Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease and Other Sundry Things About My Day

When I got in to work today I was informed that one of the elementary school students was going to be home sick with a disease like chicken pox but not chicken pox or the measles. I asked if we could look it up online for the English word. THE KID HAS HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE!!!!!!!!!! I have seen news reports of cases here and there in Seoul but I had no idea there were any cases south of Seoul. My coworker's girlfriend's school had a single case which spread and the entire school had to be shut down for a week so that the place could be professionally sterilized. All I could think was, thank god I only have that class once a week. One of my other student's today was scratching at his hand and I made him show me and ascertained that it was just a mosquito bite. It might be paranoid but I don't want the disease either, not even for a week off of school!

After work, I meant to swing by the gym but somehow ended up going shopping for an hour and a half and spending a lengthy time reading my book over dinner. (Salsa Boy has a Korean class...public school teachers only, don't think I didn't try to join.) The weather is hot and unbearably humid and I need more shorts/cool weather clothing. I ended up buying a new hand bag (about thirty bucks) which also got me a free pair of socks that are pink and white with a giant bunny on them. I am sorely tempted to re-gift them to Salsa Boy as a joke but I will probably wear them when I am nearing laundry day. If anything, my little girls will love them. I bought a cute blue dress that hits my leg just a smidgen above the knee and would be perfect for work, if only it didn't expose the tattoo on my shoulder. I could always slap a big band-aid on it and pretend it's an "ouch." However, it will be perfect for weekends and after work dinner dates.

Outside of the boutique I was accosted by a Jehovah's witness. Why do so many Jehovah's witnesses speak such good English? When they tried to give me their literature I stammered that I was Jewish and 'thanks anyways' and dashed off in the opposite direction. Evangelism always makes me deeply uncomfortable. Aside from being against my religion, it always just seems invasive and brash.

At the next store there was a very helpful saleswoman whose shopping related English was excellent. She chatted with me in between helping me find the most flattering style shorts and figuring out my size perfectly by just glancing at me. Her son is 6 years old and in an English kindergarten program like the one I teach. Apparently he comes home everyday singing English songs to no end. I got the impression that she is getting a bit sick of 'Old McDonald Had a Farm' but overjoyed that he is learning English so quickly. It was a relief to have a helpful salesperson who wasn't pushy but honestly talked to me about which styles would be most flattering for my body type which as she pointed out is hippier than most Korean women BUT that I had very nice, thin legs and not to be embarrassed about wearing shorts. I got an awesome pair of denim shorts and a free cooler, some sort of promo deal. She also helped me get a membership card that gets me discounts at all of these major stores that are linked. I kept getting asked at the check out if I have one but I never knew how to say 'no but I would like one' in Korean. She helped me fill the form out and voila! I am the proud holder of a membership card, the likes of which I have a billion of for stores in NY. Last stop of the day: buying organic face wash and a lip liner which got me a few handfuls of free samples for their other products. I never know how to tell them that since I have no idea what most of them are for I end up throwing them out. However, I like the free masks and cleansers the most since the Korean is a cognate and thus, easy to figure out.

Shopping isn't terribly interesting to post about but I wanted to post about Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (Dear Immune System, Please buck up. Love, Alex) and since I just got home from shopping I wanted to share about that...and all of the ridiculous stuff I got for free. When I go shopping I kind of love that the economy sucks: lots of sales and tons of free goodies. What I should have been doing: going grocery shopping or on a run. But hey, trying clothing on burns calories! I have been eating crackers for breakfast for the past two days because I am out of bread for toast making. E-Mart is lovely for getting everything in one place but it is exhausting. I miss my small town IGA with it's 5 aisles and salespeople that know me personally.

I shall probably spend the rest of the evening dithering on the internet and reading my novel (White Teeth...by someone, I'm too lazy to go look for it just for my blog post).

Korean words learned today (from the Korean kiddie primer I picked up over the weekend): strawberry, banana, peach, apple, squash.

GRE studying done: None. Unless you count practicing multiplying large numbers in my head. Salsa Boy taught me a new method for doing arithmatic in my head which is doing wonders for me. Good activity for walking around the city and shopping.


Nancy K said...

Except for the hand, foot and mouth disease, a fun post. I like hearing about your everyday life. You write so well that no matter what you post about, it's fun to read.

Alex said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the post but since you are the one I usually call about shopping adventures, somehow it doesn't surprise me that you didn't mind reading about them. :-p.

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Gently Spoken said...

'hippier' haha cool ;)
Like Nancy K says, I also enjoy your writing, even if it is about shopping. I've started reading your posts from the beginning. Gonna take a while.

Alex said...

Gently Spoken- I'm glad you are enjoying my blog! It will take you a while to read from the beginning but on the plus side, it isn't going anywhere.