Vacation in Jeju Day 4: Hello Kitty Island, Chocolate Land and totally true story of how I took a lightsaber to the eye

Vacation in Jeju Day 4: Hello Kitty Island, Chocolate Land and totally true story of how I took a lightsaber to the eye

Tuesday, after we visited the Teddy Bear Museum, I found my allergies strangely acting up. I attributed it to all of the dust and fur from the actual bears, took out my contacts and went on with my life hoping that the slight burning in my eyes would fade overnight. The next morning, when the burning had only gone away in one eye, I decided to take a quick trip to the clinic not too far from our friend’s apartment to get it checked out before we headed off to adventures for the day. I expected to maybe get prescribed some antihistamines, perhaps a topical cream or something for the slight swelling around my bottom lid, but certainly wasn’t expecting what actually happened to me.

Luckily I had 2 of the 3 others with me for the day, and even though I assured them  it would likely be a quick trip in to see the optometrist, they insisted on going with me for reasons I’ll never understand. I’m now under the impression that they are psychic. When we walked in the fairly brisk lady at the desk asked me for my passport (I had my Alien Registration Card on me and that works just fine as well) and I was in seeing the doctor in less than 10 minutes despite the fairly full room. He was a very nice older man who spoke near perfect English which was immediately a good sign. What wasn’t a good sign was how he laughed when I showed him my eye and he sat me on a little bench to explain, in perfect English with a straight face that would have made a comedian proud, that I had a “pus pocket” under my bottom lid from “rubbing it too much and getting dirt in it” so he was going to have to CUT MY BOTTOM LID OPEN AND DRAIN IT.

I think I took it fairly well, all things considered. I asked, in perfect Korean I might add, “Right now?!” and he responded, in equally perfect English, “Yup. Now lay on this table.”

Of course I poked my head around the corner and called for my partner in crime to come and not only assess the situation but also to hold my hand while I apparently got my eye split open like a watermelon.  To her credit, when she walked in I quickly squeaked out what was happening, she uttered just one oath of disbelief and then set to work holding my hand and reassuring me that I wasn’t going to die on the table. I was given some eyeball anesthetic (not sure of the correct medical term, but it was definitely supposed to make me not feel anything) before the doctor literally told my friend to look away and not freak out. This last part was especially important considering at this point I just knew I was about to get a scalpel through the eye. Since I couldn’t see what was happening (I closed my eyes as soon as he put a clamp on the bottom lid) my friend informed me that he flipped my lid and simply cut it. What it felt like was a light saber combined with a sword made of Valyrian steel cutting my bottom lid off. Let me explain something to you: when I was 5 years old I was at a friend’s house and we decided it was a good idea to jump from the couch in his basement to his fireplace. He made it across but my tiny little legs only carried me halfway and I literally tore my eyebrow almost completely off my face. I had to get stitches and carry a scar to this day on my right eyebrow.

My 5 year old self would have been proud of the 22 year old me who writhed and screamed on the table the entire 10 seconds (10 lifetimes more like) it took to finish. I’m sure people in the waiting room thought I was being killed, especially when he gently put drops in my eye after and Chloe, who couldn’t contain herself when I seemingly started crying blood, let out a movie style “uuuuUUUGGGGH!” and I immediately freaked out because I couldn’t see what was happening. To my doctor’s credit he was incredibly gentle, constantly soothing and reassuring that I was fine so I felt like a little kid after getting a scrape on the playground who needed a band-aid. Instead of a band-aid I got a pirate patch.

True story.



Anyway, the most impressive thing that came out of all of this wasn’t even my cool pirate patch that I got to rep for the next 4 hours but how cheap my bill was. It only cost 9,900 won ($10 USD) to actually go to the doctor and get operated on, then only 3,500 won for my prescription medicine. Side note: Korean medicine is amazing. It was working pretty much from the first second I took the first pill.

After our awesome morning adventure we were on to the next, much more fun, one: HELLO KITTY ISLAND! To say I was excited to go to this Hello Kitty paradise is an absolute understatement. I may or may not have run up to the building in bewildered excitement when we first arrived and I am not ashamed at the fact that we were the only adults there without small children in tow. There was so much inside even I was overwhelmed despite my love for all things pink and awesome, Hello Kitty in a nutshell.  I mean, everything was either pink or stamped with an adorable kitty. I saw nothing wrong with this of course, but I can see how it could potentially cause one to want to vomit rainbows at the sheer cuteness.

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I was half expecting my waffle to also be pink, but there was strawberry ice cream to I guess it was a good enough trade off.





After Hello Kitty Island I was ready to take on the world, so we went to Chocolate Land which was…not as chocolate-y or awesome as I had expected. Bonus points though: it only costs 6,000 won to get in and they give you a 3,000 won coupon to use at the cafe or little store as a discount. The inside though was just a bunch of boxes with items that may or may not have actually been made of chocolate, but the view outside on the patio was nice.

All in all it was an exhausting and overwhelming day all around, and our week was only half over.



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