Wednesday, March 24, 2010

oh korea

so i made it to the hospital today. just another stop in a long line of c.f.'s that occurred all day today. to include completely losing my shit, quitting school, broken closets & an apparent hep a vaccine shortage. such is my life.

journeyed out to good morning hospital to find the usual mess in the parking garage. managed to pull into a space forwards-big no no around here if your car is bigger than a matchbox-and just prayed i'd be able to get back out. met with my friend sunny at the information for foreigners desk who discovered that there was no hep a vaccine to be found at the hospital. of course there isn't. she did, however, make several phone calls to locate me a vaccine & found some at another hospital but sorry, there is probably no english department. greeeaaaat. chalk up another c.f. to the day.

she then escorted me upstairs and down a long line of chairs filled with staring koreans to the family doctor who spoke very good english but apparently thinks i'm going to BALI, not BELIZE. whatever. they both start with b? after determining that i weigh...oh, wait, i'm not saying that on here...a certain number of kilograms and figuring out that chloroquine must be taken for 2 weeks ahead of the trip & 4 weeks after & 3 pills at a time & so that makes...uh...24 pills, yes., and then repeating back the instructions for taking the pills, i had to walk back down the, how do i say that?...hallway! full of chairs full of staring koreans to the desk. and paid a little bit (take THAT american effed up healthcare! and, no, i don't think obama-care is going to fix that problem) and then got my prescription & a map from my friend sunny for the other hospital with no english department, sorry, and my chloroquine to be taken 3 pills a day one time a week for 8 weeks that only cost me a little bit at the pharmacy across the road from the hospital, i went back to the parking garage to discover answered prayers as i could back into one space so i could drive forward out of the parking garage! yay! but now i have to go to no-speaky-engrishy-hospital. argh. did i mention that i was alone? going i knew not where?

but i had a map! from my friend sunny! and i found paris baguette & then as i passed the hospital, discovered that it WAS the hospital, and drove down some little roads (sorry adjashee with a cart that i followed for 5 minutes) and snagged a parking spot without a camera and then relocated the hospital on foot & yes, there is no english department, but we can say second floor! and i went to second floor with still no english but a text message on the phone (thanks, ladies at 1's office!) that got me a hep a shot! which wasn't cheap. guess 3rd time wasn't the charm. or maybe it was but for korea, not me. and i found my truck again on the 1st try and there was no parking ticket sticker on the windshield and i actually had the gps so i could get myself home again thank the Lord.

and the closet door is still broken, and my shit is still lost, and i still quit school, and there is still a hep a vaccine shortage in korea. but at least i got MY hep a vaccine and some chloroquine. and yet another step on the way to belize is down. less than 3 weeks. feet are still cold.

ohhhhh myyyy

tomorrow is my appointment at the byeongwon for a shot & hopefully a script.
here we go again with medical in a foreign country.
i'm not sure if it's a good thing or bad thing that i was able to identify myself to the lady on the phone & she knew who i was.
shoes are waiting for me in the states.
sunglasses will hopefully meet me there.
and i've definitely got the cold feet.

Monday, March 22, 2010

and now to lighten the mood...

since i'm a little bit over my butt-hurt. a little bit. i didn't say totally. anyway....

this past saturday, the ladies planned a trip to dongdaemun and the flower market. dongdaemun means "great east gate" & there is one there but mostly there is shopping. serious shopping. shopping such that last weekend, when a friend & i went to the fabric place, we met a group of women who had flown over from shanghai for the weekend to 1-go to the fabric place & 2-go to dongdaemun. our main mission was for ribbon & doo-dads for hair bows. and hair bow clips. all of which is amazingly cheap up there (over here? whatever).

so the plan is for me to pick up 2 girls & meet at starbucks at 7:30. notice i said the "plan". NOT what actually happened. friday night i was up late waiting for the dishwasher to finish so i could empty & reload. because our dishwasher can only be run at night now. because we paid over $1000 in utilities last month & i'm trying to avoid that happening again. and night electric is cheaper, so they tell me, therefore the dishwasher only gets run at night. between 10pm-5am. i don't remember why there were 2 loads worth of dishes but there were. and i was waiting on the molasses-ass dishwasher to finish sloshing around so i could go to bed. and then it was 2:30 or so. and i swear i set my alarm. which apparently i did but neglected to switch it from weeknight to weekend. and then at 7:25, 1 gained consciousness long enough to ask me was i leaving? and OMG IT'S 7:25 AND I SHOULD HAVE BEEN UP 1 1/2 HOURS AGO! and the race began.

so i finally made it to starbucks, sans my riders who had either already been picked up by someone else or missed the memo & walked on post under their own steam. 4 of us met in the starbucks parking lot where we soon discovered the sign on the door kindly informing us that they were closed due to water outage. nice. thanks, caffeine fail.

we persevered and picked up the 5th member of the group & headed for the train station...trains run REALLY early, right? SURELY korean starbucks will be open, right? AHAHA no. not when most koreans don't roll off the floor until about 10am since they stay up til 2am...presumably emptying their dishwashers. however, one of the 2 dunkin donuts was open. so we were able to satisfy our sugar/caffeine/water/juice needs. and we were off to the flower market!

until we hit traffic. hooray for traffic. we waded through it & thought we were on the right path. what's that up there? it says market! this must be it! and we were on the far left lane to make a left hand turn into...into...into...aww crap. that says grain market! quick! make a u-ey! and we did, cause that's what you do in korea. but then to get back on the road headed in the right direction, we needed to turn back around. in the traffic. agh. but through group driving...turn here! you can make it! look out for adjeema & her bike! ooh, look at the fish! keep backing up, you've got a few more inches...we got turned around in the right direction (after witnessing the costco parking guy holler at the lady in the car who just about sideswiped us in her haste to get in the line for costco parking) and were ready to make another stab at the flower market. which, yes, it was a flower market. but, no, it wasn't the right one. this was the wholesale flower market that we figure supplies the market we were actually looking for. but there were still flowers, and pots, and dirt, and greenhouses, and a skinny little road on the edge of a 10 foot drop off to a creek that we played chicken with some top heavy bongo trucks on. in other words, it was a market in korea next to a korean road. and it was fun. but no flowers came home with me since adjeema wouldn't sell me a single, only a flat. and i just didn't need that many daffodils, sorry.

and then we jumped back into traffic to head for yongsan for some quick lunch & a quick spin around the px before heading back out into korea to head to dongdaemun. we walked to the nearest subway stop where i temporarily lost my subway navigation skills but where a nice korean girl with a phone subway map sorted us out. and then at the next station where my skills were still nonexistent, she caught up to us & got us on the right train and, lo! we were at DONGDAEMUN!

sort of.

apparently coming up on a different train gets me confused & renders me unable to find the correct exit from subway-land to get to where we need to be. we'd pop up out of one flight of steps to find a huge road with no crosswalks separating us from our goal. and pop up out of another one to find another road separating us (this was after some of the crew had to buy a ticket just to walk through the station to another exit). this time we found a crosswalk or 2 and raced traffic to find ourselves where we meant to be. **note to self, it's subway exit 9** at this point we had spent so much time being lost that we had to kind of race around the ribbons & such to try to get home on some semblance of time. i'm the proud owner of 60 yards of ribbon now. and there were 172 yards spread across my living room floor that night as i was given the task of distributing the ribbon we bought in bulk so as to not annoy the adashee who was cutting...which meant someone had to cut it. and i volunteered. i'm so sick of ribbon right now that i threw mine in the drawer & haven't touched it since.

once we'd bought out dongdaemun, we got back on the subway (exit/entrance 9!). during our transfer, we smelled the delicious aroma of deli manjoo so my workout buddy & i raced up one flight of stairs to discover that the aroma had vanished! back down we went and followed the smell to where i introduced everyone to deli manjoo: corn-shaped, custard-filled cakes best eaten hot & fresh. we all ate way too many. but i think that & all the walking balanced each other out. after another short train ride and more walking, we made it back to post & the van. everyone grabbed up some drinks & snacks for the ride home. i think i tried to fall asleep on the ride home-not sure anyone noticed. we made it back safe & sound, albeit 2 1/2 hours behind schedule, and in record time for korea traffic out of seoul on the weekend. it was a great time & once my feet & ribbon fund recover, i expect we will do it again. we're losing one of the adventurers, though. she will be greatly missed!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


today i have been called, by implication, not a "real" mother or a "real" teacher.

i'm trying not to get too bent out of shape. one comment was by a teenager & the other by someone who spends quite a bit of time with his foot in his mouth.

but both of them are extremely close to me. and my feelings are hurt. not beyond repair. but still enough to make my eyes well up.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


...weeks until we are done with auri's alphabet. i think we need to rearrange the alphabet cause the end of it sucks from a food/animal standpoint. maybe we could mix it up a little bit so all the suck letters aren't at the ass-end.

...weeks until i'm on an airplane back to (momentary) civilization & then (awesome) foreign hiking/scenery/new experiences. and mosquitoes/tarantulas/tiger attacks. i can't decide if i should be excited or freaked the hell out. which reminds me, i must call the byeong-won for some shots & drugs. great. hopefully it won't be an arm & a leg. especially since "someone" needs a new 500,000 won orthodontic appliance. esh.

...weeks until i say goodbye to a good friend. the military will be taking away my gym partner/therapist/Godly inspiration while i'm off on my adventure. we're trying to stuff everything into every weekend before then. this military life thing sucks.

so. to summarize, two out of three things suck. quick! someone give me some stuff that doesn't! oh, wait! i think THAT baby is actually taking a nap at naptime. that doesn't suck. so now we're even.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

yes!!...or OMG I'M DOING WHAT?

so...what's that over there? over there on my counter? that's right...$1900 worth of paper. paper that will get me to BELIZE!

come april, i'll be running away for TWO WEEKS. leaving it all behind for another foreign country. apparently i've gotten brave over the past couple years.

so i'll leave behind a kitchen full of groceries & recipes, a pile of schoolwork (maybe, maybe not. but we'll let the kids think i am) and all of the sundry other things that are here, in this country, and not in THAT COUNTRY. IN BELIZE. cause that's where i'm going and all.

blue hair is out until i'm headed back to korea. it's been nixed by she who keeps the mosquito net. in favor of we would like to keep our pretty little gringa heads, please. i guess maybe she has a point.

i guess i'll try to blog more. or at least about the trip. you know, the one to BELIZE. cause i'm going there. in like 5 1/2 weeks. OMG. IS THIS REALLY ME?