Okay, so obviously with my last post I hit rock bottom. I was sick, miserably so, and my loneliness and frustration with Korea came pouring out of me like an oozing sore.
On Friday I finally went to the doctors. I had been putting it off because I imagined the hassle that would come with getting an appointment, explaining myself to a doctor who most likely wouldn’t speak English, and getting medication. The office was closed by the time I got out of work each day and getting up early was the last thing my sick body wanted to do. But after a week I was fed up and went on my lunch break.
Enter the miracle that is the Korean medical system.
I walked in the office and asked to see the doctor. They took my alien registration card and asked me to wait. Less than FIVE minutes later I was in his office explaining my symptoms. He examined me and told me in broken English that I had an infection in my lungs and also the common cold. He gave me a prescription and I walked out to pay for the visit. A grand total of four dollars. I took an elevator down to the pharmacy and wa-la! I had a week’s worth of SIX different pills to be taken morning and night. Another grand total of eight dollars. I even had time to get a sandwich at Subway afterwards. I was stunned.
I took the pills with my lunch and by five o’clock I was truly feeling like a brand new woman. Unbelievable. I was so giddy to be feeling even the slightest bit better I decided to go for a walk at the park after work. A decision I quickly regretted and cut short to go back to my apartment, take the pills again and pass out.
Isn’t that the most efficient thing you’ve ever heard of? It took twenty minutes for goodness sake! It would take that long of a phone call just to make an appointment in the States.
Anyways, being sick had a huge impact on my mental health and perspective. Being healthy again quickly reminded me that life isn’t so bad. Yes my apartment is shitty, but it’s free and it’s mine. Yes, they take an absurd amount of photos at my school, but some of them are pretty cute.
Yes, Korea is definitely not what I was expecting it to be, but that’s life. I was strong enough to come out here and try, and each new experience helps me grow. I am thankful for a healthy body, a loving family and the opportunities life presents me with. I am thankful for sunny spring days and skype dates with my boyfriend, who doesn’t mind if I am blowing my nose through most of it. I am thankful for the few friends I have made here, sharing my struggle and lifting me up with kind words and good company. And I am thankful for you, readers, for your kind support and encouragement.
I’m not sure how much longer I will be here, but for now I am taking each day as it comes and making the best of it; something we are all doing, somewhere, somehow.