Without You

It is after 3:30am here (if you look at the time of this entry, you should know the time on the blog is based on Chinese time, which is one hour behind Korean time). I haven’t been able to sleep because of the terrible air quality in my apartment. There is only so much an air purifier can do, especially with this much cigarette smoke. I think I smell pot smoke in it too. Of course, the Korean government likes to portray Korea as a country without a drug problem.

When I studied Chinese in China, there were several classes in which a Korean student took things off track and talked about doing certain drugs in places outside of Korea. Even the westerners who had done drugs were not dumb enough to mention having done so during classes I attended.

It isn’t really the lack of sleep that is annoying me, it is the fact I put up with such environmental conditions in the first place. This terrible air quality in my apartment, the construction noise and pollution at school for several months, and the questionable value of food at school. Never again.

I know for future contracts elsewhere what to avoid. It is not just the amount of hours or the cheating with money certain employers do. In fact, I would like it if my current employer cheated me out of some money, because that would give me a petty excuse to simply get up and leave. A petty excuse I could use in future job searches and interviews to explain why I left during my contract.

It, for some reason, has reminded me of the short story Without You by Del James. It is awesome enough to have people attempt to translate it into Chinese. Nevermind the lifestyle portrayed in that story is utterly foreign to mainland China.

I found out about the story because it is referenced by the Guns N’ Roses music video November Rain. While there is some good stuff about being true to oneself in that story, the part I am thinking of right now goes like this:

The cool breeze felt invigorating as he stepped out onto the balcony and looked over the edge. His jet-black Bentley sat gleaming in the parking lot directly below.  He picked the receiver up, held it over the balcony, and aimed it at the car. After several seconds of wondering if his aim was accurate, he let go. Glass spidered wildly when the receiver hit the car’s windshield and broke through.

There is no Bentley below, I don’t even have enough money to buy a Matiz (a car that accords as much status on the owner here as a Yugo would in the west). Several floors below is a greenhouse-like structure that helps funnel smoke that eventually reaches my apartment. Unfortunately I might hurt some innocent bystander if I throw things out the window. That is the only thing that stops me.

Other than that, I can’t say I have loads of vices that I need to extinguish. It is not vice that is preventing me from having a healthy relationship with somebody. In my current situation, it is more like the vice of others. Makes me wonder how high oil prices would have to get to stop people from smoking here.

It won’t be long before I can say ‘without them.’ I have made it 2/3 of the way through my contract – just 1/3 more to go.


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