Tuesday, January 19


So part of the requirements in order to get an alien card for Korea is a physical. They want to make sure all of us foreigners aren't polluting the country with our drugs and STIs. I thought it was just a blood test, but no. I was in for a real treat.
The director of my school decided that I should go for the physical on Saturday morning. Remember that I only got to Korea Thursday evening. He thought it would be a good idea to get the tests over as quickly as possible so I can get my alien card right away. So I had to meet him at 8:00 on Saturday. I wasn't allowed to eat breakfast, not that I would have that early anyway, or drink anything other than water. The director picks me up and drives me to the hospital which is in the next city over. Fortunately the place where we were going for this only opened at 8:00 so we were second in line. It started with the nurse giving my director the bill and telling him to go pay. So he leaves me with these people who don't speak English to do a buch of tests. Allright. I can handle that I suppose. The first test was height and weight. Not sure what that has to do with drugs or AIDS, but it seemed important. Next was blood pressure, then colour blindness test and vision test. Then there was a hearing test. Then the nurse takes me to a new room and tells me to take off my clothes and put on a robe, then go to the next room for an x-ray. Okay. So I change into the robe and walk out of the room. At this point the director comes back. Oh good. I'm standing in front of my boss in a hospital gown. Nice. So I go to the next room where the x-ray technician positions me for the chest x-ray. There's a flat panel machine that you have to get as close to as you possible can. That means I had to squish up to it and wrap my arms around it like I'm giving it a big hug. I don't know if you noticed, but I'm not flat. I don't fit to a flat panel screen very well. Who am I kidding? Of course you noticed. Ya, not so comfortable. At least I got to go put my clothes back on after that. Next I went to see the doctor who was a little old man. He looked at my paper, asked if I felt sick, smiled and said, okay good. Apparently I was lucky. He didn't even speak to the last teacher, just stuck his hand down her shirt to listen to her heart. The last room was the blood test. I go in and the nurse hands me a paper cup. Go pee. Oh goody. All right. I go find the bathroom, aim for the cup, and pee on my hand. I did manage to get some in the cup, but I'm a girl okay. I don't aim. That's why I sit to pee. I don't have to aim that way. I clean up and go back to the room to hand over the cup. Then the nurse needs to take a blood test. He wraps the rubber band thingie around my arm and starts poking at my arm. Now I'm starting to tense up because I know that I have very deep veins and no one can ever seem to find them on the first try. Tensing up does not help this at all. Fortunately, he got it first poke. I could feel it the entire time though. I don't like that at all. He had to take three vials, and I could feel everytime he changed vials, and I bleed fairly slowly so it seemed to take forever, and again, I am tensing up which doesn't help. Finally he gets enough blood and the whole thing is over. It took forever, or ten minutes if you care about the real time. Then the director took me out for McDonald's breakfast which made everything better. McDonald's does some pretty good pancakes I must say.
The next adventure is actually getting my alien card. Then I can get my own phone, a bank account, and internet at my house. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, January 15

Return to Korea

Well, I'm back. I landed in Korea yesterday afternoon at 4:15. That's 1:15am for those of you from Saskatchewan. It took me an hour to get through customs and to find my luggage, but I made it through and so did my luggage. The driver from the recruiting company I used met me at the airport and drove me to my apartment. I had forgotten how scary driving in Korea is. I finally decided it would just be better if I closed my eyes and didn't watch where we were going. Much less scary that way. The director of the school met me and showed me my apartment and then we went over to the school, which is all of a minute away. Convenient. My apartment, or as I like to call it, my hotel room, is pretty tiny. About the size of a hotel room. No kidding. Not a big hotel room either. The bathroom is pretty snazzy and the appliances are new, but it is really small. The one nice thing about it, and this is why they decided to buy this apartment, is that it is a corner apartment, so the two outside walls are almost all window. The view is pretty cool. It's a little chilly but should be okay once I get the hang of the heat. Not speaking Korean has its disadvantages, but I can still push buttons until something happens in any language. The school is really nice. The kids are pretty darn cute, the director is nice and really helpful and friendly, and the other teachers seem like they will be pretty fun. So far I have been too tired to actually find out. I didn't sleep on the plane to Korea then I stayed up until 11 last night and woke up at 1, 2, and 5. I was awake for about an hour at 5. I'm pretty sure I will fall asleep as soon as I stop typing. There seems to be everything right around my apartment. There's a grocery store next door, Dunkin Donuts down the street, tons of restaurants and stores. I haven't looked around much yet, but I will do some exploring next week. I think I will tell you about the school later. Need to save something to talk about later.


Tuesday, January 12

I'm leaving

Now it really is official. I don't have to say "I don't know" now when you ask "when are you leaving?" Now I can say that I'm leaving Wednesday morning. That means I will get to Korea Thursday afternoon. Wow. Yep. That's pretty quick. I have a lot to do in the next two days. I don't want to do it. Does anyone want to pack for me? Can't it just transport itself there? It would be so much easier. Then I wouldn't have to worry about weight limits. You try putting all the stuff you need for a year in two suitcases with a weight limit of 22kg each. Not easy to do.

Friday, January 1

I hate Canada Post

I already have an update. So, after getting all of my stuff together to mail to the consulate in Vancouver, I went to the post office in Warman to mail it. I sent it Priority next morning. Thinking that it would get there the next morning. Silly me. Why would I think that just because all the posters on the walls in every post office say it will get there the next morning, and the web site says it will get there the next morning that it would have actually gotten there the next morning? I tracked it this morning, Thursday, I send it Tuesday, only to find that it is in Richmond BC, not in Vancouver where it should be. I called customer service, waited for 10 minutes listening to some really annoying Canada Post commercials, only to be told that because I mailed it from a rural location, next morning really means two business days. Never mind that the package was in Saskatoon that afternoon. It is not a major center so Canada Post couldn't possibly get it to Vancouver the next day. It's not like Saskatoon has an airport with direct flights to Vancouver everyday or anything. Oh wait. Yes we do. There are flights everyday to Vancouver. But according to Canada Post, we are some hick town and they can't do anything useful. So now, my stuff is not at the consulate in Vancouver where it should be. I don't know when it will get there. The consulate is closed this afternoon and tomorrow. So they will probably get it on Monday. Then it takes five days to process. Then they have to mail it back. I included a priority next morning envelope for them to return it in, but I live in a rural location, so it really means two business days. So, if I am lucky, I will get my stuff back two weeks after I mailed it. Isn't it good I sent it priority post?

Korea update

Okay, here's the deal. I am leaving. Probably next week. After some major dealings with the consulate in Vancouver, I finally got all my stuff together to send to Korea. I got my visa number on Tuesday and send a whole bunch of stuff back to the consulate in Vancouver to get the visa processed and put in my passport. Hopefully it all works the first time. My job starts next Tuesday, but I won't be there. I will be a few days late. My time left in Canada is very short. I am very excited to leave, but very worried about what I will find when I get to Korea. I am my father afterall, and I have to worry about things that aren't even going to happen. I am sure everything will be fine, and I will have worried for nothing, but it gives me something to do instead of packing. I really need to pack, but I only have a few episodes of Stargate SG-1 left, so I'm going to do that instead. Way more fun.

I will keep posting while in Korea. I will try to make it a weekly post again. Feel free to comment. I like to know that people read this.