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Hello Silver Lining!

September 24, 2009

Midterms are coming to a close for me…I’ve done all the prepping and speaking tests needed and I’m pretty much just standing around for the next week…oh nevermind I have to give speaking tests all day Monday. Anyway, it’s decidedly a great thing that this madness is coming to a close since I’ve been so ill lately. Anyway, I’ll start from the beginning.

Yesterday, I wrapped up midterms with most of the third graders. Some of them were a little cross with me but as most students passed, I can no longer feel sorry em. Here, check out the epic cram session taking place before class starts:

It's quite obvious who studied and who didn't!

It's quite obvious who studied and who didn't!

One of the “jocks” of my class was the last to go and his classmates clearly had little faith in his abilities to do anything but play baseball…of course he got a 9/10! Everyone oooooh’ed for about two minutes and the kid had a huge grin plastered to his face as he strutted proudly back to his seat. It was funny.

Back at my office, I saw some really nifty crafts in a box, what I presumed to be midterm projects in art class.

I wish I had my real camera for this pic instead my camera phone...Colorful ain't they?

I wish I had my real camera for this pic instead my camera phone...Colorful ain't they?

When the day came to a close, my voice was about 70% and I felt like crap. The coughing was progressively getting louder, more frequent and aggressive. Ah….but could I turn down an invite to dinner by department head?

Beef grilled to tasty perfection right in front of you.

Beef grilled to tasty perfection right in front of you.

Okay, so I preferred to cough up my lungs and eating probably the tastiest meal I’ve had in Korea to staying at home playing Warcraft and coughing myself to sleep. I think any of you would have done the same. The one issue I did have at dinner was this thing here.

0923091812It’s what I imagine the muppet of a sea urchin would look like. From the moment they were set on the table, I couldn’t take my eyes off these…these “fruits” I guess in my fevered brain I just thought at any moment they might come to life and open to reveal an eye or rows of rotating teeth or something. Anyway, I didn’t try one but stuck to the lychees instead.

After expressing fatigue and the possibility of taking a sick day, my co-teacher took me to the nearest pharmacy for some cough/sore throat meds. I was a little worried as I saw the pharmacist picking out boxes, afraid the price might keep me from buying groceries for the next week. Turns out a season’s worth of medication comes to less than 3.50 around here. Amazing.

I probably looked like a lunatic as I cradled my drugs, smiling all the while like I got away with something. That’s a fine enough segue into today’s events I think.

Joey took me to the Ear, Nose & Throat doctor today after school. It was the most incredible health service I’ve received in my life (maybe being born supersedes it, maybe) I walked in, turned in literally five lines worth of information, waited for less than ten minutes to see the doctor, and saw him. I was already flabberghasted at the speed of all this…THEN I sat down and told my doctor the symptoms in English to which he responded and inquired more IN ENGLISH. Quite literally before I knew it, a nurse and the doctor were squirting something up into my nasal cavity which both tickled and hurt like a stubborn sneeze. My nasal passages were immediately clear. Great! The doctor took some pictures of my nasal cavities and my throat (it looked gross) In the same breath he told me my allergies were going crazy here and that I had to take meds over the next week to fix it. I grabbed my prescription paid $3.50 for the service(!!!!) and went down to the pharmacy where I got my drugs instantly for around $3.40.

Ok, ok. I need to calm down.

Naturally, I’m more than a little skeptical of just how effective all this was for what I paid, but it’s a few hours later and I already feel loads better. I can get behind the nasal irrigation procedure, it’s quite nifty. Once I recover from this illness, I’ll be in a very good place. A place where the service is great, the people are kind and generous, the students are perverted but inquisitive, my health isn’t determined by my bank account and where everything I really need is under $5.

Things such as this.

Things such as this.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy Berla permalink
    September 25, 2009 1:44 am

    Kristin, I had trouble finding your BLOG, but Julie helped me and now I have seen it, and read it. What an adventure you are having! You are so good to write it all down and send us photos so that we can have an idea about your life in Korea. Hope your allergies/lung congestion/coughing is better now. I wonder if part of the problem is that you are breathing air very different from what you are used to, and your respiratory system is sensitive to the pollen/dust, etc. in the air there. Keep up the good work. I will make sure I check into your blog every day or so. Thanks.
    Nancy Berla

    • aukissed permalink*
      September 25, 2009 9:33 am

      Good good, I’m glad you’re able to track me now. I try to write as often as I can about everything I do and see.

      And I’m somewhat better but it turns out I’m suffering a condition pretty common to Seoul newcomers. The air is just an assault on my respiratory system because of the pollution, dust, and pollen. My doctor thinks the meds should help in a few days and I’m starting to think he’s right. Whatever, I won’t let the inability to breathe put a damper on my day!

  2. Cheree permalink
    September 26, 2009 5:14 pm

    Hurray for cheap health care and English speaking doctors!!!! Wonder how fantastic that same story would sound by A Korean teacher here in the USA becoming i and needing care??? Scoff!

    So glad to hear you’re feeling better. Miss you

    • aukissed permalink*
      September 27, 2009 11:27 pm

      It’s really amazing…I doubt the whole appointment took more than 20 minutes. I got to see photos of my sinuses and throat which, as a non-medical professional, didn’t really mean much but they made me feel comfortable with the diagnosis. The other way around I’m sure it would have been a harrowing process that involved at least three pages of paperwork, waiting for an hour in the waiting room, waiting another 30 minutes in the little room and then paying at least $50 for the visit + meds (assuming you have healthcare) It’s insane.

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