Life in Korea 한국

Orientation and Allergies Abound


The EPIK Orientation started on Tuesday and has been going through until now. The classes are long and informational, teaching techniques, tips, strategies and lesson planning. I have met a lot of new people in my class most of who are headed to 강원도 (Gangwondo) with me. There are also my friends that I made in 서울(Seoul)  and new friends I am making here in 대전 (Daejeon). I am enrolled in an advanced Korean class although it is a mixed level and was shuffled again, and I was placed in a higher class since my understanding of Korean is good. I switched initially and last minute switched back to the beginner advanced class which is mostly in English. I have really enjoyed the class so far and since it is only 3 days I would like to continue having a fun time.

Last night I broke out in a rash on my upper body, at first I thought it was a heat rash. So I took a cold shower and refrained from putting anything on my skin. I took an antihistamine this morning and I still had the rash on my body. I made a trip to the nurse and she told me I needed to go to a clinic and receive a shot for the allergic reaction. So after asking my teacher, I decided to go there during my lunch break. Talk about being nervous and wondering whether you will be able to communicate correctly about what is happening with your body in a foreign language.

I grabbed a taxi and we drove about 5 mins down the road  to the clinic. I found the entrance and went to the fourth floor. I told the lady in Korean that I had an allergy and I needed a shot. She told me that they do not give shots and I needed to go to the next building to 엠제이피부과 MJ Skin Clinic which was located above starbucks. Now nervous I had to go to a different building I headed out and made my way to the next building. At first I was looking for MJ in English and then realized it was spelled out in Korean. Upon realizing that it took me a few minutes to figure out which door I was supposed to go in to reach the 10th floor of the building.  I finally made my way in and approached the counter with a little apprehension.

The young lady behind the counter asked if I had been before and I told her no. I asked if she needed my passport and I handed it over. She then told me to take a seat after whispering to her colleagues about something.  Just a note that this whole conversation was in Korean. Luckily a few minutes later I was called 크리스 since the computer must not have let my name be typed out any longer. I headed back to the Dr.’s office and was created by a very nice dermatologist who happened to speak English. I was so pleasantly surprised! I had expected to have a conversation in Korean.  Since I am unable to get a shot she prescribed me some antihistamine cream and medication to take once in the morning and once at night. My diagnosis was contact dermatitis.  My skin is still red and I have bumps which are itchy as hell and very warm. She asked what had changed since I left I said I have used all of the same products for about a week and a half now and suddenly broken out in a rash. So for now I am told to stop all products, though it could also be a piece of clothing I wore or something else I came into contact with.

I never thought I would be making a trip to a skin clinic in Korea. Let alone during the first two weeks. The whole ordeal taught me though that motion with your hands and body can convey messages if you do not know the vocabulary. Luckily, I know enough to get by and it has made me proud to realize just how important that is.


As an update the cream cleared up the allergic reaction within two days.

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