Wow what a day in Seoul. I went specifically to watch the world cup soccer game South Korea v Uruguay.
I ended up getting into Seoul around 4pm so it took approx 45min by subway from Guri to get there. On the way there was a Korean girl with a drum going to the game, but that interesting story will pan out later.
So I decided to get there early as I wanted to have a quick (6 or 7 hour) look around take a few pictures (since I wanted to save some battery life for the game) and go on a location recce so I know where to go next visit to take some more pictures.
Seoul is so easy. People there speak English on the whole and if you stumble into a McDonalds and order with some Korean people will look at you. I was walking around in my red get up and looked up at a 3 storied coffee shop and noticed that everyone was looking down at me some strange white man in red walking the streets so I smiled and thought that was cool.
I walked a fair distance around City Hall area and ended up in the markets and away from white faces. I must say even in that area of Seoul there are a few white people but still not as many as you would expect to see.
There are a lot of palaces and new construction going on so I will have to go back next week perhaps to get some photos. The R-16 B-Boy competition is on next Saturday so I think that will be a good enough excuse to go back into Seoul.
I also saw a few people standing around reading this long board and when I went closes I realised that the newspaper is pinned up on the street for people to read (you can see a picture of this in the slide show).
So I eventually arrived at city hall (again) at about 9pm and the place was packed out with people and police everywhere. So I got a place down the back and just before the game started it rained. Boy did it rain like monsoon rain lucky I had my plastic coat I purchased earlier in the day from some more English speaking Koreans (I spoke to half a dozen Koreans that day and not one foreigner!?) and that's when the people began to move in and out of the crowd. I ended up about in the middle for the whole game. I must say there was no pushing and shoving and everyone was polite and I really enjoyed that atmosphere. No drunks or stupidity and when it was all over people carried their rubbish to piles and did not just leave things lying around.
So the game was one of the best I had seen. The South Koreans put the pressure on and dominated the ball for most of the game and were just unfortunate on a couple of occasions no to have scored. I was sure they had to win just because they had so much ball possession. But at the end it was a 2 - 1 goal loss but that was OK as everyone just enjoyed the time they had all chanting, singing and sharing the moment with each other.
The strange thing was as when I was getting back on the subway I noticed the girl with the drum again and so I was sure I was on the right track. So I followed her group onto the train and began having a conversation. Luckily I did because the train stopped before the usual transfer point and you had to transfer to another train then transfer again. So our new group decided to catch a taxi back to Guri. The unusual and interesting part about it was that she works close to me, lives in the same city and is the same age as well as complete unusual circumstance of getting the same subway carriage to the game and from the game. What are the odds?
Check out the flickr slide show link here:
I have also made a youtube video which shows a little of the atmosphere, the Korean goal and the celebration afterwards. Bring on the B-Boy competition next Saturday :)