Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Falling Over and Hallucinations

Yesterday, I mentioned that I fell over laughing. Today I shall disclose the story that caused this incident. Originally I had planned to do a more intellectual piece on an article I read last week about education in Korea and a recent United Nations commentary on it.  Unfortunately, last week I was super swamped at work (and sick) and now I can't find the article and after 30 minutes of searching the internet I still can't find it. I'm starting to think I hallucinated reading that the UN said that keeping children in school late at night in South Korea is a human rights infringement. If anyone read the article I think I read and wants to link me, I'd LOVE YOU. A lot. I want to research it more....

Anyways, here is the story:

As most of the K-blog community knows, upon arrival in Korea there is a mandatory health check. Now, Cragon is out in Tongdosa where there aren't a whole lot of English speakers. Not to mention, the ability to interpret thick accents and obscure sentence syntax is an acquired skill. Here is how the initial conversation went.

Co-worker: You need four pee thousand.
Cragon: ....?
Co-worker: Four. PEE.  Thousand. For medical test.
Cragon: Oh, okay. 
Cragon took this to mean he needed to bring in 40,000ml of pee...as in urine. He knew there was a urine analysis for the drug test and being a fresh arrival in Korea had no idea what the medical service was like. So after work, Cragon went to the store to buy a special plastic container/cup to carry his pee around with. At the store, he was overcome with insecurity. Was there a special shape or piss bottle he need to buy?

The night before the test was spent drinking water so he could get the 40,000 ml of pee.  The next day, he put the container of pee in his bag (in a plastic bag) and went to work. He ended up going the whole day, carting around his piss in a cup.

At the medical center, he finally realized they meant forTY thousand....as in 40,000 won to cover the cost of the test.

I fell over laughing by the time he told me about buying the cup. I came close to peeing my pants, which would have been a fitting ending to the story.

Sometimes it's nice to know that I'm not the only spaz on the planet. Though to be fair, if this was my story I probably would have tripped over my bag and had the jar break and spill in the middle of class with all of my students there to wonder what on earth I was doing carting around my urine.


eraponte said...

Now that's a good story. THIS NO MY PEE!!!!!

Kyle Crum said...

I actually did spill my urine all over the bathroom at the hospital. I tried to explain that there was no more left in me, but they just gave me another cup and said "urine". Needless to say, I drank a lot of water for the next 45 minutes to fill that stupid thing again.

Nancy K said...

I was glad I was sitting down when I read this! The best laugh.
Love the new look of your blog.

Alex said...

This year I had to go twice. They declared that any CAFFEINE would throw the drug test. Seriously. They made me go THREE DAYS WITHOUT COFFEE. Cruel and unusual punishment for a teacher. :-p

Mr. Awesomecool said...

They told us we would have to pay the "pee of 40,000" too, they also said no food or water for 12 hours before the test. We did the no food part, but no water? How the fuck does water throw a drug test?

Alex said...

They said no food for me but I could have water. The caffeine thing almost killed me. I've been a hard core coffee/tea addict since high school. Dealing with people....having to think....or move without caffeine is cruel and unusual punishment for me. I've heard of fancy drug tests in the states from employers and the only thing they've ever warned about is chronic poppy seed bagel eaters. Oh Korea, you are special!

Josh said...

WOW!!!!that is friggin hilarious!!!! isn't 40,000mL the same as 40L?????? That is one BIG cup....... As for water in a drug test.... who knows

and yes, depriving anyone (let alone such an addict as yourself) of caffeine for 3 days might be considered cruel and unusual punishment! Did you get detox shakes? ;)

Alex said...

No...but I had the caffeine withdrawal headaches for sure.