The $58 fruit fly: my experience with emergency medical assistance in Korea.

So I had probably the worst night of my life in Korea, and all because of a stupid fruit fly!!

Was fucking around, reading some late night mcspirk when a fly buzzes around my ear and i go to swat it away. It decides to take refuge IN MY EAR. Obviously I panic and start batting at my ear. It decided TO FLY IN DEEPER.

AND THEN IT GETS STUCK IN THERE. At first I’m like: okay WHAT DO. As batting at my ear wasn’t making it better, I panic and start shaking while I’m trying to type on my phone what do when things in your ear. and then it starts buzzing and then it starts ACHING. And then the hyperventilating starts.

That’s when I was like I CAN’T DO THIS I’M HAVING A PANIC ATTACK AND I CAN’T DO THIS. so I look up emergency numbers. The one I remembered offhand wasn’t picking up (the 02-1339) for some reason so I just was like ‘you know what, they must have someone who speaks English on 119’

I called 119 and they didn’t have anyone that spoke English. I start panicking some more. They said ‘AMBULANCE?’ I’m like ‘NO ENGLISH SPEAKING MEDICAL PHONE HELP?’ because there is no way I can afford an ambulance, even in Korea right now with just going to Japan and a huge country move and the possibility of Rome and Greece.

All I really wanted was some advice and whether or not I should go to the hospital or if I’m just being paranoid and there was things I could do at home instead so I don’t waste anyone’s time. But he insists for my address and I give it to him.

Five minutes later, the ambulance arrives with a wheelchair and I’m like ‘I JUST HAVE A BUG IN MY EAR.’ and they look at me with judging eyes. I was like ‘I’M SORRY I’M A FOREIGNER I TRIED TO TELL HIM…’ but they were like…whatever, come with us.

So they take me in the ambulance to the hospital right down the road. I’m still in the middle of a panic attack and everyone is staring at me because I’m a foreigner who looks like they’re having a panic attack. because I’m HAVING A PANIC ATTACK.

The nurse, bless her soul, is the only one who seems to not be judging, only really eager to get my information and smiles really kindly and I finally calm down to a simmer of anxiety.

The doctor comes over about 10min later with a scope and REALLY LONG SCARY TWEEZERS OF DEATH. and I’m wide-eyed and the trauma nurses are looking on with interest from across the way. He proceeds to try to DIG IT OUT OF MY EAR. I’m OBVIOUSLY unable to stay still because he’s DIGGING INTO MY EARDRUM WITH THE TWEEZERS OF DEATH. He’s impatient and can’t get at it because he just can’t see it. It’s small and digging its way further into my ear. And I’m here panicking because first of all, in a place I’m unfamiliar with, and two, there’s a FUCKING BUG STUCK IN MY EAR AND YOU’RE TWEEZERING INTO ME WITH THE TWEEZERS OF DEATH.

Obviously I am ridiculously close to fainting by now and the trauma nurses are trying really hard not to stare and giggle at my plight as they watch as I grimace in pain as he pokes and prods repeatedly into my ear.

Finally, after about 5 tries, he gives up and calls a different doctor. This doctor is the ear, nose, throat doctor, the one that people usually go to for shit like severe colds and stuff. The lead me toward this doctor, who is located on the other side of the hospital.

I come in and he’s like ‘sit here’ and turns on this machine that makes this horrible whirling noise.

I remember this noise. this noise is the noise from that time they sucked stuff out of my nose and traumatized me from Korean hospitals. I try not to cry from fear.

He puts a scope into my ear, tells me something in Korean and then I feel a burning in my ear. I ask ‘why does it hurt’ in whining Korean but he’s already got the sucker going into my ear and I can feel the fly fighting for its life as it buzzes insistently in my ear.

And then it’s gone.

The pain, the horrible buzzing, it’s all gone.

I rejoice with the man who has become my saviour and he looks at me with amusement and tells me to go back to the emergency room. I almost skip all the way there and give a little cheer and am promptly embarrassed when the security guard hears me and gives me a shibrow.

The doctors and nurses watch as a waltz in again and they smile at my smile. they know I’ve been cured. they ask, curiously, what it was. I told them it was a small bug. a fruit fly as I had suspected. they seemed unimpressed but I was like ‘that dude could have done major damage who cares if it was small’

And then I had to face the biggest problem of it all. beyond the pain or the buzzing or the anxiety that had evaporated along with my passenger.

The Bill.

Now, I have been living here in Korea for quite the while, so I’m not particularly scared of bills when it comes to medical. but I took an AMBULANCE. to the EMERGENCY ROOM. and that just SCREAMS debt in the worst ways.

As I took my medical sheet over to the ‘home base’ as the doctor had called it when I had asked where to go next, the cashier seemed unconcerned by my trepidation. it was a long night for him as well I’m sure.

He rings me up.

57,800 won. I blink. I ask if card was okay. It was.

For those of you who don’t know the conversion, that’s about 58$. For an ambulance and emergency services. I know I shouldn’t be shocked but i was. I mean yeah, I knew medical was the cheapest in Korea but that should have cost way more than just 58$. I took an AMBULANCE for christ’s sake.

58$ and a panic attack. that should be the title of my memoirs. or at least the blog post I’m going to make of this. The moral of the story is to not have panic attacks when flies buzz their way into your ear. Or, at least to my American friends out there, not to panic over the medical bill whist in Korea.


Fan life in Korea: Sukira

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Super Junior’s Kiss the Radio is one of the main things you’ll experience as a fan in Korea. Even if you’re not a fan of Super Junior members, you’ll still enjoy being able to see your favorite star grace the small little box that is the Sukira radio studio. This is a great opportunity to get a glimpse of your idol even if it’s just a five second look in the lobby or the hour or two spent by the studio (if you can get close enough to the glass, that is…)

In this particular video, I went to see Heechul at his very first come back to Super Junior and it was quite crazy. So many people! A matter of course when you have one of Korea’s most beloved coming around for a visit, especially right after military service! This shows Sukira on one of it’s busiest nights so that you know what to expect. It can be both a wild night, or a calm every day sort of thing (if you’re a Super Junior fan). I suggest going at least once because what is life if not being able to brag that you’ve went?

If you want to visit yourself, I suggest you visit my official post on how to get to Sukira here. Thanks for watching!

Fan Life in Korea: A Day at Inkigayo

Everyone who is a K-pop fan knows about Inkigayo. It’s a program that has been on air for the last 13+ years and has had every big name you can think of gracing it’s stage. It is also a staple diet for any person is a Kpop fan and lives in Korea.

I’ve already gone and made you a comprehensible guide on how to get to and get into Inkigayo (which you can find if you click here), but Inkigayo is more than just lining up and getting in and seeing your idol; it’s a very social experience. Most of the friends you’ll make in the fandom you’ll make at Inkigayo (or any other of the music shows, really). Standing in line from 5 o’clock in the morning until about 6 at night is a great bonding experience. It also passes a lot of time if you have someone to talk to during those long waiting hours.

Now that I’ve done Inkigayo so many times I’ve kind of lost my motivation to go so early. I now get there almost close to staff calling time and leave immediately after the recording, not even bothering to stay for the live show. It’s not like I can get in with my atrocious number anyway.

Though this was one of the few instances where I did stay for the entire day if only because Henry decided to have a mini fanmeeting after his recording. Perfect for me, who adores this mochi-cheeked violinist with all her fangirl heart.

And what Super Junior fanmeet would be complete without a surprise guest, this time in the form of a very enthusiastic Ryeowook who showed up with purple hair and a ‘Trap’ balloon, waving it cutely from front row.

Henry was adorably speechless for most of the fanmeet. He really had no idea what to say! After his introductions and expressing his thankfulness for our support, he stuttered and laughed, looking around at the staff for an idea of what to say. Usually he’d have an assemblage of band members who were eager to chime in with their own two cents, but he was alone and it was obvious he had nothing planned.
Not that we minded, of course. The fans were happy to give him suggestions, asking if he’d do Gwiyomi for us. He did it somewhat halfheartedly, claiming that it was “Sungmin-hyung’s job” to do the Gwiyomi.

You’re all alone Henry, it’s now your job *cackles insanely*

Though Inkigayo can sometimes be a very long and tiring day, it’s little things like this that make it totally worth my while.