I realize that I wrote in my previous post that it was important to slow down. Little did I realize that a week later I would be forced to slow wayyyy down. With my husband away on travel in China and a friend visiting from Denmark plus a dozen other engagements, I thought I was looking at a busy week. Yes, I also had to work. But, my body did not agree with my plans. The day before my husband left, I came down with… well, something. At first, I thought it was just a cold, but it didn’t quite fit the symptoms. I was coughing but didn’t feel any nasal congestion. My voice, however, sounded like I’d spent a whole night screaming into a microphone at a karaoke bar while smoking a carton of cigarettes.

Feeling like s*** I decided that Tuesday would be designated downtime, spent mostly in bed with my husband bringing me tea and hot noodle soup the moment I called. In exchange, I helped him pack for China. Oh, packing. A skill, which this otherwise pretty awesome guy is utterly lacking. I love to tell people how he once managed to pack only 2 t-shirts, but 12 pairs of underwear, and 5 pairs of socks for an 8-day trip to Barcelona. He totally lucked out that they had just started their July sale season when we arrived, haha. Needless to say, I’ve been in charge ever since.

Then Wednesday rolled around, and I managed to teach my morning class and finish my afternoon tutoring before finally collapsing in bed. Had a terribly sore throat that day, but otherwise felt okay. On Thursday, I canceled my dinner plans with a friend from Denmark who was here on business and decided to stay in all day. That seemed to help, and by Friday I was feeling a little better. So fine that I even ventured out to buy groceries and more over-the-counter meds. Then for some reason, I felt a bit weaker on Saturday and was about to cancel on my friend again, but eventually, I let myself be persuaded to hit a barbecue place in Hongdae.

Sleeping in on Sunday made me feel that I finally felt a bit better, but that lasted only until evening when it took me two hours to fall asleep since I was coughing and wheezing to a point, where I was positive my neighbors would show up at any minute to find out what creature could possibly make such a sound. When I finally fell asleep, I slept like a baby until my alarm told me that it was time to get up in time to deliver my weekly Monday morning 9am show. I managed to do so without sounding like a wheezing dragon, but it did leave me with next to no energy for the rest of the day.

When I finally called my mom to whine about my miserable condition (alone, sick, bored, sick, hungry, sick, tired, sick) my mom urged me to go to the hospital to get checked out. I had been putting it off since I didn’t really have a fever, but I realized that might just be the right thing to do.

I’ve described previously how impressed I am with the Korean health care system, but they really brought their A-game today. A posh lady greeted me by the entrance, asked me if I had visited before, which I confirmed, took my ID and took care of the registration. This is a Korean-only hospital, so I’m registered there as Kim Sohee – my Korean name. I was then told to take a seat in front of exam room 4 and wait for the doctor to call my name. A screen above the door showed that patient 김*희 (Kim *hee, a way of making me partly anonymous to others) was number 3 in line. In less than 10 minutes a nurse came out and called “김소희님~” Kim Sohee-nim! (nim is a Korean honorific attached to names in formal situations). I entered, sat down and explained my condition to the doctor.

After the examination, I left with a prescription for all the good cough drugs available in the market. I paid 15,000 won ($15) for the visit and about the same to have my prescription filled at the pharmacy next door. From I left my house until I came back again only 40 minutes had passed! Affordable and speedy! Top-class indeed. Now, I’m just waiting for the drugs to do their magic. Took the first dose after my dinner, and am just about to hop into bed after a long shower. Thankfully, I’m not teaching tomorrow, but I do have another super important thing, that I need to be fit for. More on that later!


As for my accomplishments this week? Well, I hate to brag, but I did manage to watch a good 50 episodes of Sex and the City! And, now I may just watch another one!


  1. Good to read the system worked for you! My questions were about your Korean name: how did it come about. Is it a simple transliteration or something more? Also, with so many citizens with the same last names, have you run into other (non-Danish!) people with the same Korean name?


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