's almost like painting. I have a rough idea of what I want and how it's going to look before I start, and it gets clearer and more precise as I paint. If I ever manage to publish this, I think people will like it...

Saturday, 5 January 2013

(Day 168) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 73 D-93

sit-upschair-lifts
1000

Breakfastcoffee


Lunch
kimchi
soybean & veggie potato soup
rice cake & pork/cabbage
green chili marinated in chili sauce


This meal is actually really good. Lots of variety. The opposite of yesterday’s lunch. Maybe someone heard me yelling about variety...

Dinner
kimchi
spicy pork
green chili peppers with soybean paste
slimy seaweed soup


Other than the soup—pretty good. After nearly a week of terrible meals, two decent ones in a row is pretty amazing. I guess they want to keep the prisoners happy going into the weekend.

Not much happened today. Did more writing than usual which is a good thing. 1/8 of the way through a second novel.

Friday, 4 January 2013

(Day 167) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 72 D-94

sit-upschair-lifts
1000

Breakfastcoffee


Lunch
kimchi
grass & onion kimchi
fish fillet with ketchup
bean sprout/kimchi soup


This would have been so much better if they didn't serve more ketchup than fish fillet. What am I going to do with all that ketchup? Drink it with my coffee? Variety, people. Try it you might like it.

Dinner
kimchi
slimy seaweed with sweet chili sauce
Banana
Potato, rice pasta cream soup


I don't even need to wait and see this meal to know it’s going to suck. No subsistence, all veggies, which is not so bad, but I'll be starving an hour later.

We got a new item list of the things available to purchase yesterday. Pretty much the same as the old one except Dove soap is now called “milk soap” and the prices went up or down by the equivalent of a penny or two. Gel pens are no longer available. A few other things are gone as well, and there are a few new things.

I spent the afternoon translating and color coding my new list. One of the things I find most frustrating is when I need help translating something and the person I ask, tells me I “don't need to know that”, or I “wouldn't be interested in buying that”. If that were true, I wouldn't be fucking asking you for your help, would I? If I had no interest, why would I ask? And who the fuck do you think you are to judge whether or not I want to buy something or not? Tell me what the fuck it is and I'll determine if I want/need it. “It” turned out to be traditional Korean socks. I don't want or need those, but let me decide that. Poor or non-existent translation is part of the problem that got me in my current mess.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

(Day 166) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 71 D-95

sit-upschair-lifts
1000

Breakfastcoffee & yogurt


Lunch
cubed radish kimchi
dried seaweed & soy sauce
spicy pork
slimy seaweed soup

Yay for pork, nay for slimy seaweed soup with dried seaweed in soy sauce.

Dinner
kimchi
spicy veggie stew
tofu in soy sauce
cucumber & green onion kimchi


These meals would be so much better if everything wasn't kimchied. Don’t Koreans get tired of eating the same thing every day? I sure do.

Since it is Wednesday, I got another shower today. How lame is that? The only excitement in my life is having a shower more than once a week and shoveling snow just so I can take a shower.

I'm on a roll with the crosswords. I completed the Korean Times puzzle today... And the roll ends. The New York Times crossword was too hard today.