Monday, April 19, 2010

Eee, eh, oh! Eee, eh, oh!: Busan 8/4/10-9/4/10

In Korea’s southern capital we took up the couchsurfing hospitality of experienced host, Mary. A Canadian who has been teaching English for two years here, she is well hooked in to the local scene and took us out to a favourite bar and then an open-mike night at a music den called Old 55, where we drank beer and played pool with other expats. For a couple of days we felt less like tourists and more like residents – though we were living on borrowed time. Not only did we borrow her bed, washing machine and kitchen, but we also borrowed her favourite pork soup (dway-gi guk bob) restaurant and then her friends, for a night at the baseball.

The Busan Giants had been on a losing streak lately. 7 of the last 9 games to be precise. Though apparently they play well in the wet, so we set off into the stadium with our burger, kebab and beer and kept our rain jackets at the ready, just in case. As newbies in the Korean baseball world, we were swept up into the hoopla of each player’s theme song which accompanies them at high decibels as they step up to the mound. ‘Kang Minh Ho! Kang Minh Ho!’, we were chanting with the crowd by the end of the third innings.

Korea is a nation of recyclers and waste disposal experts – apartment dwellers separate out their compost, cardboard and plastic recyclables, which is then further separated by the building superintendents downstairs. Our bike boxes were whisked away within 24h of arrival after we left them downstairs in Seoul. The Busan Giants are no exception, with one of the favourite players being an ex-Mexican league player by the name of Garcia. Rubbish collection is also made fun at the baseball, as orange rubbish bags are circulated around the entire stadium late in the game. Then you blow up the bag and put it on your head. Of course.

Unfortunately the Giants were no match for the Seoul LG team. As the game slipped into the 9th, the die-hard fans in the Giants stand kept up the chanting (our contribution being something like ‘Eee, eh, oh! Eee, eh, oh!), but the crowd was starting to thin. We duly separated our rubbish into respective orange bags and headed for the recycling bins by the exit.



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