Friday, February 8, 2013

One more year, Korea, one more year.

What a week! There has been a lot going on across the pond these last few days, some good, some not so good.

First, the Belt family has had quite a rough past few weeks. My uncle dropped a giant TV on his foot and pretty much shattered it, my aunt (his wife) who is a breast cancer survivor (Thank God!) got her brand new "perky and slightly bigger" (her words) boobs so she's been in the hospital and is having quite the un-fun time recovering, my grandma was in the hospital for heart palpitations and to top it all off, my dad had a minor heart attack and was also in the hospital for a few days. All of this happened within the last, oh, 10 days or so. Needless to say, it's not been quiet for the fam. Everyone is doing fine, though, just so you know. A bit stressful, but everyone is fine.

On the Korea front, I've been sick. I've been the picture of health for at least 4 months thanks to Vita 500, a small, citrusy tasting "beverage" that contains 900mg of vitamin C. Over the last 4 or 5 months, whenever I felt the first signs of a cold coming on--say a slight tickle in my throat--I'd down those babies like it was my job and all symptoms and the cold itself would be gone before my body even recognized there was something wrong. Now, if this only happened once I'd say it was a fluke, but it's been three times now that those little drinks have saved me from illness.

...Not this time. I was healthy, healthy, healthy, healthy, BAM! ACUTE BRONCHITIS! I have no idea where I picked it up but it came on and came on fast. All I know is that I went to bed feeling slightly off in my chest Tuesday night, like it was a little tight, so I downed a Vita 500 before bed. The next morning I felt fine, my chest was still a little "full" feeling so I figured I had something coming on. Literally each hour I got worse and worse until finally I was at school, completely voiceless with my chest on fire and Hyun Ju had to take me to the doc. Here's the fun part. The doctor trip took a whole of about 30 minutes from walking in the door to the clinic to walking out of the pharmacy with my meds. I go in, show them my alien card to prove I have insurance, wait 5 minutes, the doc (who has very good english) asks me what's wrong, I praddle on, he listens to my lungs, gives me my diagnoses, writes me an Rx and sends me on my way. I pay $4 at the desk and head to the pharmacy where I pay $1.80 for 5 different pills, three times a day for two days. If I had no insurance it would've cost me a whopping $10 instead. I really have no words. What is so broken with the American healthcare system? It's frustrating, really frustrating.

I took the last of my meds this morning and while my chest feels astronomically better for the most part, I think it's worked its way up to my head because I'm a bit congested. But that's alright, a head cold is much easier to get rid of than bronchitis. I'm just hoping I'm feeling tip top shape before heading home next's all I really care about.

In much more exciting news than mine and my family's health issues, we had an EARTHQUAKE! It was Tuesday night about 9:30. I was sitting on my floor in front of the computer when my floor starts shaking underneath me. Obviously my first thought is "omg earthquake" but that left my mind quickly and was replaced with NORTH KOREA IS SUPPOSED TO BE TESTING A NUKE. So I immediately, and this is no joke, sprint to my window to watch the horizon for something glowing and heading my direction. I stood there, heart racing, for at least 5 minutes, waiting. After I realized that I'm not, as of yet, dead from a nuclear explosion courtesy of Kim Jong Un, I sat back down and posted a status on facebook about it praying that I wasn't the only one who felt it. Within minutes a few friends said they also felt it. I'm not crazy: confirmed. Now, moving on, what was it exactly? First obvious answer would be earthquake, but all of us who felt it were frantically checking website after website for any news of an earthquake that would have been felt here in Busan. Nothing. So then we all start freaking out thinking it really was Mr. Kim and his test. After much speculation and getting each other worked up, it was finally updated on KMA (Korea Meteorological Association) that there was, in fact, a magnitude 3.5 earthquake about 2 hours northwest of here. I wipe the sweat off my brow and save my worries about The Great Leader for another day. My total earthquake count is now up to three. One in Japan (not the big one, a completely unrelated one but still significant, it rattled my windows and doors for a solid 10 seconds), one in West Virginia of all places (the one that struck close to DC the summer before last) and now this one here in Ktown. Nutty.

Now for the really important news: DUM DUM DUM...I'm staying here in Busan for another year. Yes, yes, all I've been talking about is wanting to get back to Japan and yadda yadda. Well, Japan just isn't working out the way I want/need it to. A few weeks ago I resigned to the fact that we probably would have to stay in Korea. Fine. Whatever. The only super crappy thing was having to give up my great job (when it comes to holidays and hours) and our really big ("big") apartment. Who knows what kind of jobs we'd get next? Are gonna end up living in a shoebox like most people? I knew that no matter where I worked next, it was unlikely I'd get a job as good as what I had now. So, it really has been hard saying goodbye to it. Well, this past Wednesday (doctor day) the teacher who would be replacing me came in for an observation/training day. It was sort of a sad thing for me, knowing I'm passing on my kids to a stranger. But then some interesting news trickled in just this afternoon...they decided not to hire her because apparently she's left two or three of her hagwons in the past 8 months (or they closed or something's all he said/she said) and Mr. Song (the head dude at our company) wanted to resign Al and myself for another year at our current jobs. Okay!

Al really wanted to look for an after-school program like I have and our company does have a few, so he's first in line for one when a position opens. But the way these cards fell means that I get a five week vacation in the US while Al just works straight on through without stopping. It's really, really unfair, and obviously I can't do anything about it now, I just really do feel bad for him. So that's been going on today, we made that decision then they went to immigration with our new contracts to extend the visas and blah blah. So, we're all set for another year!

It's Friday night here and we have a long holiday weekend ahead of us (no school Monday) which means four more work days and I'm off to America! Sucks I'm sick, but I'd rather be sick right now, when I have three full days to recover and four easy peasy work days to get through. Here's to my good health before the 16th!

See everybody soon!!! xoxoxoxo

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