Saturday, July 30, 2011

mud festival and all that

So this past month has just been about relaxing. It seems like since I came to Korea every weeknight is spent at the gym, and my entire weekend is spent with friends. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love, love, love this about my life. But, I'm so tired! So while I'm still going to the gym and running every day (I've even upped my run to 7km), I've cut back on my weekends. I still go out a few times over the weekend just not every moment I'm awake. Will I stay like this? Probably not. I enjoy hanging out with people way too much! But this month I was able to save quite a bit of money even though I went on a weekend trip to Daecheon Beach. I do save a good bit of money every month, but this month I was able to save more.

So about that weekend trip....
As a foreigner in Korea there are certain things you know right away and certain things it takes time to learn. The Boryeong Mud Festival is something you know about as soon as you land in Korea (maybe even before). It's this festival with mud...shocking right? Who would have thought the mud festival would have actual mud? There are all kinds of games that you play...with mud. Who wants to get muddy right? Well, actually this mud is really good for your skin. So many people go to have fun and to give their skin a little therapy. Word on the street is that it used to be free. Now, they are charging people to get in...not bad or anything its $5 no big deal. But, they are also limiting the number of people that can go in at a time which means if you come too late (like we did) you don't get to go. Bummer right? Well, to be honest I didn't want to get muddy...I just wanted to be with friends. So we just went to the beach. I felt bad for the others because I know they really wanted to go to the festival, but we had fun at the beach nonetheless. Well, at least until I got sick. Like, really sick :( I had a migraine and I was vomiting a lot and couldn't sleep. I haven't had a migraine in probably over 10 years and even when I did I was always able to sleep. So my friend called an ambulance. We rode in the ambulance to the ER. We stayed in the hospital overnight. I got an IV and meds for the day. Guess how much I paid? $10. Yeah, American Healthcare System take notes. You can't even ride in an ambulance for $10 in America. In Korea, its free. Did I find out what was wrong? Not really...hahaha...jk...I found out in Korean and loosely translated my intestines were sick. The IV was amazing (until they took it out). The meds were good too....they kept me from vomiting and keeping the headache minimal. However, they only gave me meds for one I had to go to another hospital when I got back to Daejeon. When I got to Daejeon, I decided to go to Eul Ji Dae Hak Pyeongwon (Eul Ji University Hospital). It is one of the most expensive hospitals in Daejeon, but I like it because they have an English translator on staff, its close enough to my house and work, and they are very thorough. There I was able to find out in English what they tried to tell me at the other hospital. I had an infection in my stomach caused by bacteria from food or water. So basically, food poisoning. They gave me another IV and some more meds (some were even the same as the other hospital). This time it was slightly more expensive a whopping $20, but I also got a week's worth of meds. Still not's cheaper than a doctor's office visit in the US (and you still have to buy the meds). My only complaint was that the IV was a five hour IV and I was left alone with nothing but my cell phone for five hours and the IV stopped 4 times. Nothing too terrible. Anyways, now feeling quite a bit better. I'm still a little weak from not being able to eat much and being sick. But much better than before.

This past week was my vacation week. While I was sick for most of the week, I was able to stay home and rest. I even studied! Shocker! I actually did my Korean homework too! Not gonna lie to you, I hate studying and even worse I hate doing homework. Two things I really never had to do when I was in school. I love learning new things...I'm not kidding there. I love learning new things, but I love learning through experience...not by studying, bookwork, or reading. Reading might be the worst. Anyways, my Korean is really bad, and my friends kind of make fun of me for it. They tease me that I've been here a year and a half and all I know is "Hello". Of course, that's not true...I know a bit more, but I still have a long ways to go to be proud of myself. You remember I said that there are somethings you know right away and somethings it takes time to learn. The Korean language is definitely something that takes a long time to learn. Something Koreans don't always recognize is that a lot of foreigner's listening is way better than their speaking because they don't fully understand the Korean sentence structure. For me, I rarely answer in Korean unless I can do so in one word sentences because putting things properly in a sentence confuses the crap out of me. Anyways, in order to improve my Korean and learn proper sentence structure and grammar, I am taking a class. I've already learned so much. I still don't quite understand the sentence structure, but I'm learning more and more. Even my vocabulary is improving. I knew a lot of words to begin with, but now I know more. Wow, I'm pretty sure I've bored you enough for until next time....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi Melanie
I am thinking about coming to teach in Daejeon and was wondering if you have any info on the nightlife in the city, foreign population, skiiing perhaps? This is one of a few postions I have been offered so just after the lowdown.
Thanks Alistair,