I’m so sick of being sick

Well, I’m still sick. Tonsillitis has been kicking my ass for the past three weekends now. Along with sinusitis and double ear infections that have milder than usual. You might be asking yourself, “but Britt I thought you had a tonsillectomy after high school…” and to that I’d respond, “I did but I’m apparently a salamander that can regenerate removed lymphatic tissue…” Totally uncool, right? Especially since I talk for a living. I’ve made friends with the good people at the ENT clinic – and I’ve found that Korean health insurance is pretty cool to have.

However, when I went to bed last night I noticed that I was developing hives. The last time I went to the doctor, my penicillin allergy must have gotten lost in translation so I made sure to confirm with both the doctor and the pharmacist that I was not receiving a type of penicillin. The good news is my nose and throat feel pretty normal now and it’s just my ears that are being bothersome – which is pretty much me back to normal…but with hives all over my body. On the way to work today my lips were swollen and throbbing and I probably looked like I’d come fresh from the plastic surgeon.

I worked on Thanksgiving which is nothing new to me because I’ve worked in retail. But here, it just seemed like another day because why would Koreans celebrate American Thanksgiving. Our company organized Thanksgiving dinners for us and that was really nice. Although, “Black Friday” seems to be a thing here but is not confined to one weekday but the entire week of American Thanksgiving. Curious, right?! I was a bit confused when I was walking around seeing shops with signs that said, “Black Friday Sale 11/23 -11/26.” Neat, huh?

I realized I need to mix up my food acquiring as I went to a restaurant on Wednesday and the owner, who isn’t even there all the time, knew what I wanted to order before I even got to the counter. Also, it probably helps that I’m not Asian and am glaringly different than 99.9% of the population here. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or embarrassed.

Next week on Thursday, we’re starting the winter term at school. I have been in South Korea for 1/4 of my contract now. My coworker Sean and I moved desks today to be in the Director’s Room which segregates us from the other teachers. This past term two Korean teachers were in there so it’s the foreigner’s turn this semester. We were joking about how we get to be to “those people” who have to pop in to the teacher’s room to say hi when we arrive now. I feel that since I’ll be desk neighbors with him, he’ll keep it hilarious, lighthearted, and entertaining.

Random Things:

  • One thing I’ve found beneficial to living in a studio apartment is that you can’t really walk to another room and forget why you went there… I can effectively see my entire house from my bed and don’t really forget stuff like that anymore.
  • Ondol (온돌)  water based Korean in floor heating, is amazing and I love to lay out the clothes I’m going to wear the next day on the floor so they are nice and cozy when I wake up.

I can cross that off my lame bucket list…

I didn’t really do a whole lot this past week.

Wednesday was interesting; we learned the outcome of the Presidential election and the day was somber in tone.


Last Friday, my ear started to get achy and I was hoping it was just because of the weather change. Wrong. It wasn’t unbearable until this past Thursday. Luckily there is an ENT doctor in the same building as my bank. So, I got to experience going to the doctor in a different country (check that off the lamest bucket list ever…). Anyway, I popped into the doctor’s office before work and I had a fever which was no surprise to me because I was drenched with sweat. I was surprised how streamlined this doctor’s visit was. No questionnaires about health problems or medical history, just tell me what your problem is and I’ll take a look. So the doctor does this and then puts a camera up my nose and in each ear canal to get a better look. Not only do I have a fever, but a sinus infection and double ear infections. Great. So he prescribes me some medicines and I go to the pharmacy. The pharmacist explains each of the pills in the little packets and when I should take them. Only after I paid for my medicine and left the pharmacy did I remember, oh yeah I’m allergic to like three different antibiotics. Below is one day’s worth of meds.

You don’t really get to call in sick here unless you’re dying so I got to wear a cool mask and sweat my ass off while I felt dizzy. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be but damn Friday went about as fast as a Galapagos Tortoise. After classes were done we had a rehearsal for the school’s festival which I’ll get in to below.

Friday was made better by the arrival of a huge box from my parents. I was super excited and I opened it right at my desk. I was nervous because it seemed like the box was purely filled with crumpled up newspaper pages but it was heavy. Then I got to the good stuff; Cheetos and Doritos! Yes, they sell Cheetos and Doritos in South Korea but they have a funky sweet taste to them and the “cheese” taste is super nasty. In other words, I’m a Cheetos/Doritos snob and will only eat those imported from The United States of America. Also in this box were some new shirts my mom picked out, my teddy bear, some shoes, and other items I requested.

Today, we had LangCon Fest which, from what I gather occurs to make teachers and staff irritated but is a good public relations/recruiting tool for our school’s company. Kids practiced and sang a song to “audition” for parts in this greater festival in the beginning of the year. For the past month or so, we’ve been working with teams of three to five students to get them ready for the school’s festival which was today. Then two teams will move on to a company wide festival in December (?).

So not only do I have the aforementioned illnesses but I have to be at work on a Saturday at 9 a.m. and an irritating part, I’m not getting paid for it. Awesome. Luckily by some random act of the universe, my part in this festival was pretty minimal and I just had to sit in a chair and pretend to judge the competition as we had already decided the results last night during the practice the night before. Every group did a great job and some were out of this world. After cleaning up, the staff and teachers went for lunch.

After lunch I took a four hour nap! I feel better but at the same time, I don’t. I did however feel well enough to walk to the grocery store to buy food as I only had a lemon and some cheddar cheese in my fridge. I bought bananas, clementines, and grapes because I decided part of the reason I’m in this state right now is because I don’t eat enough fruit. The other half being, shit otolaryngic genetics (thanks, fam). While at the store I found almond milk and I was so happy. So now I have Frosted Flakes and I can eat them without wanting to die afterward.