Quick Updates: 1) The culture shock of having moved to Korea is really working me. 2) I finally found western toilets! It’s in the Grade 1-3 building behind our building. It’s a bit of a walk and often you’ll see me in bundled coat, scarf, Korean sandals- quickly shuffling between classes with a roll of toilet paper under my armpit. It’s because the toilet paper container is always empty. 3) My Korean co-teacher and I aren’t “best-ies” as some other folk are with theirs. It’s a little depressing. I’ll give our relationship a bit more time before giving up; 4) Being a Vegetarian in Korea is my current formidable obstacle (you will hear from me as soon as I can say “starving”); 5) What is The Korean Crud?…
Beware of “The Korean Crud”
Before I came to Korea, I was researching what to prepare for and I stumbled upon a forum posting that said, “Watch out for the Korean Crud”.
First, you can’t really watch out for it.
It either gets you or it doesn’t and if you’re a newbie to this country, chances are you’ll be greatly susceptible to it.
I had seen this name surfacing in enough postings to get the impression it’s fairly common.
What is it?
I hate that no one is ever really specific.
People say it’s a really bad cold that get when you arrive, because your western body has never had to develop an immunity to Asia’s bacteria and viruses.
I hate mysteries that leave you hanging…
What does Korea have that the rest of Asia doesn’t to make The Crud… Korean… is anyone’s guess.
Is it like Delhi belly? Do you vomit? Have a stomachache, diarrhea, flu? …
Anyone out there know? Please feel free to clue a GRRRL in…
Whatever it is, it seems to have a handful of newbie EPIK teachers dropping like flies now with some of those symptoms.
I’ve not gotten it yet–perhaps its cause I just got my flu shot, I just fought a cold before coming up and am all Vitamin C’d out or maybe it’s the fact I’ve had a clenched stomach and am a picky- and almost starving, now…- vegetarian whose safe staple has been tofu, kimchi and yogurt. If I’ve survived a week’s worth of squat toilet training (imaginably where the “worst Asian bacteria” must be), then I must have passed clearance on The Crud.
But I’ll knock on wood for safety…
… A Day Later
I just came down with some cold.
Fortunately, I was smart to pack multi-symptom cold medicine for an occasions such as this.
But I’ll also try my hand at foreign prescriptions. Korea seems pretty advanced medically, so I’ll hand my health over to them eventually.
My landlord’s daughter, Liz (her English name) came and introduced me to the neighborhood pharmacy (a block away). She helped me buy over-the-counter meds. Having the help of someone Korean during this time, makes me feel a little better. Mostly it feels nice that someone cares. This makes a world of difference.
But I’ll keep you posted on that Crud thing…