Monday, April 4, 2016

Why I left South Korea and Returned to the United States.

On the night of Tuesday, March 29th, 2016, I was in my apartment and asleep. Around two or three in the morning, I was awoken by several intruders in my apartment, having jumped on me and held me down under the covers on my bed. I generally sleep on my stomach, in addition to the darkness of night, so I was unable to see who or how many people were in the room. The intruders proceeded to yell at me, while hitting me on my back, butt, and legs. The blankets that were on top of me helped to lessen the pain, but it was still a very painful experience. I’m not sure for how long they beat on me, but it felt like hours and I was crying in pain, begging for them to stop. When they finished beating on me, one of them got close to my head and told me that I needed to leave the country immediately, or the next night they would come back and kill me.

I laid in bed waiting for them to leave for what seemed like an eternity, crying. Wishing it had all been a bad dream. Around five or six in the morning, I moved to get myself out of bed, got dressed, and very cautiously, walked to the police station that was two blocks from my apartment. I told the situation to one of the officers and asked for help. I was told that there was nothing they could do to help me. I asked why, and was told that they could not help me.

Unable to get any assistance from the police, I began to panic. I went back to my apartment and packed as quickly as I could to ensure that I took everything with me that I absolutely did not want to leave behind. I was able to get everything packed into my four suitcases and I made my way out of apartment and down to the main road to catch a taxi to the train station. By now, it is approximately 11 am and I am headed to Incheon International Airport to await a flight back to the United States. I was able to book a flight that would leave the next day (Thursday) around four in the afternoon, have a layover in Shanghai, and then arrive in Chicago by one pm on Friday.

On the train, I sent a message to the University to let them know I was leaving and gave them the reason of “Last night, my house was broken into while I was sleeping by a group of men, who proceeded to hold me down and beat me. I was advised that I needed to leave South Korea or I would return to America dead”. I had also let the University know that over the past month, I had also been receiving (although sporadically), notes in my mailbox that said “American go home”, or “Fags like you are not welcome here”. Having been on the receiving end of notes like these in the past, I ignored them, hoping they would stop like they have in other locations, due to having no response from me on them. The response from the university was less than stellar when I was told “Running away from your job is unacceptable. It shows that you have no sense of responsibility”.

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