Friday, December 14, 2007

Failure to Launch

'As I stood at the counter of my local library, I asked the librarian what the Government would think of me if they saw the records of which books I'd borrowed. "Anything they like" she replied.' - Anon.

It seems to me that I've had a lot of things I wanted to write about in the last few months, but what I've ended up with instead is a long list of subjects and a hopelessly backed up series of photos and videos which perhaps one day I'll get around to uploading. The fact is I go through phases with Meniere's and the last three months have not been good. Maybe all the stress of fighting my own Government through the courts is taking its toll, maybe it's just the way things were always going to be. Anyway, the upshot is that I've been out of the apartment three times in the last two weeks, and I spent almost all of last weekend in bed. While this at least means there's nothing new to write about, it's not conducive to my Korean language studies or anything else - not that there's been any formal study at all for four weeks due to all the other work I've been doing.

I was supposed to fly back to England yesterday, but after agonising over the decision for several days I finally listened to the people who were telling me it was reckless and admitted to myself that I'm not up to it. And while I really want to be at the Hearing on the 19th to watch my Government legally formalise its decision to exclude my wife and therefore myself from the UK for the rest of our lives, it's questionable whether my actual presence there would make any difference. The Government doesn't actually need me there to stab me in the back. It can do it from a distance and by proxy, which is, after all, exactly what Governments are good at.

There's still a chance that if the situation somehow changes I may yet jump (or stagger more likely) onto a plane at a moment's notice. Otherwise, if I am here for the next few weeks, at least I will be with my wife for Christmas and our first wedding anniversary, something which the Hearing's proximity to Christmas had promised to deny us.

Korean tags: 정부, 대사관, 망명자, 영국

4 comments:

delfas said...

Hey Mike, I have to confess I have been reading your blog everyday. I actually enjoy reading them and seeing all the pictures of Busan.

I feel bad about what's happened to you and your wife. Life seems like it's one battle after another. But, if it's any consolation to you, I have my own set of life's problems too.

If I may just offer you one piece of encouragement; do not lose hope. Your situation just reminded of the serenity prayer by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next

Amen.

Mike said...

Hello Delfas, thanks for the comments. I guess things are a bit tough for me right now with all this going on but I think it's important not to lose perspective; there are many in the world less fortunate than myself. Before I was finally diagnosed with Meniere's the doctors looked for brain tumours and I have to say, waiting several weeks for the results of various scans was certainly an experience, though not one I'd care to repeat. When I got the all clear on that, I thought everything else was negotiable. And it is. I try to get on with my life as best I can - there are compromises to be sure - but I could be in much worse position.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, i know that you're busy battling this war with your country.

It might seem inappropriate to ask now, but since you're dealing with a lot of documentation, do you have any idea where i can make certified true copies of my document in busan?

Mike said...

Hello Anonymous,

No problem - I'm happy to help if I can... that's what separates me from my Government ;-)

We've used a Notary Public as these are internationally recognised. Sometimes certain documents can be verified by your embassy - although since these are in Seoul this is quite inconvenient. Some countries have consular offices in Busan though. In the UK, it's also possible to get certain documents verified by your bank manager for free - though not a lot of people realise this. If you have a bank in Korea, perhaps they could do the same thing.

Korean Notaries Association - Notaries Busan

We've used this one but I don't believe anyone there speaks English. It hasn't mattered for us because it's been Korean documents we've been getting notarised, but what might present a problem is if you need a document translated and notarised. If the Notary Public can't translate then they can't verify the translation as being a true copy of the original.

I would imagine that probably one or more of the notaries in the link above will have some English capability, but you might have to phone around with the help of a Korean if you don't speak the language.

The cost was about 40,000 won per document with the notary - there may have been an element of bulk discounting for us, but it shouldn't be too much more than this without translation.

The cost might not sound cheap but it's less than half the price charged in the UK.

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