This will be a series to enlighten you about the reality of what it is like to be in a long distance relationship with a Korean soldier. Follow these links for Part 1.
As it is Sunday, I am able to contact my boyfriend earlier during the day because he is allowed more free time during the weekends. After excitedly seeing his hello message pop up on my phone, I responded with the same enthusiasm that I do every day and asked him how he was. When he starts a sentence with ‘Leah’ or ‘리아’ it normally means one of three things. He is either going to ask me a question, tell me something substantial or he has to tell me he has to leave.
Thankfully it was not the latter. But I received the shock of my life when I continued to read what he sent me. He told me he had snuck into the computer room to talk to me during training hours and was caught by his seniors. He had previously been punished by having a month’s wage deducted and assigned bathroom duties for a month; for using the computer to contact me when he wasn’t supposed to. It wasn’t the fact that he got caught that surprised me. But when I asked him what was his punishment this time. He laughingly told me his head was shaven.
I could only respond by laughing in disbelief. I don’t encourage my boyfriend to break rules and tell him off every time he tells me he gets caught and punished. But we both had a good laugh about his baldness. I reassured him that I find bald men attractive and told him again to not get into trouble because of me.
As hard as it is for me to not be able to contact him while he is in the army, it must be harder on him if he feels compelled to sneak in to try to send me a quick message. So every time I start feeling sorry for myself, I think about how privileged I am to still be out in society with my phone and internet readily accessible whenever I want it.