Monday, November 17, 2008


I'm sorry to say that I spent most of the weekend moping. Friday night I had a couple of drinks at Psycho but oddly, there were more Koreans than expats! The bartenders were a bit baffled by this too. I normally don't mind the mix but there wasn't anyone to talk to and I got bored and left. Saturday morning I made the trek into Itaewon for my appointment with my orthepedist.

Apparently I messed up the ligaments in my ankles at 3 points. Unfortunately, this doctor's English wasn't quite as good as the last one and I had to rely on my interpretor a bit more. It's basically just a bad sprain but it means that I need physical therapy 3 times a week and I can't do any real physical activity for a couple of months. The doctor gave me some better prescription joint pain medication (along with a stomach protector), a recommendation for a physical therapist closer to home (I can't trek an hour everyday for physical therapy, it just doesn't make any sense) and told me to stay off my feet as much as possible. I laughed at this. I teach 6 year olds. Physical therapy in Korean should be interesting. I had to have my supervisor call to make the appointments and I have a piece of paper extensively detailing my injury in Korean (since I can't tell them) and what the doctor recommended. No real exercise, but stretches, massage and maybe gentle exercise in a few weeks.

As much as the verdict didn't surprise me, it depressed me. I miss moving, being active--and not being in pain all the time. So I took the pain killers and went Hanukkah shopping in Insadong, a touristy neighborhood nearby. I hate shopping sometimes. I feel like I'm expected to get people something 'Korean' and all I can think of are the funny metal chopsticks they use here. I spent the rest of the weekend eating, sleeping and moping in my apartment. Extremely lame. Until Sunday night when I went to a house warming party at a friend's new apartment and cheered up a bit.

I eat sam gip sal about three times a week at a restaurant less than a block away from my apartment. The side dishes are a self serve refill at a little bar on the far side of the room. I suppose since they notice how I slowly shuffle/limp in and out of the restaurant, they've started refilling my dishes as they get low instead of making me get up and get my own. It's really nice. Walking is the bane of my existence these days.

I shall try to stop having a pity party and do other things instead of rock climb or explore Seoul but for the weekend, I indulged myself. Sometimes you just need to mope.


Nancy K said...

I can certainly commiserate with the pain part. Physical therapy will really help and before you know it you'll be feeling better.

Chris said...

:( you have every right to mope all you want. I really do wish I was there to help :/. You'll be active before you know it! . Oh, and whats Sam Gip Sal?

from the ever positive chris :P.

Jessica said...

I agree, sometimes you just need to mope. I actually envy your low key not doing anything/moping day. I'd kill for a day off where I don't have to stress about school. I am serious about sending you Spanish/French books if you want them. I hope the physical therapy makes you right as rain!

Alex said...

Sam gip sal is... well it's thin (and short) strips of pork that you fry yourself at the table. Sort of like bacon only it tastes nothing like bacon right. Anyways when it's cooked then you can just eat it but the best thing to do is eat it true Korean style:

1. dip (lightly) in sea salt
2. dip in this yummy red sauce which is made from hot peppers but mixed with sugar so it isn't spicy just incredibly amazing. at least i think that's how they make it.
3. take a largish piece of romaine lettuce and put the meat in the center (lettuce in the left hand, chopsticks in the right)
4. add fried garlic (you fry up chopped slices with the meat)
5. add this incredibly amazing raw onion that has been marinated in some sort of sauce
6. add a very small amount of rice
7. wrap up the lettuce around all of this into a ball and pop it in your mouth.
It sounds complicated but it's really not--so long as you are adept at using chopsticks. Being able to do this all impresses Koreans the first time since they seem to be surprised (often, not always) by westerners using chopsticks with any degree of proficiency.