Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last day of 2008

What a year it's been, friends... I started the year riding high on a wave of refinances and appraisals and GFE's and TIL's and LOX's, living in a condo in downtown Chicago. I had an awesome little orange car, a pool on my rooftop, a crazy Italian neighbor, a job I didn't much like... and now, I'm sitting in a 1-bedroom apartment in Janghowon, South Korea, thinking about games to play with 7 year olds and downloading flashcards of animals online. It's a crazy life, I tell ya.

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last blogged. Sorry about the delay! Although, no one commented on the last actual post, so maybe none of you noticed. The holidays are always crazy busy anyway, so maybe I can get away with not being johnny-on-the-spot with the blogging this week. =)

Since that time, let's see. I hung out with Jill and we made no-bake oatmeal cookies. This is about the easiest cookie in history to make, and I highly recommend it! Just google no-bake oatmeal cookies and go to town. Careful with the sugar, though: ours were powerful sweet.

I watched Religulous, Bill Maher's new documentary. It's really good. He's only a little snarky. Well, no, he's only a little more snarky than he needs to be. I mean, some of the people he dishes it out to obviously can't handle it, and therefore probably don't deserve it. It's not really asking too much for Christians to be able to discuss their faith and the Bible... but sometimes, it is. Sad but true. I think he maybe crosses the line a few times, but for the most part I enjoyed it.

I got sick again. Not just your average run-of-the-mill cold this time, but Sick! With a capital "S." Body aches, fever, sinus headaches, all that fun junk. Apparently, when you get that kind of sick in Korea, you go to the hospital. So that's what I did yesterday! Boy howdy... So, you go to the hospital, which so far as I can tell here is roughly equivalent to our "clinic." You wait for a while -- I think my wait time was about 40 minutes. You read the names on the TV of all the people who are in front of you, just to amuse yourself. You comment that most of the people's last names are Choe or Kim. You go to the examination room. The doctor asks what your symptoms are (I presume, anyway) and you mime them, maybe producing a real cough or two. He takes your temperature. He makes you say "Ah..." and looks at your throat. He puts on his handy-dandy stethoscope and listens to you breathe. He says, "Injection" and smiles. You say, "Urh?" He stands up and motions to you to follow. You do. He leads you down the hall and points through a door and says "Injection Room." (Yes, they have a whole room where they do nothing but shots.) He leaves. The nurse leads you to a little table and motions pulling her pants down a little in the back. You realize you're about to get a shot in the butt in a Korean injection room thing. You panic. She grabs your shoulder and forcibly turns you around to face this little table, lifts up the back of your shirt a bit and starts rubbing some little cold pack around a spot just below your kidney. You panic a little harder. It gets numb. You hold your breath, waiting for the bite of the needle. She says, "OK" and throws the (miraculously already-empty) syringe in the trash. You button up, wipe your hands on your pants, pay the desk 3900 Won (~$3), get a prescription for something or other and go across the hall to the pharmacy. Crisis averted.

At the pharmacy, you get served a hot drink in a little glass bottle. Not sure what it was, but the word jujube springs to mind, for some reason. If anyone cares to shed a little light on this, feel free, but I'm feeling too lazy to google it right now. :) Sorry. Then you get a 3-day supply of cough medicine and 9 packets of 7 pills each. To be taken 3 times a day, with the cough medicine.

You go home, and attempt to figure out what these pills are. The internet fails you. You eat them anyway. You become woozy, light-headed, and strangely euphoric. A sense of peace settles over your muscles, your fever abates, your sinuses clear. Your life takes on meaning again. You eat, drink plenty of water, sleep. You wake up with the giddy realization that you get 3 doses of happy pills today. You watch college bowl games on the internet, cook eggs and sausage, eat pills. You watch college football on the internet. You eat leftover spaghetti, eat pills. You ... lose track of time. You realize it's 5:30 and you have to meet someone at 6. You notice that you smell, because you haven't showered all day. You also notice that since you haven't had to teach since last Wednesday, you desperately need to shave. You panic. You make it on time. You walk home at 7:30 and notice that it's friggin freezing outside. You get home, drink plenty of water, eat more leftover spaghetti, eat pills. You set an alarm to wake you at 2AM so you can watch the UH bowl game on the internet. You blog.

Please note, your experience may differ slightly from the one described above, but the main points should stay roughly the same.

So yeah -- it's almost 10pm here and I'm beat. These pills are just great. I'm going to catch a few hours sleep before waking up to watch my Coogs lay their vengeance upon the unsuspecting souls of the much-vilified Air Force Academy. I mean really, who could possibly root for the Air Force? What have they ever done for us, anyway?

And when I wake up to watch that game, it will already be 2009 here. Although the game I'll be watching live is taking place at 11AM central standard time on December 31st, 2008. I'll be watching from next year! Of course, I'll already know who wins, being in the future and all, but it'll still be fun to see how it all plays out. =Þ

And finally... my New Year's Resolution. I don't really believe in these things, it turns out, but it feels like the right thing to do. So, without further ado, I resolve to visit 5 new countries in 2009. =) I'm getting a headstart on that one, actually! Because as I had forgotten until right this second, at some point today in my medicine-induced haze I booked a flight to Thailand in January! So, in a few weeks I'll have one down and only four more to go. I further resolve to finish at least the first level of the Rosetta Stone courses I've gotten so far. These include Korean, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic. I mean, I'm always saying (mostly to myself, but I do say it a lot) that I'm good at languages. Why screw around? I should just start trying to learn all these and see if that's really true or just something I tell myself to make me feel good. I'll keep you posted on my progress! So those are my resolutions -- see more of the world and learn to communicate better! Very noble, no? No bull!

Ha... get it? Noble? No bull? Yeah... I'm funny.


Anonymous said...


emily said...

You're going to learn 8 languages at the same time? That's crazy. Good luck!!

emily said...

oh and good call on the countries. You should definitely make it to the great wall while you're over there. I really enjoyed Taiwan and had a couple of people tell me great things about Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. If you save enough, you could take a long trip before you come back here.

Sean said...

Ha... yeah, I'm going to attempt to learn 8 languages at the same time. I finished lesson 1 in German, Italian, French, and Chinese already. I still have Portuguese, Russian and Japanese to go... in addition to my Korean, of course. I can now say "The boys are swimming" and "The women are eating" in at least 6 languages. Ha... =) I've heard good things about SE Asia too. It's too bad I don't have like 3 weeks because travel between Thailand and Laos and Cambodia is very cheap and convenient once you get to one of those cities. Also, my buddy Jill is moving to Ho Chi Minh City after her contract's up, so maybe I can go visit her there before I leave. =) I'll keep you posted!