Heo Jun starts his new job working for Dr Yoo. And the bullying begins as he has to start at the bottom and do all the dirty jobs at first. One of the jobs includes drawing water which sounds simple, but the others refuse to explain to him that there is more than one kind of water, and water is different depending on where and when you get it! But there is some good news when the intelligent Lady Ye Jin arrives at the clinic. She’s also skilled in medicine and thankfully in the midst of all these enemies it looks like Heo Jun may have found an ally in her.
Heojun starts working for Dr Yoo but he’s not given orders from the doctor directly. It’s the other workers who tell him what to do – so of course he’s going to be given all the dirty work. Unaware of what’s in store, he turns up enthusiastically on his first day ready to go into the mountain to collect herbs.
But the other workers just laugh and make fun of him explaining that it took them several years of menial work before they were allowed to go anywhere near a herb. His first job is to be a water carrier. It’s a hard job and needs strength and balance but the biggest problem is he doesn’t know where to get the water from. Nobody will tell him where to get it, so he has to work it out for himself …
Heo Jun starts his job as a water carrier but is scolded by Dr Yoo for bringing dirty water!
The other workers are lazy and make Heo Jun do all the things they can’t be bothered to do including going to the port to collect a lady, Ye Jin, and a monk to escort them back to the clinic. As soon as he gets to the port he comes across a seriously sick child but he can’t do anything to help. Then Ye Jin arrives and calmly treats the child with acupuncture while Heo Jun watches impressed by her skills.
But by the time he gets back to the clinic he’s already in trouble. Dr Yoo is FURIOUS that SOMEONE (we know who) has collected the wrong water. Dr Yoo flings the water in Heo Jun’s face – doesn’t he know he could KILL people making medicine with dirty water? (Well, actually, no, he doesn’t know because nobody told him.)
Of course the other workers are triumphant and indulge in schadenfreude smirking with glee as Heo Jun begs for forgiveness bowing on the ground under a fuming Dr Yoo. They probably think (hope) that he’s going to quit soon. But he’s determined to understand what he did wrong. But no matter how much he pleads the others to tell him, they refuse. (Such babies. It reminds me of being in elementary school )
Ye Jin could have been a royal physician if only she were a man
Deflated, Heo Jun sits at home pondering over what to do. He still doesn’t know what he did wrong with the water and no one will tell him. Grrr. In the end he marches off to find Ye Jin and asks her. She has a cold exterior (and is probably not used to the hired helps asking her questions in the middle of the night!) but she tells him what he needs to know: there are 33 different kinds of water! And the water is different at different times of day and different seasons and in different places.
Heo Jun remembers everything she tells him and goes to draw the water at dawn. The next day Dr Yoo passes by him again and stops to taste the water. It’s a tense moment as everyone waits expectantly for Dr Yoo to explode. But to the workers’ displeasure, Dr Yoo doesn’t go mad this time. He doesn’t say anything. Just walks away. Heo Jun is starting to annoy and frighten the other workers now. How could he have realised where to get the water from so quickly? Irritated, they punish him by making him do the most horrible jobs they can find like cleaning and washing the blood and pus from the clothes. 😮 But Heo Jun smiles. He’s finally got something right. More determined than ever, Heo Jun secretly starts copying patient records and prescriptions and memorises them as he collects water.
Heo Jun draws water at dawn
But one night Heo Jun falls asleep in the warehouse while copying the prescriptions and Ye Jin catches him. She tells him sternly that it’s forbidden to read patients notes – and also that there’s no point simply copying and memorising prescriptions since they are always different depending on the patient. She also notes that his writing is very good – he studied for the civil service exam until he realised it’s only really yangban who can take the test! But she points out that a doctor doesn’t need to have fancy writing like this and flings his papers at him and walks away.
He’s deflated again. But suddenly he has to hide when someone comes into the warehouse looking for something. It’s one of the other workers (he’s lost all his money gambling and needs some money). The next day Do Ji is told that the most expensive medicines are missing and of course Heo Jun is blamed since he was spotted going into the warehouse late last night. He can’t say what he was really doing in there so just stands looking confused! Luckily just in time Ye Jin steps forward and saves him – saying she sent him there to get something for her. phew!
Ye Jin gives Heo Jun an alibi when he’s accused of stealing
Heo Jun hears from Koo Ilsu that there’s a pharmacy in Haman that buys expensive medicine. He realises that his workmate stole the meds to sell to that pharmacy. Later the workmate comes to visit Heo Jun who demands that he put back all the meds that he stole. But Heo Jun is told to to keep quiet about this or else …
The pettiness of the other workers is so annoying! But I blame Dr Yoo for not training them properly and creating an environment where they have to fight over every little job because they are not given any real responsibility. Dr Yoo clearly doesn’t trust or respect any of them – so why does he hire them then? All very odd.
The water carrying reminds me of Dae Jang Geum when she’s given her first task by her mentor at the palace: to bring her a bowl of water. Sounds simple, but it isn’t. And it takes her a while before she realises what she needs to do to complete the task successfully. But she never gives up. We are reminded again here how water is also a medicine (perhaps the most important medicine of all) and precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. And it’s always changing depending on the environment and season just as the people who drink it are all different. That’s one of the aspects of this drama that I like -the reminder that I shouldn’t take things for granted. (And I should look after my health and think more about what all that wine and beer and chocolate are doing to my body! :o)