18 June 2009

I swear. I do not have Swine Flu.

I just got back from a quick trip to Seattle, where I attended my sister's college graduation. (Congrats, Doogal!) That was my second trip to and from the Homeland, over a span of two months. Of course, I had the great fortune to travel during the HINI pandemonium, I mean, pandemic.

Anyone who's arrived in Seoul by way of some swine-flu infested nation will know that shortly after your arrival, you will receive a call from the Korean Center for Disease Control. I've been called twice now by the CDC, and I have to admit, both phone calls were quite entertaining.

SCENE 1: The First Call
When I returned to Seoul in May, I had no idea that the CDC folks were calling all the Miguk-ins, so this is how my conversation went.


CDC Lady: (Speaks rapid Korean, none of which I am able to comprehend)

Annalog: Yes? (I say in terrible Korean) I'm sorry, but I don't speak Korean very well.

CDC Lady: (She kindly, yet nervously switches to English) Um... You know CDC?

Annalog: Um... you mean like the American CDC?

CDC Lady: No.

Annalog: Oh, no. Then, I don't know...

CDC Lady: (pause) Uh... you know INFLUENZA?

Annalog: (A light bulb switches on) Oh! Yes, I know.

CDC Lady: Do you feel any flu or cold symptoms?

Annalog: No.

CDC Lady: (longer pause) Um... (reverts back to Korean) If you are feeling any cold or flu symptoms over the next seven days, please call your local health center.

Annalog: Okay. Thank you,

CDC Lady: (Hangs up, and takes a shot of soju.)

SCENE II: The Second Call
It is my second day back from the States. A phone call from the Korean CDC is expected.

"Gotta get that-that..."

Young CDC Dude: (in fluent English) Hello, is this Annalog?

Annalog: Yes, speaking.

Young CDC Dude: I'm calling from the Korean Center for Disease Control. I'm calling because you arrived from America, blah, blah, blah.... Are you feeling any cold or flu symptoms.

Annalog: (Trying desperately to hide a lingering cough) No.

Young CDC Dude: Really?

Annalog: No cold or flu symptoms...

Young CDC Dude: Can I ask you one more question.

Annalog: Yes.

Young CDC Dude: Are you Korean American?

Annalog: Yes...

Young CDC Dude: Really? You don't sound Korean-American. (pause) You sound like a pure white person.

Annalog: (Is unsure whether or not that was a compliment, so she emits an awkward half-laugh) Really? Oh...

Young CDC Dude: If you experience any cold or symptoms, please call your local health center. Also, we will calling you 4-5 more times within the next two weeks.

Annalog: (Thinks to herself, WTF!?!) Ok. Thank you.

- End -

I'm not sure if the CDC rep was simply captivated by my "pure white person voice" or if one of the passenger or airline personnel narked on me, but calling me 4 to 5 more times seems a little much. I told you already. NO COLD OR FLU SYMPTOMS! Cough. Cough. Cough.


Roboseyo said...

You're Korean-American? I always thought your writing style seemed pure white.

What an ignorant comment.

Hyakko said...

Annalog is a Hauli

Anonymous said...

What a pleasant comment. Actually, both of them, "you don't sound Korean-American" and saying he'd call 4-5 times a week. Yikes. Now I want to know what he thinks Korean-Americans sound like, though.

John said...

Koreans know exactly what Korean Americans sound like: i.e. "Oh my gahhh! You saw friendjs the udduh day? Oh my gahhh! Rachel, Joey and Phoebe so punny!"...

Brian said...

Well, good thing I never answer the phone from a number I don't recognize.

Anonymous said...

did you hear about those students from hawaii? - they were actually "picked" out because they showed that they had a "high" temperature reading when they were screened at the airport through a "thermal scan"... AND it was confirmed that those students that did have a "high" temp. reading were carriers of the H1N1 virus even tho they didn't show any "symptoms" - which is the scary part i guess, and judging from the telephone conversation - that's all the CDC were asking you, so that may not help until its too late. BUT hopefully the "carriers" will be responsible and good citizens that when and if they show "signs" they will turn themselves in asap and get treated.

either way THANK goodness you're not sick, tell Jimmy and her traveling companions i said "hi"


Bo said...

LOL wth??? I heard they were bad, but wow.

Sang-wook said...

I was in Seattle around the same time you were, but I didn't get a call. Hmmmm...did you say something that pissed someone off?

Sangwook said...

I take it back. Right after I posted on your site, I got a call.


annalog said...

Man, those CDC folks don't mess around.