I had to look for a new blood donation center when the only English-speaking staff at the Red Cross blood donation center at Seoul Station left. Min-Jun became a friend after my several visits to this center as he always helped me with the English translation during the screening procedures.
With no English-speaking staff to help me at the Seoul Station center, I sent a message to the Korean Red Cross through its Facebook page asking them for help. They suggested the center near Gangnam Station. So, I called that center and finally visited it last week!
(Exit 2 of Gangnam Station)
The blood donation center is just a few meters from the Exit 2 of Gangnam Station. Right after the Meritz Tower, you will see Dunkin' Donuts. Get inside the Dunkin' Donuts building and take the elevator to the 9th floor, where the blood donation center is. It's so easy to find, actually.
(Dunkin' Donuts is at the ground floor of the building)
(Head to the 9th floor)
The screening procedures are basically the same: register your visit through the Red Cross portal using your Alien Registration Card, read the questionnaires for any conditions that would disqualify you to be a donor, a test on your blood coagulation thingy, blood pressure test, and the filling up and signing the blood donation form signifying the veracity of your representation.
I was glad most of the nurses could speak basic English, and Miss Park, who helped me through all the screening procedures, was very accommodating. I told her I used to go to the Seoul Station center and why I had to switch centers. I also told her the view from the center was quite interesting as one was looking down on the very busy Gangnam area, where priciest real estate in the whole of South Korea could be found.
(The center's lounge)
The actual extraction of about 400 milliliters of my precious Type-O blood took only about five minutes, after which I was told to rest for ten minutes at the lounge and observe any change in my condition. I was also told to drink three times my normal water intake. They had iced cold water, juice and choco pie by the television where other donors were either waiting for their turn or taking the required ten-minute rest. I thought this experience in the Gangnam Station was more fun than at the Seoul Station location. Why? At Seoul Station, there were always some drunk ajussis milling around the area, usually holding a soju bottle and talking to themselves. And although I would always ignore them, walking past through that area wasn't always pleasant. If you've been there, you'd know what I mean.
And here, well, what can i say? It's Gangnam!
(It only took about 5 minutes!)
(A token from the Korean Red Cross)
By the way, every donor always receives a gift from Red Cross, ranging from coffee coupons to movie tickets, to BB creams. I would have wanted a movie ticket, but there isn't any Megabox cinema in Yongsan-gu. I opted for that nail cutter set, which I can always give away.
The Gangnam Station center is open from Mondays to Fridays from 10AM to 7PM. But you need to call them before coming over to make sure about their schedule: 02-564-1525.
I plan to donate again after two months, the proper interval between full-blood donations. And when I do, it will giving blood again, Gangnam style. :-)
(The view from the center)