I have been sitting in the doctor’s waiting room for 17 and a half hours.
It’s probably more like three quarters of an hour, but I’m going with feelings rather than facts here. I am dying. I am wearing a mask (it is Halloween after all) and dying. Let me tell you, being a sick white girl in a doctor’s waiting room full of Koreans is not exactly the most comfortable experience. Everyone is staring disapprovingly as I cough the wheezing, rasping, rattling cough of a person at death’s door, and sweat is pouring down my face, soaking my hair and my clothes. People are actually getting up and walking away to wait outside the door.
Poor Jennifer is beside me with her phone, dealing with the catastrophe of 2 out of her 3 foreign teachers being absent on the day of the Halloween party that we were in charge of running. She fires off rapid instructions in Korean to one person after another as I sway miserably beside her. Then she switches to English and covers the phone, motioning to me.
How do you play mummy game? she asks, anxiously. I groan, trying to get my brain to work. Two pairs of children at a time, I say with an effort, and one child in each pair wraps their partner in toilet roll. Then the two mummies have to race to the finish line.
Jennifer nods, and switches back to Korean, at which point everyone who has remained in the waiting room begins to grin. I realise that it is probably not the most normal thing in the world for someone in a doctor’s waiting room to be issuing instructions about wrapping small children in toilet roll and then racing them.
And here I am with a mountain of Tamiflu and various other pills which could be poison for all I know, having slept all day and woken up in a pool of sweat again. Funny. Koreans were reluctant to let me into their country in case I brought disease and infected them all. And I arrived in their country perfectly healthy, and they infected me!
I really hope I don’t get fired. Or, y’know, die.
This just in: Clare has just come up to see me, and we sat in our pyjamas and coughed miserably at each other. The good news, however, is that they’re closing the school until at least the end of next week, as about half the kids and several of the teachers are now off sick. One little boy from one of my classes (the one from yesterday’s post, who sneezed on me) is actually in hospital, poor thing. The school was just a breeding ground for germs, disinfectant man or no disinfectant man! So at least I now have the best part of a week to try to recover without feeling guilty about not being at work…