Ruby Ramblings


Another Day Down in the South Korean Quarantine
May 27, 2009, 11:00 am
Filed under: South Korea Quarantine, Travel | Tags: , ,

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Today was a day of positive movement. The air-conditioning got fixed. (YEAH!) We got new masks, and a nice doctor who is fluent in English came around and handed out information on H1N1 and asked if we had any questions.https://therubycanary.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=436&message=1

My roomie and I had an interesting dinner experience. They have been bringing menus from Korean restaurants around for us to order from the pictures, since most of us haven’t been here long enough to be familiar with Korean food. J. said he was told western restaurants are too dirty so he should only eat Korean food. This may be true, I don’t have enough experience to know.

My roommate and I coincidentally ordered the same thing. The nice helpful ladies who come to take our food orders seemed a little hesitant and I think may have been trying to sway me to something else. In the picture it looked like fresh meat and vegetables with rice and some soup on the side. What came looked like fried intestines with a soup the consistency of duck sauce with some really slimy seaweed in it. All in all it wasn’t bad, we were feeling adventurous. But the funny part was that they only brought us the plate and bowl that had the fried stuff and duck sauce soup in it, and two pairs of chopsticks. After being told continually that we need to WEAR OUR MASKS and STAY AWAY FROM EACH OTHER even in our rooms, it was apparently okay to share a plate. I love to share food, I think it’s the best sign of friendship. But maybe another time.

I had to find our amazing translator (one of the fellow quarantine-ees who is multi-lingual and got handed the job of translating, making all announcements, and generally keeping us all sane), and ask for another set of plates and bowls.

Good thing I did because tonight I appear to have a significantly raised temperature, although otherwise I feel great. I’ve been hovering around 36 C and then yesterday I dropped down to 34 and tonight I’m at 39.4. Maybe there’s a dip before the rise? Maybe sitting with the laptop on my lap all day raised my temp?

I know that some people are having a hard time with their hagwons, but I wanted to point out that ours is being amazingly supportive. They have reassured us we are not getting deported, not loosing our jobs, and have sent a representative to be a communicator inside the building. One of my trainers has been e-mailing and keeping in touch to check up on us. I feel like they are really involved in our well being and making sure after this is over that we can get on with what we came here for – to teach and enjoy living in Korea. They also sent a bunch of supplies today from books, to snacks, to new toothbrushes, all the stuff we need to make it through the next, gulp, week.

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3 Comments so far
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“it was apparently okay to share a plate”–yeah, when I arrived on Ganghwa island in 2005 and went to my first communal Korean restaurant type meal I was totally freaked out by how people were ‘double-dipping’ (more like eternal-dipping, lol, can I say that?) into the soup pot, and other dishes . . .

It’s amazing how many cultural blind-spots there are in the framework of running a quarantine in Korea . . .somebody in your group could probably co-author a policy research paper on Cross-cultural differences in Korean quarantine procedures: Recommendations for raising awareness and reforms” . . . I expect to be footnoted if that happens–wink, wink.

3 days to go–FIGHTING! (Korean expression for “You can do it!”)

Comment by Jason

The last I heard we weren’t getting out until next Tues., but things may have changed. I don’t know. Maybe shoot for Tuesday and be happy if we get out on Sunday.

Comment by therubycanary

I’m glad you’ve had visitors and BOOKS and support to help pass the time.

Speaking of cultural context, I was thinking that there are times I dream of having days to myself to sleep, read, websurf – a chance to slow down and let my batteries recharge. But if I were forced to take such a break, it would not be at all the same or very enjoyable.

Context is like a house of mirrors!

Comment by Jim Kloss




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