World Cup’ing in Kimchiland!

30 Jun

The World Cup has reached the quarter finals and everything’s getting serious.  Controversy has risen from the Vuvuzela to FIFA not allowing camera technology to aid referees.  Some serious contenders fell out quick and others surprised many.  The biggest shock was probably Italy’s early exit and France’s appalling behavior!  Both Japan and Korea surprised many by how well they played.   This World Cup has been anything but boring.  Experiencing an event such as this, that has the world buzzing, all the way in Korea has led to only one thing – SLEEP DEPRIVATION!  whether it be waking up at 03:30AM to watch Bafana or staying out till 2 AM on a week night.  Partying all through the night to watch South Korea and then the USA-Ghana game  or travelling up to Seoul for one Bafana night!  The past two weeks has been exciting and so much fun!

Not being back home for the World Cup is not ideal but I must say that celebrating the opening match with a bunch of Saffa’s was really great.  We are all proudly South African.  And that is a heck of a lot more than many Expats here in Kore can say.  We are very patriotic and it’s great!  What was great about the World Cup here in Daegu all the Epikers cheered each other’s teams (apart form the USA – England game).  When Bafana played everybody supported them and when the US played we were all behind them.  We have all become good friends and we are a little close-knit community!

It’s not that Korea is a soccer-crazed nation it’s that their culture is rooted in collective behaviour.  Koreans are great supporters and experiencing Koreans cheer on their home team in the World  Cup is something I will never forget.  Cheers of “Dae Han Min Guk” and a sea of red and illuminated red devil horns personifies how this country can stand together.  And even though many South Koreans never want to be reunited with North Korea, they cheered for the North Koreans as they did for the South!  Whenever South Korea played there was something good in the air.  Students were well-behaved and payed attention (mostly because my lesson was about the World Cup, but still) and everybody was just in a good mood.  The firs Korean game, Nicola and I was too tired to go out so we watched at home.  But for their second game we went to Daegu Baseball stadium downtown and watched it there with thousands of Koreans and fellow EPIKers.  It was like being at the real game.  Vendors selling the Korean version of stadium food and others selling soccer supporter regalia.  The stadium was almost completely packed and the atmosphere was great.  Everywhere you look it’s red.  Red shirts, red horns, red face paint red inflatable noise thingy’s.  The third match was after the Bafana vs France game at 3.30 AM so pulling an all nighter on a school night wa not an option.  Lickily Korea proceeded to the knockout stage so we could watch one more match!  We wanted to go to BilliBow (our usual hang out) but they informed us that they only allowed Koreans in (Bullshit and we won’t be going back there soon!).  we headed to another bar and watched it there which was great.  Korea lost against Uruguay (join the club) and everybody was disappointed!  But it was fun and something I will remeber for a long time!  Koreans are great supporters!

“Watching the South Korea game at Daegu stadium.  It was like being at a real game except for the fact that we watched it on the big screen.  A sea of Korean redness!”

Korean Supporter gear: A red fan T-shirt (sold absolutely everywhere!  And everybody’s wearing them.  Finding one in my size was hard and even though the one i got is a little tight-fitting I firmly believe that I will shrink into it!  Red devil horns are also a must.  They can also be bought everywhere but we got ours for free when we bought beer at the 7eleven.  The horns came with these two inflatable tubes (fighting Korea) that makes a loud noise when you bang them togehter.  Everybody does this on the beat of “Dae han Min Guk”.  Also a little red horn was also supplied to us that is not as potent as the Vuvuzela but also thoroughly annoying.  They also sold creepy masks of the players but wearing them was great fun.  And I also used mine as a fan in this pressing humidity. Koreans have got cheering down to perfection and being able to take part along with them was great!

The World Cup is far from over but so far it has been great fun!  Wonder what this weekend will bring.  For now I heading home because throughout all this soccer madness life must go on.  My school has final exams this week which means only one thing – I get to go home at 1!  Whoop Whoop!

Cheers from Kimchiland!


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