Unsolicited Life Advice – Part 1

New series of posts based on my own and others’ experiences in Korea. Anyone with anything to add, please add.

Unsolicited piece of advice for life in Korea – Part 1

Go to the doctor.

My co-worker got sick a few weeks ago. After a lot of initial resistance, she finally went to the doctor. We found out that she has pneumonia.

She advised me to put this on my blog, and to say that you should go to the doctor, because you may think it’s nothing, but it might be something very serious. She thought she just had a cold…

For another example, when I woke up on Sunday morning, I could hardly speak. I thought it would go away. It didn’t. As having the ability to speak is rather crucial to my profession, I agreed to go the doctor.

Now… Monday was the first time I’ve been to the doctor since I was 17. To give you some idea of how long ago that was, I’m 25.

It cost me about ₩4000 for the consultation (including some kind of sign up fee) and around ₩6000 for my medication. To give you an idea of how much that is, it’s around $10 (US). Saffas… it’s less than R100.

And it was quick. I was in and out of the doctor’s office in around ten minutes.

For a bunch of us coming from Western countries, our medical systems are in a shambles, and you pay through the nose for a simple consultation. It takes a huge chunk out of your day and it’s a major pain the arse to get signed up. Medication is then added to that fee, and by the time you’re out of there… you’ve wasted a huge chunk of your day, and a lot of money.

But in Korea, it’s different.

Furthermore, you’re living in a foreign country now. Whatever systems you used to keep yourself well, or take care of yourself when you got sick, may not work as well here.

And when seeing a doctor is this quick, this easy and this cheap?

Go to the doctor.


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