New year and new (not good) experiences

It’s Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Today was the first day of week two of my Winter Camp at work. Things continue to go well. I filmed the students introducing themselves this morning. Tomorrow I’m going to try and get some shots of them during class time. I’m also going to film a tour of my school tomorrow, so you can see the hallways, offices and classrooms of a Korean Elementary School. 

In the middle of last week I came down with a little food poisoning. It is the first time I’ve ever had food poisoning, but even in my limited experience I’m not sure if its appropriate to say I ‘had a little food poisoning’. Food poisoning seems like one of those things that is all or nothing –> like pregnancy, or being a fan of Justin Beiber (you either are or you aren’t).

I’ve been living in Asia for almost 11 months. I was really starting to think I was going to make it through the whole year without getting food poisoning. Food poisoning is one of those annoying traveling abroad cliches that finds its way into every traveler’s anecdote. Seems like everything I read or heard before – and since – coming here has had this sentence (or a variation of it) in it somewhere; “Oh yeah, I spent (insert arbitrary amount of time) in (insert exotic place). It was great, but I got the WORST food poisoning….” After living here for 5 or 6 months and eating some pretty questionable things at some fairly shady places, I was getting fairly confident I might avoid it. By the 10th month in Korea (and after a trip to China) I was really starting to believe that I’d made it. I even planned an elaborate blog entry in which I poke fun at all those poor saps who weren’t so lucky. Unfortunately, I now find myself joining them, relating my own food poisoning story.

The thing about my case of food poisoning (and this is so embarassing I can’t believe I’m about to write it down) is that I got sick from a home cooked meal. That’s right, not some shady old Korean man who regularly coughs on the microwaved bone-in chicken wings he sells from the back of a dirty van on a streetcorner, but from a meal I cooked for myself. This is so humiliating that I feel like I need to call up all the girls I’ve ever cooked dinner for and tell them to drive to a clinic to get checked out, but I’m pretty sure thats not how food poisoning works. Anyway, because I’m a member of the human race, I’m going to quickly blame someone else for the bad thing that happened to me. I think it was the fault of the grocery store where I buy my meat (that sentence should now be in past tense). They sold me bad meat, it can’t POSSIBLY be MY cooking!

Seriously though, it wasn’t my cooking. My cooking is awesome.

I wanted to tell you all about my New Years in Korea, but unfortunately, there really isn’t much to tell. I still wasn’t feeling totally recovered and didn’t think staying up all night and then hiking a mountain and watching the sunrise was a very good idea. I ended up staying in on New Years Eve (for the first time in years, as New Years is traditionally one of my favorite nights out). I do have some interesting news for you, however. You may remember me mentioning some differences in the way Koreans perceive age in an earlier post. The main thing is, in Korea, everyone counts themselves one year older on New Years Day and a baby is consider 1 year old when they are first born. Celebrations are still held on actual birthdays, but people age up only on New Years. You may remember from that older post that I was both excited to be 24, but also a little upset about never really getting to be 23 (because I’m 24 in Korea and will be turning 24 – western age – before I go home). Well today I’m excited because I get to experience a sneak peek at being 25. That’s right, in Korea I’m technically 25 years old, using their birthday system.. The fact that I’m actually only 23 and don’t even turn 24 until February doesn’t matter, because the Korean system says if I was born in ’88, and everyone is 1 year old from the date of birth, then I must be 25. I’m not saying it isn’t a completely messed up system.

I think I’m going to wrap this entry up there. Stay tuned for a video of a Korean classroom and another exciting blog entry soon.

That’s all for now.


About bnbnower

A recent graduate of Carleton University, set adrift into the real world with no tangible goals or properly defined aspirations, I decided to set off for South Korea where I am teaching English as a second language. In my spare time I read, rock-climb, play frisbee and watch movies and television.
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3 Responses to New year and new (not good) experiences

  1. Megs says:

    so when you come home you’ll be coming back in time through the time zones and back a year too??? Wow! that takes talent 😛

  2. Jim Kingdon says:

    Good call blaming the store for the food poisoning. Couldn’t possibly be under cooked chicken. I’ve already shown you that trick and I know you learned from my mistake……

  3. Aura says:

    Happy 25th birthday!
    I’m sure it was not your cooking, Tom 😉

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