Book Club Digressions

Today was the second time that I attended a foreigner’s book club here in Incheon. We meet in Bupyeong, which if ya’ll remember is where I get my nails done. It’s only 4 subway stops away, and they have settled on this really nice cafe to meet. It’s quiet and has really great drinks. 

The book for this month was Audition by Japanese writer Ryu Murakami. It was very short, I read it all last Sunday and was listed as a horror story. It actually wasn’t too bad, just the last 10 pages or so were a little off the normal path. I would place it in the same “suspense level” as like the opening scenes of a Criminal Minds episode maybe? Anyways, that’s not the point.

As we were discussing the book, and how the main character was holding auditions for a new wife and how he was kind of a jerk in his ideals about women and sex etc, a lot of current events started to pop up from in South Korea, as well as the “night life” expectations that often come along with working in the business sector.

Lately, there have been a lot of news articles about rapes happening in South Korea. One school teacher, she was nearing the end of her contract and 3 fathers from her school raped her. She went to she consulate and they were arrested. Another rape happened out in a popular night club area a week or so before that, and a murder a few weeks before that in the bathroom at a subway station.

Two of the members of the book club are from South Africa, and they were saying how, when research was done in South Africa, studies showed that 1 in 3 women had been raped, but when faced with such a horrific statistic, they took “rape” and placed it into the category of “sex crime” to dilute the numbers down. Now they are thinking that it’s possible to have risen to 1 in 2.

One of the teachers was telling a story of a friend of hers, who was also a teacher. Someone at this teacher’s school gave out her phone number. She received a call from a man, saying that he was told she would “service” him for $50. He kept calling and calling, saying he would offer $100. He even had her address AND the pin code for her apartment door. He showed up, and he had entered the pin code into the door, trying to get in, but thankfully she had locked it manually from the inside.

Hearing such horrible things makes me very cautious of living in South Korea. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with living in a safe neighbourhood, and with working with people who are always concerned about my safety and well being. Even so, when I got home today, I actually physically locked my door from the inside – something I haven’t done the entire 6 months I have lived here.

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