Violence


The very first morning I stayed in my new apartment I was woken up at 5 a.m. by loud cursing and crashing sounds.  Someone was reaming someone else out at the top of their lungs.  Most of this assault on my ears was coming from one man, but occasionally I’d hear the second one lobby something back.  I could hear them arguing and hitting each other at each location change, and especially in the marble-lined hallways.  It wasn’t long before the argument moved outside and they, amazingly, continued to beat the crap out of each other for about another half an hour.

Great.  Just great.

Then during the week, I can hear when this guy gets home because I can hear him berating someone as soon as he enters his apartment.  It’s a fine, “Hi honey!  I’m home!”

The following week, about 8 pm., I wake up from a nap to hear wailing.  I mean, I thought it was a cat in heat or an injured dog or something, and it took a few minutes to realize it was a human.  And then it just turned into the most pitiful heart-wrenching sobbing/wailing ever.  And my violent neighbor is screaming at her, reaming her out.  blah blah blah blah blah EH?  blah blah blah EH? (smack) blah blah blah EH? (smack) EH? (smack)(smack)(smack) Lots of crashing, things being knocked over.  Obviously this jerk lives right above me.  Children in other apartments are crying.  Finally, I hear banging on the door and some other man yelling at them to (probably) shut up.

A few days later I am woken up at 5:30 am by the guy doing the blah blah blah EH? thing again as his “bye, honey, have a good day!”  That night I text the school office worker Dongja that I can’t live like this, and she asks me to come in early the following morning to see what we can do.  The solutions were:

  1. Complain to the owner
  2. Find me a new apartment in Gapyeong (the bigger town and county seat, about 20 minutes away by bus)
  3. Live with her and her mother

Actually, I liked the idea of number 3, because then I could really learn more Korean.  But they are a deeply religious family and Dongja gets up at 5 a.m. for sunrise services, and I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep my freewheeling self contained to one room.  Plus, what would I do with the housewares I now own?  And what about all this school furniture, would it fit?

So I chose number one.  I’m not sure if number two is even possible, as the school would lose their cheonsae (huge deposit money) for breaking the year lease…

Well, I don’t know what was said or if it was Dongja’s complaints or maybe everyone’s complaints, but it’s been quiet this week, thank God.

The other day in Chuncheon’s Lotte Marte, I saw a Philippina farm bride with a big black eye and felt so bad for her.  She probably had a neanderthal  like my neighbor as a husband, and what possible recourses can she have her?  The answer?  none…

I’d asked Dongja to place an advertisement for me somewhere for a local helper/guide/teacher.  She talked to the county’s Korean instructor for immigrant wives, and I will begin free lessons twice a week beginning in April.  Not what I wanted, but I look forward to seeing what it’s like anyway.  I hope there won’t be any black eyes…

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