Week 10, Friday

The grade 6 girls told me that my two braids were very cute. While the boys were being re-assigned seats, the girls of 6-2 gathered around me and asked me about K-pop.

“Do you like in NCT?”

“Of course I do! Look at this video I took of their concert. Also do you know WayV?”

“No… Teacher do you know BTS?”

“Yes but you should listen to the new WayV album”.

The student that S mentioned before was in the gaggle of girls and tried to tell me again over the din of boy’s voices in the background that her family thinks I’m pretty.

Something dramatic happened in 6–4 that I still don’t understand, but it required the entire class plus an extra 10 minutes and I think it had something to do with students disagreeing about their new seat assignments. It took so long that they didn’t have time to take their test.

My various Korean friends have been encouraging me to visit the doctor this week. As an American I thought, going to the doctor with a cold is absolutely ridiculous and a waste of everybody’s time, and then I remembered I’m in another country.

I translated my symptoms before going and wrote it down on a scrap piece of paper which I handed to the nurse behind the counter. She didn’t speak much English beyond “phone number?” But after sitting for less than two minutes she took me back to the Doctor who immediately ran a series of very interesting tests that involved spraying things in my nostrils.

The doctor talked with me in English, which was a surprise since I visited a clinic in the low income area near the school. After, the nurse called me to separate room where I did one minute of nebulizing. Then she handed me the script and I was free to get my medication from the pharmacy next-door. (It’s a viral upper respiratory infection. Basically, a cold. The terrible air quality this week definitely did not help.)

At the pharmacy I tried to clarify in Korean if I needed to take all the pills at once in each packet, but the pharmacist thought I was crazy and meant “do I eat all of the pills now” So he switched to English to specify again “breakfast, lunch, dinner”. Ha well at least I’m doubly sure.

In all it was $8 and took less than 30 minutes. The pharmacy packet even had an explanation for all the pills, which is a courtesy one doesn’t usually receive from a Korean pharmacy. You simply eat what the pharmacist tells you to eat.

And now I’m realizing that I’m using the Korean way. In America you take pills. In Korea you eat pills.

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