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Martina’s sick today. And I’m writing this and I’m starting to feel sick. Marriage: you can share everything, including your viruses! Ah my eyes burn. Anyhow, I’m feeling woozy so this might be a bit of a silly post. First, let me direct you to one of our really old videos, before we felt comfortable on camera at all and were super awkward. Here’s our Korean cold medicine video:

 

You can see jjuk in that video. The stuff we made today did not look like that because Martina slow cooked two chickens with onions and celery and used the broth to make her jjuk. She even sautéed some onions, ginger, garlic, tossed in some Korean dried dates and it was SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! And normally I hate jjuk. Anyhow, we’re gonna tell you some stories about health care and more about how to get medicine from pharmacists in Korea.

Magic Needle to the Ass

One of the things we didn’t talk about was magic-needle-to-the-ass. People who have been in Korea might know what we’re talking about. Needle to the ass. Feeling sick? Doctor’s got a needle to put in your ass for that! I thought they just did that in movies. I never got needled to the ass in Canada. I usually just get them in the shoulders. In Korea, though, the preferred method is in the ass. We have friends who went to the hospital, didn’t speak Korean, got needle to the ass, and miraculous recovery. WHAT IS IN THIS CONCOCTION!!

Point is: I’m not sure what’s in these needles, but they work. Have a cold that feels more severe than a real cold? Needle to the ass! God inexplicable groin pain that first made doctors think you’re about to die? Needle to the ass! Maybe one day you will experience this glory.

OH WAIT! Martina once got the Korean needle to the ass, but she wasn’t sick. She was trying to rescue a scared kitten crying in the park at 1AM during a thunder storm. When she tried to grab it, it mauled her hand and took a big kitten chunk out of her finger. She shamefully walked over to the hospital with her drippy bloody finger and because she’s allergic to cats and her finger was all gross and swollen and pink. She was getting all puffy and itchy and trying to explain the story to the nurses was HIIII-larious. They were like, “why would you touch a wild cat?” we’re like, “IT WAS A LOST KITTEN DON’T YOU SEE???!!!” Anyways, after we got super judged by the nurses for poor behaviour, they gave Martina some anti-infection/rabies shot to the ass. Poor Martina. She still brought that ungrateful kitten a can of tuna after that.

Korean Pharmacy Life Hack

Now, we’re not doctors in any way, shape or form, except when we act like certifieded doctors for Music Monday. These are just some of the things we’ve learned to ask for when we’re looking for medicine in Korea. A lot of this stuff is over the counter in Canada, but some of it isn’t so in Korea, but I’ve found that pharmacies aren’t necessarily uniform in their regulations. Some follow it, some don’t. Point is, we’re not doctors, so don’t take our word on this here. Do the research yourself. I’m refusing all liability if you do something and explode from death.

Also, some of the medicine you might be used to are combinations of some of these things, so, if there’s some medicine you’re used to, just get a list of the medical ingredients and a better understanding of what works for you, so you can ask for the ingredients rather than the brand when you’re in Korea. It’s also useful for when you’re in other countries. Martina got a cold when we were in Japan last, and so we just asked for the ingredients, which are universally named. Booya!

List of Common Medicines

Tylenol = Acetaminophen
Advil = Ibuprofen
Robaxacet = Methocarbamol
Getting Rid of Dry Cough/Cough Suppressant = Antitussant
Getting rid of a Mucousy Cough = Expectorant
Allegra = Fexofenadine
Sudafed (or anything else for stuffy noses) = Pseudoephedrine

Now, an interesting note. This last one (Pseudoephedrine) might not be given to you in a high dose by an over the counter pharmacist, they’ll say you need a prescription. This didn’t happen to us the first 4 years we were in Korea but recently it seems Korea is trying to crack down on illegal drug creation, more specifically meth. Any Breaking Bad fans out there? Yeah, so we were really baffled when it happened, but that’s what our local pharmacist told us. It super sucks because our sinus infections are wicked bad and require extra strength but it seems now we require a prescription to get that and AIN’T NO ONE GOT TIME FOR THAT! Australia, when we visit we will make a trip to the pharmacist.

Terms For Being Sick

So for those of you currently in Korea or planning on moving here, here is a little list of terms we put together that I hope you find helpful when you’re sick in Korea.

Stuffy Nose/ A Cold 감기 kam–gee
A Cough 기침 gee-chim
Runny Nose aka Snotty McSnotterson 코물 koh-mool (which literally means nose water! Hahahahh I LOVE IT)
Sore Throat 목아프다 or 목쓰림 mohk ah-poo-dah/mohk sseu-reem
The Flu 독감 Dok-gam
Barfing 구토 Gu-toe (FYI the “sound” of barfing in Korean is “UUUUUEEEHHKKK” but I liked to use “TOOOOEEEEEEE” which always made my students laugh)
DIHHARREEEHHAA 설사 seol-sa (or as I say, “SALSA PARTY!” and then I dance the salsa before running away sadly)
Constipation 변비 byeong-bee
Fever 고열 goyeol

Onto those things involving PAIN which always end with = 통 THAT TONG TONGTONGTONGTOOOooOOOONGG! Get it? Guise? Ahem…

A Headache 두통 Du-tong
A Toothache 치통 Chee-tong
Tummyache 복통 bok-tong
Girly cramps for that time of the month 생리통 saeng-retong (or secret term between girlfriends “ma-jik” aka MAGIC *Martina breaks in singing MAAAAAAGIC MAAAAAGIC MAAAAAGIC, OHMO OH MO OH MO…)

Korean Health Care Locations

This may not seem that important, but a couple notes on this. First of all, everything in Korea is stacked vertically so you might not expect to find your local Dentist on the 15th floor but that’s actually a normal thing, so learning the Korean words for health clinics can help you find one where you least expect it. Pharmacies are normally on ground level and dentists usually have teeth or other obvious things, but the E.N.T and Oriental Clinics are much craftier to find. Also, if you’re ever in an emergency and hop in a taxi, you can just tell them BYUNGWON. Here are some of the other names you might need:

- Pharmacy 약국 yahk-gook (medicine is just 약, so we always joke about being sick by saying we need to find a YAAAAAKKK)
- 
Hospital 병원 Byeong-won
- 
Dentist 치과 Chee-gwah
- 
Oriental Medicine Clinic 한의원 Haneewon
- 
E.N.T 이비인후과 ee-bee-en-hoo-gwaah BUT just “ee-en-tee” can be enough for people to understand you if you charade enough.

The E.N.T, aka Ears, Nose, and Throat specialists, are very common near universities and have all types of funky things for when you’re suffering from a severe cold, like hot air breathing machines with masks and warm cup things that look like big headphones to comfort your ears during infections. A visit to one of these without health care and no appointment (all you have to do is sign up and wait) cost me under $20.00.

I Can See Your Insides

Another story: Martina had some wicked painful heartburn a while ago, when she was still teaching. Turns out she was drinking green tea like water + coffee + eating spicy food and the combo was burning her esophagus from all the acidity. When we went to the hospital to check it out, we had to make an appointment to see the specialist and they put a camera down her throat. I was in the waiting room, and the nurse told me to look for screen number 7. Turns out there’s a big TV in the room with a bunch of squares. Square number 7 was going to be Martina’s innards. They broadcast that on TV in the hospitals! All the other peeps waiting for their loved ones are just sitting around me watching the screen. Woohoo! It kinda took our relationship to a new level. I saw the inside of Martina’s throat and stomach. Love, right there, boys and girls. That’s love. We opted for that version because that was the cheapest version. Turns out they also had pill cams. PILL CAMS! You swallow a pill and it’s a gortdamned camera that records what’s inside you and you just poop it out and doctors can watch that movie or put it on YouTube or something, I don’t know. I bet you there’s a secret YouTube channel known only to Koreans and it only shows people’s innards and its got a million subscribers. I’d subscribe to that.

Speaking of subscribing, if you like these TL;DRs, you should subscribe to us on YouTube! We’ll do more of them and talk about other experiences we’ve had in Korea.

ToFebruary
Gmarket
  1. Awesomesauce

    If I get really deadly sick, it will literally be cheaper to fly to Korea, pay the expenses, and then fly back than get treated in the US. -_- How sad.

  2. S & M – I just finished my first week of teaching English in Korea and have a nasty cough. This post was invaluable. Thank you so, so much. Off to the pharmacy now!

  3. I’m living in Korean right now! This nasty weather however has made me have a bad cold going on for 3 weeks. I went to see a doctor in Buncheon, but he was not very helpful and there hasn’t been improvement on my cold. :( Can you recommend any good places for foreigners to go that are good?

  4. I think the medicine they give you for your stomach is supposed to make you throw up actually. Usually stomach aches and pains are cured by getting rid of whatever might be bothering it. I could totally be wrong though.

    Also as a lot of people said, American health care is terrifying. The most hilarious and sad part is when they make you pay 2000 for an ambulance ride and you can choose to no have one which they tried to tell a woman, who was unconscious so of course she couldn’t even make that decision. So glad that Sweden has free or very low cost health care similar to South Korea. Dental is also extremely expensive, but I think a lot of countries have that issue.

    Also, Martina! If you could answer to this question that would be
    freaking awesome, or Simon could if he knows. The article says you’re allergic
    to cats (So sorry that kitty scratched you up. I’m the same way, I’d
    save a kitty in a thunder storm) but you guys have Dr. Meemersworth! I’m
    totally confused. I thought for a good deal of people if you’re
    allergic you can not have whatever animal you maybe allergic too. How
    are you able to do it? Do you take medication for it so you guys can
    keep Dr. Meemersworth? Or something else? My boyfriend and I want to get a cat and dog when
    I move to Sweden where he is, but he’s unsure if he might become
    allergic over time because his mom did and we don’t want to have to let
    go of a kitty if we get one and then he becomes allergic.

  5. Intramuscular shots are usually given in the arm in the States and Canada because the risk of nerve damage is much higher with buttock shots (http://www.medicalprotection.org/Default.aspx?DN=97a3c277-c644-4a4b-a41c-8028e05f9c4b).

    I learned this the hard way when I had pneumonia in Korea a couple of years ago, and had to spend nearly a week in hospital (a scary, strange, and very boring experience). The doctors gave me some kind of butt shot right before I was admitted, and it hurt much worse than others I had had, to the extent that it caused me pain when walking for a week afterward. I tried to tell the doctor that it hurt more than it should, but she just laughed at me. Later, I realized I’d developed nerve damage there because I had a patch of skin that felt numb/tingly/sore that wouldn’t go away, and it was worse in cold weather. It’s been getting slowly better over the last two years, though, which is good.

  6. Howdy! I’m a renal (kidney) patient and I’m currently on dialysis in Australia. What’s it like there for those of us with bad kidneys and how much is it to pay for dialysis out of your pocket there? Thanks!

  7. Soooo did you guys put your stuff on this site or…
    http://www.howtohealthcare.com/tldr-health-care-in-korea/

  8. Soooo, I have a question; I know that foreigners can sometimes get away with stuff that Korean people can’t (ie: dyed hair, different clothing style, etc) and the pressures are different, but how do Korean people treat other Asians? For example, Chinese or Japanese people who grew up in America? I have a Chinese friend who looks like she’s Korean so when she went there, apparently some people gave her looks for her ‘foreigner-ish’ style since she lives in Canada but everyone thought she was Korean.

  9. Man hospitals are so cheap in Korea! I went to the hospital last month here in LA and I just went in for 3 stitches… I wasn’t even sick! And they charged me $2,500…… Luckily I have health insurance so I actually only had to pay $100.

  10. Were they Chia seeds? They turn into a jelly-like substance when they’re hydrated. They can be used as a thickening agent in food but also people eat them raw for the health benefits! Sorry they made you feel yucky!

  11. Here’s 2 tips based on my experience – I went to Yeonsei Severance Hospital in Seoul because of a ridiculously high fever

    1. If you’re really sick, don’t go to the international clinic in the hospital (if there is one)…go to the ER. I know in North America we don’t really go to the ER for symptoms like fever, but they were much more useful and seemed to care a lot more than the doctors in the international clinic.
    2. Famous university hospitals in Seoul (like the one at Yeonsei U.) cost a lot more than smaller hospitals – but the service they provide in the ER is great. They literally tested for everything once I told them I had health insurance and they kept me there until they got my fever down (3hrs?). The wait time was also really short…like 5min? My bill for all the tests and IVs was somewhere around 800,000won. International clinic in the hospital was around 100,000 won but they were useless imo.

    Get well soon! (I’m sick right now too haha oh summer colds…aren’t they fun?)

  12. good to hear that korea has a good health care system. i live in the US and recently went thru two major surgeries for a burst appendix. you know how much i got charged in total? roughly $102,000. ONE HUNDRED AND TWO THOUSAND FREAKING DOLLARS. luckily i had medicaid and it happened 2 months before my 19th bday so it paid for all of that shit but still, absolutely ridiculous how it is here.

  13. can you do a tldr about woollim ent becoming woollim label/merging with sment c&c? with like how you feel about it and what fans in Korea feel about it?

  14. I really get the impression that in Korea (and Asia in general) there’s much less of a sense of personal space and privacy; not that it’s bad but just a really interesting cultural difference. In Australia people would freak out completely if their private innards were broadcast to an entire waiting room!

  15. hi guys ! could you make a TLDR about korean birthdays? how korean people celebrate birthdays? what things you should not give as a present? The best and the worst gift you’ve received in korea? do you have any stories? thanks !!! pleasee !!

  16. I’m not seeing much about dental in the comments so I must ask, what do you mean when you say “dental work is money murder”? I’m supposed to be coming to Korea in a week for ten months and I have run out of time to get in with a dentist here. Side note; I live in the US and dental work is murder here, I’ve spent $200 average (each) on a few cavities and they estimated a root canal at $1200, which I thankfully didn’t need.

  17. What about getting prescription pills you already know you need to be on. For instance I know I need to take certain pills at a certain dosage(and I know what it is), do I tell the doctor this, or what? :S ( I have epilepsy so it’s pretty important I’m on medication) :S

  18. What are some korean stereotypes by region (busan stereotypes, seoul stereotypes, etc)?

  19. OK guys,. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea! But I payed quite a bit for my emergency surgery this year. It was about $4,000.00 US for several CT scans, loads of antibiotics tube food, etc, 8 hour surgery, 1 week in the ICU and 1 week in the regular ward. Make sure you have some cash saved up people, just in case! For reference I had emergency bowel strangulation surgery (awesome).

    • In the US, the ICU facility charge alone costs around $4000 per day. So even though it was a lot of money to spend, your medical emergency was downright cheap in comparison to the US. You would have been charged 4000 x 7 for the ICU, 7 days regular room charge, surgery charge, surgeon charge, anesthesiologist charge, other assorted doctor charges, medicines, procedures and supplies like the tube feeding and scans.

      Unless you had the absolute best insurance plan (of the hundreds of plans), you would have paid significantly more than you did in Korea.

      I live in fear of something like this happening to me or my husband. We have insurance (that costs ~9,200 for the two of us per year, not cheap) yet our deductible (what we have to pay before any hospital bills would begin to be paid by the insurance) is still 13,000!! Even after we pay that, we still have to pay 20% of the remainder, as well as anything that the insurance company decides not to cover.

      Furthermore, we have no choice at all about the insurance plan. It is chosen by our employer. Like most people, we cannot get private insurance outside of our employer because of preexisting conditions. Thank goodness when the health care reform goes into full effect next year, preexisting conditions will no longer prevent us from comparing and choosing a plan.

      Our hodgepodge of hundreds of different insurance plans in the US causes an absurd level of administrative cost. The doctor’s office has to negotiate with each one individually. Apparently my insurance company took a hard line on negotiations and in January tons of doctors stopped accepting it because it wasn’t worth it. My two doctors, my husband’s doctor, and the boss’s doctor all dropped it. When I asked my doctor for recommendations on a new doctor, it turned out none of them took my insurance either. I needed a certain specialist but there were so few of them accepting my insurance that I had to wait 7 months to get an appointment with one (and this is NYC, we have tons of docs). Our insurance plan does not allow any payments at all to docs who are out-of-network. So we were screwed. It was nightmare.

      I find it shocking that this passes for health insurance. When you get sick here, you worry that you will go bankrupt. That shouldn’t be a factor when your number one concern should be healing from an illness.

      My experience with healthcare in Korea was so much better, even though I wasn’t on the national insurance and had to pay the full cost myself. I never had to play a complicated game to figure out which doctor to go to. I never waited for months to get an appointment. And the full cost was always less than my copays would be in the US.

      • Yes, you are very right about my home country (the US) being an absurd hodgepodge of fear for American citizens who get sick. It is genuinely appaling. However, I emigrated to NZ when I was 18 and my surgery, ICU costs, etc etc would have all been completely FREE, as in many other countries where expats and teachers in SK hail from, so I wanted them to know that it’s not the case here.

  20. Hi Simon and Martina!

    Firstly, I hope you’ll get better soon!

    Secondly, here are some advices, if I may, as a medical student.

    Vitamin C: I saw someone writing about vitamin C strengthening your immune system. That is right, you take vitamin C to avoid getting a cold. Drink orange juice everyday, the fresher the better, as the vitamin C tends to “disappear” quite quickly, or buy some efervescent pills (more rapidly absorbed).

    Echinacea Purpura: Can be found in herbal shops. “The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) assessed[15] the body of evidence and approved the use of expressed juice and dried expressed juice from fresh flowering aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea for the short-term prevention and treatment of the common cold.”

    Also, if you have sinusitis you can try cleaning your sinuses daily with a lota or with a salted water spray; it will prevent the accumulation of mucus and therefore bacterial growth. There are other nasal sprays with corticosteroids, to reduce inflammation, but I think the first line of treatment should always be PREVENTION. If you guys don’t know what are you allergic to, than I’d recommend to do a skin-prick test; like this you will know what are you allergic to and you can avoid such allergens.

    You can also use house remedies such as drinking hot tea – lemon tea or ginger tea, both with honey which is antibacterial -, using mouthwash – in case your throat is affected; you can also do with honey and lemon juice. If you have a tonsillitis I recommend Betadine oral antiseptic, http://home.intekom.com/pharm/adcock/betadn-o.html .

    About the drugs you are taking:

    .Pseudoephedrine for the stuffy nose is good

    .Codeine or Ephedrine as antitussic (no more than 5-7 days), if needed

    .Ambroxol as mucolitic, if needed

    .Paracetamol, ibuprofen or nimesulide for fever and inflammation ( if you have asthma do not use ibuprofen)

    .Fexofenadine is a good antihistaminic since it’s non-sedative. You can also ask for a newer type of drug which might have less side-effects. These are use for allergies and as a way to stop mucus production.

    I do not recommend methocarbamol but, that depends on the country and the doctor’s philosophy.

    I DO recommend to ask your doctor to establish a plan with you and if your symptoms worsen to visit one.

    And as Simon wrote: ” I’m refusing all liability if you do something and explode from death.”.

    And don’t forget to eat!
    I hope I helped some!!

    Get well!xoxo

  21. Regarding the multiple screens, my dad was brought to the hospital for what turned out to be an atrial flutter. They fixed it, and he’s fine now. But they didn’t want him to leave until they fixed it, so we had our Christmas Eve/Day celebrations that year in the hospital (and my dad had his surgery on the 27th. He came home after that, and I delayed my return to Canada and to work so I could spend more time with him, you know, out of the hospital).

    One day, while I was visiting him, he brought me out to the nurses’ station in his section and showed me a monitor. That monitor has split screens, and each screen had a number that corresponded with a patient’s room. My dad showed me his. Then he jumped around a little bit, trying to make the heart monitor jump.

    When i was recovering from my spinal fusion, I was hooked up to a heart monitor. Every time I had to get up to go to the washroom, I had to be unhooked and every time I got back into bed, I had to be hooked back up again. It got to the point where I got so tired of those fiddly little wires that I didn’t want them hooked back up. So my dad didn’t.

    That alarmed some people: “my” screen at the nurses’ station suddenly going blank? No wonder people came running into my room. They understood once we explained the situation. It was my spine that was recovering, not my heart.

  22. lmfao poor simon and martina! But despite the obvious sickness, Simon was hilarious – I KNOW I’M GETTING SICK BUT HEY, I’M NOT AT MARTINA LEVEL YET, SO I’M ALL HAPPY AND CRAZY <3
    Ninja Meemerz <3
    Oh Simon, you and your Marriage Reminders, I swear this one takes the cake for me, 6 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, YOU GET SNOT ON YOU ARM!!!!!!

  23. You said 아빠. It should be 아파.

  24. I posted a TL;DR question on the Youtube link of this video but wasn’t sure if I was supposed to put it here or there, so here it is as well:

    Hey guys, I was wondering about money and/or classism in Korea.

    Ex: Do others look down upon poor/rich people? Moving there do you feel poorer, richer or about the same? Are there “Hollywoods” and “ghettos”, and what would they be like? Do you notice apparent differences between a very rich person and/or a poor person in public? How do Korean people prioritize their money? (Ex-I remember you talking about many Korean families living together because apartments are expensive).

  25. Hannah

    Get well soon Martina! I would send you a care package of wonderful North American comfort food but I’m pretty sure you’ll be 100% again by the time it would get there…You too Simon, feel better guys!

  26. its now decided…anytime im sick….i shall fly of to korea……
    P.S- Mr. Meemersworth is a wizard

  27. In Brazil we have a Needle-in-the-ass too, it’s called benzetacil. I think that the real name is benzilpeniciline, or something like that. Is super awesome, it works for almost everything. The downside is, it hurts really bad. People cry taking it. I actually have never had it for my mom has never let me. She says it’s better to spend a week on antibiotics, even if you feel like crap.

  28. How available is birth control in Korea?

  29. Hey, guys. I noticed something that looks like it might be a typo in your description of Korean sick terms. For “Constipation,” you wrote 변비 (byeon-bee), and then romanized it as byeong-bee? I know it’s minor, but I just wanted to make sure you knew.

  30. I know of the needle-to-the-ass well, only with me it’s two & I’m sure its a completely different concoction then what you have. I suffer from ice pick migraines and the only thing that cures them are two needles in my butt (the doctor told me once that its better to have them in the most fleshy part of my body because it will get into my system quicker) they knock me out for twelve hours & I wake up feeling good as new. Get well soon Martina & Simon, we need you healthy for your Australia trip.
    Do you have the flu shot in Korea ?

  31. Pill cams sounds awesome! So does one get to keep the pill cam after they poop?

  32. It’s a good thing you named the medicine in the blogpost so people traveling to Korea, might know what to look for in case of sickness…

    Korea isn’t the only one where you need a recipe for pretty much everything.(except for cold purpose drinks : Fervex it’s perfect! but don’t know if other countries have it….and except for throat candy) and I can understand their policies. Many people don’t have the time or money to go to the doctor or hospital (not to mention ginormous lines to wait and you come back home even more sickened than you were initially…from all the sick people around you) so they buy medicine that THEY think it’s good for them. Some of the times the disease goes away but if the disease doesn’t go away and in the end … they still have to go to the doctor. Moral of the story is… if you take those medicine that you thought first to be helpful, but aren’t …those damage your stomach… even prescribed medicine by the book…damage your stomach but in a smaller amount.

    I’ve had some pretty scary experiences with “doctors” and I’m terrified of going to one in the future but I haven’t been to the doctor (physical) doctor for the past two years. I’ve been consuming aloe vera gel and eating a small piece of garlic every morning and that just solved it. I just can’t imagine how someone in Korea can catch a cold with all those spicy foods around… or is it that once you consume too much of it… the body gets too used to it and it doesn’t have any effect?

    About “I can see your insides” story…. *sigh* Martina, this is the first time I feel like scolding you!! “green tea like water + coffee” …coffee has already the property of fast digestion… if you drink green tea on top of it … that’s like doubling the effect + spicy food… I don’t even want to think about it > . < "Turns out" Simon…*sigh* please keep an eye on Martina from now and then will you? (it wouldn't hurt if you checked online with healthy eating tips either…or better ask a nutritionist…. now and then :P)

    Take care of yourselves guise! Martina is far more sick then I imagined….take this chance to get some more rest… ( I feel like I'd be a total nagger in your presence… for good reason of course! :P)

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  33. Wow it sounds totally insane to me … even paying a 100 bucks to go to the hospital is quite insane for me as I’m french because here health rekated services are basically free so …

  34. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but when you come to Australia, you’re probably going to have a bit of trouble getting your hands on some Sudafed/other medicines containing pseudoephedrine, especially any which is strong. =
    They are pretty strict about controlling the sale of Sudafed here, unfortunately, as you typically, to be able to purchase it, have to provide your Driver’s Licence/Passport/Other form of reliable ID, which they’ll put into a database, so they can track any purchases made by you, to ensure you’re not buying copious amounts, from various different pharmacies, to use for making drugs. And, that’s just for weak, over the counter strength forms of the medicine… For any stronger medicines, you’d definitely a prescription, and they’d still put you into the database.

    I know you guys aren’t going to try make drugs, or anything of the sort, and are just looking for some relief from the dreadful cold which has been going around, but I just thought I would give you some warning, so you don’t get a shock from the pharmacy trying to get all your details, just from buying some Sudafed =P haha.

    None the less, I can’t wait for you guys to come visit here, and I hope you have a fantastic time! ^____^ See you at the KWAVE Festival~

  35. How did you get memmers if Martina’s allergic to cats?

  36. Even though you guys are sick, (get well soon!!) I really like the new “setting” for this video :D

  37. Good luck getting any medication with Pseudoephedrine in while you’re here (Australia). More often than not the pharmacy refuse to sell it to you “without a script”.

  38. Jennifer Manami Hernandez

    A doctor my family and I used to go to always gave shots in the hip/butt area so martina getting the “needle in the butt” didn’t sound too weird to me lol it really does seem to work faster!

  39. I was in Seoul for a holiday this june and I was sick 5 days out of the 7 days that I’m there. Went to Seoul University Hospital A&E because I was having high fever. Blood test (3 tubes!), Urine test, X-ray, one big bag of drips + one bag of fever medicine (drip) and 3 days worth of medication and I still didnt recover. So I went back after I finished all the medicines and they gave me another 7 days worth of antibiotics and whatsnot. It was not pretty, 39.5 degree celsius fever for 5 freaking days ! And the bill came up to S$450. Thank God for travel insurance ! Here come the WORST part……… I got a FEMALE doctor. DAMN! LOL

  40. Korea gets some things right and some things wrong, but the health care system is one of, if not the, best in the world. Medical insurance is a national affair, and registration is mandatory ( although obviously there are myriads of private medical insurance products). Everyone pays an equal portion of their income. Might sound kind of draconian-Socialistic to some, but nobody really complains, as the level of health care we receive is top-notch and super cheap. A trivial visit to the doctor, for something like an eye infection, costs about 10$ a pop, including the medicine.
    The only downside I experienced was that the waiting time can be excruciatingly long on busy days for some huge hospitals, like university hospitals.

    • That’s exactly why healthcare in the US will never be cheap. Very few people in the US will agree to be taxed the amount it would cost to provide national health care coverage to provide everyone with affordable health care. Did you see the intense fight against Obama care, we ended up with a fragmented plan that ultimately doesn’t solve the cost issue at all. I’m sure Canada’s taxes and Korea’s taxes are substantial compared to the US. Plus the diversity of the US I think plays a large role in preventing progress, because some groups of people don’t want to “have to pay for other people or immigrants or ‘lazy people on Medicaid’-no offence to anybody, just showing some people’s views-”. Whereas in Korea, with more homogeneity, people feel more obligated to help their fellow countrymen out, even though it means they recieve a smaller paycheck in the end. I think for Canada, the culture of the country is just nicer than the US, which is why it works there (but not everyone likes it). Also, the US allows companies to hold their patents on medications and medical equipment and devices for longer and thus companies charge insane amounts in the US to cover for the loss of money outside of the US where they cannot charge outrageous prices. Thus medications that are not generic (brand name drugs) are so much more expensive in the US, where as outside the US, most of them are generic versions and much much cheaper. Also, in the US, protection against litigation is prohibitively expensive, and in a culture that readily sues for anything, medical practices, from individual doctors to hospitals have to cover their butts and order a bunch of redundant and possibly unnecessary tests to make sure nothing can come back to bite them later. Believe me, as a resident doctor, it kills me how expensive everything is in health care. More and more of the newer generation doctors are pushing for some kind of universal affordable healthcare system. On the other hand, most graduating doctors only start earning money in their late 20s to 30s, working less than minimum wage per # hours working in our resident years, while having at least 200,000-300,000 if not more dollars in debt from loans going through college and med school (as well as give up most of our social life through our 20s). Then after that we get burned out from the piles of paperwork and fighting with insurance companies (seeing patients is the best part of the day, but they don’t see all the work surrounding that, 15 minutes with a patient = 30 minutes at least of additional documentation, follow up, dealing with crappy insurance companies). So that leads to doctors with far less drive to fight the cost battle. Ultimately there are a lot of reasons why the US healthcare system costs so much and sucks so much, but it is so darn difficult to change.
      My 2 cents, sorry it got a lot longer than I expected it to be. Sorry for the essay.

  41. Can you guys talk about your honeymoon? I wanna see the last part of your relationship TL;DR thingy!

  42. Hah. You just reminded me of the last time my family and I were in Japan, I got really sick and while we were at Tokyo Disneyland I spent most of the day ass-up in the medical clinic there getting shots in the bumcheek :( So I don’t think it’s just Korea that they do this.

  43. Sorry just bein’ nit picky but

    Robaxin = Methocarbamol
    Robaxacet = Methocarbamol with Acetaminophen
    Robaxasal = Methocarbamol with ASA (acetylsalicylic acid aka Aspirin)
    Robax Platinum = Methocarbamol with Ibuprofen

  44. health care in Philippines, Kind of sucked… Medicines are expensive, every thing they do to you has payment… government hospitals are waaayyy cheaper but ugh… don’t want to talk about it anymore…. *sobs*

  45. I recently got a “magic shot” in my butt when I went to the hospital in the US. It was Toroidal, which is the same family of medicine as Ibuprofen. I felt amazing within 15 minutes after being absolutely miserable.

  46. They have the same “condom” packets in Taiwan! One time I got really dizzy after taking them and called the doc. He told me to stop taking one of the pills, but added, “Only old people get dizzy when taking that.” LOL I guess a 26 y/o American is the equivalent to an old Taiwanese person! ;)

    Get better soon Martina! Do they have Ginseng Ramen there? That’s what I always had when I was sick in Taiwan. I got it from 7-11 (I’m pretty sure it was a Japanese brand).

  47. You can find out what the active (medicinal) ingredients are in your favourite over-the-counter medicines by either checking the manufacturer’s website or Wikipedia. It’s amazing how many familiar products have different formulations in different countries depending on the rules in each area (sounds like Canada is one of the rare countries where pseudophedrine is still available, wow!)

  48. I had a cold/fever for a week before my co-teachers convinced me to go the the “hospital” with them. The side of effects of the medicine were falling asleep five minutes after taking the medicine – no matter what I was doing (made teaching really difficult) and I couldn’t hold my hands still, they were shaking as though I had parkinsons. So that was bad, but on the other hand, I cut my little finger open while washing up (glass exploded!) and took a taxi to the university hospital in Seoul at 1 am. I got 3 x-rays and a urine sample test thing before they stitched me up. It cost a little over $100 for that and my subsequent bandage changes I went to a little clinic where they charge $2 every 2 days including the day they removed my stitches. Pretty good, but then again, I’m from the UK so all of that would have been free.

    • 3 x-rays and a urine test for a stich-up? O_o Sounds like what I’ve read about abuse of the healthcare system in Japan, where healthcare is subsidized, and there is a high level of hospitals ordering unnecessary tests because they are reimbursed by the government with little oversight.

  49. Aww that’s too bad that Martina is sick :( i hope you feel better! It was nice to see you film at home again though! There’s something comforting and (pardon the pun) homey and warm when you film at home again versus at the EYK studio. Don’t get me wrong, i really appreciate the work you’ve been able to do with the studio but it just feel nice to be “welcome into your home” again i guess ^_^”

  50. Ooh. Fun fact: “Jjuk” (what is the hangul for that btw?) sounds really similar to 粥 which is “zuk1″ in Cantonese (“zhōu” in Mandarin) and it’s English translation is simply rice “porridge”.. it’s also refereed to as “congee” or “gruel”.

    • irritablevowel

      That always drives me crazy when I see it translated as “gruel”. Porridge is what Goldilocks ate. Porridge evokes images of sitting in a rocking chair by a warm fire on a winter day. Gruel is what prisoners and poor street waifs from a Dickens story eat, or possibly Galley slaves who sweat and toil while pulling on a giant oar in unison. In other words, marketing wise, it’s always best to call it porridge.

      • Gruel is a thinner version of porridge.

      • Ditto that!! Hahaha. I totally agree… and just call it “rice porridge” when explaining it to anybody who doesn’t know what it is because most people who don’t know what it is would not know what “congee” is either. I don’t even know how to pronounce “congee” in English D: supposedly it’s “kan-ji” or something close?

    • Yum, congee. :D

      • Ack thinking about it is making me hungry. I haven’t had any kind besides the Chinese versions but they’re so frickin’ good!

  51. My only comeback when people say something bad about Canada, or try do the typical Canadian “eh” accent:

    “I can’t hear you over my free healthcare”

  52. Edgar Carreno Vazquez

    Martina, i hope you feel better soon. It’s horrible being sick…….. On another note thanks for all the helpful terms in the blog.

  53. irritablevowel

    Holy crap, Meemers has learned to teleport!

  54. Hope you feel better soon Martina! Sorry you’re sick :(

  55. Evidently, there is no HIPPA law in Korea. Everybody watching procedures?! Crazy talk! XD
    Yeah, the camara pills have been around for a while. Though, in America, they don’t like using them often, unless you are REALLY sick and they can’t figure out what is wrong with you.

  56. I hurt my tail bone like 8 months ago and have been doing PT forever! I’ll ask him for the magic ass needle! Thanks for the advice. Also, dental stuff isn’t that bad! I find it to be about half the price of US dentists! I’m getting the best dental implant available for 2,300,000 W, which included the bone graft. This procedure in the states would have cost me over 5,000 $. Also, most dentists are willing to give discounts to foreigners!

  57. If you are planning on buying pseudoephedrine in Australia they will ask for ID a will not sell you more then one packet. They also enter your details into a nation wide database to track who is buying it so even if you buy a packet in Sydney then try to buy a packet in Melbourne they will know.

  58. Another important drug type: Antihistamines! For those like me with more traditional seasonal allergies.

    And as far as I’m hearing, Korea is pretty darn cheap in the hospital and healthcare department. I pay roughly $80 a month in just Insurance premiums for an HMO, and that’s only because I took the higher copay option! It costs just to visit a doctor, nevermind getting a prescription filled or seeing a specialist; all only applicable within the HMO’s ‘network’. Ambulances are just bankruptcies on wheels.

  59. i think it could be interesting for the TL;DR the theme of how are the bank in Korea? it is the same how in dramas show it or is deppending of the bank.
    and for foreing it is necessary to change of bank? are bank paperwork in Korea complicared?

  60. Pseudoephedrine’s tightly regulated in Australia as well but you can still get it over the counter, you’ll need your ID though! And if you’re looking for acetaminophen in Australia, ask for paracetamol, same thing different names here! (Loved this post btw, I’m studying pharmacy so I got excited over you guys mentioning medicines, I’m a nerd/weird I know haha) See you guys in Melbourne! My sisters and I can’t wait to meet you guys!

  61. In the United States, well in Texas anyways, doctors usually give penicillin shots in the butt area–I bet that is what your “magic shot” was. The only shots I’ve gotten in my arm were things like flu shots, tetanus shots, and other travel vaccinations.

    • I know that’s the only shot I’ve heard of being given in the butt. Last time I was in need of one, that was an option but I opted for the arm instead. It made my entire arm go numb and lifeless for probably 15 minutes! A butt shot of the stuff probably would have made it hard to sit down…

    • I think Korean magic shot to the ass is anti-biotic cocktail. SK is #1(yay!) in using(actually abusing) it.

  62. Nicole Parrillo

    Words cannot express how fond I am of the system here. It’s so affordable! Even for the big stuff, like Martina was saying. Of course it’s not perfect, but it’s not the American system, which is completely retarded. I have had many visits to the hospital during my time in Korea so far. I swear, it’s like they’re trying to kill me here! I’ve only had /one/ bad experience, and it was from one of the student doctors or whatever, since I was at a university hospital. Needless to say when I spoke to the staff about it later, I never saw him again. Hah! Take that, you big meanie!

  63. I sooooooooooooooooo wanna swallow one of those pill cams!!! Never heard of that before but it sounds awesome!!!

  64. The other thing that blew my mind about Korean medicine was all the slapping that accompanied shots- I got a needle in the ass once for a bladder infection and the nurse slapped the spot up good before stabbing me which was quite a shock. I asked my friend translating what that was about and she said “so you don’t feel the needle.” I guess it worked in that respect!

  65. Terri ChaeRim Berger

    Sorry to be all persnal Martina but, what do you do to cure the magic?? Any medicine that is best for when the extremely magical cramps are severe?

  66. I was in Ajax hospital in Ontario for hypothermia. Complained about also having back pain, got a needle in the ass :|
    Right away, no more back pain, but instead…butt pain D: Waited around 2 hours before seeing a doctor. Not too bad

    Whereas in Montreal, I’ve waited 8 hours before seeing a doctor Q_Q y quebec, y u do dis to me

  67. Ummmmm not sure if you’ve been told this but you can’t get pseudoephedrine in Australia. Technically its available over the counter but most chemists will treat you like a drug criminal and try to put you on “new formula” which is pseudo free cold medicine which has the benefit of being expensive and useless. :-/

  68. Have you guys tried looking the pills up online? There are websites where you can look up the description of the pill and it can tell you what it is and what its used for and all that jazz. http://www.rxlist.com/pill-identification-tool/article.htm

  69. How is plastic surgery viewed in Korea? Idols are often under fire for having it and deny any rumors. But Korea is now the #1 country in the world for plastic surgery and there was also a controversy with the 2012 Miss Korea pageant. Is plastic surgery common and accepted? Do parents encourage it? Is surgery a big deal in Korea (and if yes, why)?

    • I think they’d done a TL;DR on this. Also for further information go onto Talk To Me In Korean’s website… they had some sort of interview with two(?) people about that topic, I believe.

  70. Martina’s allergic to cats? :o How could you tolerate living with a cat (T.T) Poor Martina and the Lost Kitteh…

  71. I had a tube down my throat four years ago but it gave me traumas because I don’t think the pain killers worked that well :( I also had the pill camera soon after that (I’m from Finland). and I saw the footage … wow, that’s some disturbing home video right there. But it wasn’t showcased to anyone but me! >_>

  72. I so understand you martina. I’m in vacation and sick. I hope you ‘ll get well soon

  73. When I was living in Korea, I went to Severance International Hospital (Yonsei University’s Hospital). Their service was really good. I like how they prepare the medications for you (in my home country, you have to go buy them yourself with a note from the doctor). Also their staff speaks English, Japanese & Russian at least (other languages might be available). You need to call ahead for an appointment but they usually take you on in the day of the call. The staff was helpful with the insurance things (they made all the calls in Korean for us) and they were really nice (One of the nurses told me I was cute ^^’). BUT it seems like in SK, most health-care don’t take in charge emergency care (in the emergency room, during the night by example) so bear through the pain and take an appointment in the morning, or you’ll have to pay in the hundreds of dollars >__<"

  74. Ahh~ Juk, the magic healing remedy to everything. Literally every time I mention the words sick or ill my mum gets to the kitchen to make the stuff haha Funnily, the thing that cures me the best is Vietnamese pho XDD

  75. Lol, we actually have that aweful medicine in Uruguay, but the whole point is that it makes you throw up, so whatever is upsetting your stomach will leave your body :3

  76. OMG I WANT TO BE A DENTIST! If I do it in Korea I’ll strike it rich ASA!

  77. LOL I didn’t know adults got butt shots too. Growing up in China as a kid, every time I got sick I had one of those miracle needle to the ass. I thought that was just where needles were supposed to go until I came to Canada…and the nurses asked me to roll up my sleeves instead.

  78. Yeah American health care sucks big time…I try to avoid going to the doctors unless I really need to (like physicals or emergencies). A stupid minor surgery on ur pinky toe would cost like thousands of dollars because you have to pay for the local anesthetics, a foot specialist (idk but it’s possible), that one doctor that comes in for 3 sec, another doctor that comes in for a minute, and your surgeon and his/her team. Plus the room you’re staying in and the meds you have to take afterwards. It’s lame.

    • Also, they did a study and since medical fees aren’t regulated, the charges for them can differ widely. One extreme example was a treatment cost about $1,000 in one place and $90,000 in another. Also, I read somewhere that hospitals charge insanely high bills and insurance companies haggle them down. However, the average consumer doesn’t know they can haggle. Another thing is that many hospitals try to recoup the loss of not getting paid by one patient with overcharging others. The system needs serious help.

  79. I remember Suzy got some vitamins from a fanmail package a while ago, so are vitamins not popular/ hard to find in Korea?

  80. Is the Korean Health Care system like Canada’s or more American?

  81. Aww feel better guise!

  82. Jolene 졸린 McConnell

    I had an MRI at Busan National University Hospital and it cost a bit over 700,000 won – so it isn’t always cheap. However, I also had knee surgery – to replace a torn ACL and to cut a partially torn meniscus. That, which is an out-patient surgery in the US, was 7 days in the hospital. My total bill, after insurance, was about 2,400,000 won – waaaaay cheaper than in the US, particularly since I had a semi-private room in the hospital.

    One thing that is different though, is that there aren’t really orderlies or aides in the hospital. Koreans are expected to either have family take care of them, or to hire a service to take care of their small needs in the hospital. So there’s no one to help you to the bathroom, or carry things like your dinner tray for you, or to empty your bedpans, or whatever your small day-to-day needs are. Nurses don’t do these things in the hospital – their job seemed to be a lot more administrative. I only saw a nurse when she changed my IV (twice). My doctor came to see me a few days. Aside from that, I didn’t seen a single medical professional. So if you’re in the hospital for something a bit more serious than the flu, make sure that you’re aware of these things.

  83. Christopher Rucinski

    I was going to write about….What about dentists?!?!

    Then you showed something with it…but then left us hanging!!!

    • Christopher Rucinski

      Any knowledge of the differences between hospitals and personal doctors? More expensive, less, the same? anything else? And what about those dentists?

  84. my younger sister got horrible food poisoning when we were in Algeria, and just like in Korea (minus the fancy machines) she got a huge needle in the ass :P The doctor came in for literally 2 seconds, touched her abdomen once and decided on the glorious butt shot. Hooray for the magical needle in the ass!

  85. i’m curious about the last story here on ur blog- so in the end what did they do for martina’s bad heartburn? pills or the needle to the butt? o_o

  86. bigbangfosho

    HHAHAHA Seeing Martina’s stomach/esophagus– that’s what marriage does to you. SIX YEARS OF MARRIAGE!!

    Besides that, I hope you both have speedy recoveries (Simon, this is for you too), and the animals were super cute in this video.

  87. A year and a half ago I had to go to the hospital because I dislocated my knee during gym class. (I was dressed up as a nun. It’s a tradition in Belgium that the students of the last year of high school dress up according to some themes for a week. It’s to celebrate the last 100 days of school) Anyway I couldn’t move my leg anymore because it hurted so bad. The doctor that came to see me wasn’t Belgian and didn’t speak Dutch well. He had a funny accent and because of that I didn’t understand him. So he started stretching my leg which hurted like hell. So even if you live in your home country these weird situations can happen. T_T haaa the memories…

    Martina get better! And Simon, don’t get sick! :)

  88. Haha Simon, That TONG TONG TONG xD Don’t worry, I got your Sisqo reference :P We listened to that song all the time when I was very young and didn’t have a clue as to what that song meant…

    But it’s nice to know that the Health Care is pretty cheap there even if it’s not free like here in Canada. And plus I don’t even really get sick for some reason…I’m pretty scared of needles so they’ll probably have to take me kicking and screaming XD Anyway, feel better soon you two!

  89. Waaah get better Martina~ I feel your pain. I’ve been sick all week and I even lost my voice. That, like, never happens to me. D: And it’s kinda freaky, because my vocal range dropped a couple octaves it felt like. O_O I lost control of all my tonalities and meaningful ups-and-downsies in my speech, too. T_T I spent most of a day just whispering because that was more understandable than my breaking voice. My soprano-ness was taken from me and I couldn’t sing along with any kpop or even talk. And I had to take a trip over the weekend too. Icky! So get well soon! All of us!

  90. I have a miserably bad cold right now too Martina! Something is definitely going around. I have been around so many sick people lately I have no idea who I caught it from.

    *Hugs you just because I’m already sick and totally can!*

  91. My doctor loves giving shots. Right in the ass. It’s actually easier then getting them in other places so it’s better. Plus by getting the shots you get better faster.
    I have often wondered about pain medication in Korea. I assume Martina needs Robaxin for her muscle/skeletal problems. I have to take it pretty regularly for the same reason.
    I wish America had Canada’s near perfect health care. I hate our health care. ugh. I’ve yet to hear anything really bad about Korea’s health care either.

  92. Did anyone else spend the whole video worrying that Martina was going to spill her drink all over her adorable stuffed pig?

    Anyhow, feel better, guys!

  93. LongClawTiger

    So sorry to hear you guys are feeling sick. We just had a wave of sickness sweep through our house after our kids just started the new school year and came into contact with all the other kids again. It was not fun at all.:P If it counts for anything, I am trying to send you warm weather vibes to help out.

    • LongClawTiger

      Oh, forgot to mention this…BLACK BLACK! It is a Japanese caffeinated mint extract chewing gum. If you can find it over there, it is amazing for opening up the sinuses and helping you breathe better. All of my co-workers stock up on it during the winter months because it works so much better than most cold medicines you can find on the shelf here.

  94. PunkyPrincess92

    aaww get well soon Martina!!! and Simon… get well soon after you actually get sick!!!

    hey we have really liquidy rice when we get sick!! but no chicken or other ingredients!! none of us kids like it!!

    aw Meems jumping up on the kitchen counter!!
    ahahah eeewww Martina snotted on you!!! gross!!! haha!!

  95. Get better Martina! And Simon, don’t you dare give in to that cold :P I wanted to say, that Russia has the same outlook on ‘needle to the ass’ situation. It’s like, ‘don’t even need to know what you have, but needle to the ass will help ya’. Haha, anyways, glad that there’s another country out there with the same medical solution.

  96. TL.DR is definitely my favorite segment. …and this one in particular. .thanks guise.

  97. Aww Martina :( I hope you get well soon!

    In terms of butt shots (you have to pull down pants? wouldn’t it be embarrassing? xD) I haven’t had that but I have had a shot that was in a weird place. Normally it’s in my arms, or when I was in the hospital, they put all the shots through my IV. However, there was one shot that couldn’t go through the IV for some reason. It was to stop me from getting a blood clot I think, because I was highly contagious so I had to stay in my room and my illness made it painful to walk anyway, so I basically laid in bed for the 3 days I was there. They had to put it either below my belly button to the right or to the left a bit (kinda around where my ovaries are but a bit higher I think). They said most people find it a bit painful but it just so happens I am most ticklish there (especially to the left). So the whole time they were giving me the shot, including when the needle was in my body, I was laughing because it tickled so much xD They said it was the first time they had anyone laugh from that shot. It was a little painful afterward but not too bad, it mostly burned.

    Also I’m wondering about the availability of liquid medicine in Korea. I can’t swallow pills no matter how much I try :/ The little baggy of pills they gave to scares me because that is soooo many to crush up and take D: When I have cramps I always just take liquid ibuprofen so is that available in Korea (it should be right? because a lot of children cant swallow pills…) When I had my illness I only had to take 1 medicine but it was the most nasty antibiotics I have ever tasted in my life. Even people who could swallow it said it was nasty, and the flavor was only intensified by me crushing it up. Previously, I would just mix medicine with some juice, but the flavor was so nasty it made me nearly vomit every time (couldn’t even taste the juice even if it was something strong like 100% grape juice) and I had a hard time getting all the medicine left at the bottom. So I went to plan b: make a makeshift pill using yogurt. I’d pour some of the crushed pill into yogurt and try to fold the yogurt over so the pill contents were inside a yogurt bubble. Then I put it on my tongue (at this point I usually couldn’t taste the medicine, but sometimes I could) and take some grape juice and try to position the straw under the yogurt bubble. Then I drank really quickly and usually the yogurt would glide down my throat without my tongue coming too much in contact with the medicine. I tasted it enough to be grossed out, but not enough to spit it out or vomit. I wish I could just swallow pills so I wouldn’t have to do all this .-.

    Edit: Also my room was a private room with a tv, it was really fancy. I could even use the internet on the tv but the keyboard in my room didn’t work so I had to stick to movies/tv (movie selection sucked, I watched the hunger games so many times xD) It was a private hospital. But my hospital bill, which was over $20k, was cut down to only $100 because I’m uninsured and don’t have a job. However, all my costs from everything else (such as the specialists coming to examine me) still resulted in a couple thousand dollars in medical bills.

  98. Ray

    Get well you 2 and stay away from Soo Zee and Leigh…just kidding they will take good care of you guys…fighting!

  99. I’m sick too =.= Maybe the flu got to me from South Korea from Martina? O.O Noooooo Martina how could you spread your cold to the world!!! :P
    but to be serious here in Poland even though we have insurances if we stay in hospital they won’t do a full health check up for you, because them money we pay does not cover everything…I remember when I had a surgery because of my appendix, not only they made a wrong diagnosis at first that made my appendix to burst, but later on when I wasn’t full recovered ( after 6 days) they made me go home, because the hospital had to many patients and the treatment for me was over….the health system here in Poland is sick -_- that’s why I don’t like going to see a doctor or to hospital -_-

  100. kinda related but kinda off topic as well: seeing as you have to look for the igredients in your prefered medicine, would you have to do this with birth control pills as well? are they hard to get? because i remember something about women not using birth control pills very much in Korea, i wondered if they are hard to get or the women just prefer not to. :)

  101. Most embarrassing thing, my Korean mother-in-law followed me into the room and watched me get a shot in the butt.

    I have the same issue with all those pills. It’s insane, they could be poisoning me and I wouldn’t even know it. It makes it even scarier when you are allergic to a certain type of medicine and you never know if that medicine has been added to the packet or not. I had to put a whole lot of trust in my husband, every time I went to see the doctor.

    And chicken noodle soup! My Homeplus always had cans of the Campbell’s, so no jook for me.

  102. I pray that Martina feels better soon and that Simon doesn’t get it…. Thank you for all the information that you impart to an older lady who never goes anywhere. :)

  103. thisisjustforfunval

    Breaking Bad fan here! But sadly I already knew about Pseudoephedrine for meth cooking before the show. Plus I lived in New Mexico for four years and saw too many people using that crap. ANYWAYS. Wow, meth cooking in Korea? :-O

    And $100 for a CT scan! I’m still trying to pay my $600 bill for the one I had this year, plus all the other med bills. It’s just good I have insurance and owe only $2,500 as opposed to the $60,000 my bills actually come out to. I envy Canada’s health care for all.

    Shots to the ass, you get those in Mexico as well (well I’m not sure about all Mexico). My friends will cross the bridge into Juarez when they get sick and get a miracle needle to the ass. And go about their day.

    Guys get better soon. Colds in the summer are just wrong.

    • Canadian health care is not perfect though. You wouldn’t pay for a CT scan, but if they think it’s not that urgent, you could wait for MONTHS.

    • Yep, in México you can get a needle to the ass, it just make thinks easier jaja
      p.d: i know that because i’m mexican XD

      • thisisjustforfunval

        I’m pretty sure as a kid I would have gotten lots of shots to the ass if my dad hadn’t been military and we could use the Army Hospital here. Everything else though medicine wise we would cross over to Juarez to get.

        For a few of my friends it’s like their winter routine. Winter’s coming, I always get sick so I’m going to get my shot brb XD

    • Insurance in the US is kind of a double edged sword. You pay a lot for it, and still have to pay some amount because it doesn’t cover 100%. You are happy that you don’t have to pay the full 60k, but even uninsured people don’t have to pay that. I have no insurance and I probably had to pay less than you (the cost of my CT scan was completely wiped). My initial medical bill was over 20k, and I only had to pay $100. The specialists resulted in me having to pay a couple thousand despite that, but it was still cheaper than actually paying for insurance for a year (through my mom’s work).

      • thisisjustforfunval

        My last insurance was so bad, it cost a crap load of money and had an out of pocket of $5000 after the $2000 deductible. I was horrendous. Thankfully this new one, while rather confusing, covers soooo much better. And half of what I use to pay for my old one. Different companies, different insurances. But the cost is still insane.

    • Criminals manufacture drugs in SK, then send it Australia and Japan. It’s too dangerous to sell it in SK, and customs are lax between SK and AUS. There had been number of cases this spring, so cops are now more attentive.

  104. So, this raises the question of mental health in Korea. As you know, the west still struggles with the stigma of mental illness. I just saw a character in one of my drama’s who had a father who had a brain injury. It was all very sad. Is there any stigma attached to mental illness in Korea?

    • There’s a lot of stigma attached to mental illnesses here, if you are a student you will be sent back home.A friend of mine had a mental breakdown in March and he was not treated fairly, actually they treated him like an animal and lied about the existence of mental illness among Koreans themselves. They claimed that no Korean has ever suffered from mental illness in history- not true at all (see Korean suicide rates).

      BTW:Koreans I live around are assholes, they are not the reflection of the entire society.

    • Were you perhaps watching Who Are You? It was so heartbreaking…T^T

    • I’m wondering about this also. I work in the mental health field and wonder how Koreans would respond to mental illness. I have heard that it is a touchy subject and is ignored. Could the attitude towards it be changing as Koreans become more exposed to Western culture?

  105. simon and martina get better! but my question is, and i don’t really travel but is it it easy to bring your own personal medicine to korea or do you need a doctors letter?

    • It wasn’t hard at all. I took same Prescription paper with me from my doctor saying I needed to bring my inhaler/Rx meds to Korea. But you have to have the original container/box for the meds/inhaler. As for over-the-counter meds, I just put them in plastic sandwich bags and labeled what they were in English. No one ever said anything going through customs on either side. The only thing for me was to put my Rx meds in that container when going through the scanner area at the airport. I packed my over-the-counter meds in my checked luggage. Prescription meds should be in your carry-on. :)

  106. Feel better snotty Martina (and Simon, for when you inevitably also catch it)! <3

  107. Get well soon! Love ya’ll! <3

  108. Pobrecita, feel better madre!

  109. It’s also good practice to bring along a doctor’s note for your prescription medication. And also, to check what is legal/illegal in a given country and what is prescription only. Pseudoephedrin is one. Another one is codein. In Canada, 8mg WITH acetaminophen is available without prescription (but only behind the counter). In the UK it’s 12mg with ibuprophen OR acetaminophen. In Russia, you can buy straight up codein up to 30mg if I remember correctly. Speaking of acetaminophen in a lot of countries it is only known as paracetamol (it is, however, the same molecule).

    • In the United States, depending on which state you are in, it can be a pain to buy pseudoephedrin (usually depending on how bad the meth problem is. Had no issue in the New England sates, but it was a bit more complicated in New Jersey)

      • Oh my lovely state of Jersey…where you can tan to a fun shade of oompa loompa at the tender age of 16 with just a nod from your parents, but need to show I.D. at 25+ to purchase Sudafed which they keep locked up behind the counter. Home sweet home

        • And cigarettes are so much cheaper than in New York. I remember taking the PATH to Grove st., crossing to Duane Reade and buying like 10 packs, then heading back to Manhattan. Also, selling cigarettes in a drugstore is SO alien to me as it’s been illegal in the province of Québec for at least 20 years!

  110. Hope you feel better soon Martina!

    I remember when I had my appendix out in Australia and 2 Korean friends visited me and were like “Why are the nurses so old?” and I’m like “what do you mean?” because some of the nurses were 40 or 50 but I didn’t think that is really old. My friends were like, “Oh because nurses in Korea are usually young women and they don’t keep nursing after a certain age.”

    I don’t know how true that is but the one time I did visit a hospital in Korea the nurses all seemed quite young. And my husband’s aunt was a nurse, she’s not that old but she has retired now. Meanwhile in Australia all the nurses I know are working until a much later age.

    I’ve had good and bad experiences with Korean medicine that my husband’s family gives me. One cold medicine drink worked really well but there was some other vile stuff too.

  111. THIS COMMENT CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT IS NOT FOR THE SENSITIVE SOULS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

    Poor you Martina, I hope you get better soon. And stay well Simon.

    I am currently dreading the winter season myself, because it’s been almost 30 degrees Celsius here, and when December comes it will most likely drop to – 10, brrr… and this also brings a wave of Cold and Winter Vomiting Decesase, something I until this day still have not caught, even if I constantly use public transport. I hope that I somehow became immune to it, don’t fancy vomiting for a week.

    Anyway, speaking of vomit (like anyone ever does, this is a weird post), I do feel for your weird vomit-mention in the TLDR. When I was 7, me and my family and I went to Malaysia for summer holiday for 2 weeks, and I ended up getting food poisoned badly. We literally came back, and I threw up badly, the sink was clogged tight afterwards. Anyway, to help my dad gave me this coal powder mixed with water that I was told to drink. It literally looked like it sounds, powdered coal mixed with water. It tasted like dry coal in water, and I just puked that as well.

    I learnt that somehow the best medicine for me (that day) ended up being coke without bubbles. After that, in which I guess there was nothing more for me to throw up, I finally started to feel better. If I hadn’t I am pretty sure my parents would have tried to get me into the hospital. Thankfully,I didn’t have to spend my night there, but the whole experience was nasty.

    • It sounds like your dad gave you activated charcoal–kind of a weird application, though I guess maybe he thought your food might have had poison in it! EMTs give those to patients when they’ve eaten/drunken something nasty (e.g., tried to commit suicide with some household poison) and they won’t be in danger of aspirating because it makes you puke like 99% of the time.

  112. This is a really good subject to cover for people going to Korea. Sorry that you’re sick though Martina. Feel better soon!

  113. Madeleine Stråhle

    GET WELL SOON YOU GUYS!!!! <3

  114. How is Martina allergic to cats? What about Meemers? o.O

  115. I had to go to the Hospital in Seoul when I visited last year, bit of a scary experience. I have a peanut allergy and happened to react to Oreos which are totally safe for me to eat in Canada but apparently may contain peanuts in Korea :(

    Anyway, the hotel staff directed me Seoul National University hospital but none of the taxi drivers would take me there, I think the trip was too short for them to make it worth it. Finally the fifth driver I hale gives me a ride and I make it. The front desk guy didn’t speak English so I tried for a few minutes to explain what was wrong with me and finally he just calls up this English speaking doctor who was able to help me the rest of the night. It was scary at first, needing help in a foreign country but it ended up working out. Like I said, the English speaking doctor stayed with me the whole time since it was quiet and we ended up talking for two or three hours before I left. Turned out almost fun in the end :P

    Total cost was $200 with no health insurance and I haven’t eaten Oreos since!

  116. I have taken grainy medicine here in the US for when you have mucous in your lungs. I never threw up though but i did get nausea when i took it without food. Did you take it on an empty stomach? That or my grainy medicine is legit and you took something i don’t know lol

  117. Expectorants and antitussives are general categories for the medications :P Examples of general names are: codein (antitussive) and guaifenesin (expectorant), ingredients in Robitussin. Here’s some more: (nurse-to-be/EMT hurr)

    Allergies:
    Benadryl (drowsy type): diphenhydramine
    Non-drowsy antihistamine: loratidine

    More pain relievers/fever reducers: (NSAIDs)
    Aspirin: acetylsalicylic acid
    Aleve: naproxen

    Antibiotics:
    Amoxicillin
    Penicillin

    Good luck! (Also I’m surprised they freely broadcast the videos of medical procedures–no Korean version of HIPAA? I guess if it’s anonymous it’s okay…?)

  118. Awww poor Martina, hope she gets well soon. Simon, have a good cold (?). Just kidding, I hope you two get well really soon, I know how annoying is when you’re sick, with a runny nose, slurping every second … At least for you guys is just this time, I suffer every single day ‘because of my rhinitis (ToT) *Whatevaaaa!* … Take Care ~~ <3

  119. Being sick is awful (your brain feels like mush, you say the weirdest of things, and, for me, the meds don’t work), so get well soon guise!!! Like seriously, concentrate on getting better /stern parent mode

    *ahem* This was a very interesting TL;DR. I have hardly ever gone to the doctor (healthcare is expensive in the great U S of A, yay capitalism >_<), so hearing about medical related stuff is always interesting.

  120. Get well u guyz ^^

  121. I love all the detail you put into this tl;dr! I’m studying healthcare (I know, so exciting :P) so I found it really interesting. And yeah, it definitely is pretty cheap there. I could never imagine paying about $100 for an MRI here in the US. And I hope you both feel better!

  122. NOOO, Meemers is gonna get into the jook! O_O then he vanished with it!

    Gah, I’m originally from Canada – my birth control was $20. I move to the US.. Hello $89 for the same stuff! WTF super markup! Nice to hear in Korea they don’t rip people off on medication.

    On that note, when a gal wants hormonal birth control – how does that work in Korea? Similar to north america?

    • ;D Luckily birth control is free now thanks to healthcare reform (unless it’s a super special brand). Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Yup, but yeah, insurance companies have found ways to get around some brands making it back to insane prices, but hopefully everything will get covered one day. Still a burn that medication is like 3 times the cost than Canada.

        • Winifred Hwang

          Definitely. I used to complain all the time when I was on my dad’s crappy insurance. Now that I’m on my own my insurance is pretty good. I think the pill I’m on isn’t actually covered by the Affordable Care Act, but my insurance decided they wanted to anyway (went from $79 to $0 woot). I’ve been contemplating moving to Canada anyway, haha.

        • Have you tried taking your Rx to Costco? (unless you don’t have a Costco by you) I don’t have insurance. They have good prices for cash only patients. Since I’m a Costco member and cash paying, I get a little discount. My birth control pills were only $15. Good luck :)

  123. A shot to the ass is nothing you can get those also here in the U.S. and strange that herbal medicine has done that to you guys I have taken herbal medicine but maybe it is different since the herbal medicine I have taken are are old recipes from my family in Mexico hmm..well anyways hope you get well soon Martina and hopefully Simon won’t get too sick!!!

  124. Hope You feel better soon Martina. <3

  125. I hate colds and sorethroats. I wish you guys get better soon ! I’m sending healthy vibes right now, so you will wake up feeling like this

  126. What the heck makes you puke rainbows??

  127. I have waited for a tl;dr like this for so long! ;A;
    And get well soon Martina!

  128. Meemersworth can teleport? Looks like exo’s Kai has some competition. hehe

    • I thought that was so cute!! First the Meemers was there, and then he jumped up on the counter, and then he disappearified!! IT WAS SO KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  129. I wonder what portion of taxes goes to help covering medical costs in Korea. Actually, could you say something about the tax system? What’s sales’ tax like there? Income tax?

  130. Traditionally the:
    Gift for 1st year of marriage is paper
    Gift for 2nd year of marriage is china
    Gift for 3rd year of marriage is crystal
    Gift for 4th year of marriage is silk
    Gift for 5th year of marriage is wood
    Gift for 6th year of marriage??? Should be sugar, but I totally think that snot is a much more endearing gesture. It comes from the heart, or at relatively close to the heart!
    You guys are so made for each other. Thank you for being good examples of how true, real, and fun loving the one who is made for you can be! Feel better.

  131. Martina get better soon. I hope that you’re back in the swing very soon.
    Simon fingers are crossed you don’t get sick.

  132. Did I just see Dr Meemersworth jump on the sink and freaking disappear? Hilarious editing!

    Good to know that health isn’t too expensive. I freaked out the first time I heard about the American health system, to me the fact of having to pay so much money for medicines and surgeries was totally insane!

    • That’s the problem of filming with animals. They don’t care at all for continuity!

    • Try living in America *with* health insurance, but avoiding the doctor anytime you can. Like seriously, there really needs to be something done about that >_<

      • thisisjustforfunval

        With my old insurance I avoided it like the plague unless it was simple things that didn’t require meeting my deductible I could never meet. Thankfully I had newer insurance this year when I got really sick, but it’s still more expensive that I can handle. Insurances are so weird and confusing though.

        • Josh Chinnery

          I don’t get the point of insurance. Maybe it’s my young mind, but I find it useless >_>

        • thisisjustforfunval
          thisisjustforfunval

          You find it useless till you get really sick. I’m still figuring out medical insurance and I’ve been using it for ten years. Thing was I was never really sick, sick till this year and that’s when it seems useless. Paying into something your aren’t using but then bam you get sick and realize maybe it isn’t so dumb to have lol. I still believe in a medical system like Cananda’s but well till then I’ll hold onto having insurance.

        • Josh Chinnery

          It’s really because I’ve never been sick enough to go to the hospital. Hell, I could be incoherent from the flu and my dad would still send me to school XD

        • thisisjustforfunval
          thisisjustforfunval

          Lol that’s just mean. Making you go to school with the flu is cruel. XD

        • Josh Chinnery

          My dad is extremely old fashioned. You’re gonna get that education, no matter how terrible you feel. He only makes exceptions for when you’re throwing up or in too much pain to walk.

        • Here is a great example of why to get medical insurance even if you think you may never get sick. Having a child. It isn’t technically an illness, it is a totally healthy thing to do, but holy moley is it expensive. All totaled with pre-natal care, labor and delivery, recovery, mandatory testing to make sure the baby is healthy, at least where I am totaled over $20,000. We have to pay $2,000 and that is with the insurance company paying 90%, with a $250 deductible, and a $1,000 out of pocket maximum per person. (Baby is considered another person.) If you don’t have health insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid. However, most people without insurance simply cannot afford the medical care that could be necessary. I am guessing from your name that you are male and don’t have to worry getting pregnant, but it still might be something you deal with later.

        • Josh Chinnery

          I am indeed male (nice observation :3), and no I won’t have to worry about getting anybody pregnant anytime (*prays to the Lord that m-preg is just another disturbing aspect of the fangirl mind*), but I do want kids someday, so I am 100% listening. I know that kids are expensive (all three of my older siblings have children), but I didn’t know it was *that* expensive o.O I guess they meant it when they said that a kid from birth to eighteen years of age costs about a billion dollars >_>

        • First, thank you for understanding I wasn’t attacking in any way. I realized upon re-read that it may be seen as a little terse. It wasn’t meant to be.

          Also, to be fair, one might be able to do it cheaper. I opted for anesthesia (epidural) and had to be induced. Both pricey, but otherwise I had a very healthy pregnancy. It can be even more expensive with complications.

          May you have children when you want and not before. But I do wish men could get pregnant. Then my son could have a sibling without me being pregnant (not really looking forward to that.)

        • Huh. That doesn’t surprise me at all. It cost me about the same to spend a night in the hospital after getting a concussion. Over half the cost was *just* CT scans. Makes me a little twitchy to consider how inexpensive it is elsewhere in the world.

        • Most insurances are like: head you lose, but tail you lose even bigger! In USA it doesn’t make sense to get insurance for anything, so I only buy those that are required by law, such as auto insurance but only at legal minimum. Otherwise, it’s better to have savings.

      • I agree. I was sobbing when they were talking about how inexpensive stuff was. And don’t get me started on Canada. I so wish I could move to Canada.

        • Josh Chinnery

          I was staring at my computer screen like I had seen a ghost. Affordable medical care? What is this craziness!! It is indeed sad that people relocate to whole ‘nother country because they can barely afford to have a doctor or go to the hospital in the US; it honestly baffles my mind why medical help is so expensive here.

        • There were actually several studies done about it being more expensive and not necessarily better. While you tend to be able to get services faster, you may have to wait even so. But here are the reasons:

          1. Charges aren’t regulated. The same treatment can vary greatly from hospital to hospital and region to region. Insanely greatly.

          2. Hospitals charge high. Insurance companies haggle. The average person doesn’t know to do so.

          3. Those who pay have to pay for those who don’t. Hospitals can’t turn people away usually, so people who can’t pay get services even so and the hospital has to recoup the loss.

          4. I am pretty sure there is greed in there somewhere.

        • Greed is really up there on the list. Everyone has their hand out especially when there isn’t competition to keep prices low. Everyone wants to make a quick buck and to be honest it’s a royal pan in the a*s!

      • It seems high deductible with HSA is the answer for many people, if you are reasonably healthy without any serious chronic conditions. Still not as good as Canadian system or even SK ones.

        • Josh Chinnery

          Canada’s system apparently decimates everything on the planet XD All I hear are good things about it and I sometimes feel like it’s a government conspiracy to lure in people >_>

        • Sorry to be a broken record with the child thing, but Canada has mandated 50+ week maternity leave. I almost packed and moved when I heard that. I was given 6.

        • Rukie Andrei

          Well, we could do with increasing out population density, so feel free to move to Canada whenever!
          Only 6 weeks for mat leave? Thats insane! It took my sister in law 8 weeks just to regain proper sleeping and coherency, I couldn’t imagine her having to work just 6 weeks after giving birth, not to mention he had a C-section so she was all stitched.

    • It is totally insane. And even more ludicrous to think that it’s not available to all people. Changes are most certainly needed.

    • Nicole Parrillo

      LOL I saw that too!

    • Hearing about it is one thing living with it is another all together. I am an American and I can tell you that our medical bills can get ridiculous really fast. Wow my gosh these hospitals charge you out the nose for every little thing! I’m always joking that I’m going to leave the country but I don’t actually see that happening, I mean I’ve never even been out of my state!

  133. Thank you so much for posting this! I am moving to Busan at the end of the month (Yeongdo-gu actually) and was wondering about all of this. I’m a delicate flower health wise, so this like whole page is just getting printed out and put in my journal to carry with me.

  134. Hope you guys feel better soon! Funny note, Asian medication makes me throw up as well. My mother used to force feed it to me when I got a tummy ache. Her explanation was that it is supposed to “clear your system of impurities” ie make you vomit uncontrollably until you just pass out and feel better once you wake up in 10 hours. Anywho, hope you guys get better!!! :D

  135. Kyribean

    P.S. Get well soon Martina!!

  136. Awww, hope you feel better Martina (and that you don’t get too sick Simon!)

  137. Kyribean

    In that medicine video, I didn’t realize it was Simon until Martina started talking..!

  138. Jordan

    Pill cams?! Really? I just found out that fingerprint scan locks were real the other day from a friend that has one on her apartment. I don’t think my mind can handle it. THE FUTURE IS HERE!

    • Seriously? They were all the rage on computers a few years ago; EVERYONE advertised their latest laptops and desktops with them XD

  139. get well soon martina!! we love yoooou! both of you take care haha.

  140. I hope you feel better soon, Martina! <3 Maybe cuddling with the Spudgy will make you feel a little better

  141. From now on I will totally use the word “Magic” to describe this time of month :D
    In Germany we used to call it the “red wave” or “strawberry week”. At least my girlfriends and I did. Now I think about it, these are most likely not official terms, we might have made them up^^

    Get well soon Martina!

    • “magic”? “Strawberry week”? Those are ingenious and better names to describe such a painful monthly experience than referring to it as a disliked family member showing up to ruin your plans [Aunt Flo]. Hell, if she’s gonna show up every month without being invited she could at least bring a fun gift…I prefer cookies over cramps.

    • I call it Shark Week or sometimes the Red Tide. Oh period euphemisms.

    • here in Chile there are a lot of coloquial expressions to call it, but what’s funny is the propper name we call it here, which means “the rule”… i just think it’s hilarious.

  142. The more you talk about Korea, the more I think I wont be uncomfortable if I ever go there. I’m from Mexico.
    *Needles to the ass?, yeah, no big deal, it works faster.
    *Careless drivers? Crossing the streets is also an extreme sport here.
    *Fish with bones? It’s a delicacy (I hate it)
    *Food stands on every street-corner? It’s like Tacos here.

    So, yeah, I don’t think I’ll be very inconvenienced XD

    Martina, get well soon!!!! Simon, have a lot of vitamin C!!!
    Love you guys! (:

    • You know, I find that Vitamin C never really helps with these things, at least, not for me…

      • Ahahaha maybe I just love to drink fresh orange juice xD

      • It is because you are supposed to take it when you notice the first signs of being sick or when you notice someone else is sick. It helps it from spreading more/ to you from the other person. If you are already completely sick, Vitamin C will do nothing. Atleast, that’s what I have found

        • LongClawTiger
          LongClawTiger

          My migraine medicine is kinda the same way. If I take it when I first feel a migraine coming on, it will stop it in its tracks. If I already have a full blown headache, then the meds do nothing.

        • thats because when you have a migraine your stomach can’t process things properly. And then the nausea hits and you just upchuck it anyway

        • Tracey Levy

          I’m in the same boat as you, it sucks.

        • I take vitamin C everyday because I heard it’s supposed to help strengthen your immune system. It works for me (I also take 5 other vitamins a day xD), I haven’t been sick for almost a year

      • The Vitamin C thing is an urban legend of sorts based on some research in the 80s…the scientist retracted his article very quickly after it was published, to no avail as it is something still widely believed to this day.

      • Halophila

        With vitamin C the frequency is more important then the dose. Thus, you should take it every hour for about 24 hrs for it to be effective. I usually use 500 mg tablets and take them every hour until I go to bed. I Usually will feel better the next day even if I am not totally cured, but it seems to shorten my recovery time.

      • Vitamin C is only really good for prevention of a cold, but there are some studies that show it may help with the duration of a cold. Zinc has been shown to positively help, with shortening the duration of a cold. Just be careful with how much you take! Especially the zinc nose sprays. Too much can actually ruin the inside of your nose and your sense of smell. You can take a lot of C though, you’ll pee that right out.

      • There’s actually no evidence for it. Google “Linus Pauling” for the history of the Vitamin C cold prevention/immunity boosting myth.

        Scientific studies have only found a possible effect on extreme edge case scenarios (where people were exposed to significant cold stress or extreme physical exertion). Here is an article from the UK NHS:
        http://www.library.nhs.uk/rss/newsAndRssArticle.aspx?uri=http://www.library.nhs.uk/resources/?id=266428

      • You are suppose to take vitamin C everyday. It doesn’t work overnight. My teacher always told me to start taking vitamin C three weeks before a competition to prevent us from falling sick on the actual day.

      • LinZi

        Vitamin C helps your immune system work better. BUT the vast majority of the time the symptoms of a cold are just your immune system OVER-reacting. i.e… ahhh some bacteria… I think making some 구물 for about a week will fix this!

        So actually, by “boosting” your immune system with Vitamin C, you are really helping your body over-react more… which technically causes WORSE symptoms (fever, runny nose, congestion, cough are all your bodies response to illness, not the actual illness itself).

        Brought to you by your friendly gunhosa. :::bows:::

        P.S. from what I have heard (I haven’t read any academic articles, but heard from a doctor) that taking Vitamin D supplements regularly will actually help prevent you from getting sick (i.e. reducing the number of colds you get in a year).

      • Try propolis (w/ echinacea). I take that whenever I think I’m coming down with a cold.
        Multivitamin & B-complex help speed up recovery.
        Nasal rinse with slightly saline solution also helps speed recovery (also good for prevention).

    • “*Careless drivers? Crossing the streets is also an extreme sport here.”

      LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO~ I shouldn’t find this hilarious, but the way you phrased it made me almost fall out of my bed laughing XD

      • but it’s true!! XD
        Once I was standing next to a US tourist, waiting for the cars to stop at a pedestrian crossing (which would never happen) and then she said to her daughter “Alright fine, we’ll have to do this MEXICAN STYLE”. And they crossed the street running. Oh my god, I laughed so hard. XD

        • Josh Chinnery

          Oh Lawd, I would have been rolling on the sidewalk laughing XD

        • As a fellow Latino, I must protest: whenever I drive through the Latino-dense parts of my area, I find people casually strolling across the four-lane boulevard while cars whizz towards them at 50 MPH. It’s more Slowpoke Rodriguez than Speedy Gonzales! Maybe they just trust US drivers more?

    • I’m from Chile, and it’s pretty much the same here LOL. i think Korea and Latin America have a lot of things in common.

    • thisisjustforfunval

      This makes me miss crossing over into Juarez and enjoying the food stands everywhere. Now I’m craving a torta. Driving around and finding random speed bumps around the city that rival the Great Wall of China.

      • Sorry to make you crave! I hope you find something to eat that can compensate the glorious taste of a torta.
        But I bet you don’t miss the speed bumps XD

    • “*food stands on every street-corner? It’s like Tacos here”……Lol sooo true… i’ll love to eat at a street-corner in Korea just like in Mexico. It sounds just like Mexico!

      p.s. Glad to know theres’s somebody else from my country. ujuu. ^^

      • pues aquí andamos! casi siempre estoy de lurker, pero a veces me animo a comentar hahaha XD
        saludos desde Cancún! (:

        • Gris Aguilera

          igual yo, aquí viendo comentarios de vez en cuando.. jejeje.. Saludos desde Jalisco. (^.^)/

    • hahaha se perfectamente a lo que te refieres y yo pensaba lo mismo(: creo que los mexicanos no sufririamos en Corea o ya estariamos acostumbrados a muchas cosas que tambien hacemos aqui :D

  143. get well soon martina!!!

  144. My female Korean students this summer told me all about “magic”, and I thought that was the funniest thing I learned all summer. I taught them that the most common American code-word for the “time of the month” is “Aunt Flo”, which, once they didn’t understand, I was too embarrassed to explain in front of my male students haha!

  145. I would never want to go to a korean hospital…I hate needles and I don’t want a needle being injected into *edit* my ass even if it is quick recovery LOL

    • yeah i’m scared of vaccines, but i think it goes into your butt cheek. I’m not sure if you think it really goes up the ass or if that’s how you chose to word it haha. I live in California, and when I was in elementary school, a girl said she had gotten a shot in her butt cheek (it was funny haha), and it was better because the fat in the butt makes it hurt less! Maybe that is why it’s popular in some places.

      edit: also, she wasn’t Korean! maybe it’s popular with different doctors :P

      • I am not with the idea of it going into my butt…the shoulders and mid joint of my arm being injected kinds of scares me enough to not get anymore injections,and I am not a new born baby LOL

    • slight correction: it’s not up the ass, it’s on the ass. haha :) in the buttcheek.

    • Finally!! Someone who gets me Y_Y Needles are of the devil >_>

      • there are people who want to donate blood but can’t but there are people like me who can donate blood but become pussies in front a little needle

        • Josh Chinnery

          Oh honey, include me in that “become pussies in front of a little needle” bracket >_> I freak out at the needle that they use to measure your blood sugar with (the tiny thing that pricks your finger). I also freak out when I see blood (for whatever reason); I can’t stand the stuff XD

    • Totally agree with you. I hate needles and I would rather just mummify myself in a blanket until I got better. ^n^

    • Nicole Parrillo

      I lost count of how many times I’ve been to the hospital (here in Korea) and I’ve never once gotten the butt shot. lol

  146. I feel as though either Martina or Simon always get sick.

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