Monday, May 17, 2010

Since When Does Sushi Sport Relish?

Sunday I traveled into Seoul with Amy and Kelly. Fancy that, right? We're always in Seoul.

We took a long subway trip up to the mysterious orange line and made our way to World Cup Stadium. For what you ask? A Cup Festival.
Just kidding. A soccer game, of course! A Korean National Soccer game against South American rival, Ecuador. Shield your eyes my friends, spoiler alert for those who care to watch the game: we won! 2-0 and it was awesome. The stadium was MASSIVE. A venue truly suited for the international weightiness of such an event. Soccer is big folks. So is the world cup-- i recently learned.

A few things perplexed me, however about the Korean soccer culture.
  • First, why do Koreans, not just soccer fans, like to take pictures with foreigners? Espcially with my friend Kelly? Two boys came up and asked her to take a picture. She agreed and grabbed for the camera. Au contraire. They wanted to take a picture with her. So interesting.
  • There are, like baseball games, cheerleaders. 4 of them. Still don't understand that. But hey. Korea likes good lookin' ladies. In intimate quantities?
  • The Korean team is the RED DEVILS. However, their mascot is a bear. A fluffy, couldn't intimidate the most angelic of creatures, more cute and cuddly than fire and brimstone kind of bear. A teddy bear if you will. Interesting.
  • Again, much like baseball, Korean's like their soccer. These fans don't mess around. However, unlike baseball games, folks are more intent on watching the game than they are beer consumption. Not without the awesome fan display!
  • In a valiant effort to find Amy a cheap Korean Devils shirt, we made our way around the various hustlers. Most perplexing: the ones selling shirts that had "Korea" spelled wrong. Never seen it with a "C" before. Somehow I think spelling your country's name wrong is pretty bad. Especially for the folks who bought in and rocked them proudly.

What got me most was the food situation at Soccer Games. Let's reflect back to the baseball game. I was prepared. Fried chicken and beer. And there was a fine share of both, with a nice variation for the free thinkers. Hamburgers. Snacky snacks. Drinks. You name it. There were many a well stocked snack bar. Like any real sporting event.

Not the same with soccer. Maybe their more serious about the game. We got worried when we saw the hordes of people huddled around a GS Mart, (a 7-Eleven equivalent) selling a box of chicken, a sandwich/sushi combo, a sad collection of chips and dried squid. That was about it. Add a few bev options and there you have it. This can't be good.

And it wasn't. Where's the pizza at yo?

I settled for a hardly vegetarian, or really anything, sandwich/sushi combo. Which was a tad strange of a combo, and a sad attempt at both. After the de-meating of the sandwich, left was the remnants of a tomato slice, a slightly warmed slice of fake cheese, some relish-esk sauce, cased in white bread triangles. The "sushi" was some crazy mixture of tuna and a taste of something, again, I likened to relish. Not exactly sushi. Not exactly sporting food, either. And what's with the relish?

It was a big game. I was super stoked to go! Next up for Korea- the World Cup. Big game against Greece June 12th and I shall be visiting Seoul for the final game July 11th. Which I hear is going to be massive.

The world loves soccer. With the exception of America that is. Which is also interesting.

Outside the stadium about an hour before the game.

The kickoff.

The lovely Kelly and Amy on a lovely bridge overlooking a lovely park.


  1. Hey-

    I've been browsing through your blog and I love it! I am actually going to be coming to work for A Class in July! I have a feeling I'll be reading through your blog a LOT more before then! :) I'd love to ask you some questions about what to pack, expect, etc. if you don't mind. My email address is

    Hope you're a having a great day!


  2. The cheerleaders were actually a very popular K-Pop band.

  3. Luke- Very interesting tid-bid of info for Sarah's readers. Thanks. Sista- I read this yesterday but forgot to leave a comment :) So...I love that Korea was spelled with a C. Is there something more to that? Or is it really just bad spelling. Also, love there are only 4 cheerleaders. Could you guys even see where they were? Haha. Great post! Love you!