Log: Gray Areas

It was a bit of a long and semi-stir crazy day today. There was some possibility that Wife would return to work on Monday. As it turns out, the school is going to do the wise thing and follow the guidelines. Schools are scheduled to open again in Busan on March 9.

It’s not really good or bad news. It’s just news. And who even knows if it’s news? Like, the situation can change a lot in a week. We went from things seeming like they were all pretty much getting back to normal to empty streets and stay indoors in the matter of a couple of days. Things can change really fast.

And the streets are as empty as I’ve seen them.

A bit before noon on a Saturday.

Yesterday, I had a dentist appointment. Since they made the decision to stay open, I made the decision to go. It can be hard to make the choice whether or not to stay home. Some things are pretty easy. It’s not like I’m just going to head out for a walk, take a trip to the mall, or go grab a coffee or whatever. But we have been told to cancel plans and to stay home unless we need to go out. A non-emergency dental appointment feels like a bit of a gray area. It was just a cleaning –so non-essential– but it’s not exactly recreation either. At least, it never used to be recreational. Now, it feels like a trip to the park.

And a brief word about that appointment. It was pretty damn good. A cleaning and a cavity check only cost about $15 after I showed them my foreigner card. How did it compare to American dental service? It was better. A lot better.

Like, in Sacramento, I had to get a cleaning and, after insurance, it was over a hundred bucks and that place was a fucking dump. It had more Jesus jank than a thrift shop. In LA, I went down with a toothache. It turned out to be a minor infection quickly cleared up with some special mouthwash and some antibiotics. After insurance, that appointment ran me over $500. On top of that, it was just about the worst experience I’ve ever had in any medical related thing. They put a big-screen TV in front of me. I had to watch them working the inside of my bloody mouth. I felt like Alex DeLarge undergoing the Ludovico Technique.

Say Ah. Say Ahhhhh! NOW SPIT!

After that terrifying shit, the dentist tried to scare me into a bunch of unnecessary dental operations, all of which he claimed were an emergency. I know people are surprised that Americans go in for crap like GOOP and distrust doctors and medicine but a trip to an American doctor is a lot like a trip to a used car salesman. The shit is fucked up.

But this was quiet, quick, reasonable and cheap. Nice clean office. They covered my face with a blanket and I didn’t need to look at anyone. Clean bill of mouth health.

Aside from that, I had a headache today. Because you can get a bit squirrely about health in these conditions, that meant that I took my temperature. No fever. It’s fine.

The headache was probably Trump related.

I saw The Talking Bag of Piss on my television, heard him calling this thing a hoax, appointing Mike Pence of all people to lead the response, and then some goddamn yammering about how America has had “the most aggressive response” out of all the countries. I have my doubts about that statement. Like, let’s put China and their response aside. Just in Korea, the army is disinfecting Daegu, Church services and concerts have all been cancelled, and I don’t think sports events are a go. Even before the big cluster was found, teachers and students were getting their temperature taken at the school door.

America’s response doesn’t look aggressive. It looks like a total non-response from a country that gives no fucks at all about its people – a place that would rather send gravediggers than doctors and will overcharge you for the shovels. America just doesn’t do well in the area between a binary of total panic and nothing is happening. You know the gray area where the vast majority of life takes place? That’s the area America has trouble with.

I’m just happy that I’m not behind the meat counter in Koreatown right now. I can’t even imagine the amount of pig-ignorant racist shit that pig-ignorant, racist shit people would want to tell me in the course of a single shift. Just thinking about that gives me a headache.

Other than that, things were fine. I inflated a chair.

Getting ready to work on my moontan.

And it seems that the little guide I wrote has been getting some traffic, which is pretty damn unusual for this iteration of The Grumpy Owl. I’m happy that people get something out of it and that it seems to have helped other people out, while, at the same time, anything I write ever being read makes me uncomfortable. Maybe tomorrow I’ll build a cannon and shoot myself into the sea. In the meantime, I’m planning on reviewing some of the shows and movies and crap I’m watching during this time.

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