Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Day 250 D-Day?

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner = ?

This is it. The day of reckoning. By this evening I'll either be on a plane out of Korea or stuck in red tape for an undetermined amount of time. Let's hope it's the former, although it will probably be the latter.

That worked out like I expected-- actually a little worse. I got to all my stuff and repacked it in anticipation-- just in case, but there was no need. The immigration officer didn't speak English. He gave me a piece of paper with my rights, so I requested a lawyer as was my right and he refused. I asked to talk to my embassy. That was refused. He demanded I sign the documents but I couldn't read it and he couldn't explain it so I refused. I showed him my documents from immigration, a receipt for my visa and he tore it up. I freaked out. He just destroyed all the proof I had of my legitimacy. I refused to sign.

Five big guys showed up, handcuffed me and manhandle me into a van. The handcuffs were really tight. I definitely have bruises from that, maybe even some nerve damage. One guy felt like he was going to break my ribs as he sat on me. We drove to Mok-dong and they threw me into another cell, but didn't remove the cuffs. The pain was unbearable. When it was lunch time, they finally remove the cuffs so I could eat. Then they gave me an inmate uniform and finally, my books so I could write this. Now we're going back Hwaseong. I fucking hate that place.

Now I'm back at Hwaseong. I don't know how long I'll be here. I was able to talk to Z, but it’s too late to call my mother. Current population—13, I think. 1 guy each from India, Bangladesh, and Iran and the rest are Vietnamese or Chinese.

The food is shittier, but it's much nicer to be able to speak English to many people. I feel almost human again. Rwanda is still here, which explains why JO never got his books back. My voice is almost horse from talking so much. My daily entries should become a lot more interesting, now that I have other people to write about.
The Iranian is a political refugee because he's Christian. The UN people told him to go to immigration to get a visa and instead, they arrested him. He's been here 5 months trying to work his way through the refugee system, which is next to impossible here in Korea. Rwanda was supposed to be released in November and he still here because of the bureaucracy.

I was able to talk to T. He told me about another friend, a good musician and performance artist, who totally got screwed by the school hakwon system. No pension, no return airfare. Korea just made another friend. For every good story I hear about Korea, I could tell you two or more bad stories.

My guilty, white man, imperialist, colonialist complex makes me hate myself for talking badly about anyone because of race, but I have very few nice things to say about Korea and Koreans. The good things I have are all superficial things about the technology, temples or the beautiful women. Anything I have about people, society or culture is mostly bad. I wish I didn't feel that way, but my experiences keep reinforcing it.