March 30th, 2011.
Shall I recap the last few days/week of my life? Okay.
Last week I got sick. It was sudden, it was violent and it was short. Woke up Wednesday morning feeling fine. Found my way to school and was pretty optimistic about my day. First two classes went okay, then we have a 20 min break time. Apparently this break time is for the students to go outside and exercise, but I suspect it is really just for the teachers to drink tea and eat cookies, crackers and occasionally kimbap. Anyway by the end of break time I’m feeling a little tired.. kinda drained. I struggle through the next class and by my fourth class of the day I know something is wrong. I have aches and pains. A mild headache. Slight chill. Okay this is weird I think to myself. I go to lunch – I am now sure I am sick, and as I don’t know how bad or how long I will remain this way I eat as much as I possibly can at lunch to load up on energy and nutrients my body will surely need.
By the end of the school day I am feverish and aching all over. I decide there is no way I’m going to call in sick tomorrow; I’m not wasting one of those sick days this early in the year. On my walk home (I should say on my stumble and lurch home) I bought 4 liters of water and a 1.5 liter bottle of gatorade. Bring it on you p–sy Korean virus. I get home and start to re-hydrate. I drink 2 cups of gatorade and take a 1.5 hour nap. Wake up a little later and, though I feel horrible, eat an apple and continue to drink gatorade and tea. I now have a soar throat, headache and a fever. Like many young men, I have watched lots of movies about zombie apocalypses and super plagues. In fact The Stand by Stephen King (a book about a super flu wiping out 99% of humanity), is one of my favorite books. So it should not surprise you that at this point I was considering the possibility that I was patient zero of a North Korean biological attack. I mean, how could a healthy 23 year old get soooo sick soooo quickly?! Finally I go to bed around 9pm and take 2 tylenol. I wake up the next morning – amazingly I feel fine.
Weird right? I just got shit-kicked by the guerilla warrior of flus – it was in and out before I knew what hit me.
Moving right along: I rallied after my sickness, got the internet in my apartment and made the terrible dinner that was the subject of my last entry. Then on Saturday I attended my co-teacher’s wedding. Korean weddings – are they different? Yes. Are they the same as western weddings? Yes. It was weird. Not alot of differences, but the differences were still noticeable. First of all, the event took place in a large banquet hall and instead of rows of seats or pews there were round tables. This meant that many people had to turn around to view the ceremony. But here’s the really weird thing (for a westerner at least): Many people did not turn around. Many people just continued with their conversations. The ceremony itself wasn’t really about the bride and groom – in fact only the people at the closest few tables could hear what was happening. Most people just relaxed, chatted with their neighbors, some watched, others took pictures….. informal. Thats the word I’m coming to: informal. The one other noticeable difference was that the entire wedding party walked the aisle at the same time. The mothers of the bride and groom, followed by the groom, followed by the bride a few paces behind. There were no best men/bridesmaids (much to my disapointment). Finally, after the ‘I now pronounce you man and wife’ bit, the bride and groom start walking back up the aisle and all these crazy strobe lights and stuff come on, music fires up, multi-colored spotlights spin around – I think there was even a disco ball going. Much less dignified and – dare I say – ominous than the average post-ceremony aisle walk.
After the ceremony came the food. Oh the food. An amazing buffet – every type of (Korean) food you could want. I had shark fin soup. I had calamari rice balls. I had fried chicken. I had steak. I had pineapple. I had salad with thousand island dressing (which is insanely popular here for some reason). There was so much food it was hard to choose what to have next. There was chinese food, sushi, Korean food… Wow what a meal. Like most buffets it was everyone’s mission to load up on as much of the free food as possible, so we all left feeling extremely full.
The next day (we are up to Sunday now) I hung around my apartment most of the day (except for a walk to the ocean and an hour or two of reading my book in the sunshine) and headed down to a nearby field around 6pm for a game of ultimate frisbee. As some of you may know I absolutely love frisbee – I play every chance I get. The Sunday night pickup game is hosted by the Busan Heat (a mostly foreigner composed ultimate frisbee team that plays in an organized league consisting of teams from nearby cities) and is a free time for anyone who is interested to come down and throw the disc around. The first night I show up I am one of only two people to come who are not on the frisbee team. Therefore the game ended up being fairly intense (as there was no one who’s skill level needed to be played down to). I am just now getting over the painful lactic acid muscle stiffness from our 2 hour game (its Thursday) and my elbow is scabbing nicely where I torn it open making a death defying endzone dive for a frisbee everyone thought was uncatchable (everyone but me, of course).
So needless to say I had a great time on Sunday and am looking forward to more pickup games in the near future – might even join the league for the fall season if they’ll take me.
So whats on my plate this coming weekend? Well I must say I have outdone myself. Saturday I am planning on taking a ‘discover scuba’ course to determing whether or not I really want to pursue getting my scuba license while I am here. I have always wanted to try scuba diving so I am really excited. Following the practice dive is an open house at the scuba center, during which I hope to meet a few people who I can sign up for the certification course with. Then on Sunday morning I am getting up early and catching a train to Daegu – a city an hour or so north of here – to go…….. wait for it…. hangliding. Holy cow will that ever be cool. I’ll try to get some video of it and show you.
Well thats all for now – I’ll post again soon with updates on my weekend.