Friday, November 14, 2008

Allergic to Shrimp and Soccer in Suwon and Guy Stuff, too

I have had a tough week: bad allergic reaction to food, more American friends acting like psycho-tourist haters and whores (for beer and attention, apparently, American women in Seoul will do anything for you,) and I just found out I need to prepare an entire year of lessons by the end of February for two grades.

Now, I am not hating Korea. I love it here. And the teaching challenges are good for me and my craft. I just need to stay away from Americans.

And shrimp, too. I have always said I am allergic to shrimp. Honestly, I had recently begun believing that I have always claimed an allergy because I hate the taste of shrimp. Instead of confessing my fear of tasting new things, I just said, "I'm sorry, I'm allergic...". I guess at some time many years ago I must have discovered that I am allergic to shrimp and forgot about the incident completely. After eating something made with shrimp and shrimp paste Sunday night, I ended up in the hospital with what could have become a full-blown anaphylactic attack. I almost stopped breathing, my face and throat and chest were red, and my lips were swollen. Fortunately, I acted fast enough and took a taxi to a close hospital--with the help of my teachers and their friends via phone. The doctors hooked me to an IV and an hour later my symptoms subsided. With three days of steroids and meds, I am fine again.

On the bright side, I am playing soccer at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Sunday. I will have photos.

Also on the bright side, I have happily learned how to make friends with guys again. I have had my hate on for men since childhood. And my male companionships have always been dicey. I hit my last male buddy so hard, I knocked his tooth out. No kidding. But that could have been the alcohol. In Korea, guys get along. They look out for each other. It's ok to touch another man to show affection. That might be part of it. Men have plenty of masculinity issues here, don't get me wrong. It's simply nice to be able to hang out with other men and not have to suffer privately all my problems.

Visited the Contemporary Art Museum today. It was a joy. I will write about this and more after some rest.

I bought postcards, finally. I am going to try and write my friends at home. So off to the other corner of my flat--ten feet from this corner. (heh.)

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