Foreign Hospitals

(Originally posted in Tickets To: 2014)

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Sometimes, when we move to a new country, we have to get a medical check. Hopefully it’s before. But typically your employer wants to know from a doctor who is native to their country.

So far, I have come to realize. You don’t go to the doctor. You go the hospital. Always the hospital. This makes it sound a lot worse than it is.

In Thailand, we had to go and get some blood work done to make sure we didn’t have some kind of ridiculous disease that I think they made up. I’m that person that passes out from a shot. I need to lay down when getting blood drawn or else the unfortunate person taking my blood (or giving the shot) will have to deal with my unconscious body falling face first onto the floor. So, I’m in a Thai hospital. After filling out paperwork incorrectly twice and waiting for about 30 minutes next to all the people hacking up a lung, I was called back. I explained that I faint. They smiled, nodded and told me to take a seat. I hesitated and had to mime to them that I pass out. They spoke in Thai and laughed at me, but eventually escorted me to a room shared by a guy who had broken limbs. You know that nervous feeling that you may throw up? It’s similar to the feeling of seeing someone with broken limbs and wanting to throw up. They saw my green face and closed the curtain and lay me down. The English speaking doctor (where was she this whole time?!) explained they needed at least two vials of blood. So naturally I covered my eyes and tried not to panic. They did what they had to do, I cried and got dizzy. I sat up and laid back down before almost falling off the gurney. So I stared at the wall while regaining my dignity. And there it was. Blood. On the wall. Blood on the wall. Let me make myself clear: THERE WAS FREAKIN’ BLOOD ON THE WALL. After a few months, I got over it. Because I needed to go to the hospital to get some stuff checked out. And it wasn’t as bad because it didn’t require blood. And interestingly enough, my doctor was my private tutoring student. That was awkward.

Flash forward to August 2013: Korea. The first week here, I needed to get a medical check. When I asked what it consisted of, the manager said ‘Oh normal things.’ So, I went and had my teeth looked at. Even though I had just eaten and hadn’t brushed my teeth, they said I have great teeth. Then I had my hearing tested (3 high pitched notes), an eye test (look at numbers after having a thing pressed against your eye and making vision blurry), a height/weight check (not your business), a urine test (haha! I passed that one!), and the blood test. SCREEECH. What? A blood test. Please stick out your arm. Um.. no I can’t do that. Yes, you have to, Teacher. You didn’t tell me about this! Oh sorry. You will be fine! I pass out. What? I faint. What? I need to lie down. Oh Teacher don’t be silly. No seriously, I need to lie down. Okay. (Insert crying and dizziness). Now please bare your chest so we can awkwardly test your heart beat. Now go upstairs for chest x-ray. Wait patiently while the nurses are distracted by their KakaoStories on their phones. Cough to get their attention. Then straight up say “Hey” and then put your chest against the x-ray machine. Relax. Now push so your shoulders are against the flat board even though you have huge knockers and can’t really be flat against anything. Okay thank you Teacher. You can get dressed now.

Well at least it was over and done with, right? Nope. My manager failed to pick up the documents by the deadline and guess who got to do it ALL OVER AGAIN?! Me.

Then, I got a promotion 6 months later. And last week I got a text message, “Teacher, I will take you to hospital tomorrow.” “Why?” “New contract. New hospital tests.” Le sigh. At least there wasn’t any blood on the wall.

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Obviously there have been some updates since February 2014. I have been in the hospitals for various surgeries as well.. Feel free to read those articles. 

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Pity: Party of One

This was from a loooong time ago.

TICKETS TO:

By Shannon Noni Selis

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I walked into this restaurant called Choice and asked for a table. “Do you have a reservation?” inquired the maitre’d. I shook my head. “How many in your party?” the maitre’d asked with a disapproving eyebrow raised. “Just me,” I replied. I glanced around the restaurant. The sign above the dining room read “The Bourgeois Bistro.” There were families laughing and eating mac n cheese and pizza. In a quieter area I noticed couples having their wine and steak while holding hands across the candlelit tables. This seems like a pretty nice restaurant. It’s different to seat families in one section and couples in another, but that’s a brilliant idea, I thought.

I waited and waited. It seemed like years went by. I watched groups of people walking past me and be seated. Some were seated right away while others had to wait a little bit. My stomach growled. Will I…

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Champagne Birthdays

(reposted from my original blog entry on Tickets To: originally April 2014)

Golden Birthday. Champagne Birthday. You have my attention

The day when you turn the age of the date of your birth. It’s supposed to be awesome. Of course I didn’t know what that was until about a year ago… but that’s cool. I love champagne so it’s a great excuse for a theme. It’s also a great excuse to drink champagne every day for the week leading up to my birthday.

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On Friday, my coworkers on my floor (there are three floors to my school) surprised me with a classic Korean cake and some streamers.

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On Friday night we had Korean BBQ (beef) and drank soju with pineapple Fanta. Then we went to our local bar and drank a bit. On Saturday I woke up early-ish, pre-cooked some food for my Sunday picnic (visit www.anotherfoodthing.wordpress.com for great recipes!), and made my way to Busan. I met some friends from Seoul and Ulsan there and we drank a bit. The day wasn’t sunny enough for the beach, but it was warm enough to appreciate. We had an amazing BBQ dinner, went to another bar, went ‘clubbing,’ and then, my favorite part, we went to the noraebong and sang our hearts and voices away! Seriously… how much soju and singing can a girl handle? It was fantastic.

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I looked hot in my little black dress with my teal dream shoes (see wittylmt.com for more info on that), I was with great company, I ate and drank well.

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I got back to the motel at 5 am and was sleeping by 6am. I left at 10:30am and was back in Ulsan by 12:30pm. I had a party starting at 2pm I had to get ready for. Because the weather was questionable my outdoor picnic became an indoor picnic: blankets on the floor, drawn park on my whiteboard, paper plates, etc. The good people showed up and brought many bottles of bubbly. We drank mimosas and sangria for a few hours and chatted merrily. A few gal pals stayed after everyone left and we chatted and watched Bad Teacher (excellent sitcom. Get on it). Today, I came to work and the teachers on the 6th floor bought me a Larva cake.  I will go home and drink more champagne since I now have 5 more bottles and chillax on my patio smoking hookah. All in all…it was a great birthday.

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Sockstuff

(from my blog participation at Tickets To:)

Cute socks are a thing. I don’t remember them being a ‘thing’ in the States, but I do remember seeing what I considered to be cute socks and buying them. Even if I don’t wear them because I lived in Florida and we don’t believe in socks for 10 months out of the year.

In Korea, however… cute socks are a BIG thing. And I LOVE IT! I have pretty much gotten rid of any pair of boring sock I brought with me and have happily replaced them with awesome socks. They have socks here that are a ‘pair’… where the picture is in half and you can put them together and make a face or something.

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Another fantastic one tend to be some kind of animal or superhero on the heel which is the mouth. Like this Batman one:

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And of course this is my favorite. Just look and laugh. They have it in weird Asian faces or ‘yellow hair’ people. If you’re lucky you’ll get Frankenstein or a Mummy. Ha!

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This is a perfect gift for friends and family back home. They’re cheap at only 1,000-2,000won (less than $1) each. Until you buy 20 and then it adds up.

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Mirena, 1+ year in

**Disclosure: FAMILY – THIS CONTAINS INFORMATION YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ>>> CLOSE THIS NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT T.M.I. ON MY PERSONAL LIFE!**

 

Last year, I made the decision to say, “Screw you!” to pills, Nuvaring (although I mostly loved it), and any other birth control method short of spaying myself.

I chose to drop a few $$ and insert Mirena. (You can read about the entry here).
It was a painful process. I spent nearly 40 days with spotting and dull cramps. Then one magical day… it stopped. The bleeding, the cramps, the discomfort, and then my life began.
I have been blessed with some good sex in my life. Apparently, this good sex was dulled by previous birth controls. Sex has never been so good. Like.. holy shit. Guys who were maybe average at best, were doing a pretty damn good job. Before Mirena, I was using mostly Nuvaring, occasionally a pill; and I was dull. Sex was just an act. If I got off, it was less often than Halley’s comet. But my sex drive didn’t exist. I seriously pondered my sexuality. Boyfriends and lovers knew I was lying and some thought I had been cheating on them.
Then Mirena happened.
.. as it turns out, I’m very straight. And I’m so much happier with Mirena. Sex. is. awesome. Like– wet, hot summer awesome.

Oh yea! And I lost a bunch of weight! When I had Mirena inserted, I was weighing in at ~73kg (about 160lbs). While I’m sure other factors were involved (leaving an unhappy job, moving up a hill, running to subways and buses for new jobs, etc), I am now at ~63 kg (138-140lb) today.

Menstrual cycles suck. Period. (hah. a favorite of mine) From 6th grade through recent years, my period has been a giant cluster-fuck. They were unpredictable. As Cher would say from Clueless “I was surfing the crimson wave!”… more like Crimson tidal wave. It was hell. I had special clothes to wear because I needed to change and clean them so often. My cramps had me in bed, crying like a child. Sometimes they would last longer than a week.. then reappear about 2 weeks later. Then other times they wouldn’t show for weeks (pregnancy scares what???). I got onto birth control and it helped a bit. But I still had shit strong periods.
Now a year after Mirena insertion, my periods are mostly non-existent. I might get ‘ghost cramps’ once a month and the occasional spotting every other month or less.

Overall, everything is awesome.
But let’s sum a few things up real quick:

Pros: 
1. 5 years of baby-free sexcapades
2. Little to no periods/minimal cramping
3. Higher sex drive
4. Weight lost (subjective)
5. Overall happier life.

Cons:
**denotes possible Pro rather than Con
1. 350,000won (KRW = USD ~275) ((((in the states they said it’d be ~600$USD without insurance)))**
2. PAINFUL AS FUCK DURING INSERTION!!!!! FFFUUUUCCCCCCCK.
3. Bodies may react differently
4. Gotta stock up on condoms for all that sex!**
5. I got nothin.. I can’t think of anything else.

Laci

Living abroad is amazing. I don’t regret it for a minute. Well, some things I do regret. Not seeing my cousin getting married. Not being there for big birthdays. Not being there for graduations or to celebrate jobs or certifications. Not being there for family when they’re sick or injured. But this one is hitting me hardest right now. Today, my family is putting down our dog.  So here’s my tribute to my bestest furiend.

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We knew she was a sweetheart from the beginning.
Our neighbors came home with a white labrador named Graci. We came home with her sister, a more golden colored girl named Laci.
They were quite the pair: Laci and Graci. Graci was a bit more energetic, always trying to get Laci riled up, luring her into the lake and then not letting her back on shore. Laci preferred to just hang out and watch everyone play.
Maybe she was lazy. She definitely was my Lazy Laci. Is. She’s not gone yet, but it’s not long now.

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I’ve been the traveler in the family: living in Hawaii, living in Tampa, Thailand, and now Korea. I always found the times I was home to be a little hard. But my dog helped me through it. She was a good girl. Is still. She’s not gone yet, but it’s not long now.
She’d drive my family crazy trying to wake up and go out and eat at 6am. But with me, she found a way to just sleep in. We shared that trait: holding it until we couldn’t anymore before scurrying out of bed to go to the bathroom. She’d groan a bit and sit up and lay back down and repeat until I finally opened my eyes.
When I came home from Thailand, she was so happy. I think she didn’t believe it was me, but when she realized it, she was all jumping and cuddles.. like in the youtube videos. We hung out all summer. We would go for drives and hang out. We’d sleep in and eat and be lazy farts. We’d tan outside and then go back in when it was too hot or if it rained. I got her to the dog park a few times. And my lab, who was terrified of water (see Graci above), finally went back into the water. Babysteps. First up to her elbows, then up to her chest, and then one day she swam. She’s not a fetch kind of dog. She’s not a chase after and run like crazy dog. She’s a hang out by your side and race home when Mom’s car goes by kind of dog. She loves the Grinch as much as I do. Her favorite toy was my Grinch doll. Is. Is. She’s not gone yet.
She was proper angry with me when I told her I was going to Korea. When I came home for my cousin’s wedding, I found her on the couch and she just rolled over and waited for a belly rub.

laci bed This bitch could outsleep the best of us.
I left again and came back as a surprise last Thanksgiving.. two thanksgivings ago. The whole family was gathering at my uncle’s house, as usual, but everyone was bringing their dog. Except Laci. Nobody knew I was coming in except my brother and cousin-in-law, so I swooped home and picked her up and listened to her whine for an hour drive to Uncle Scott’s.  When my grandparents and father pulled up and were carrying stuff inside, I let Laci out and she just casually walked up and sniffed the grass. My dad said, ‘Whose dog is that?’ My uncle replied, “I don’t know. It looks like Laci.” And there I was. She was my helper that day.
I was home for a few weeks. The night before I left, I sat with her on the couch and we cried together. She cried for me. She just whined and got angry at me for leaving. I didn’t know it’d be the last time I saw her alive. I swear I didn’t know.
She’ll facetime with me. She’ll whine a bit and jump a little and tolerate a mediocre belly rub from my brothers or mom, but nobody could give her the belly rub that I could.
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She was not a happy camper when I tried to keep her from shedding, but she tolerated it.
She’s an old lady. Loyal, Angelic, Calm, Intuitive. My Laci. My princess angel-face. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep at night when I’m at my mother’s house. I’m going to be so cold sitting on the couch without her to sit on my feet. She’s been there for me through so much. She’s been there for my family. She stayed with my brother when he was sick on the couch. She allowed the cats to cuddle her or bite her without retaliation. She’s been there for me through more than I can probably recall. And here I am, in Korea, when she needs me the most.
I won’t forget her. Her weird way of sitting with her legs apart. Her double high fives for my brother.laci high five Her shake when you told her to lay down. Finding her in the car when I left the door open for just a second. Towel time. Her hair everywhere. Everywhere. Her babydolls. Her ‘couldnt give a shit’ look for other dogs. Her stealing treats from the neighbor’s house. Her morning cuddles. Her lazy ass on the couch days. Smoking with her. She just wanted to be around us. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be inside or outside usually. Her selective hearing the last few years. Her.

Soon it’ll be time to sleep, but only one of us will wake.

Sleep well, my princess angel face.

Laci Angelface

2015: Resolutions Review

 

Let’s review my resolutions for 2015…

Original: 1. I want to lose weight. Just like everyone else. Except this has to happen. I can’t handle looking at myself in photographs or on a scale. I have never weighed more than I do now and I don’t ever want to again. The number is so despicable to me that I can’t even say it aloud.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I was close to 165lbs and am now down to about 143lbs. 10 kg down. 20 lbs. Well done, me!

2. Get laid. Seriously, I thought I was being practical last year with that whole ‘get laid 20 times’ thing.. such bullshit. However, I refuse to give way to this one. I will get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.
MISSION VERY ACCOMPLISHED!!! A special thank you to those who participated in helping me achieve this goal. 😉 You know who you are. 

3. Visit 2 new countries again! Last year I had hoped it would be Japan and Taiwan. Instead, it was Japan (twice) and Philippines. I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal instead of Japan is Malaysia. Luckily I have a friend who lives in Kuala Lumpur who I have made many promises to visit….

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I managed to visit Malaysia and Dubai in 2015. I also got to revisit Hong Kong and Japan. I’d say it was a very good travel year.

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! Thank you Gary and Jon for hosting me and putting up with my elephant-itus legs. It was an honor becoming a lobster with you Gary. And I’m more than pleased to say that Gary swung through Korea and we had a lovely champagne brunch…. and looked WAY better than we did in Malaysia. Boys, congrats on putting a ring on it! (your finger. a ring on your finger.)

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5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.

                 MISSION NOT QUITE ACCOMPLISHED!! 😦 I’m more than halfway there though! Yay for that. And it is possible that I can have that by the time I get home if I don’t go spending it all again. Damn. I’m bad at this one.

And so, with 2015 gone and 4/5 resolutions completed, I’d have to say that I did damn well! Look for the new blogs with my 2015: A Review and another with my 2016 resolutions.

 

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