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I am NOT a snack....Scooter's Adventures in South Korea

Shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner and a Trip to a Local- Market

December 27th 2008 3:04 am
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Tuesday, November 26th
While waiting for the shuttle, I alerted and wouldn't leave Mom alone until she took some meds. I couldn't get into her purse, so instead, I kept nudging it and pawing at her. We were going to get her third round of Botox.

We managed to catch the shuttle going home without having to wait an hour. It was one of those days where it was glaringly obvious that the next generation needs a swift kick in the butt. The bus was full of junior high and high school kids who have no concept of manners or common courtesy. Instead of doubling up (since each side has 2 seats) so that adults, especially adults with kids, can sit down, they all spread out then yell to one another. They are provided with bus runs between the schools and the housing area. If and when we have a kid, Mom swears it won't be allowed to act like that. She certainly wasn't. Mom decided we needed to get off at the commissary or she was apt to go postal. It was busy, but 100% better than a bus load of “Gimme” generation teens.

We were on the canned goods aisle when someone said, “Hello Scooter, I haven't seen you in awhile.” It was one of the ladies we met at the Air Force Ball. Mom had spoken with her at the end of the evening.

I did a really good job at hugging the aisles and the coolers. She was feeling a bit “off” from taking the meds earlier and totally forgot about my leash. We loaded up a lot of yummy stuff; I heard her mention lamb, liver, and beef heart. Yum!

We have a little cart aisle out by our building. Normally it has about a dozen carts that we can use to carry stuff up to our apartment. It was empty. Now, at that time of day, only one or two should be out. It isn't like you can leave one on a floor and it not be in the way; there is no place to hide on except IN an apartment. Mom had to carry all of our bags; luckily she had opted for the funny little green ones. I was glad nothing was dropped on my head.

Tuesday, December 2nd
The parents had honey ham for Thanksgiving along with sweet potatoes, butter beans, and apple pie. I did snag a taste of each, but lamb was my main meal. I've heard mention of Lima beans sometime this week; have to do something with the leftover ham; especially the stuff close to the bone. I like Lima beans.

Doc said Mom's head may feel heavy because he injected her entire neck. So far, it hasn't. It has just made her neck very, very spastic to the point her shoulders and the area in between hurt.

We had a “scheduled” power outage. That always makes things interesting. Today was a lot of work. Dad use to say Mom had hearing problems because you can speak to her and she will say, “Huh?” and before you can repeat yourself, it “sinks in”. She's had her hearing tested and it is actually fine. She's never really considered it a “processing problem” even though she's been diagnosed aspie. Today, it finally hit home.

We decided to go to DongDaeMun. Blue could use a larger tank and Mom likes to give him enrichment and she's been wanting to put some fish in with him. The ATM on the compound was down and the shuttle bus had just left. We decided to head out the front gate, over the pedestrian walk and had to pick the pace up the last 10 yards to catch the public bus. Mom actually got a seat; I sat between her feet. I was in “Rock Star” mode due to all of the stares. I got off the bus like a pro. (Got to be careful because it is a pain to get to the door while the bus is moving and then you have to be quick.)

It had rained last night, so Mom guided me around the puddles and carried me in the wetter spots. We got to base, got Won, and headed to the subway station.

On the way, we saw a protest on the other side of the street. There was about 30 protesters in this little sectioned off area and about 75 police officers lining the entrance to some government building. Mom took pics.

Mom had started feeling weird while we were on the way there. The subway station was a lot of work. In retrospect, it was the beginning of sensory overload and her trying to work with me as far as riding the escalators didn't help (but I did walk off of a couple by myself). By the time we got off the subway at the puppy district, it was pretty bad. (Yes, they have a puppy district. Store after store, most side-by-side, of Petland type places. If it is small, they probably have it in stock.) There is a supply store that Mom wanted to browse again. They don't sell puppies.

By the time we got to DongDaeMun, Mom was getting antsy. We had to walk past where they've tore down the stadium, so the sidewalk is about a foot wide and people were pushing (in normal Asian fashion). There was lots of noise and banging on the other side of the tin 'fence'. By the time we got past it, her nerves were shot and she was more or less just telling me to 'follow Dad' who was oblivious since he was walking ahead. He went through this food area without a backward glance. It smelled soo good, I couldn't help but to air scent a bit. With all of the noise, no one heard me snuffle. Plus a boy has to do what he has to do when trying to be a guide dog following someone through all of that.

Once we got onto the row of shops on the opposite side of the river as the fish and birds, Dad slowed down. I'm not sure if it was delivery day or if they just get in stuff before noon daily, but it was still pretty busy. Mom needed a drink and I needed a tree. I got my tree on the other side of the river.

Mom's plant place was closed. When Mom and Aunt Sharon had trekked here before, they found this fish store even further out of the way. At the time, Mom was impressed with a couple of their tank set ups and diversity of species; it had a “Mom and Pop” feel. We decided to find the store. We ran into the little black dog that bugged me before. She's had puppies since the last time I saw her. We also had a run-in with a little sweater wearing shaved ankle biter. Mom picked me up and Dad ran interference.

We found the store. The “Mom” was a trip. She showed my Mom the new betas she had just gotten. Crowns are new over here. Dad was content to let the women folk attempt a conversation. Mom asked about Plaquets (the plain-finned true fighting betas that look nothing like what most people are accustomed to seeing). They don't get them, but she asked her son if he knew where to get them. He spoke some English. You could see him wondering why Mom would want them since they are rather plain compared to the Veils and Crowns.

Mom bought some neon tetras and some more plants. At 500 won ( @ 38 cents at the current rate) each, it won't break the bank if Blue eats them. We went back and walked the row. Mom saw a tank she liked, but Dad didn't want to carry it home. (It would be an awesome cray tank. It was at least a 20gallon long. Area is more important than volume.)

The store where Mom bought Blue had some new crays. They were rock lobster size. Mom fell in love and really wanted that bigger tank so she could take the giant blue home. She needs to find out the Latin name; she wants one when we move back home. It was blue, but it had iridescent almost purple shades on its tail. It was big enough to eat.

Mom hit overload saturation and told Dad that we could just get a regular 10 gallon complete set on base. At that point, she just wanted out of the noise. At the time, she didn't know why she was feeling that way and she wasn't going to tell Dad that she really needed to hop a taxi.

Mom was really going on auto-pilot on the way back. The street noise just rubbed her the wrong way so Dad suggested her MP3 player. It helped a lot. She was able to concentrate on reading the subway LED sign to see the stops. I was still doing a lot of guide work going back to the subway and in the stations. Once we got back towards base, and we had wide open sidewalks, it was better.

We went to get the tank and the stock man said someone was complaining about me being in the store. Mom asked who (specifically) complained and he pointed them out. The younger 20-something chick actually approached us and starts with
“It's not fair. I can't have my dog in here.” to Mom.
“He isn't a pet.;he's a Service Dog.” Hello, I'm wearing a bilingual vest announcing it to the world.
“I don't care. I'm going to get a store manager.”
“Why don't you do that. Federal law says he is allowed in here.”
She stomps off. Go Mom.

We finally get home and the lights are still out (but we had running water). Dad washed the new rocks for Mom while she put Blue in a bow, pulled the filter and light, moved the tank out of the way and floated the Tetras in that tank. That water and rocks went into the 10 gallon since it had some sort of good bacteria going. Mom decorated it with the plants and Blue's “house”. He also got a golf ball. Mom had read about using it as enrichment. The goldfish got one as well.

We laid down once the lights came back. Mom was feeling icky and I was tired. I made her get up to feed me. Dad made sure she ate, then we laid back down. We didn't get around to looking through the spare room for my stocking. Dad suggested they each have one as well.

Wednesday, December 3rd
It was a down day for Mom. The sensory overload gave her a headache and the numbness in her face (cheeks) came back. She's also noticed that she's getting the pins and needles fire feeling in her hands, arms, chest, and back if she is late on her one med. She's not a fan of it and going off it in the past was bad. I can tell when some of it is happening. I tend to sniff her more. She's been really nauseas again. She and Dad had this long talk about him taking an active role in telling her when she's letting her headache go too long or when she goes down too fast.

Dad had to take her a couple of weeks ago because she had let things go WAY too long. She was to the point she passed out and hurt to the point she didn't want anyone near her. I stayed home; Dad couldn't handle both of us. Mom had a reaction to another IV nausea med which made things worse. At that point, she told Dad she needed me. He did his best to be her Service Person, but it isn't quite the same. When they finally got home, Dad fixed her some soup. Mom got sick again and I thought she was going to have to go back. She finally slept it off for the most part. I actually went to Dad when I needed to go potty.


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