Why am I Dying? (냉방병)

I’ve been suffering a little bit recently…and by suffering I mean clinging on for dear life – in fact I even thought about writing out my will, but then realised I don’t own anything of worth so just went back to crying alone instead. 

Dying GIF

Oh, but for the record my brothers can share my socks out on a first come first served basis.

Now I know this sounds a little over the top, and just a smidgen dramatic but I promise you it is (mostly) the truth, and only the truth. You see the thing is these past few days I have felt like the devil himself has clawed himself into my face, rummaged around in my skull, and then worked his way down my entire body before exiting painfully out of my rear end in a fiery burst. He has plagued me with a constantly shivering exterior that would make The Cowardly Lion look broad-shouldered in comparison; he has made sleep a struggling impossibility, and has made food pointless…as whatever happens it will spatter out in some mad acid rain dance moments later. Which actually sounds a lot more entertaining than the reality, might I add.

But what the hell is going on? Is this some sort of old testament punishment or something? I just had to know…or more to the point I had to discover a cure for my ailment! Any more friction down there and I felt I would spontaneously combust – which on second thought would at least provide some respite from the chills…hmm swings and roundabouts…

Hot Chills GIF

I’m as confused and uncomfortable as this image is.

Anyway, WebMD scares me, so I decided to stay away from it this time around…for fear I would misdiagnose myself with trench foot, cholera, pregnancy, or something else completely off base. Instead I just so happened to be moaning to a Korean friend who knew exactly what it was almost instantly! Turns out it’s something known as 냉방병 (naeng-bang-byong) – which put simply is your body freaking out due to going from nice cool air-conditioned rooms to the sweltering humid hell that is the outdoors of the Asian summer…which leads to migraines, high fever, digestive problems, and more…oh joy! Woopee!

So what happens is your body gets sick of this theatrical changing of the temperature dials and tries to keep your body at a regular stable heat…in essence it’s the movie I-Robot playing out inside your body; the struggle between human and the machines, a turbulent and wild fight except there is no Will Smith to save the day. Just you sitting on the pot, shitting yourself to death – or waddling around attempting daily activities wishing you were on said pot. A little less Hollywood-esque some may say, and they’d probably be right.

WIll Shit GIF

Yeah, well I’m sick of shitting by myself too Will!

Well just get some bed-rest, watch a few movies, and paint your toenails for a couple days John!” I hear you scream. Hmm yeah, sure – I’d love to, but I simply can’t because I’m in Korea and for some reason that remains unknown to me time off work is a huge no-no – which means no rest and no medicine for the not even that wicked as I finish work after the health centres close. So instead I have to drag myself in, and do this really quite creepy weird whisper-shout at the children I teach:

please…please…shhh…just please. I have naeng-bang-byong…please. Just shut the f-pleaz.” 

Unsurprisingly they rarely listen, probably can’t even hear me – but I just hope to make it to the weekend so I can go into full on Snorlax mode and rest myself back to good health. Wish me luck, and a less sore bottom dear friends! It’s been a rough ride so far…

p.s. I can’t drink beer and cheesy snacks at this present time. So please do this on my behalf, it would really comfort me to know at least someone else is having a glorious amount of fun as I…well you know what I’m doing by now. 

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Public Pooping (China)

China – Wuhan ~ 2012

A move to a different country is difficult, you have to contend with a different time zone, a different language and a whole different culture. It can be pretty hard, but eventually you adapt. You get to know the layout of your city; you get a favourite café, pub and a place to hang out…slowly you learn that McDonalds isn’t the only thing you can relate to (not that you don’t return every so often/all the time).

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Poo-Poo Monkey

You know…the unfair thing about playing with kids is…well, it’s unfair. 

You enter into the game like any other – thinking it will be a level playing field (because that’s how games should be right?!) but you quickly find it will be anything but. Like today I was instructed I was a “Poo-Poo Monkey” that was running amuck in a nearby zoo, and needed to be eliminated for poop crimes. I have no idea where this story came from, or even what exactly poop crimes are…but one can assume they are not good, or at the very best – very messy. 

ewww GIF

But you know what? I didn’t fuss, or fight it – I decided to take on the role as best as I could…like an actor who is just starting out, hungry and desperate to impress; I thought maybe if I do a good believable rendition of the Poo-Poo Monkey perhaps later I would be able to demand better, more prestigious roles! What can I say?! Gotta be positive, we only get one life after all!

However on the strength of today’s scenes the possibility is looking less, and less likely. To my disappointment it was just fifteen minutes of pure poop-filled carnage; me running around, getting pulled to the ground by eight grasping weirdly strong hands, having my clothes stretched out of size, and subjected to a constant stream of foul putrid gas. Beyond unprofessional working conditions! 

Ew Snape GIF

Oh, but no! The stench was always blamed on me…because I was the Poo-Poo Monkey! Totally unfair stereotype…just because of my name I was being tarred immediately with every negative connotation that can occasionally be attributed to folks of that sort. (If they weren’t fictional creations of course!) 

My main problem despite the blame-game was the odor itself…I mean…I just didn’t understand – what the hell are these kids eating?! It was like what I imagine old people’s homes smell like. If I had to give a rough recipe I would say…sardines? In vinegar. Burnt. Then rotten eggs swirled into the mixer for good measure. Oh yeah, and a dash of Nutella. 

You can see how frequent this must happen, seeing as though I practically have a cookbook in the works! What is my life? This wasn’t in the contract anywhere…

Unfair GIF

Well now it is written – life isn’t fair, especially when it comes to games with the little’uns! SO yes…now for better or worse, you all know it. Go spread the word, and never agree to play the Poo-Poo Monkey…it’s just not worth it!

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Poo is funny.

pooh

I think you have to be a certain type of person to be a teacher…you have to be supportive, empathetic, motivated AND motivational – actually I’m sure the list of adjectives could go on forever, but I won’t bore you with that. All I’ll say is that when it comes to teaching kindergarten, there is really just one thing you need…one belief that will see you through the day with great success – you can’t exactly put it on your resume as a skill, but it will no doubt make you an automatic success with your class. You must completely and wholeheartedly believe that poo is funny.

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