Ode to the Sea
In mid September I had the chance to go to Korea for business. As usual I can't mention the scope of business but I can share what I did in my free time there!
I visited a town that lays by the coast to the south of the Korean Peninsula and there we took a brief respite from our travels. Having a walk by the sea brought back many memories from back home in Cyprus.
There is something very calming about hearing the waves crash and caress the coast line and about the smell of the salt and seaweed. I must have stood there (actually I was in a Chinese Crouch in my best suit) for a few minutes just staring into the sea. Of all the things that I thought about probably the best was the dream of after retirement I would take to the coastal waters with nothing but a boat, bottled water, fishing line and bait and a few crab snares.
The idea of returning home to QQ with some fresh shrimps and fish when I'm 65 is nice.
Back in Seoul, on a Saturday, I took the day off to see a baseball game which I was informed of a few days before. My accomodation was close to Seoul National University and where a baseball stadium capable of hosting a professional team was I didn't rightly know. I knew that it lay to the East but I didn't have a map so being the adventurer I ventured into the streets...
I must have walked 15km before I found it. In the end I did find a map (I asked a concierge at a hotel for one) but I think my walkabout prooved for the better as I took in more sites than I would have otherwise had done. First time I saw a 'green belt' bridge; now I know don't ask a hospital receptionist for a map because they'll give you the hospital layout map; Korean people also turn up late to weddings; there are such things as parking spaces exclusively for female drivers and entire roads are covered in steel plate during underground construction.
As it happened I came across the Olympic Stadium and after dwadling in I stumbled across the dying minutes of a University football game. It must have been the finals because there was an awesome crowd (I was part of the non-alumni blue crowd) on the other end of the pitch. There was chanting, singing, dancing, shouts and laughter all bundled together. I could see that on the pitch level there was a pantomine with the cheer leading squad dress in colourful garb urging the crowd on. There was even a TV crew there. As for the football, I didn't see anything very exciting, but the crowd... awesome.
After the game was over I walked over to baseball stadium (foolishly I thought that a baseball game could be played on a football pitch) and I was in luck! I arrived one hour before LG play some red team in a baseball game. I bought my ticket in the LG half, a few drinks, and entered the stadium. It was early but I got to see some pre-game entertainment, the match wardens prepping the diamond, the teams warming up and the fans' excitement.
I don't know much about baseball so a few times I was scratching my head but I soaked up the atmosphere pretty well. To the back and the side there were fans shouting various combinations of 'LG', 'hit' and 'strike' all the way through. It was really exciting to see the batter make a homerun or hitting the ball in the stadium for somebody to catch.
Similar to the football game there was a pantomine except this one was behind me. A guy in LG kit urging on the crowd with a few girls in very little LG costume dancing. I saw they were waving something about (in their hands) and it turned out to be Instant Noodles. Who would have figured.