Tag Archives: korea

Flooding and leaking.

31 Jul

I’m sure most people who follow the news are aware of the crazy flooding that happened in Seoul last week. If you aren’t, here’s a recap:


Sadang Station isn’t really close to me.

That’s me on the far right and Sadang is the green one on the left. That area is lower than where I live, so got a lot of flooding as you saw in the video.

My life was mostly unchanged with the torrential downpour. We got over 400 mm of rain in just two days, by the way. I still went to school and taught students, although less of them came. Some people’s classes were temporarily cancelled, but I was not one of them. The only change was of course the leaking in my apartment. My bathroom had been leaking steadily for awhile. I had asked my landlords to fix it and they had attempted to, but really just put a hose that seemed to drain the liquid from the ceiling to the floor drain. A mushroom grew out of the hole. It has since died and a new one was begun to grow in the second hose that was put in place to combat the leaking in the rest of my apartment.

On Tuesday night I began to notice dripping noises on my ceiling. Since I live on the third of six floors, I don’t usually get to hear the sound of rain on the roof. At first I thought, “Well that’s pleasant!” and continued readying Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. Then I realized that I shouldn’t be hearing that sound at all and began to wonder when the leaking would begin. It started off as little drips coming down the wall, but then the wallpapered ceiling began to swell with water. I moved my bed out of the way as much as possible (My bed, kitchen, “office” etc. are all in one room) and stared nervously at the ceiling. Then I put a pot under to collect the drips. I had to empty the pot twice in the night and the noise was driving me insane. I barely slept that night because I just didn’t know if the ceiling was going to collapse on me or if I was going to be showered sometime while I was sleeping.

The next day my landlords came to fix it, but told me that I should move out temporarily for 2-3 days. This would be my third apartment in the same building this year. When I got home from work I went to my damp apartment and packed up some essentials for the next couple of days and settled into another apartment. I showered, took a nap and attempted to steal internet. Then I went for dinner at my friends’ apartment and when I got home around 10 pm there was an email saying that the apartment was fixed and I could move back in. I contemplated sleeping in this new apartment but realized I really didn’t want to do that at all. So I PACKED up all my stuff and moved back home. There is now a trap door in the ceiling (similar to the one in the bathroom) and some nice mould growing around. It seems to have stopped spreading. I realize this is unhealthy but it’s not black at least, and I’m only here for another 2.5 weeks.

There has been no leaking since, but I doubt I’m out of the woods yet. Here’s the weather forecast:

Kill me!

Sigh. Coincidentally my air conditioner just dripped onto my arm. It never ends.

As the end of my time approaches, my friends and I have decided to do all the things we haven’t yet done this year. Here’s what I’m interested in:
-Lotte World again (an amusement park right near me)
-Dr. Fish (pedicure where little fish bite off your dead skin)
-The National Museum of Korea
-Banpo Bridge (has a light show at night in the waterfalls off the bridge)
-Caribbean Bay (a large and expensive water park)
-Shopping for more clothes (necessary)
-Eat as much Korean and other food as possible
-Wander more around Hongdae (artsy university area)
-Wolmi Island in Incheon (apparently it has a nice waterfront area)

Hopefully I should be able to accomplish all of that in the next 17 days! That time is sure to go very quickly and will be taken up as well by packing, cleaning, selling stuff and looking into things I want to do in San Francisco.

Sheesh! I now am thinking maybe I don’t have as much time as I thought. Strange.


Just some quick thoughts.

27 May

Today I wore a scarf to school. I suppose it looks a bit ‘tribal’ and has fringe.

Two unrelated incidents:
“You look like a cowboy, teacher.” -student

“Howw?!” – me

“The scarf! It is like cowboy.”


“You look like Indian, teacher.” -student

“I’m sure you mean like a Native American.”



I am the only person in the office of 5 people who ever goes to the bathroom at school. ¬†How is this, you ask? Well, no one drinks anything except for instant coffee. But they still don’t pee. I have no answers. I pee about 3-4 times a day. I know they think I have a problem.

Also, I might have strep throat.

But the real good news is I am flying out of here on August 18th to San Francisco for three days! There I will stay with my cousin Lisa and her family and my Aunt Diane will be coming to visit. I have never been to northern California and I am extremely excited. I will be home to Toronto on August 21st at 7:00 am (sorry parents)! Only 82 days.

korean costco…among other things.

21 Sep

well the past few days have been pretty nice. i keep meaning to blog but then i just tell myself i’ll do it later, then forget immediately.

currently i’m on holidays until monday because it’s chuseok, or korean thanksgiving. i’m not planning on doing much other than lazing around and possibly hiking. oh and going to casey’s grandparents’ house in seoul for chuseok dinner. casey will not be attending. i have some big hopes for this dinner. clearly it’s going to be awesome food, but also a cool chance to get to go into a REAAAAAAAAAAAAL korean house and hang out with people who don’t speak your language (novel!). it’s really nice of them to invite me. well sarah kind of invited me. but anyway, i’m excited. i have spam to bring.

so on the weekend i met sarah and dave at olympic park where dave was going to do some work. what really happened is that we ate some pajeon (sp?): korean friend pancake thing with seafood and chives, magkolli (rice alcohol, gross), naan, chicken curry and samosas. traditional korean food. then we wandered a bit, had soft serve from lotteria (a burger place) and then went to starbucks. eep. whoever came to korea with plans of losing weight is going to be very sad.

after that we went on a “free” tram ride around the park which cost 1,800 won per person (why?) and then laid in some very rough grass while i did a reading of the portrait of dorian grey. the weather was pretty much perfect. as perfect as it could get i think. also there were adorable korean children running around. here are some pics.

after lazing around for awhile, we decided to go for shabu shabu for dinner and met with guiane and joanne. the whole experience was a bit annoying, but delicious. basically shabu shabu is when you get some soup broth and cook thinly sliced meat and vegetables in it. it’s quick and cheap. except when the server provides enough food for 10 people “because most people eat that much”.

not enough for 5 people.

it ended up costing us 17,000 won per person, instead of like 6,000 won. oh but don’t worry…we got a free heart pen. thanks! whatever. it was good.

so today was an interesting change from the perfect weather of saturday. basically it was a torrential downpour/flood for the entire day. ENTIRE DAY. how is that even possible? sarah and i went to itaewon to refill her phone minutes and the streets were flooded. i have a video but i can’t get it to work.

just another day.

pretty nuts. basically we were soaked the entire day. after itaewon we went on the long route to costco in search of cheese. yes, it was wet. yes, it was unpleasant. but it was worth it. we bought brie, cheddar cheese, croissants, crackers, cookies and i bought kashi cereal. so delicious and worth every penny. i’m going to be the weight of a small whale when i’m done it all but whatever. foreigners: costco is your friend. it has a LOT of food that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere. like everything they have at a regular costco. so strange. of course this one had floors. bring your own bags! we had to buy a reusable bag, which was fine, but it would have been better if we brought our own.

so there you have it. i guess we shall see what the rest of the week brings.

this should be a medical blog.

16 Sep

well the quest to find out how to cure my carpal tunnel continues.

today sophie asked me if she could take me to get acupuncture for my wrist. of course i accepted. when we got to the random clinic on the second floor of a random building i was informed that there was a better therapy for my problem. it was a clinic with a korean/eastern medicine doctor who was very nice. the second she looked at me she started grabbing at my collarbones, under my armpits and feeling around that general area. sophie translated, “something is wrong with your body.” good!

so after waiting for awhile i was laid on a bed where 6 suctions were placed on my left arm in strategic areas. then they started to pulsate and suck at my arm. then a heat lamp was turned on above my arm and they covered me in a blanket. i promptly fell asleep. maybe 20ish minutes later the doctor woke me up and using these two black stick things started to apply pressure to certain spots on my arms, legs, feet and hands. the machine just beeped loudly and i felt nothing but the point of the strange sticks. later sophie explained that it was some kind of current to “activate the cells or something.”

she then told me (in english) that i had scoliosis. i said yes, i know, small. she said no! no! making the korean no motion with her arms and told me that my scoliosis was actually very bad and that my entire back was out of line and my thoracic vertebrae were also “straight”, whatever that means. apparently it’s bad. sophie’s face during the explanation was pretty much one of horror the entire time and the doctor was very animated about the whole thing. she also told me that my neck around my thyroid looked swollen, and that she thinks i have a thyroid issue and i need to get that looked at. thyroid issues do run in the family, so she probably isn’t wrong. so basically this doctor’s advice was to get an x-ray so she could see what was going on with my back and then she would re-align me chiropractor stylez. sophie told me that she had a thyroid problem too and used traditional korean herb medicine and was cured, so i guess that’s what she wants me to do.

either way sophie said that “we need to think about this” and figure out our next course of action. this “expensive” therapy was only 10,000 won. the doctor expected me to feel zero pain after. i did feel better but of course it’s not cured. she said that basically since my entire back is out of line it’s pinching my nerves and causing me to change my posture and is therefore influencing my carpal tunnel. this sounds pretty realistic to me.

anyway, she put these great stickers on me to heal me. consider me healed! not really. but why did i have to come all the way to korea to find out i have all these terrible ailments?