Friday, 1 March 2013

(Day 224) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 129 D-27


Breakfast nothing, ran out of coffee
Lunch rice & kimchi
corn bread
bean sprouts in hot water

This is one of the few meals I’ll eat rice with. Everything else is great except for the bean sprout tea.
Dinner kimchi
slimy seaweed soup
bean paste & lettuce
spicy pork

And we were off to such a good start at lunch. I hate slimy seaweed anything and what kind of dish is plain lettuce with bean paste? I should have gotten the rice...

Today is a holiday. I don't know what holiday it is, but it’s special to Koreans. 삼일절 is meaningless to me and unless the person has Korean fonts installed on the computer it'll come out as gibberish there too. It's also the beginning of a new menu since it's the beginning of a new month, but they haven't actually giving us a new menu sheet yet, so every meal will be a surprise. Since its Friday as well, the chances of getting a menu are zero until Monday. I'm not even sure I'll get a newspaper today.

The one thing that is decent, is the TV is on a weekend schedule, so it’s on from 9 am to 9 pm. Too bad it's Sunday’s TV schedule, so I have to watch that stupid drama about rural life. It’s so unrealistic and petty. It makes me cringe to watch. I usually turn the sound all the way off so I don't have to listen to the constant whining by the women and yelling by the men. Sometimes I just turn it off completely, but today I have nothing to read or do, accept stare at four concrete walls. I could write, like I'm currently doing at this moment in time. There may be a movie after dinner if the usual programming pattern holds or it will be some old time music show or singing contest. If it is a movie, it might even be in English, but it will still be hours before I find out.

If I had actually ordered anything on Wednesday this would be the worst part and I'd be really pissed off right now, but I have no money left so I didn't order anything. Wednesdays and Fridays are the only days to order coffee, so if I ordered coffee on Wednesday, since it's a holiday, I wouldn't get it till Monday. I wouldn't get anything till Monday. No snacks or extra food. Zip, zero, zilch. I also wouldn't be able to order anything today in order to get it on Tuesdays as usual. So, if I had missed ordering coffee on Wednesday and planned on ordering it on Friday instead, I wouldn't actually be able to place an order until next Wednesday and I wouldn't actually get it until next Friday.

So all in all, there is nothing special or good about a holiday in jail. What a holiday means is no exercise outside (doesn't matter to me, I don't really take advantage of it anyway), no items delivered or ordered, no newspaper, no mail delivery or posting, and no normal administrative jail routines like the handing out of menus or even being released, since there is only a skeleton staff of guards. Since it's also a Friday we have to wait until Monday before normal routines resume.

Apparently the holiday is a big deal for other Koreans. For me it’s a pain in the ass like all the rest of the holidays I've experienced here in jail.

 I got both a paper and mail today! And because it's a special holiday (independence from Japan, it turns out) we got hamburgers served with lunch... Except they're Korean style, which means no cheese and slathered in a teriyaki-like dressing with sweet potato salad for condiments instead of lettuce and tomatoes. So close, yet so very far. And I have no way of heating the pre-packaged, so-called hamburger, so it’s stale and cold. Oh well, only 26 or so days until the real thing-- with beer!

Tonight's movie was a French film called Intouchables. It was good, and I sort of understood the dialogue through a mixture of listening to the spoken French and reading the Korean subtitles.