The Seoul Post Office Robbery

Closing the back door to the Am Sa Dong Post Office and carefully locking it, Mr. Kim opened his umbrella and started to walk down the narrow alleyway toward the bus stop. Waiting there, he noticed that it had stopped raining, closed the umbrella and stood leaning on the handle, now tired after a long day at the counter. He could imagine the smell of the dinner his wife was preparing and would have laid out on the table with several side dishes for him. The bus was always punctual and dinner was always exactly on time.

Tomorrow would be Sunday and a day off,. He smiled thinking of taking the bus with the family to the Nam San mountain park, the radio said it should be a sunny day.

All of a sudden a man was standing in front of him with a knife in his right hand: "Hands up and give me your wallet."

Since Mr. Kim was an accurate man from years in the Postal Service, he remarked that if his hands were up he would not be able to reach the wallet. "Never mind, give me the wallet right now."

"Sorry but I can't give you the wallet. Please try to understand the situation. When I come home, even before we have dinner, I hand my wallet to my wife who puts the bills in a safe place. This is the way we always do it, and if I tell her I have lost my wallet, even if I say someone has robbed me in the alley before I reached the bus stop, she won't believe me. She will think I am putting away money for my own use with friends at the drinking party at the end of the month. I can deal with the loss of the wallet but not with my wife's anger. Do you see what I am saying, do you understand my predicament?"

"Well, I see what you mean but that does not change my own situation. My wife has a regular job in a store but I am self employed and consider myself a fairly reputable robber. I am completely professional in what I do, I am careful and have kept out of trouble with the law; but I cannot take a chance with my wife. If I come home without a stolen wallet to show that I have been attending to business in the town, she will think that I am hiding money for myself. I see your problem but I have to think of my own which is worse. Please hand it over, you can tell your wife whatever you want, I do understand but there is nothing else I can do. I do apologize, of course I am very sorry!"



Jung Soon Kim
[a.k.a. Mrs. William Harris]
www.middlebury.edu/~harris