Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hospital Edition

I'm going to apologize in advance if my writing style isn't up to par. I have seen far too much of this morning for my liking.

There are many things about Korea that rock. The wireless Internet in the hospital is my current favorite thing about Korea.

I showed up yesterday, and after a minimum of fuss found myself in a hospital room with four sick old ladies, two old men, and one healthy old lady. I should give credit to my friend Lisa for making my check in as painless as it was. Her small amount of Korean plus the hospital staffs small amount of English combined to create communication.

Korean hospitals are a wee bit different than the ones back home. One of the biggest differences is that they don't really care if you leave. You tell a nurse, "I'm going to run down the street/visit the hospital restaurant/take a stroll," and off you go. The hospital is also running a million tests just to make sure everything is good for my surgery.

Last night I was scheduled for a x-ray at 8pm. Lisa and I walked out to the nurses station at 7:50, leaving ourselves plenty of time for a quick pre-x-ray pee. A nice Korean woman was waiting for us at the nurses station, but all the nice in the world didn't allow her to understand 1st pee then x-ray. After a quick phone call the head nurse, who speaks a considerable amount of English, tells me that my x-ray is now moved to 9pm and if I could please return to the hospital my then. I tried to explain that I was ready now, if they'd just let me pee first, but it did no good.

My other hospital adventure took place this morning. Somewhere in the dark time of the morning I was awakened by a very friendly nurse who informed me that my nail polish just had to go. It also seemed a good time to have me change into my special surgery hospital gown, which features ties up the entire right legs. So I attend to these things and promptly fall back asleep. I had just begun to get down to dreaming when the nurse returns. She feels that now is a good time to start my IV and check my blood pressure. After all of this I have to pee. On the way across my hospital room I happen to glance at the clock. Oh ya, it's 4:55am.

I finally settle back down into sleep. Somewhere in my sleep there was the turning on of over head lights, what I can only assume was the sponge bathing of my neighbor, and the delivery of a humidifier. Yet I manage to stay mostly asleep through all of this. And then the translator shows up.

The hospital translator is a very nice woman whose English isn't really all that good. I met the translator when I came in to find out about my leg. She gave me her card and wrote a number on it that I was supposed to call if I had questions or needed help with hospital stuff. Yesterday I realized I still wasn't sure about being able to get on the Internet so I called her up. Aside for being pretty sure that the translator thought I was asking her for her computer, not much came of our conversation.

Then she shows up at 8am. She wakes me up to tell me that she's here! Hurray! Oh, and she was in a deep sleep because of stomach discomfort yesterday when I called and woke her up. Have a great morning. See you in recovery.

Ahh, the sweet vengeance of a hospital translator.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Edition

"How's Korea?"

Well, let's see:

My boss decided at the last minute that our school should have a Christmas themed open class on Christmas Eve. Of course the expectations were unclear, and of course everything is being done last minute, and by last minute I mean last night. Oh, and in typical Korean fashion expectations for both the children and the teachers is all kinds of out of whack.

Can you get two sets of 11 six year old to write three complete sentences and draw amazing pictures? Oh, and every kid needs three different sentences so that there is no repetition? Oh! and what they did the first time isn't good enough so drop your lesson, ya know the one that gets them ready for the open class in three days, and do the whole thing again.

That was the beginning of my week. Merry f-ing Christmas to me. AND I got yelled at in front of six year olds for not knowing how my manager wanted the writing samples changed. THEN I got told two days later by the same woman that I'm not allowed to say I don't know how to make a worksheet using Power Point in Korean.

Right, and last time I checked Christmas and it's eve don't really move around a lot. That means, at least to me, that if you have an event every year on Christmas Eve then you can plan the shit out of it way in advance, right? So the fact that my boss got the ball rolling on this planning last week should give you an idea of the kind of woman I'm working for.

So how is Korea...

Well, I work for frustrating people. BUT on a positive note, I keep getting Christmas packages from America! Hurray!!!!!! I love getting mail here and all the Christmas love has helped me get through the school drama. I'm also spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day with two of my friends and that should be all kinds of a good time. OH, and I've heard rumor that you can get on your laptop and use the Internet in hospitals here. SO, sweet Guild Wars and Skype while I'm chillin for my surgery.

So Merry Christmas all.