At the Hospital and Continuing Education

I feel like I wrote a post just yesterday, but really a decent amount of time has passed. On Wednesday, I was supposed to go to the school in order to meet Sunny, a lovely Korean lady who is the head teacher at the school, so that I could go to the hospital for my mandatory check up. I’ve only walked to the school with my roommates and fellow teachers, so I was a bit worried about getting lost. I actually didn’t have any problems, and I ended up at the school earlier than I was supposed to (but only by a couple minutes). I decided to wait by the door until Sunny showed up. Instead, Rosy, one of the other Korean teachers showed up. She didn’t expect me to be there, so when the elevator opened, it scared the living hell out of her and she started screaming. I apologized several times and she was laughing about it afterwards, but I really scared her badly. I felt terrible.

Later, Sunny arrived, as did the Boss. I’m actually not entirely sure what to call her. While I know here Korean name and have heard her English name, it is my understanding that it would be rude to call her by name since she is my superior. Me and the other foreign teachers refer to her as “the boss” in English in an attempt to show the proper level of respect. Anyway, I ended up going with her to the hospital instead of with Sunny, since Sunny had a morning class to teach. Me and the boss shared a taxi ride to the hospital, talking a bit about the school and the other teachers. When we arrived at the hospital we went up towards the office for international patients.

On the way the boss turned to me and said, “Usually Sunny comes to this hospital with the teachers. I’ve never been here before,”

I replied, “Ah! Neither have I,”

The boss looked a bit taken aback, and then she laughed and said, “That’s a good joke. Very good shot there,”

After getting to the office, I actually couldn’t tell who was what. A girl in a florescent colored vest checked my weight and height and then had me change into a gown. She also gave me a cup to urinate into. A doctor then took an x-ray of my chest. Then the girl who was wearing the vest (who I had believed was a nurse) passed me over to another girl, who was the same one who took my paperwork. She was wearing women’s business attire, but she was the one who ended up taking several blood samples, making me wonder if she was a nurse. Eventually I ended up talking to a doctor, who asked me a bunch of questions about my health. Afterwards, he handed me a business card and told me to come to him if I ever needed anything. Really a very nice guy.

Also, a note for anyone interested in teaching ESL in Korea, this is a requirement for an alien card. And it costs 100,000W, cash, up front. Be ready for it.

Afterwards, me and the boss rode home in a taxi. It was a quiet drive back, but mostly because I didn’t know what to talk about. Also, I hadn’t eaten in over nine hours since that’s what I was told to do for the X-ray, and I had gotten up early so we could see the doctor as soon as he was available. I was pretty tired. I think the boss was nodding off a little, so the feeling was probably mutual.

That day was fairly regular after that, although a few students have gotten really excited about me being there. Shine, one of my students, brought me chocolate. So did Mensa, one of my other students. She’s really bright and sweet. Today, Roy gave me a chocolate bar. Sunny said “Ahhh, James just got a chocobar from another student. I think I will hate him now,”

I have some chocolates from America that were in my bag when I left, so I think I’ll share them with some of the students that brought me gifts.

This morning, I met the director of the school, the boss’s husband. He introduced himself as Leo. I stuck out my hand and he took it like a normal handshake, but then he shifted his hand (into an almost arm wrestling stance) and then pulled me into his body and gave me a huge hug. He said, “Oh, good! Another man. I was alone. So good to meet you,” Afterwards he bowed and he left and we told him goodbye. Part of what has been so nice about being here is that everyone seems so glad to meet me and so glad I’m working with them. I’m just hoping to live up their expectations.


~ by James on February 24, 2012.

2 Responses to “At the Hospital and Continuing Education”

  1. This is an amazing post. I hope the rest of your time in Korea goes as smoothly. It’s great everyone’s glad to meet you, and I’m absolutely positive you’ll live up to their expectations.

  2. I love every moment.. this is exciting! we r good! hope we connect! waiting 2 no!..GMom

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