Saturday, November 07, 2009

If you see a crazed pregnant woman, underdressed for the cold, running around Seoul with a fistful of Won and an arm load of Coach knockoffs... Tis I.

We are going to Korea. In December. When the average temperature will be in the low 30s. Yes, we are crazy. No it is not by choice... not really. Work is making me go, even though I protested vehemently that I should not be forced to buy additional cold-weather maternity clothes that I will only wear for one week. You try arguing that to military types. They don't care. I have to go. So I'm bringing Adam with me and we are going to try to make it worthwhile!

Of course, I will be in meetings half the time, but we will get a private UN tour of the DMZ out of the deal. That will probably be the highlight of the trip. Having worked on North Korea issues for so much of my career thus far, it will be interesting to go there and see the poor bastards peering suspiciously at us from across the border.

I already bought two pair of pants out of necessity. One was only 14$ and I think I will wear them in Hawaii to work too. The other is a pair of black corduroy's. I will need something to schlep around Seoul in other than the breezy maternity capri's and dresses I have. The rest of it I am just going to wing and make due. I'm planning to wear tights under dresses/skirts to the meetings. I think I can find my wool overcoat in a box somewhere, and it might even still button up 4 weeks from now.


This was one of the reasons I was so upset the other day. There are two other people who work in my shop right now. One of them is leaving on Dec 21, but he already basically "checked out" a couple weeks ago so he could "get ready for his next job" (yes, nearly two months early) and the boss won't confront him and tell him he has to do this one last thing. The other guy is scheduled to go to Singapore the same time as the Korea trip. I thought the thing to do would be to make him go to Korea and I could go to Singapore. That way I wouldn't have to worry about how I'm going to not freeze my ass off in summer-weather maternity clothes, since it's tropical in Singapore. But he pitched a fit because he doesn't want to go to Korea, he wants to go to Singapore... he's already been to Korea. So the boss capitulated on that too. He had the nerve to say to me that "his wife wasn't even showing until after 6 months" (suggesting what? I'm a fatass?) and that I should just "wear my regular clothes tight." He's actually leaving too, in the beginning of January, six months before his original transfer date. So now the two of them have basically already pushed all their responsibilities onto me.

A few days ago, when the idea that I might have to go on this Korea trip first came up, my boss told me he didn't anticipate me having to travel again after this trip. (Y'all know I'm a baby about this travel stuff, but it's not like I can ever go on a business trip where I jump on a plane for a couple of hours and come back in a day or two. Every time you go anywhere from this island it's a minimum of 6 hour plane ride, and that's if you are going to LA and stopping there. It's 12+hours to the east coast. And just for a one day meeting, you are gone for 4 days, because it takes two days to get there and you can't leave the evening of the meeting because the flights are all in the morning. And I'm PREGNANT! I should not have to endure all this undue stress under any circumstances, much less in my already stressful physical condition!)

Anyway, he said this would be my last trip. And so I asked what trips he anticipates me having to go on AFTER the baby is born. Because I'm planning to breastfeed. For at least a year, probably more, if all goes well. And he pretty much said I would not have to travel. I'm not sure I really believe this, given the way things seem to go in this office. And of course, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when a couple days later it was decided* that I had to go to Korea and he got all excited and started talking about how it will be good for me to meet all these people if I'm going to be working this portfolio from now on. And I'm like, wait, didn't you say I won't have to travel after the baby comes? So how am I going to work this portfolio? He is confused. I will flat out refuse to go if I'm breastfeeding still.

*Here's how it really happened: he told me he was going to talk to the guy who is leaving in December and see if he would go on the trip. I knew the guy would be pissed since he already decided a couple weeks ago he wasn't doing any more work in this job. But the boss said, no he still works here until 21 December and if I tell him to go he will. So on Thursday I told my boss I was going to go ahead and put in a plane reservation just in case I end up having to go, so I can make sure I get aisle seats (because pregnant ladies are at higher risk for blood clots if we don't move around frequently on planes). And he immediately got all excited and suddenly he was sending the other guy an email saying he didn't have to go on the trip! And I'm all WTF, I thought you were going to ask him/tell him? It's stupid, but it was just one more thing that happened in that shitty day that made me feel like I was in a coffee grinder. That and I got pulled over by the police TWICE in one day. Who does that happen to?

So yes. Korea. The mecca of shopping, or so I hear. I'm apprehensive because I anticipate being cold the whole time, going hungry because the food will not be appetizing, and gagging constantly because of all the smells in that country. But I assume I will survive, in which case I will have lots of fascinating stories to tell afterwards.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hey, FWIW, Tom Holby is in Korea. His wife actually just gave birth to their second kid. I bet that's someone you haven't thought about in a long time... Let me know if you want his contact info. They're actually thinking about moving to DC next summer.