Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lesson of Life: Don't Trust Anyone

Since moving to the Bay Area, I've met an eclectic group of people. The area is much larger than that of Seattle so the span of humanity is much more diverse as it applies to ethnicity, upbringing, class and, most importantly, character. While I've met some great, kind, compassionate people I have met some scary, creepy people as well.

I moved into a living situation in Berkeley after meeting with the person who would be leaving, a student from Berkeley. We clicked automatically and I also got along pretty well with another roommate there. Everything seemed good initially.

Then I met one of the others living in the large apartment, a Mr. Jin-Ping Lim. From the beginning, it was obvious he didn't like me. I thought it had to do with my being white, as I was the obvious ethnic minority. Living with other ethnicities is something I'm used to, but I realize others may not be used to it. I never figured out what was urking this guy about me, as we had exchanged less than a handful of sentences with each other the entire time.

As the weeks morphed into a month, the situation got a bit disturbing. I would walk by him in the hall and wave to say hi and he wouldn't even look at me. He pretended I didn't exist. I was told by one of the other roommates that I should pay rent to him, and I did, but (and this is really bizarre) he never cashed the checks. Mail stopped showing up, and as I learned that the smaller mail (I had recieved large packages but nothing else) was going into a box that only he had the key for I began to suspect that he was stealing my mail.

I finally left the living situation, when in April, a note had been left by Lim threatening me with violence if I did not leave the apartment. I left immediately and felt a huge wave of relief in not being in that creepy situation anymore. I learned later that a letter from my campus had been sent to that address in early April with directions on how to register online, and I had never recieved it. I've been pushing law enforcement, mail services and my campus to change the results of what happened and make sure that there are more methods of accountability for this sort of pithering.

All in all, nothing really awful happened but my already paranoid demeanor was made even more relunctant to trusting anyone. Especially in this day and age, trust is a rare commodity that should not be freely despensed.
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