I do apologize for the lack of blogs this past week. I was feeling a bit under the weather. Due to the wacky Korean weather and in part to my non stop party binge. The other morning I looked in the mirror and gave myself a much needed but sad reality. " You are not 22 anymore! It takes you a day and a half to recover for each night you party, and lets not even get into breaking night! So genius...you the math" Accepting the fact that I am no longer a spring chicken and have notedly handed in my "Party Girl" I.D. which conseqently plays Eddie Murphy's " She likes to party all the Time". I feel a tickle in my throat...Uh oh I know what that means...my age has finally caught up with me. I wake up the next morning to find my throat nearly swollen shut and a wicked fever. I call my co-teacher and she pops round after her second period to drive me to the hospital. Having watched the hospital scene from Lost in Translation recently I'm a little apprehensive about the hospital .When arriving at the "clinic" which from the exterior looks like a dingy parking garage I think to myself am I going to the doctor's or are my organs going to be sold on the black market? Once inside the elevator Ms. Kim sensing my apprehension assures me that this is a very good doctor. Once reaching the 5th floor , we make our way down a brightly lit corridor. The cute little Korean nurses bow and welcome me. At the desk Ms. Kim helps me fill out the a little slip of paper. That's it ...no long series of questions...no 30 pages of medical history? after a 5 minute wait I go into to see the doctor, assesses me, asks if I have any medication allergies, then tells me I have bronchitis and he will see me on Saturday for a follow up appt. Hold on...doctors are open on Saturdays in Korea? He shows me back to the front desk where I pick up my prescription to take to the pharmacy.The nurse informs me that my health insurance has kicked in and that the cost for today's visit is 3,500 won which is the equivalent of $2.00 USD." Excuse me? Hon bon do!" She repeats herself. I pay and Ms Kim laughs. " Korea is good ...right ?" Good is not the word. As we leave I fold my prescription and put it in my pocket. Ms. Kim says " Oh no... you need it now!" as we reach the first floor we go into the pharmacy I hand them my prescription and within five minutes my prescription is filled and the pharmacist is explaining the dosage. I look for the bottle when to my surprise the prescription is pre-sorted into little cellophane baggies. "three times a day..this will make you sleepy" she then says 2,300 won. Are you kidding me? I ask what the medicine is ... and she responds with "you sick...right? you take!" Well Korea you've haven't steered me wrong thus far soooo..."I take". After my pleasant hospital experience Ms. Kim me for Sol-long-tang which is this amazing beef soup with noodles, rice, onions, and who knows what else. Yummm. It's my new favorite. So let's recap for a minute here... Korean doctors are open on the weekends, I waited less than 10 minutes to be seen, my whole trip, cost me less than 6,000 won! PSA: America you are one of the richest super powers and lil 'ole Korea has got health care down to a science.Something's not quite right with this picture.Just adding to another reason why I'm not coming back stateside anytime soon.
So getting sick in Korea wasn't that bad. My school gave me a few days off to recooperate and I'm feeling good as new. Oh a little side note remember when the trusty pharmacist said this will make me sleepy.. what she didn't say was that her magical "Korean pill cocktail" induces a sleep like coma. I woke up today, feeling so rested not realizing it was 5:08pm not am!
Confucius say: beware of Korean pill cocktails in clear little baggies one might end up sleeping until next week