Travel, Teach, Live in Korea

Clinic For Foreigners (Teaching in Korea)
By:Mark Eaton

Machismo......more than a motto for no small number of males anywhere in the Americas. That ruggedness and masculinity was cut asunder when I developed my first ever sinus infection. It's just not normal for pain to occur in those parts of the face unless one has been wrestling, fighting, or taken a nose dive falling off the skateboard. When one of my students asked in very proper English if I was sick, I made the decision to seek medical attention; psychiatric attention will have to wait for the time being.

Mr. Lee, the all everything and capable manager of the school, walked me to the medical clinic. Much to my amazement, a large banner over the door read thus, "Clinic For Foreigners." I'm in luck, I thought to myself, as it's located not far from the school or from my apartment, plus someone there must surely speak English. My needed information was input into the computer, and I was impressed with the multitasking capabilities of one of the techs as she kept an eye on the computer and the large screen TV that was showing some very handsome singer performing a dance. I no sooner sat when I was told to stand and enter the doctor's office, please. He was seated at his desk with his computer at the ready. He asked if I spoke Korean; no, not yet I replied. Oh.....he commented. Oh, no....I thought to myself. Alas, the communication of all necessary and relevant symptoms and histories was made. Good use was made of the stethoscope, too. The doctor's orders and prescription was about 11,000won, or about 8USD.

We crossed the street to the drug store. I was glad to see the large screen TV in this establishment was showing the first game between the Dodgers and Phillies; nothing against handsome young singers dancing, but really now. Even though I am hard of hearing, I grew up listening to Dodger baseball as broadcast by the magical and melodic Vin Scully. I was curious when Mr. Lee, the pharmacist, and the two drug store staff were laughing while looking in my direction. Coincidence, I'm sure. Prescription filled and another reminder to follow the doctor's order of drinking hot water. Again the cost was about 11,000won.

So, I'm on my way to recovery and ready to get back into civilization pain free; all for around 16USD and in less than an hour of my time. Try that in the land of machismo.

Mark Eaton

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