Happy Birthday School!

Yesterday was the anniversary of the opening of my school.  Actually, I’m not sure if it was the anniversary of the school’s opening or founding.  I’m inclined to think it was the latter since the beginning of June seems like a strange time to have a first day of school, but this is Korea, and in Korea, anything is possible.

My students and co-workers simply called it “Our School’s Birthday!”  Whatever it was didn’t really matter.  What was important was that we got the day off. 😀  I think we should celebrate schools’ birthdays in Canada too.

“Is not real holiday, Carrie-teacher,” my co-T told me.  “You must write one page essay on what you learned on the holiday.”


“You write one page essay,” she repeated, then smiled and said: “Anything OK.  You don’t really have to learn something tomorrow.  Just write one page about something educational.”


So on my non-holiday holiday, I had a lovely sleep in and then decided to set out in search of cough syrup.   Thanks to the mystery drugs, my cold had all but disappeared.  Or it had run its course, I don’t know.  But I still coughed at night.  And it was annoying.

I went to the pharmacy and asked for cough syrup.

“You have children?” the pharmacist asked me.

“Um… no.  You have cough syrup?”

“You have children?”

“No.  Cough syrup?”


I decided to change my plan of attack.

“I have a cough,” I said, demonstrating by fake coughing.

“Cough, yes,” the pharmacist said, nodding.

“I can’t sleep at night, too much coughing,” I tried explaining.

“You have children?”

“What? No.  No children!”

He looked me up and down, puzzled.  Why did he think I had children?  And what did it have to do with my cough?

“Me, cough.  Sleep, NO!” I tried, fake coughing and then making a large X with my hands.

“Ah!  Cough! Sleep no!”

His face brightened and he handed me a box of capsules.

“English!” he told me proudly as he wrote something on the box.   It did appear to be the roman alphabet but what it said…

It wasn’t the cough syrup I was hoping for but it did say something about coughs on the box so that was good enough for me.   I paid for the capsules (~$2), thanked him politely, and headed out the door.

“Sleep, no!  Bye bye!” the pharmacist said cheerfully, giving me a double-handed wave.

It wasn’t until I got home that it occurred to me: Had the pharmacist given me something that would prevent me from coughing at night so I could sleep?  Or had he given me something for coughing during the day that wouldn’t make me sleepy?

Oh the joys of living in a foreign country… 😀


About Carrie K

Teacher, writer, traveller. Slightly neurotic. Overly talkative. Loving life. You can also follow me on Twitter: kimchigirl72
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