Gated Community

I’ve never wanted to live in a community where you could only get in or out by punching in a code or swiping a card. Actually, I don’t even really like the idea of a gated community. Somehow it makes me feel like I’m unavailable and unapproachable, not to mention trapped! But, our apartment complex has suddenly become an inaccessible, locked community.

We knew they were putting gates up at the three entrances to our apartment, but we really didn’t think anything of it. Lots of apartments here have gates. Most are only used at certain times to block road traffic, not pedestrians. So, it didn’t seem like a big deal.

Yesterday, the girls and I left home headed for our Korean classes. When we reached the gate, the guard wouldn’t open it. He kept saying we had to go get a card so we could leave. (Ok, I was thinking, I’ll get a card from the community office after class. Now, let us out.) The crowd around the guard shack was growing but the guard wouldn’t budge. This was new. I had never heard of a gated community to keep residents in, unless it was a prison. Finally, an older man started yelling at the guard and the guard backed down and let us all out.

I found out later that every gate is locked and accessible only by swiping this card. And every card cost money. What? We lived here for two years and freely came and went. Now they put up a blockade-type gate and we have to pay to get a card so we can leave? We already pay a yearly fee for upkeep and security. Needless to say, we were not very happy about the whole thing. Don’t even get me started on what this means for guests visiting our home.

So…After our first reaction, we realize that we don’t really have a lot of say about what does or doesn’t happen here. No matter how you look at it, we are guests in this country. I know there are a lot of kinks to work out in the system and I really hope they get worked out quickly. I did notice that from 10:30pm until about 8 in the morning the gate was wide open for anyone desiring to come or go. Either I’ll have to rearrange my schedule and start living life on the graveyard shift or I’ll have to go down and buy an escape from prison card. Haven’t decided which option is better yet!

~Regina

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