Friday, March 21, 2008

A Trip to the Hospital

Okay, don't let the title freak you out too much, this was a planned trip. Well, I use the word "planned" in a very loose sense, really. Sam was told that we both needed to be outside the big church by our apartment at 10:10 on Friday morning and that a car would pick us up to take us to the hospital to complete the medical part of the "getting our Alien Registration Cards so we can begin living life normally" process. So, all we knew was to be on the corner at 10:10 with 70,000 won and someone would pick us up in a car. If we hadn't already been in Korea for a month this would have seemed maybe a little bit sketch, but I think we're beyond that now.

So, sure enough at 10:10ish an actual official school van pulled up to wisk us and three other new teachers from our school away to the hospital. We get to the hospital and have a bit of paperwork to fill out. I think I have gotten the wrong forms so I mention to the guide that mine don't look like everyone elses. He very politely turned them right side up for me. Awesome, this is going well already. While we waited we did a bit of teacher bonding sharing ridiculous stories about going through the new visa process and random things that have happened so far, and we all received eggs from the Easter ladies (that is not their official title, I'm sure, but they were giving out eggs wrapped in tissue paper and a sticker of Jesus coming out of a tulip, so I'm pretty sure that's the gist of it).

After that we were taken upstairs where we had our height/weight/bp/hearing/eye sight tested. And our chest measured. Just the chest. Not entirely sure what that has to do with, well, anything, but nevertheless, Korea now knows how big my bosom is exactly. After that we're told to head down to the chest x-ray area. Sure, why not. After that we are to follow the red line on the floor to the "blood department". There we get lots of blood drawn to test for hepatitis, drugs, AIDS, etc. Then we're handed a cup and told to run off and do our urinalysis. So, Lindsey and I head to the public toilet to do our business. I open the stall and encounter this:

The dreaded squat toilet. I have managed to avoid these thus far, but this time I had no other option. Let me just say that if you are a lady, the best first time to attempt the squat toilet is not, in fact, the drug test scenario requiring both balance and precision. Awkward. Lindsey and I were cracking up by the time we were done, though, which I'm just hoping the medical professionals did not take as a sign that we were actually doing drugs at the moment.

So, that is what roughly 64,000 won will get you in a South Korean hospital (that's the not-with-insurance rate). If we pass we get half refunded. Yeah, if we'd had to have all of that done in the states it would have cost probably twice as much with insurance. Seriously, get it together US! Anyway, we'll find out next week if we passed everything... fingers crossed!


Jessica said...

i think i would have died having to give tons and tons of blood! if you dont pass what happens (although i'm sure you'll pass, i'm really just curious)! love you!

the other mom said...

Ok, measuring the chest thing is a bit suspicious! And the squat toilet is way too funny and your description of collecting the specimen was hilarious! But you have to admit-the toilet paper cover is beautiful!

Allison said...

Oh. wow. What genius came up with a toilet that requires the female to squat, as if stranded outdoors? That is absolutely terrible and hilarious all at the same time.

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Sarah Fox said...

If you hadn't told me what it was I would have thought it was a tiny tiny bathtub.....ewwwwwwwwww.
I also agree the chest thing is suspicious! Did Sam get his chest measured too?