Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Month?!

I had no idea it had been so long since I last posted.
Well, I haven't had anything exciting going on, so I guess there was nothing to post about. I was too busy finishing the semester (the penultimate course for my master's!) to knit or anything else, really.
At school, I'm teaching SAT classes from 9-1 and then my usual schedule (2:30-8:30), so I still don't have much of a life even though I finished the class I was taking.
After much leg work on my mother's part, I was able to secure a criminal background check for my visa renewal. Since I haven't lived there since 1991, I'm sure no other place in the world would consider that a valid check, but I'm not anywhere else, I'm in Korea. I also got my medical, which was the usual fun of a Korean doctor's office.
So, I'm sitting in the (full) waiting room while the nurse tries to figure out exactly which drugs I'm supposed to be tested for, when she realizes she's forgotten an important question. Rather than call or motion me over, she shouts, "Ms. Jennifer, Ms. Jennifer, are you having your period?"
There is an older woman there who is afraid something might get lost in translation, so she starts calling out possible English translations (she never did get it right), while the other nurse starts calling out all the Korean euphemisms I am likely to have heard before. Nurse #1 later realized she had forgotten another important question, so we replayed the scene, replacing "chronic illness" and "medications" for "period."
I then got to give the crowd (okay, about seven or eight people) a thrill when they got to see me get weighed. Koreans are always very curious about my weight, which always makes me want to answer, "I weigh enough to crush you like a bug, so don't tempt me!"
In the hospitals defense, they went to a lot of trouble to make sure I was taken care of. A candy striper (or something similar) walked me through the correct lines, because it was set up like the DMV-- it took three lines to set up the physical. She then walked me to the first testing area. Shortly after the nurse got through shouting her way to a medical history, a guy showed up to translate for me. He stayed with me the rest of the visit (about an hour) to make sure I didn't have any communication problems. From what he said in passing to other employees, I gathered that his job was to babysit the elderly and foreigners. ;-)
I called my school before I left the hospital to make sure I had done everything and the secretary asked if she could pick up the results, because it would interfere with my teaching schedule. In typical Korean fashion, the rule is, if the tests are normal, anyone can pick them up, otherwise, only the patient. One would think that they could a) contact the patient in case of abnormal results, or b) seal the results in an envelope, but clearly that is not the case.
Anyway, with medical records (yea! I don't have TB!) and criminal background check in hand, I went to immigration day before yesterday and renewed my visa. Either they finally have enough copies of my diploma and transcripts on file (at least half a dozen) or that was last year's issue and now they are on to drugs and molestation.
Total cost: around US$250, not counting the gas money I paid my mom for the inordinate amount of running around she had to do.
That's pretty much been the height of excitement around here.
I've finally got a project on the needles, but it isn't getting anywhere fast. I'm not sure about my yarn choice, so I'm not bothering to take pictures. I've posted the finished pattern. I started with block three, because there are no nupps or other weird design elements in the center pattern. Of course, what I really ought to be doing is knitting something for my mom to take when I go home, but I'm pretty stingy about my knitting...

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