Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Few Nice Words About Korea

Every so often you hear someone complain that Koreans are a bunch of rude, neo-Confucians who would just assume run a foreigner over as look at one.

I think that is only the motorcycle delivery guys. And I don't think it has any relationship to race or country of origin. ;-)

When my knee was all asploded, walking caused me considerable pain and it must have been obvious even on my stoic and craggy features (Did I say "handsome?"). Everywhere I went, Koreans stopped to help me. The helped me get down stairs, they helped me flag down cabs, they helped me walk up and down hills, they asked if I was all right. Cabbies rushed out of their cabs to help me get out without further crippling myself. By the time I could walk half-normally I had worn out all the kamsamneeda ("thank you") and kwenchanayo ("I'm OK") muscles in my face.

On Friday I went up to the District Office to see if there was anyone there to help me at the hospital, but all the English speakers were out to a late lunch. So I grabbed a cab home and rested the thing all Saturday. This worked out well enough that on Sunday I was able to go out with the Chatjip folks and stump all around Seoul.

The outpouring of spontaneous assistance culminated in the student who came to my class Monday morning and handed me an industrial-strength knee brace.


I'm reasonably certain no student in the US would ever have even thought of such a thing.

Now the knee is better to the extent that even though I banged it, last night, into a wooden planter outside the Buy Right (or whatever) I can walk on any surface and rotate the thing torsionally (for a while there, putting on socks was about a 20 minute exercise in pain and sweat - a lot like sex, now that I think about it).

And now, finally, I DO have health insurance (as it turns out I did NOT have it prior to going to the office and complaining that I thought I didn't have it), but that came with a kind of a joker...

which is a post for tomorrow, I suppose..

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