1) I am strguggling along lately, due to having a fractured rib! My rib, right side, first middle, got craked last Friday night. I threw myself a small birthday party for Korean co-teachers that night; we went through the samgyupsal course in 1 1/2 hours or so; then we moved on to 'second round' the local hof; 'third round', as it usually is, was noraebang--the picture I'm painting is one of mild but definite inebration all round.
One of my co-teachers--one of the real supporters of my contribution to the school program--gave me a big ol' bear hug at the end of the night. I felt myself crack and pop a little, but I pop and crack quite a bit these days, so I thought nothing of it. Saturday morning, I had to do my public speaking class, and I woke up in something like agony. I felt like someone beat me up and I didn't remember it. I soldiered on, kind of disappointed to find there was not a single drug store between me and Yeouido Girl's High where I could buy some aspirin or ibuprofen or something (yeah, you can't get that at a convenience store here), and made it through the day. And Sunday, hoping--assuming--the pain would decrease.
Well, long story less long, it didn't. By Monday afternoon, I could hardly move or breathe without a searing pain shooting up my right torso. I was almost incapacitated. So I made my way to the hospital, and got diagnosed and fixed up with some strong painkillers and a muscle relaxer. So I can breathe now, I can move, even if not 100%.
2) For my USA friends who complain about America's path to socialized medicine, I spent about 1 1/2 hours at the hospital, paid under USD 10 for my examination, including X-rays, got a pain injection for $7.00 and a one-week course of medication for USD 4.50. Next week, I will go for a follow-up that will cost less than 10 bucks, and get another course of medication (maybe a stronger one, if I decide to complain) for the same price. Stop complaining, you guys, and speed it up, fer chrissakes!
3) Despite my debilitation--I can take deep breaths, but I still feel pain--I made my way to # Alley Pub for trivia on Thursdat, mainly to follow-up on last week's triumph when my team came in first place. That was George's team; I also play on Andy and Ian's team ocassionally. Before I could find either one, this other guy I know a bit named Dave dragged me over to join him and his pal to make our own team. We tied for second place--so I'm on kind of a roll.
4) Speaking of pubs, I ate dinner tonight in my chicken hof, where manager friend Jung Su shared his pride over the fact that Cass breweries has conferred upon it some special status. Jung Su couldn't clearly explain what the hof had received, so he sent one of the waiters to do some translating. Here's what he came back with:
Here is the nice plaque that ChickenMania Deungchon unit is now allowed to display on their premises:
The plaque makes mention of Cass's "12-step quality checklist." The 12-step list I know begins, "I admit I am powerless over alcohol" ... Hmmm.
5) I am sad. One of the best friends I've made in Korea has left the country unexpectedly--and rapidly, leaving too little time for farewells. I hoped for one more time to say 'So long', but it didn't come. Literary Hero, aka Andy: Thank you for everything!
May the road rise up to meet you.And may we meet again soon!
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.