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booooooo swine flu

Inch'on, South Korea


Well, it got me. Swine flu, H1N1, or whatever we're officially calling it these days. Let me tell you how not excited I am about this. Not that I'm looking for sympathy--the whole world has it, and besides, I absolutely refuse to die from Swine flu--but it's not awesome, that's for sure.

I just got back from a round of high-stakes Pharmaceutical Charades; high-stakes because if I communicate well enough, I get medicine, and if I do a superb job, it will be the right kind of medicine. Not that I'd know, because it's all in Korean...but I think it went okay. I walked in and tried to say hello to the kindly pharmacist. 'Ahnyung-haseo' is what I was going for, but it came out some toad-like alien tongue unfamiliar to us both. Enter the charades. I mimicked speaking with my hand, like it was a puppet, then pointed to my throat, and crossed my arms in an X, thus cementing the notion that I have been stuck dumb. For fever, we compromised on "head fire." I'll spare the successive grisly details, but eventually I was handed two packages of pills, so we'll see what happens there. 'Kansahamnida,' I tried to say. Thank you. I got as far as "Kaaa" before failing again.

After the pharmacy, I went to meet Master to tell him that I wouldn't make hapkido today. After initially mocking my frailty, he looked closer and announced that we were going to the hospital. We picked up his six-year-old son, who was also sick, on the way, and Master translated for me once there--Karmic payback for all those English lessons I've taught him, I suppose. I'm lucky to have him watching out for me here.

So, in the end, I'm another confirmed case. I have to miss a week of work, which is particularly vexing because I was supposed to start five new classes this week, and now I'm not going to be able to train them properly. I also haven't yet determined if I get sick leave for this, or if I just lost a week's pay. Let's hope the former, because I just bought my New Zealand plane ticket, and it's not going to pay for itself. On the plus side, the medicine only cost me about eleven dollars, because in an interesting twist, health insurance is awesome. I also get to wear one of those surgical face masks that they like to wear over here when they're sick, so at least there's a silver lining.

permalink written by  alli_ockinga on November 1, 2009 from Inch'on, South Korea
from the travel blog: I go Korea!
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alli_ockinga alli_ockinga
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Hey everyone! In February 2009 I left the Pac Northwest for South Korea to teach English for a year. This is what I'm up to! Keep in touch!

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