October 27th is our anniversary. This year we celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss in the most unusual way.
Originally I had intended on buying Joe a remote control helicopter (he has been wanting one since Geoff Cooper got one) and taking it to a park to fly it. But plans changed when I got the stomach flu last week and never had a chance to go buy it. Then our car starting making this funny noise and wasn't turning corners very well. We went to the repair guy on base who didn't know what the problem was- and also wouldn't talk to me about it, he actually asked to talk to "my husband". I called Joe over from the lobby by exclaiming "My tiny woman brain just possibly couldn't understand!"
I did some investigating and figured out (yes my tiny woman brain worked) that it was the rear differential that needed attending.
So instead of a leisurely day flying helicopters we decided to go to Seoul to get maps loaded onto our GPS system and get fluid to change our rear differential.
Several people I had talked to at the base said there was a Garmin store in Seoul. I asked where, and the said to take the bus to Yongsan and any cab driver would know. Well apparently that was wrong. We asked a cab driver who had no idea. Joe had called a friend of ours and think that he heard "garment" store because his directions ended us in Itaewon (eee-tay-won), which Joe kept calling "Itchy-Taiwan", where there were tons of clothing stores. We combed the streets for about two hours asking every white person we saw about GPS, no one had any idea.
Joe then thought we should head back to the base and go to the PX and ask them where they sell their GPS units. Once at the PX, no one had any idea. Then we headed to the library and registered to use their internet. Once on the internet we were able to find the website for the place, but it was all in Korean. Joe asked the librarian to interpret for us. He looked on several maps and wrote directions down on a piece of paper in Korean.
We took the directions to the cab driver- who nodded and off we went. For all we know the directions could have said, "These are stupid American's. Take them for a long ride and then rob them." Luckily though we actually ended up at the Garmin store.
At the Garmin store the guy was really nice and loaded our maps onto our unit. Joe then asked him to write down directions to the Honda dealership. I really just wanted to call it a day. It was already 4pm and I was exhausted. But we decided to stick it out and finish the mission...we pressed on...
We sat in the cab for a long time in rush our traffic. The Koreans really love their heaters and we were sweating in the backseat. Finally I couldn't take it and cracked the window. Jordy had a good time hanging his head out the window like a puppy.
Finally we got to the Honda dealer. It was quite a scene trying to explain to a Korean mechanic what the problem was when no one there spoke fluent english. It was like playing charades! Finally the mechanic pretended to crank over a stearing wheel and then bump up and down in his seat while making a grinding noise. "Hooray" we screamed! That is it!
Then they brought out two quarts of rear differential fluid and loaded it into our stroller and we rolled away!
We had dinner at Sizzler (yes they have a Sizzler) and then headed back to the bus station for our hour ride back to Osan.
Victorious we disembarked our bus and headed home. I told Joe he sure knows how to show a girl a good time. Our most memorable anniversary yet!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
October 27th is our anniversary. This year we celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss in the most unusual way.
Posted by Katrina at 11:03 PM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I heard about a website that has eye glasses you can order for under 10 dollars a pair!
The website is zennioptical.com
I haven't personally ordered from there, but intend to considering I have never got a pair of glasses for less than 150bucks!
Posted by Katrina at 1:07 AM
Friday, October 24, 2008
This is a call for followers!
I work so hard to come up with witty fun to read updates of our adventures here in South Korea, but wonder if anyone reads it!
So right now, look to the right of this posting and see where it says "Follow this Blog". Just click and the darned thing and become a follower will ya?
Thanks to Kameron and my mommy who are already my two followers.
Posted by Katrina at 7:43 PM
At work on Thursday, I felt so tired. I just couldn't wake up. Three cups of coffee and nothing. Then I started to feel really nauseated. So nauseated that I started to wonder if I had taken my birth control properly. The last time I felt that awful was when I was prego! I took a prego test on the down low and it was negative. Actually in that short time that I wondered if I was prego, I got really excited about that thought.
About two hours later after draining a butt abscess (I feel so bad for that guy- such a nice sweet young man with this slow healing thing on his butt), I started to feel awful. Robert had gone to a meeting and I was alone. Finally I realized things were on a downward spiral and asked the techs to call Robert back.
He was there instantly and before I knew what hit me, I was hooked up to an IV and getting some Zofran (a miracle drug that fixes nausea without making you too fatigued). I called Joe and he came to get me. Once at home I was in bed and didn't feel too bad. I actally had wondered if maybe I had over reacted.
Joe went to the market to get some diapers for Jordy, and some gatorade for me. Almost the exact moment he was riding down the elevator away from ear shot, the bomb hit!
I was in bed and felt it like a mack truck hitting me- intense nausea, gagging, swirling in my head..it was awful.
I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. Miraculously I made it to the bathroom door, was able to aim appropriately at the toilet, and let loose with explosive vomiting of some stuff I don't even remember eating. The only flaw- the toilet lid was down! I then had the intense pleasure of watching my vomit ricochet off the curved lid literally ALL OVER the BATHROOM!!
It was just awful. But that didn't end it. There was more in my tummy. I grabbed a pile of laundry and sat on that while I finished the business of completely emptying my stomach, and much of my small intestine I imagine.
When Joe finally returned I had him put the stuff in the washer since it was now covered in my gastric juices.
I laid back down and Joe told me I was the messiest sick person ever. He is right. Everytime I get sick I never make it to the bathroom. Thank goodness he is such a good sport and helps clean up the aftermath!
If only I kept this outfit at home to clean up the disaster! This is our chem suits to wear in the event of chemical warfare. I think it would also do well for the stomach flu!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Okay I have seriously had it.
Today at work I was pushed to my limit. The military has wasted my time
yet again. I wish I could say it was the last time, but I am sure that
tomorrow I will waste another several hours, reinventing the wheel yet
The military is so damned obsessed with training. They are always
training us for something. It would be one thing if this was useful
training, but most of the time it really doesn't pertain to my job, or
my day to day duties. They military M.O. for this training is randomly
emailing you and saying you are due to complete this training- in the
next FIVE MINUTES!!! So go right now to this website and do it- or you
will be in trouble!!
So you drop everything, go to some random website to complete the
training that is only due once per year, and somehow you are just
finding out five minutes before you are about to be overdue. Patients
are piling up while you go to the website, you computer locks you out,
you have to call systems to get you back in. Patients are leaving b/c
they are mad they haven't been seen. Techs and nurses keep stopping by
your office to tell you that patients have been waiting...
You finally make it to the site and login. Error, log in ID not
recognized. You try again...nope doesn't like that one either. Great,
now you are locked out of that site too. But not to worry they will
email you a password in 72 hours...crap you will be expired by that
Thankfully the password comes through almost immediately to your email
account. It gives you a temporary login and password to use. Back to
the site...try again- VICTORY....almost.
Now they want you to answer a series of questions to prove that it is
you. You answer all the questions, but it says some of the answers are
wrong. Some idiot has put your info into the system wrong and there are
major issues with not having a middle initial. Ten minutes on the phone
to get this error corrected...ten minutes of listening to "don't drink
and drive, always have a wingman, gay is not okay in the military..."
okay so that last one isn't really in there...
Back to the site again..."Dr. Carter, you have three patients waiting,
one is having crushing substernal chest pain with radiation to the left
arm and taste of metal in his mouth"...can't worry about that now, you
have training to do!
So finally at the site, logged in, ready to get down to some serious
learning. Five thousand six hundred and fifty two powerpoint slides
later, you are comatose, have learned nothing, but print out your
certificate- at least 2000 copies for everyone who will want it.
So you email back the person who wanted the certificate, put your copy
away and think that is the end of it. But no, up to two months later
people are hitting you up for the exact date you took this stupid
course. It wouldn't be so bad if it was one course, but they military
has one for everything and I am not kidding; Hazmat, Environment of
Care, Laws of Armed Conflict, Human Traficking, Homosexuality, Infection
Control, HIPAA, CBRNE, ORM (which I haven't even figured out what this
is yet), Hand Shaking, Ass Kissing, Butt Wiping, it can really get
Then there is not a unified system for this record keeping. Since I
inprocessed here I have had to do so much training my head will explode.
Everytime I turn around, somebody else wants me to put all my
information into their data base. It is not enough that Medical
Readiness went through all my stuff and updated their system, then
Education and Training did the same and gave me a nice summary showing
all the dates for stuff, then the training monitor in the ER wanted me
to fill in all the exact same dates for her in her Excel data sheet,
then today (what instigated this rant) I got another folder in my
mailbox that wants me to fill in all the dates again!!
Are you kidding me? Do you realize I have probably spent at least 20
hours doing this? Why are so many people doing the exact same thing. I
am glad to see that my tax payer dollars are hard at work employing at
least ten people to do the EXACT SAME THING!!!
What a waste of my time.
Posted by Katrina at 12:29 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This isn't actually the kid, the real kid was much bigger. I found this on the internet
apparently this practice is common in a lot of places...
Today Joe, Jordy, and I went grocery shopping. On the way back from the commisary, we drove out the main gate of the base to the main street of in Songtan. As we were driving down the street there was a kid about 10years old standing with his mother at the bus stop.
From down the street as we were driving towards him, it looked like he was pouring something out. When we got close I realized, and saw everything, that he was peeing right into the street!! I screamed and pointed.
Now remember this is a busy street, there are tons of people walking up and down the street, cars driving by...tons of people everywhere! There is also a big building right behind him with an alley that I am sure would have been a much more private place to do his business...but no, he decided to just go there.
Joe said several other people have told him this is common practice, even for women! This is the first I have seen of it, and was floored. I actually saw his "junk"!!
Posted by Katrina at 4:23 AM
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
At our apartment complex has these management guys who stay out in this booth in our parking lot. There is someone who is there all at all times. I think they are supposed to be security, but really I would feel a lot more secure if they would just go away.
We are supposed to sort our trash, which in theory sounds like a good idea. I feel like we are saving the planet, but lately I feel like we are just getting yelled at.
Every time we head out to the trash pile, which is right at the front of our building (very unattractive) the little security man comes tearing out of his little booth to investigate. While we sort our trash he hovers over us making sure it is done appropriately. One time the guy yelled at Joe saying we were in violation and that he would report us to the authorities.
And when I say we have to sort our trash, I truly mean we have to SORT OUR TRASH! They want everything separated. In order to do this completely correctly we would have to have 19 different trash bins in our house...
Finally we have given up. We now pile up our trash and take it to the base like the rest of the Americans. I feel like we are failures, but my life is much easier! I will continue with the American tradition of raping and pillaging the land! God Bless the USA!!
Posted by Katrina at 7:39 PM
We have already been here for one month. Fortunately things are starting to feel more settled. We finally got our lease signed, which means we will be getting an additional 1900 a month to pay for housing.
We also got the car completely registered...which probably took, no exaggeration here...over 8 hours of leg work. It was a ridiculous process. First we had to go to Pyeongtaek City Hall. Fortunately our friend Trent took up, because we never would have found it on our own. It is about 5 miles from our apartment and all the signs are in Korean. There are a few scattered English signs, but they suddenly stop about a mile before you actually reach the place.
Once we were there we got some wooden plates, seriously wooden- like from a tree wood! Then we went to the base got on a bus, rode it about an hour to Yongsan Army Garrison, wandered around there for several hours till we found the car place. We got the car back, with the help of a guy who was turning in his car, but still couldn't get it registered on our base. We went back to the Pass and Registration Office and waited for an hour for some guy to tell us to go back to Pyeongtaek City Hall and get permanent plates.
So we jumped in the car, confident we could find the right building again, boy were we wrong. We drove around for about an hour. Finally I pulled up to this little booth with a woman in it and asked her where city hall was. She very nicely stuck her head out of the booth and blabbered in Korean for about 2 minutes. Joe and I sat in stunned silence. Finally Joe said, Thank you, that really clears things up for us. We drove away...scared.
Just when we were about to abandon all hope, I found it! We went inside where a woman was a total bitch to us. Finally we got the metal plates, but the holes were in the wrong spots to fit on our car. A little old man drilled holes in them while I sat in the car and had a little melt down. Why are these people so mean? By the time he was done drilling holes in the plates and attaching them to our car, Joe realized I was melting down, and took over driving (he is so wonderful). He got us back home where we ate lunch.
But we still weren't done.
Back to the base Pass & Registration Office. After waiting in their crowded waiting room for another hour, and watching countless of other people who had gotten there after us get waited on, we were finally called. The guy gave us the sticker to put on the car and we were done!
Joe was shocked that we didn't have to walk over the bed of hot coals barefoot while doing the hula hoop and singing the National Anthem in the native tongue of Papua New Guinea.
It is ridiculous! But thank god we are done!
Posted by Katrina at 7:26 PM
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Today Joe and I did the most romantic thing we have ever done together. We got up early and got Jordy dressed and went to the base. Our friend Trent dropped us off at the bus station. We rode one hour to Yongsan Army Base. There we wandered around for about an hour before we found the building we wanted. Then once inside I talked to a Korean man for about ten minutes. Then he left and returned with.... OUR CAR!!!
It was heavenly sitting behind the wheel (on the normal side of the car mind you) and driving. Luckily we started talking to a guy at the vehicle place who was dropping off his car and needed a ride back to Osan. He knew directions, and we had a car! Turns out he was a really nice guy and was a treasure trove of information. It was a really nice drive back.
Once we were back to Osan we went grocery shopping and bought tons of food. We are now well stocked and have transportation! It is wonderful!
Now the only thing standing in our way of being completely settled is the lease. Unbeleivably we have been living in this apartment since the 12th and haven't signed a lease yet. The person who owns this unit is in the process of selling it, so we can't sign the lease yet. B/c we have no lease, we can't get our OHA (oversease housing allowance) which is an extra 1900.00 a month. So I really want to get that done! Hopefully it will be this week...
Work has been good. The beginning of the month my schedule is wonderful-I work one day, then three off, one day then three off. Mid month I switch to a three on- one off. I haven't seen any real emergencies in the ER yet, just lots of whiny people who don't want to got work. At least most of them are nice about it.
I have this weekend off, not sure what we are gonna do. I wanted to go on another tour, not sure if Joe is for it though...