Monday, October 29, 2012

Back to Niceville

Wow, it's been awhile since my last post.

I humbly apologize.

Most of this delay has been due to things outside of my control, as you will soon find out.

Now, back on Saturday, the 8th of September, I went to Seoul to visit MY.  The two of us lazed around during the day and didn't do much.  Then we headed to a motel near the airport since he had a flight in the morning to Germany.

Neither of us were feeling to good.  I'd had a cough for a bit and he was developing one, but he had to fly out for work.

He was loaded up on medicine from the doctor as he watched me board a bus to Daegu.  As the bus took me to Daegu his plane took off.  Upon reaching Daegu I hopped onto a train down to Changwon.

That week was spent busy at work.

On Friday I went on a late night bike party with Casey, JD, and some other cool people.  This was really fun, but then it started raining and I think that, plus the cold, was not good for my cough.  It got worse over the weekend and I took it really easy.

On Wednesday MY got back and went straight to the hospital.

You see, he'd been progressively getting worse while he was in Germany, until he spent the last two days barely stirring from bed.

Turns out his temperature was a grand 102 F when he was admitted.  They checked his lungs and discovered he had pneumonia.

Guess who got admitted to the hospital?

Now, this was bad for many reasons.

1.  He was in the freaking hospital.  With pneumonia!
2.  I still had a cough that wasn't going away.  So guess who went to the hospital early on Thursday morning?
3.  Our plans for the weekend were destroyed.  Originally he was going to take a bus to Daegu, then drive his car to Changwon, where we were going to pack all my stuff into his car.  Then, on Sunday, he was going to drive back to Seoul.

All of this meant that, on top of getting ready to leave Korea, I had the added stress of finding somewhere else to put my stuff while I was gone, worrying that I was going to come down with bronchitis or pneumonia or something, and the fact that my boyfriend was in a hospital, hours away from me or his family and he has no really close friends in Seoul at the moment.

I went to the hospital on Thursday morning.  I told all my symptoms and the fact that my boyfriend was in the hospital with pneumonia that had developed from bronchitis.

She put me on antibiotics and this nasty pink cough syrup.  I started feeling better right away.

On Saturday I caught a bus to Seoul and went to visit MY in the hospital.  I stayed with him for a couple hours and then went out to go to a jjimjilbang and get something to eat.  I ended up unable to eat anything and came to the realization that my appetite had been decreasing over the past week or two and since I went to the doctor's I'd lost even more of it.  But, I felt better other ways so I just ignored it, figuring the medicine was messing with me.

I stayed the night at the hospital and caught a bus back to Changwon on Sunday around noon.  Once I got back I met up with JD (Who is amazingly awesome and I owe him so much).  He helped me get my stuff out of my apartment, into a taxi, and into his place.  Where he graciously let me store it in his spare room for two weeks.  Granted, for half of that time he'd be in Japan.

Once that was all done we hit up a Gimbap Chingu place for dinner, where JD was first introduced to Omurice (amazing rice omelet thing)

I then went home to my very empty apartment.

MY got out of the hospital on Monday afternoon and went back to work on Tuesday.

My medicine ran out on Tuesday morning and I was still feeling under the weather.  So I went back to the hospital, where she gave me more medicine and also had me get an x-ray, which came out as clean.

I was feeling really poorly still, and then things got worse.  My appetite disappeared completely as my body began revolting entirely.  Over the next few days I made several mad dashes to the restroom.  Which caused me to get rather severe dehydration, so I was downing 2L bottles of water and procari sweat (Korean powerade thing) as much as I could.  Oh, and I was determined not to share any of this with anyone while it was happening because I found it embarrassing, and, also, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to go to Niceville.

I felt like my body was falling apart on me.  Which was made all the worse by the fact that I was taking a plane back to the States in just a few days.

Somehow I made it to Friday morning.

On Friday morning I woke up super early.  Packed up the last of my stuff.  Grabbed a last couple of bags and took them over to JD's in a taxi.  Then I caught a bike to the motel where Casey's replacement, Wilhelm was staying.

Then Casey and I took him to Casey's apartment and Casey then moved his stuff over to my apartment, where'd he'd be staying for his last night.

We took Wilhelm to a toast shop for brunch.  I barely ate a quarter of mine.

Then he got the grand whirlwind tour of Changwon.  Unfortunately I was totally out of it and made four bathroom trips.  I don't know why I even went.  They would've been better off without me.  But crazy me didn't think of that.

It was only after getting back to my apartment that I took my temperature and realized that it was about 100 F...

I took some tylenol and went to work, pulling my suitcase all the way to the school.

I was in such a daze during my last day that I didn't even have a second to miss the kids.  That whole last day is just a long blur.  And it wasn't even a full day.  I left at about 1900.  Esther and Donald helped me catch a taxi to the train station.

Once at the station I got my ticket printed (It was a holiday weekend in Korea, so there were SO MANY people!!!) and made my way through the busy station to my platform.  There I found a nice bench and sat for about 45 minutes reading on my kindle and praying that I wouldn't need  a bathroom during my wait.

Then it was about an hour train ride to my transfer.  Every seat on the train was full and many people were using standing room only tickets.  Luckily I had a seat.  I don't think I could have made it if I was supposed to stand.

At my transfer I got a little confused until I realized that the platform I got dropped off on was the one where my KTX (express) train was coming to.  While I was waiting a nice old Korean man came up to me and practiced his English on me.  He used to live in Detroit for a few years and so was just talking up a storm about Detroit and going to visit his family in Daejeon for the holiday.

I just nodded and smiled while I tried to stay on my feet for the next fifteen minutes.

Oh, and I also prayed that my body would continue to cooperate with me.

When the train came the man helped me put my suitcase in a luggage rack.  Then told me to have a safe trip back to the States.

And then:  I slept.

I just leaned back in my comfy KTX seat and disappeared into nothingness.  I woke up at one point and went to the restroom, but then I just went back to sleep.

I got to Seoul Station at around midnight, where MY met me.  He had arrived earlier and gotten us a motel nearby.  It's really weird though, there are almost no motels near Seoul Station.  We had to walk through a lot of underground subway passages full of sleeping homeless people and then up a long staircase before we got to the motel.

When we got there I showered and then passed out.  He wasn't long behind me, after all, he was still recovering from pneumonia.

We got up early the next morning and made the long trek back to Seoul Station, where we took the subway out to Incheon Airport.  I got my boarding pass and checked my suitcase.  I even paid the extra money to check my red backpack because I felt so horrible that I didn't think I'd be able to deal with it.

MY and I parted ways not long after that.  I went through security, and he went to catch a bus to Daegu.

My flight to Tokyo was lovely.  My stomach was feeling better and so I was able to eat the sushi and chicken that they served as a 'snack'.

Then in Tokyo my flight got delayed due to cabin pressure problems.  They finally let us board about an hour and a half after we were supposed to take off.  About that time was when I was feeling really dizzy, so I checked my temperature and realized that it was about 100.7 F

Once we were in the air we passengers discovered that seven of the eight bathrooms for coach on our 747 were out of order.  THEY were the cause of the cabin pressure problem...

It was a long flight.

Luckily my stomach was getting better, so the bathroom problem wasn't a big issue.

I watched several movies on the plane and also slept a lot.  Unfortunately I was in a middle middle seat so I couldn't get too comfortable.

When we landed in Atlanta I was given a fast pass to get through customs, but ended up not making my connecting flight.

For some reason I couldn't connect to the wifi in Atlanta.  Maybe I was just too tired to figure it out, but it just wasn't working.  So I ended up using this archaic thing called a pay phone!!!  I managed to call my sister collect (I had no American coins and long distance was crazy expensive with coins anyways) since no one else was answering and so let them know that I had missed my flight and wouldn't be arriving until 1900, instead of 1630...

After another long wait in an airport I finally boarded the last plane.  On that flight I got two seats to myself and had a very pleasant conversation with the guy across the aisle from me and the flight attendant.  I like sitting in the back on that short flight.  The flight attendants are always so awesome and friendly.

I finally landed in Niceville a little before 1900 on Saturday, after taking a flight from Seoul 22 hours previously at about 1100 on Saturday.

It was insane.  I felt exhausted as I walked off that plane.

Still, a bounce began to appear in my step as I headed for the escalator.  By the time I got past the security guard a huge grin was on my face.  When I finally saw Apple Jack, Kay-Kay, Elli, and my dad by baggage claim my heart was singing and all the hours of travel just washed away.

It was an amazing feeling, just being able to hug them and see them in person after so long.

I don't know when I've ever felt so happy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Off Again

I'm currently sitting in the Houston Airport and typing this out on my new iPad.  I'll give a more detailed report when I get back to Korea and have time to sit and type.  Until then, this will have to do.

I've had a wonderful visit back to the Panhandle.  In the nine days I was there I accomplished everything I meant to accomplish and saw everyone I wanted to see (except Kristen).  I wish my visit had been longer, but being a working adult, means that my time is not entirely my own.

In about an hour I fly on to San Francisco.  I'll spend the night at a hotel by the airport and at 1100 local time tomorrow I fly on to Seoul.  I'll reach there at about 1500 on Thursday, where I'll be met by someone from my recruiting agency.

I don't start work until the 15th, but I need to transfer my visa on Friday and do all sorts of things like moving in and getting settled.  Hopefully it will all work out.

I'll update more once I'm settled.  Hopefully it won't be too long.

Have a good week!