Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bulgogi of Doom

In Korea, I get this sense that I'm locked in a bizarre time vortex. I'm settled into my routine: Teach. Study Korean. Meet up with friends. Repeat. For a while I also ventured into tra-la-la romance land (but I'm back now). Days melt into each other and now I track time by which chapter I'm teaching; even then that's a hazy guess because with the schedule changing all the time, the classes are all over the place. I haven't seen the 304/5 A class since July. They say they miss me.

I decided to start being a bit healthier, and I'm saving up some money to throw it down the drain in Japan next week, for Chuseok. So I went out and finally bought some cooking utensils (a pan, a pot and a wooden spoon/spatula/thing) and some fresh ingredients. I threw the bulgogi in the freezer, put the mushrooms in the veggie drawer, and carried on with my pretty steady routine. Teach. Study. See friends.

Well, one night I was feeling pretty peckish but I didn't feel like take out, so I decided to try making the bulgogi. It was a big bag of frozen meat with a marinade included that I picked up in the frozen aisle at Emart. It was frikking delicious, but I hate making instant stuff and I thought I'd jazz it up with the last of my mushrooms.

Yum. It was so good that I had eaten it all straight out of the pan before the rice had even finished cooking. Whoops. A delicious, satisfying feast of saucy meat. Possibly the best food I've cooked in ages. 

Except for the time vortex. Because the vortex got hold of me and what I didn't realise was that these were bad mushrooms that were way past their time. Evil mushrooms. Mushrooms of doom. And not the fun kind. 

I could have had a very different night.
There I was, minding my own business and watching reality shows like the Bachelorette, (which I definitely don't recommend right after a break-up). It started with cramps. Then I was sprinting for the loo. And then, within five minutes of feeling fine and wondering whether half the guys on the show are deliberate plants or if they're really that weird, my sinuses went crazy. I blew my nose, started having an asthma attack, coughed up a lung, and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. 

I'm sexy and I know it

My first thought was "My sinuses have inflated like balloons! Surely I didn't blow my nose that hard..."

I did what I usually do when faced with any weird medical symptoms. I sent a photo to my dad and asked if I should be worried. Should we skype about it? By this point it was almost 1am and I was thinking of trying to sleep off whatever was going on, but my sudden transformation into Quasimodo was causing some concern. My eyes had become so swollen that I couldn't open them fully or close them completely, and they were tearing up like crazy.

My dad's response was "Hospital. Now." So I did. I threw my Kindle, phone, wallet and ID into my handbag (in that order - I prioritise well) and caught a cab to Fatima. Is it just me or is the emergency room a bit difficult to find? Once I found it, I was on a bed with tubes in my face and needles in my hand and all sorts of fluids running through my veins within minutes. I was scared and lonely, so I talked a friend into joining me, and she kept me company while typical emergency room drama unfolded around us. My throat and chest cleared. The swelling went down. 55k won poorer, I was out within an hour, and I was in bed by three. 

Lessons learned:
I cook delicious bulgogi
Beware of mushrooms
I have wonderful friends
The Bachelorette is addictive. 

So that was my weekend. How was yours? 

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