I greeted the receptionist at the skin clinic in Korean and she went through the forms slowly with me. She asked if I can speak Korean.
This was a mistake. If you give a mouse a cookie, or a Korean “한국어를 좀 할 수 있어요”…
After waiting on a lime green couch, I was called into an office to review the procedures and prices. The woman did not speak English to me at all and I wondered if I had gotten myself into another eye doctor situation.
The main issue was the price I found online for underarm Botox was 90,000 won, the price quoted to me from the internet chat was 70,000, and the woman in front of me said it would cost 90,000 won after all. The 70,000 was for calf Botox.
90,000 for each armpit was what I paid before in Seoul so at least I figured it was a fair price, and aligned to their website.
She proceeded to explain the procedure. I had no idea what she was saying but nodded along. If I asked in English she answered Korean so I relied on my previous experience to glean her meaning from the conversation. Fluency is absolutely environment-dependent: I don’t know medical terms.
“Do you have any more questions?” She asked as I was getting up.
I almost laughed in her face. What would it matter if I couldn’t understand the answer?
It all worked out though: I got a nice facial then the tech applied numbing cream to my armpits.
Weirdly though, the doctors that do the injections are not on the seventh floor but the 15th so I had to put my sweater on over the crinkly saran wrap and walk stiffly up to the 15th floor. I pretended the blatant misspellings on the trendy desk were not indicative of the service.
I didn’t wait for long before having my under arms jabbed at least 40 times but the results will be worth it.
This sweaty foreigner will be… a slightly less sweaty foreigner. Be ready, world!