Archive for sick

With my impending raise next month, I’ll be entering into the Korean Middle Class. At least based on monthly income. And looking at the low end of the spectrum. Well now, let’s just say I’ve never made so much money before – and, I’m making more than most of my students parents, just because I was born in an English speaking country. Emeth – truth, awkward and fact. In honor of my raise and my recondition of privilege (har har)  and, most importantly, Passover looming ahead in a week, I hired a maid to come in one time to help me out.

This something that makes me really uncomfortable about my economic privilege, the idea that my mess should be delt with by someone else. I know I have a cleanliness problem though. See, mess don’t bug me. When I do clean, most people tell me that there’s still la lotta work to do… but I can’t see it. I’m comfortable with a layer of grim that makes other people bust out mops and tidy up.

So, I bit the bullet and called (with the help of my co workers) up reinforcements: A nice, late 30’s woman who we can call Ajjuma. As she walked into my place, I instantly felt shame. She asked me in Korea if I was the only person who lives here. “Neh…” A mess this large was made by one  foul foreigner. Oh man. Over the next four hours we cleaned together, sorting, throwing away things, eating bananas and drinking tea. While not an equal division of labor.. It was what it was.  My place looks so hot now. . . I just gotta keep it this way for the next week, until the holiday starts (and ends).

In other news, I’m sick – Again. Seems to me as if Korea is chock full of cold viruses that I’ve never been exposed to before – I got no other idea why I’ve been sick just about every month. live n learn!


rice porridge and barley tea

The last three days have been straight out of the “gee, I hope that doesn’t happen while I’m abroad!” book.  As school closed out on thursday, I had a terrible stomachache, but I figured it wasn’t any big deal. I’m Jewish right? If you look at em funny it makes my insides hurt. But the pain got so bad that I couldn’t sleep that night, dull stabbing of broken glass.

And then I thought, huh, what do I do now? It’s a 20 min walk to my school, I have limited communication skills, no cell phone (or any phone). This is it – on my own, and crazy sick. I showered, and with the diligence of a 90 year old woman walked two blocks to the nearest major intersection, where I picked up a taxi in broken Korean and got to school an hour early. My logic: find school nurse = everything will get better.

Two hours later I found myself in a Korean hospital/low cost clinic, waiting to be seen for my crippling stomach pain. My school was absolutely awesome, loaning me the money to pay for a shot to the bum to stop  the pain, and a cocktail of medicines to… stop the pain for the next three days? It was unclear. My co-teacher kept saying “I don’t know what they do, Just take them.”  Transparency is non existent in the Korean medical profession.

After coming home from the hospital, I proceeded over the next 6 hours, to vomit a whole lot. I hate throwing up, but each time I felt a lot better. I laid in bed, sleeping, reading, and throwing up until the crazy, incessant, sharp stabbing pain slowed to a dull ache.  hahah. This is the worst blog post ever. At night, my co-teacher and vice principle came over to my disgusting hovel, and made me tea and rice porridge, the only thing I’ve been able to keep down. Now, that’s something I wouldn’t expect in the States, especially after just two weeks of working somewhere. I kept saying thank you and apologizing for the mess…

The whole thing, it was kind of scary and kind of …. adult. I’m more on my own than I ever have been, making decisions and figuring out how to, well, survive. :/

Now, I’m feeling a lot better, but if I still have pain in 3 days I have to go back, so they an look at my insides.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, and that I find myself teaching on monday. 🙂