Man oh man it was a good weekend! I really like living in Gwangju. I feel settled, finally, and I really really really like the friends I've made here! Here's a little bit about my amazing weekend:
(Ok, this part's not amazing, but it was essential to make me feel better so I could enjoy the amazing that was to come! Plus it's one of those day-to-day things that I'd be interested in if one of my friends moved overseas, and those are the things I want to post for all you folks.) Thursday, I finally went to a doctor because my ribs hurt SO bad. He spoke great English and told me that all the coughing caused a strain in my inter-coastal cartilage and the muscles around my ribs. That's why it felt like I'd bruised or broken my ribs from coughing so hard! He told me that I need rest for 10 days, aka no coughing, to heal my inter-coastals. So he referred me to a family practice doctor who didn't speak English well, but used his handy English medical phrasebook to direct the visit. Some of the phrasing was a little suspect... when he wanted me to lift my shirt so he could listen to my breathing with the stethoscope, he said "take off your clothes," to which I was like WHAT? and then I realized that he just meant "lift up your shirt a little." Turns out that I've had bronchitis (among other things) for a couple weeks. He gave me a prescription for drugs and little packets of antibiotics (which were delicious) to knock out what ails me. Sweet! (The doctor also said no alcohol or coffee for 3 days while I was taking the medicine... oops... Friday night I definitely had a glass of wine and on Saturday I plumb forgot and ordered a coffee while out with a few friends. I'm sure I'll be fine, though) Anyway, I went down to the little pharmacy that I passed on the way in and they hooked me up, and all-in-all my doctor visit and meds totaled 24,500 won, or $21.63, without insurance. Legit.
On with the amazing weekend!
Friday, I got my Alien Residency Card, which makes me an official person in South Korea!! It was also PAYDAY so I got my first official paycheck!!! That paycheck is also in my new bank account, which I got to set up because I have my ARC. It is such a relief to know that I have money in the bank, and that I can use my debit card at the grocery store and not freak out if I don't have enough cash for my groceries... There have been many times that I've had to put things back cause I didn't bring enough cash to the store. Those days are over!
Friday night, the group of teachers from my school all went out to this western buffet, which included ALL SORTS OF THINGS like salads, soups, pork ribs, chicken, pastas, etc, desserts, a waffle bar, wine on tap, cokes, and specialty coffees. Yum!!!! After dinner, I went over to watch a documentary about healthy juicing at a friend's place. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have to buy a juicer now and juice all my fruits and veggies. We sampled some and they're quite delicious :)
The rest of the weekend, I used some of my new money in my new bank account to do some much awaited shopping! There's a great flea market page on facebook that lets folks buy and sell their stuff when they move. I've done some exchanges here and there, bought a nightstand and a portable heater, an extension cord, etc. None of that compares to my big Saturday purchase though :) I had been thinking about learning how to play piano again while I'm here, cause I love it and miss it. Lo and behold, someone posted about a keyboard for sale and I snatched it up! It's a portable grand piano, it came with a stand, a petal, and a carrying case. It's a Yamaha, which is a good brand of keyboard. I. am. so. excited! I pluged it in as soon as I got home from the meet/drop with its former owner (who's a really neat guy going back to the states with his little family to do some fundraising for another facebook friend of mine who's doing ministry in Thailand. Small world, right?). It plays so nicely! Just like a beautiful Yamaha keyboard should. It's got volume control, so I won't blare out my neighbors, and it's even got headphones so I can play for my ears only. My mama's going to mail me a piano book that I bought a couple years ago when I took some lessons at A&M UMC so I can keep teaching myself. I've already got a friend lined up to give me a couple of supplemental lessons too. Did I mention that it's so beautiful?? The only (small) problem is that I literally don't have room for it in my tiny apartment. I need to rearrange some and figure out some way that I can leave it set up and still have room to walk without knocking it over.
Saturday was an eventful flea market page shopping day, cause I also got a great deal on a (very) used toaster oven and a bunch of spices and stuff that the girl was getting rid of. Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for teaching me how to use walk-away power. Now I can bake!!! Next step is to get a surface to set it on in my kitchen. I have zero horizontal space. Zero. That's not an exaggeration. I have a sink and a stove and 2 cabinets and a fridge. No counter, no drawers. I've even been using my multi-function tabledesk as a pantry. All in good time.
The rest of Saturday was spent hanging out with good friends. One of my friends got a rescue kitten (poor dear, she'd been attacked, but she's better now) and I went over to hang out and have coffee (oops) and play with the kitty! Sooo precious! Then some of us went out for samgyeopsal, which is about the same thing as galbi, just a different type of grill-on-your-table meat. After dinner was an open mic night sponsored by the Gwangju Vagina Monologues, then a going away party downtown, followed by late-night nachos at a friend's food truck (mmmm!!!). It was an eventful evening!
Today (Sunday), I went out to eat with friends after church, as usual. We went to a bar that doubles as a "Mexican" food restaurant during the day and had breakfast burritos. Eggs, refried beans, bacon, all wrapped up in a tortilla with salsa and sound cream. They were awesome. I don't know where they found sour cream here, cause I've looked and can't find it! One of my church friends has a car, so we went to HomePlus (giant awesome superstore) where I got a couple more things that I've been wanting, like a magic bullet-style blender! My kitchen is equipped now! I can cook, bake, and blend! What more could a girl want?
I have been so blessed here. I'm sure I'll say it 1000 times, but I have found some incredible friends. They make life so full! I'm really starting to feel settled now that I can buy things to make my apartment more "mine" and homey. The piano, the toaster, the blender, such great improvements to this little space. It's the little things that we often take for granted that made this weekend so very great. I really like living here. And I really enjoyed this lovely, warm, spring weekend!