Travel Sick in Northern Seoul

I am not here to lie in bed listening to French music feeling sorry for myself. That’s what I keep saying, but yet here I am.

Many people feel a little sick within their first few days on foreign soil– from jet lag, the change in climate, the change in food– any number of things really. I wait until I’ve been on the road more than three weeks. I was jet lagged when I first arrived in Taiwan, but felt rather robust by the time I arrived in Seoul. Indeed, while everyone else was sleeping off their travel sickness the first week here, I was wandering around and eating kimchi that was making everyone else want to vomit.

Now, everyone else has gone to the National Museum while I assume the fetal position in a dark little room listening to my head throb in my ears and feeling my throat scratch against itself. My Korean suite-mates came to check on my before they left (my fellow countrywomen had already split– cue enraged fist shaking). I really wanted to go. I love museums. Many people experience what I like to call “museum fatigue.” The second they walk into one, they are overwhelmed by the sheer bulk of old things they are supposed to look at.

I stood up, thinking that I could muster the necessary health for this excursion. Then my backed up sinuses caused me to sway. Then my blood tried to rush out of my head and into my feet. Then I remembered how I had almost died in the lecture we had this morning. Then I sat back down on the bed and bravely told them to go on without me.

I have been plagued by occasional intense migraines for several years, but this also seems to be some sort of sinus upset. My allergy attack in Florence was a nuisance, but this is actually getting in the way of me fully experiencing Seoul. And not to sound like I have a substance abuse problem, but when I was traveling in Italy I believe that the wine helped keep my migraines at bay. I’ve used a glass of wine to help relieve especially bad migraines at home as well. This is not really an option here since I am staying on campus and this campus happens to be a dry one. Besides, wine is really expensive here and I’m not sure Soju would have the same affect.

So, here’s my whiney dispatch from the road. My skin, however, is luminous and feels like a baby thanks to that weird face mask.

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