Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Korea. now.

A lot seems to be happening in South Korea these days.

First the former president, Roh Moo-Hyun jumped off a cliff (for which they are no anticipating copy-cats???)

Now they have swine flu. Or, at least, the foreigners there do. Foreigners are being tested for the flu (I have some friends there who have been randomly tested), and many are being quarantined en masse. The news articles only mention 15 foreigners being quarantined, but there are a lot more than that according to those actually in the quarantine - more than 50!!! Koreans are now even more afraid of the dirty foreigners than they always seemed to be. One friend sneezed on the bus and ended up with the entire half of the bus to herself!!! Koreans are great at generalizing. One foreigner (or a few) gets the flu and they think all foreigners have it. On a positive note, maybe it will make taking a sick day a bit easier! Sometimes foreigners get sick, call in sick and are forced to work. I've been so sick I couldn't talk, with really bad tonsilitis and other infection that affected my gums and ears. I still had to work. They told me to just not talk as loud.
I guess kimchi didn't work this time around (There were claims that kimchi was the reason SARS didn't come to Korea.) ;)
OH!!! Apparently "ALL foreign teachers who enter the country after May 11, 2009 are required to do a home quarantine for 7 days before returning to school.
During the quarantine, you are required to stay home and wear a mask if leaving the house temporarily to run errands such as grocery shopping. At the end of the 7 day quarantine, you must visit a public health clinic for a final checkup." (I found this on Brian in Jeollanam-do)

And I'm missing it all!!!!!!

On a side note, Korea will soon have a bill larger than the 10,000 won note ($10ish). The new 50,000 won bill will come out June 23rd. The first 100 will be kept at the BOK (Bank of Korea) museum. Then the bills numbered up to 10000 will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. They do have 100,000 won bank checks but they are not the same as bills. Woo hoo. Something bigger than a 10 will be fantastic!

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