Thursday, 28 February 2013

(Day 222) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 127 D-29

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 6

Nothing says uncomfortable, restless, sleep like a bad back and a hard vinyl floor for a bed. There should be some sort of law about being forced to endure these conditions. A mattress, at least. I'm going to add that to my list-- cheese booze women and a normal bed to sleep in. I just realized I haven't eaten any substantial beef dishes, mayo, a salad, any pickles or olives, in 8 months. Add tomatoes to that.

Today I saw a live insect outside the window of my cell. I guess that means that winter is over and spring has finally arrived.

Just as I ran out of books to read, the warden of the prison brought me another book. One thing about getting my literature given to me from other people is the variety. I've read a lot of books that I would never have chosen for myself. Maybe when I'm looking for new books, I'll just start pick them randomly from now on.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

(Day 221) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 126 D-30

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 5

My days are pretty boring. There's not really much to do to write about. Sometimes, I struggle just to make shit up and pull some drama out of my ass. The only thing I really think about at this point is “four weeks left” and how every additional day makes that number less and less. After 7 months, 1 month doesn't seem that far away. But of course, thinking about it all the time makes it seem much, much, longer.

I haven't actually left my room at all in two weeks except to take a shower last Wednesday. The last time I was actually outside my cell was February 12. Mr Kim fond of talking shit about everybody else, started talking shit about me to some of the other inmates. I haven't talked to him since. I'm not being petty; I just can't be bothered to make the effort. It’s too bad. I liked Mr. Kim. I thought maybe he was different but he is not. A fair weather friend, like most of the Koreans I've met.


I never felt this way about Korea or Koreans before I lived here. I never gave them a second thought. They hardly existed in my little world. All my opinions good or bad, but unfortunately mostly bad, I've developed over time after living here for so long. I didn't have any prejudice before I came to Korea and I would say I don't have any now. I'm not pre-judging anybody. I'm basing it on years of experience and interaction—postjudice, if you will. I feel bad thinking the way I do about Korea and Koreans, but sometimes I can't help it. I've been screwed over too many times and have lots of bitterness towards this country and its people. Maybe I'll feel differently once I get away and put some distance between my present and my future.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

(Day 220) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 125 D-31

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 4

I've read all 13 books I've received in the last 3 weeks from RB, P, A, and JU. Now, I worry about how to return them since there is some slim to zero chance that I will eventually see them again before I’m deported. Whenever I have visitors, I don't know who it is until I'm looking at them through the glass, so I don't know which books to bring with me on the long march to the visitors room. Obviously I can't carry all 23 books with me every time I have a visitor.

I'm almost finished my sketch book, too. I only have two blank pages left. I have lots of loose paper though and I still have a notebook to finish writing in. I have run out of coffee and snacks and since the purchasing system has changed, I don't know how to buy more. It doesn't really matter anyway. I don't have any money to spare since I need to keep what I have reserved for my escape ticket.

Kevin the former worker who was going to give me a new job and or visa has disappeared. It’s been a month since he's been released and not a word. He made a lot of promises that I knew were bullshit when he made them. I wish just once I would meet a Korean in Korea that was capable of keeping their word. Nothing but liars, but what do I really expect from people I meet in jail? Not much, but just one time would be nice.

Monday, 25 February 2013

(Day 219) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 124 D-32

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 3

Now that I only have 32 days left all, I can think about is leaving. It occupies my every waking moment. This is going to seem like an incredibly long month and it hasn't even really started yet. There's still 4 days left in this month before the next one starts and then only 27 days. I can’t wait to get back to the real world and away from Korea, even though I really have no idea where I'm going to be or where I will end up. Anywhere is better than here-- even if I have to go back to North America. Money is my only problem right now. I wish I had two thousand dollars extra right now. I'd leave today in a heartbeat.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

(Day 218) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 123 D-33

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 2

I think all those papers I was given last Monday with the computer punch cards are the new ordering system, but I'm not sure because I haven't tried to order anything since they failed to bring me my batteries on the Lunar New Year. I can't afford to buy anything anymore anyway or I won't have enough money to buy a plane ticket when I'm released-- and I'm still pissed off about not getting my batteries. It's a small thing but it's the principle not the item that is important and I'm still a stubborn bastard.

My electric razor is slowly falling apart (cheap plastic products), so when the old batteries finally go, I'll have to stop shaving, too. With my long hair, by the end of March with a beard, I'll be looking pretty rough when they finally released me.

It’s Saturday, so that means crappy TV all day, but a movie at night. Tonight’s special feature is The Grey, which I've seen, but at least it's in English. Until then, I'll read the last of the books RB bought me a week ago... Five books in a little over a week. When you have nothing else to do, a book per day doesn't seem that unusual. When I'm finished reading, I'll have to go back to writing. I really wish I had my computer to write and research... Only 33 days...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

(Day 217) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 122 D-34

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 1

Last week of February. Last week and eating this shitty menu until a new week of eating a shitty menu, but also the very last time I'll be doing that, too.

5 weeks to go until I'm free of this place. I still have to deal with the whole immigration deportation issue though. Stupid rules. Just let me leave and I'll be happy to go from this stupid country. There is no need to throw me in another jail for a couple of days so they can deport me. I'll leave as soon as I walk out the door, if they let me. Why go through all the bullshit?

The difference between it nasty and tasty is one letter.

Friday, 22 February 2013

(Day 216) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 121 D-35

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 7

I'm surprised. Either the winners have not been announced or they have, but I am not one of them. From past experiences of entering contests in Korea, I usually win something just because I'm a foreigner. Not this time, I guess. I thought I may have had a chance because my essay wasn't that bad. There's only so much pathos I can squeeze into 500 words in a foreign language. I'm a little sad I didn't even get an honorable mention, but then again I haven't heard about any winners so maybe there is still a chance.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

(Day 215) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 120 D-36

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 6

One of the other inmates in my cell block commented on my physique in the shower today. That's the closest I've gotten to a “don't drop the soap” moment in the slammer. He said I was “slim”.

It turns out that the same inmate is the owner of Rio, a nightclub in Itaewon known as a hangout for a lot of Russian mafia types. I would hazard a guess that the guy in is in here for drug dealing, but I could be wrong-- I didn't ask. He asked me what I thought of the club, before I knew he was the owner, and I said it was a dive & dirty. He didn't disagree. More like embarrassed acceptance.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

(Day 214) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 119 D-37

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 5

I received a terry cloth mat 2 x 2 feet today. It’s for sitting on, instead of sitting on my hard vinyl floor, like I have been for 119 days. 37 fucking days left and just now, someone thinks of offering me a fucking mat to sit on.

10 years and this hole of the country and I will never understand it. I stayed because of my (ex) wife and when I tried to leave, I was put in jail for 8 months. Who wouldn't dislike it after that?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

(Day 213) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 118 D-38

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 4

I was given a bunch of paper with lists of products, something that looked like instructions and a bunch of papers that looked like a computer punch cards. All of it in Korean. I took one look at it and tossed it back exclaiming, “What the fuck do you want me to do with it?” Of course, the person couldn't answer me because they don't speak English. It is doubtful they understood a word I said, but my tone of voice and reaction made it more than obvious what I was thinking.


Why even bother going through the motions? It’s like the guards telling me that what to do or an announcement over the PA, and when I don't do anything or follow instructions they wonder why. How many times do I have to repeat myself? Apparently every single time until I leave, so about 36 more times-- I barely speak Korean, I don't care and I will not learn. 36 days until I leave this one-horse country forever.

Monday, 18 February 2013

(Day 212) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 117 D-39

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 3
Today is Z’s mother's birthday. I forgot how old she is, but happy birthday M.

There's an inmate two cells over for mine that who's been here for at least 6 years on drug charges, according to Mr Kim. Sometimes, Mr Kim buys this inmate snacks and such because he has no money of his own. He’s very friendly with all the other inmates and is generally good-natured all the time. He also has a very large tattoo that covers his whole back that marks him as a bona-fide gangster.

Most Koreans are of the opinion that a tattoo equals gangster regardless of the size or location. That is simply not true. There are plenty of young Koreans with tattoos that are obviously not gangsters, but if you meet an older Korean with lots of tattoos, chances are just as likely that they really are gangsters.

The reason I mention this particular inmate is because he never has any visitors and he has no money. Obviously, the whole gang thing hasn't worked out for him so well, since his brothers seem to have forgotten about him. I really have no idea why he is really here, but it’s not for a violent crime like murder or he would be in a different prison.

He's already been here for 6 years and is always in a good mood. I've been here for a couple months and I can barely tolerate it. The only thing that keeps me somewhat sane and optimistic is the knowledge that I only have a little over one month left before I am free. I can't wait. I pray every day for a miracle to get me out of here ASAP and I don't even believe in gods of any religion.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

(Day 211) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 116 D-40

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 2

I got nothing. Read a book or two. The movie was in Korean, so I barely watch it. That’s it. Hardly worthy of any entry. More like a placeholder.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

(Day 210) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 115 D-41

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 1
I am now plenty loaded up with snacks in time for a weekend of shitty menu items. Let's see how long they actually last.

During the day there are often documentaries showing on TV. Of course, they're all in Korean, but many times, the location is not, so the subjects are presented in another language. Whatever the case, they are preferable to dramas. However (and this is true of dramas, too), there are some things that get censored that seem silly or pointless, like smoking, handcuffs, tattoos and gore. On the evening news, they always report on the situation in Tibet, but the entire picture has been blurred out so you can’t see anybody burning or not. I sort of understand the censorship of gore or self-immolation, but tattoos and handcuffs? What's the big deal?

Why do governments insist on being parents? And they only censor the cigarette when someone is actually smoking it. If they are just holding in their hand, the cigarette can be seen as plain as day. 50 percent of the male population in Korea smoke. If you want or even don't want to see someone smoking, just go outside. All censorship does is emphasize things that would normally be ignored. The government is actually drawing more attention to the things they are trying to hide-- having the total opposite effect. Haven’t they ever raised teenagers? Hasn't the war on drugs or any “war on...” shown that if you want to make things worse, just ban it? Then people will be aware of it, actively search for it and it'll be more popular than ever. Just ask Barbara Streisand about it. There's an effect named after her that proves it.

Friday, 15 February 2013

(Day 209) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 114 D-42

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 7

For two weeks now, my writing and drawing have been limited to this diary. I've made zero progress on my novel, but in a way, I'm sort of waiting and drawing it out until I can use my computer in a few weeks. If I finish all my books I have to read before then, then I will probably write some more, but I don't want to write on paper just to retype on the computer weeks later, even though that's exactly what I'm doing right now with this diary. Writing daily happenings and regurgitating stuff already written in my head is totally different though. They are both streams of consciousness, but one is more planned out and thought about whereas this is more of an involuntary fart.

Finally, after almost 4 months in this place I've been given a pair of pants that fit-- or at least fit better than the two previous pairs of pants. These ones are still a little long, but at least they don't keep falling down around my ankles. I've lost a lot of weight-- mostly from lack of beer.

When I first came to Korea, I thought it was a little strange how obsessive Koreans were about brushing their teeth after every meal. It’s a practice that is taught just as vehemently in the West as in Korea, but I can't recall any of my Western contemporaries ever having a toothbrush in their desk and brushing their teeth after their lunch break-- although I'm sure many do. Then, after seeing so many Korean preschoolers with mouths full of rotting baby teeth from too much juice or letting them fall asleep with their bottles, I thought maybe Asians for more susceptible to cavities from a lack of calcium in the diet. It’s rare to find Koreans who drink milk or eat cheese, especially in the qualities that Westerners do. Mostly, I attribute it to good hygiene habits and a female’s fear of being discovered as a smoker, but now after a steady diet of Korean food for 6 months, I've discovered the real cause.

If you have paid attention to the description of some of the menu items, you'll see that a few of them are simply labeled “grass”. I don't mean the kind of grass you find on a golf course or Kentucky bluegrass, but unidentifiable veggie matter (UVM if you will) where closest description I can come up with, is “grass”-- like the way dope is called grass. These UVM menu items, along with all the various forms of kimchi, have a nasty habit of getting stuck between my teeth (or any Korean’s teeth). Sometimes I have to brush 2 or 3 times before I'm rid of it all and still, sometimes when I wake up in the morning, there are remnants floating around. So although daily brushing after every meal is just a good idea for hygienic reasons, I'm convinced Koreans are obsessed with regular brushing to rid themselves of the grassy weeds and kimchi that inevitably takes up residence in their mouth at every meal, including breakfast. It only took 10 years of living here to come to this conclusion.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

(Day 208) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 113 D-43

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 6

RB & JB loaded me up with some snacks—sausages, chicken, tuna, cookies, apples and milk. Even though it's pretty shitty luck to be stuck in jail because I'm too poor to pay my fines for defending myself from nationalistic yahoos, I'm lucky and rich to have such decent friends who take the trouble to visit me and hook me up with comfort foods to offset all the kimchi I have to eat.

Since it's Wednesday I had a shower as usual and washed my hair as usual, but instead of putting it back in a ponytail to dry I let it hang loose. As it dried, it turned into its normal, very curly state, instead of the artificially pulled back wave. The inmate/worker later asked me if I had a perm... I was taken aback. How dumb are some people? Where the fuck am I going to get a perm in jail? I hope/think he was joking. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

When it rains it pours... JU came to visit me today. He's been in contact with some other friends to try to raise some money to get me out of here ASAP. My hopes are not high, but it's nice to know some people care enough to try to help me so much. I'm so close to the end of it all anyway, I'm seriously considering, if my friends raise enough money to spring me from jail, to donate the money to an orphanage or some other worthy cause instead. On the other hand, getting out of here early would be real nice too...

The batteries I ordered on Friday should have been delivered today because of the holiday. They weren’t. My order was “lost.” Really PO'd.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

(Day 207) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 112 D-44

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 5

Why is always my paper that goes missing and isn't delivered? This is the second time now. I hope I don't have to wait until after 7 p.m. before I see it, if I see it at all.

RB and JB came to visit me today. No visitors for a month and now visitors every week! I'm not complaining. It's nice to see all my friends and know I haven't been forgotten, left to rot in jail... not so melodramatic. I got more books too, which is good because I just started reading the last of the books that P and A brought me last week. Now, all I need is some of my friends to bring me a couple of thousand dollars so I can pay off my fines, leave this place and go to Thailand.

I only had to wait until 4 pm for my morning paper. Monday's lunch was tonight's dinner.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

(Day 206) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 111 D-45

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 4

I guess lunch today is not the same as lunch on February 4th, but it is the same as dinner on February 5th, which got me to wondering, what's for dinner tomorrow? The same thing? These are the sort of questions you ponder in jail. Any disruption from the normal routine is cause for alarm, no matter how mundane.

In other news, all the programs on TV are New Year related in that all the participants of the karaoke and quiz contests are a) foreigners who speak Korean b) dressed in Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) or c) both foreigners dressed in hanbok AND speaking Korean. It also means they are more recent than the usual 2 week lag time. It's been a long time since I've seen white faces, especially women. They look exotic. I miss girls a lot.

Monday, 11 February 2013

(Day 205) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 110 D-46

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 3

The menu at lunch was actually different than advertised. I demand a refund. I guess it's in celebration of the Lunar New Year. At least it's different in a good way-- the cucumber and cubed radish kimchi didn't change, but the pork was changed to beef & cabbage, and the soup was rice cake with beef instead of fish cake & turnip. There was also pickled garlic and a sweet & spicy sauce. 4 bowls of approval today, so even if it is Sunday, it's off to a good start, at least.

But a terrible finish. Dinner had no changes-- still crap. I threw out the soup and filled up on a bag of chips instead.

Last night was a movie about a table tennis team. Only in Asia would they make a sports movie about ping pong. Tonight's movie was Extremely Loud, Incredibly close, which I've already seen. My alternative is to read, but the only book I have is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I've already read... Tomorrow's movie is called Safe House. I wish they would show movies every day, instead of just on holidays.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

(Day 204) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 109 D-47

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 2

Today is the beginning of the Asian, or Lunar New Year, which is actually tomorrow, and ends on Monday. So, the next 3 days are on a holiday schedule which inevitably means disruption in deliveries, newspapers, exercise, and even TV schedules. Good thing I stocked up on snacks, although that had more to do with the shitty menu than the holiday schedule.

Reading all the bad news in the paper lately has me a little worried. The news is always bad, that's what makes it news, but lately with all the talk about the bad economy in the US and Europe, strife in the middle east and sabre-rattling all over Asia, it reminds me of the 1930s with the depression, strife in Asia, and all the sabre-rattling in Europe and look how that turned out. The locations have changed slightly, but the conflicts are the same. As long as they hold off the fighting long enough for me to get out of jail...

Saturday, 9 February 2013

(Day 203) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 108 D-48

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Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = February 1

In anticipation of the shitty menu this weekend, I stocked up on instant noodles and snacks, but I can't do that every weekend. It cost me almost $20 this week. Under normal circumstances, I'd be thrilled to have only spent $20 on extras throughout the week. In jail, I'm horrified. It's way too much. I'll end up going broke quickly at this rate, which sounds silly until you remember I have no job and no income. It's all relative.

That reminds me that according to Einsteinian physics, I really am the center of the universe. Time and space revolve around me relative to everything else. And that's true for everybody. We are all gods at the center of our own universes, even if we only exist for a nano of a nanosecond of relative time to the universe as a whole. And that's all I've got for today.

Friday, 8 February 2013

(Day 202) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 107 D-49

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Breakfast coffee
Lunch rice & kimchi
tofu in red pepper sauce
cucumber kimchi
ham & kimchi soup

In this case, “ham” is synonymous with pieces of hot dog and I need kimchi in hot water like I need a bullet in the head. The bullet in the head is actually preferable to the 2 dishes of kimchi at every meal for the next 3 weeks. My only solace is it will all be over in 3 weeks. Until the next month starts
Dinner baby cabbage kimchi
soy bean spinach soup
raw pickled onion
spicy pork

Finally, some variety. The only decent meal all week.

I got nothing. Too cold to go outside. Nothing on TV, as usual. The food is crap. I'm bored. See? Nothing new. Better luck tomorrow... yeah, right, same shit, different day. I wrote a letter to Z.

The warden did an inspection today. The novelty has worn off. He just stopped to say "Hi." He didn't stop to talk as usual. Fine by me-- I was never trying to be his friend, just polite.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

(Day 201) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 106 D-50

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Breakfast coffee
Lunch shredded radish
fried mackerel
bok choi kimchi
soy bean & cabbage soup

The soup we had for dinner yesterday has a different name (in Korean), but looks identical to today’s soup. There’s no need for 2 types of kimchi. The fish was good, but the portions were small.
Dinner kimchi
tuna & kimchi soup
omelet
dried seaweed & soy sauce

Boring. Bare subsistence to stay alive and not much else, but I'm in jail so I shouldn't expect gourmet. As a birthday dinner though, terrible.

Happy Birthday to me.

Today is my birthday. A time of reflection. Let's see, what have I accomplished mid-life? Hmmmm.... not much, really. I'm sitting in a cell in a foreign jail. I have no money, job or home. My family is estranged, I'm divorced. When I sit down and look at the scales, I've had lots of experiences, but nothing to show for it. In my own defence, I had all the normal trappings of adulthood, but I got rid of it all so I could leave the (this) country, I just didn't so far as to actually leave the country, yet... Soon, though-- only 50 days to go...

My Birthday song (to the tune of Happy Birthday):
Happy Birthday to me.
I live in cell three.
My cake is a choco pie,
with rice & kimchi.

Mr. Kim gave me some choco pies for my birthday and I got a card from my mother, so it wasn't a total waste.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

(Day 200) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 105 D-51

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Breakfast coffee
Lunch rice & yellow radish
veggies & potatoes in soy sauce
mandu
bean sprout kimchi soup

I actually ate the rice today, combining it with the veggies & potatoes in soy sauce, which is normally served with noodles (if only!). The mandu was cold and doughy. Instead of kimchi as a separate dish, they put it in the bean sprout tea. I choked it down anyway.
Dinner kimchi
grass in red pepper sauce
spicy chicken
Chinese cabbage & soy bean soup

The soup was good if only because it had a flavour that wasn't red peppers. Chicken is always welcome. And I've come to the conclusion that in Korea that they will eat anything, including grass—just add red pepper sauce.

105 days in this prison, 200 days in total... another week or 2 and it'll be 7 months. I wonder if anybody I know will be a new parent when I get out? Less than 50 days to go... then tomorrow... Well, tomorrow is a different landmark altogether, isn't it?

In the NY Times (International Edition) today, There was article about a Hong Kong artist named Song Dong. Accompanying the article was a picture of the Twin Towers from 9/11. The caption said it was the artist's view of those towers on that fateful day in NY. I say bullshit because I drew the exact same picture on October 23, 2012 while I was Hwaseong, and I copied it from a photograph by Steve Ludlum, that ironically enough is copyrighted by the NY Times, except I found it in an American history textbook published by Pearson-Longman.


The original photoSong Dong's drawingMy drawing

After the news this evening, there was a broadcast of a singing concert that took place at another prison in Korea on January 30th. The fucked up thing is that it was also a contest, BUT due to the nature of privacy law, the entire broadcast was filmed out of focus so you couldn't identify any of the singers/inmates and their names were censored so that the winners were displayed on the TV, but blocked out...

Now, my questions are: Since this broadcast will never be seen outside the prison system by anyone but prisoners, why go through the trouble of identifying the prisoner's name if you're just going to censor it anyway, and who really gives a fuck? The prisoners in the contest may care because they get a box of instant noodles if they win, and the prisoners at the prison where the contest is being held may care because it means they got let out of their cells for a few hours, but why the hell should I care? Selfish or not, I'd rather have my teeth pulled without anesthetic.

Of course, all the officials involved with the production were shown in focus, with their names uncensored, so it's a total vanity/ego show for them. It's a waste of time in a place where I have nothing but time.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

(Day 199) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 104 D-52

sit-upspush-upschair-lifts
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Breakfast coffee
Lunch kimchi
dried seaweed kimchi
Korean pancake
spicy vegetable soup

Instead of slimy seaweed today, it’s been dried out, shredded and turned into kimchi. Plus the red pepper spiced soup, the kimchi pancake and normal kimchi—I've given up on complaining about variety—all the hate is pointless and boring. It could be worse. I don't know how, but I'm sure it could be.
Dinner kimchi
fish cake in red pepper sauce
banana
rice cake soup

meh. That’s all I have to say.

It snowed a lot last night. Far too much for it all to melt before the temperature drops drastically and turns it all into ice. All the inmates in my cell block went out to shovel the yard. All they succeeded in doing was moving it around a bit. It was more like a "make work" project during the FDR years in the US. I stood around and watched, like any good white colonist should, while the serfs worked. Then I went back inside and finished reading my newspaper.

I didn't get much writing done this weekend, but I consider reading as studying now because I can't help analyzing the plot lines and narrative as I read now. I have a long way to go. My writing is amateurish in comparison. I'm beginning to understand why it takes years instead of months to write a 300 page novel. It's in the re-writes.

I also drew a picture today. It's been so rare lately, when I actually do it, it's a notable event. Reading, writing, drawing-- just a regular neo-renaissance guy...

Monday, 4 February 2013

(Day 198) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 103 D-53

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Breakfast coffee
Lunch cubed radish kimchi
cucumber & onion kimchi
kimchi pork
fish cake & turnip soup

This is a thousand times better compared to the last 2 days, BUT everything has been kimchied.
Dinner kimchi
pork cutlet & ketchup
bean sprout kimchi
slimy seaweed soup

I really hate slimy seaweed in anything. In 3 days (6 meals), it’s been in 3 of those meals. Bean sprouts aren't much better (2 meals) and it’s been kimchied... Only one bowl for the pork cutlet, but it almost got 0 because of the cup of ketchup dumped on it.

For the first time in a long time, I have enough literature to get me through the most boring day of the week. I can actually turn the TV off and not go crazy staring at the same 4 walls of my cell.

And after rain all day Friday and yesterday's sun, today it snowed. It's supposed to be warm again tomorrow, which will melt all the snow, but I hope the guards get us to shovel it today because we'll be able to have a shower afterwards.

Besides, regular showers and general freedom, the other things I really miss are my computer, booze, girls and cheese. Not necessarily in that order. I can pretty much guarantee that I will experience all of those things in less than 24 hours after I'm released.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

(Day 197) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 102 D-54

sit-upspush-upschair-lifts
000

Breakfast bread & jam, flavoured milk, coffee
Lunch kimchi
sausage & carrots in sweet sauce
bean sprouts in hot water

I don't see the point of bean sprouts in tea. I already have coffee & tea. It’s not a meal, it’s a beverage. So really, today’s lunch was a few slices of sausage and some kimchi. Bread & water is preferable.
Dinner kimchi
chicken soup
sesame leaf kimchi
cooked zucchini & carrot

The chicken soup is good, but after the last 3 meals, it’s not that hard to improve. Dirt is an improvement over shit. The rest is a bare minimum to survive.

Yesterday was really warm outside, but it rained all day. Today is sunny, but really cold. As a result, I opted to remain inside during the exercise period today. I won't be out of my room until Monday-- unless it rains then, too. That's 4 days (or 96 hours for the math impaired) in the same 1 m x 2 m cell. At least now, I have plenty to read. I just finished a biography of Stephen Hawking. My 1 m x 2 m cell seems quaint and hardly comparable to the prison he has been in for most of his life and yet it never stopped him from changing our view of the universe. If anything, it sort of helped him along. He says he had a lot more time to think. I can totally relate to that.

The movie tonight was called My Way -- a "true" story about a Korean marathon runner who lived through the Japanese occupation of Korea, as a forced soldier against the Chinese, a Soviet POW, then a Soviet army recruit at the Battle of Stalingrad, then a German soldier during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, through the Korean war and finally the surprise underdog at Korea's first appearance in the Olympics. There's a twist at the end, but that's pretty minor compared to how over-the-top the rest of the movie is-- it birders on satire. It was so ludicrous, it made the emotional impact laughable instead of empathetic. The only thing commendable was the production. It was on par with any Hollywood blockbuster. Just the plot sucked, or was so ridiculous to be in anyway believable. But, apparently, it really is a true story...