January 9, 2014

As an American living in South Korea, it is exciting to find western food. The drawback is that it is not exactly the same. It’s Korea’s version of western food. I tried a hamburger once and haven’t again since, because I gagged. I went to Europe for a week in 2006, and when I ordered water at a restaurant, they always asked if I wanted it carbonated. Here in South Korea, when you order a pizza, they ask of you want it topped with corn. Unless they don’t know English, in which case, they will just assume that’s what you want. Some places also assume you want your hot-dog dressed with corn.

I ordered a cheese pizza from Pizza School recently, and I forgot to say no corn. So of course, I got home, and opened the box to discover a pizza riddled with corn. I tried to remove every kernel, which resulted in a cold pizza and red sauce under my fingernails. I couldn’t remove every kernel, because some were hidden beneath the surface, appearing to be nothing more than an air-bubble.

For a few weeks I suffered with something similar in the big toe of my right foot. For the first time in my life, I developed a corn. I have no idea how I got it. I didn’t even know it was a corn until I went to the doctor. Nothing about it resembled corn. I knew it wasn’t a blister, even though that would have made sense considering that I walk to and from work every day. It just looked like a lump under the surface of the skin. It was round and white.

I was prescribed medication for two days, and returned to the walk-in clinic to have it removed. The procedure was fast and simple. I lied face-down on a bed. The doctor injected the corn with an anesthetic. Simply touching it was painful. Shoving a needle into it made me scream. But thanks to the anesthetic, I didn’t feel him saw it off with a razor.

The doctor then said he would see me in two days. When I asked why, he said, “Dressing.”

Medical Expenses 

First visit: 2,000 Won.

Medication: 5,000 Won.

Surgery: 11,000 Won.

Cleaning: 4,300 Won