Korean Baseball

This weekend was a long weekend for Liberation Day. Which is the liberation of Korea from under Japan’s rule. So we figured what better way to celebrate then going to a baseball game. Very Korean right? In fact it wasn’t our idea so much as that of a couple of our coworkers and apparently a ton of Korean’s had the same idea. So while it had rained most of Sunday we figured we would still give it a go and the chance of rain dropped the later it got. We took the subway directly to the stadium as there is a station right outside of it and got out to the sound of the game under way and a bunch of food and beer vendors. One of our coworkers informed us that we should by a few beers to take into the game. I was confused at first but apparently bringing beers in is the norm. So we stocked up on beer and began to walk towards the entrance. However before going in I felt I should try the traditional Korean snack of dried squid. This consists of exactly what it sounds like a whole squid dried and then heated up a little on a burner. I got the original which has no seasoning making it rather plain. It had the consistency of chewy beef jerky and didn’t taste that good, it wasn’t bad so much as there wasn’t much to it and since you had to chew each bite for about 5mins. we didn’t feel the need to finish it.
We entered the stadium in the back as we had gotten general entrance tickets in the bleacher section. The game was already at the top of the second so there was only standing room left at the very top, not a huge problem since everyone in front of us was sitting. In fact a little bit behind us a family set up a picnic blanket and had dinner while watching the game.
The quality of the baseball, primarily the pitching was mediocre which led to a lot of hits and ton of stolen bases, thus a lot of action to see from the top of the bleachers. But I think the best part was the crowd, who all sang and banged their thunder sticks together throughout the whole game. Doing all of this in unison seemed quite a feat of planning until I was told their are cheerleaders who rile up the crowd and lead them in songs chants and so forth. Each player had a different song, so when they made a play or they came up to bat their song was blasted on the speakers and the crowd began to sing. The songs were variations of pop music such as Dancing Queen by ABBA and Baby by Beiber both of which did not strike me as songs that would pump me up before getting to the plate, but I’ll chalk this up to a cultural difference.
The stadium from outside.

One of the ladies selling dried squid.

Dried squid. The dark spot on the left was its beak, nobody took my offer of a free beer and 5 man points for eating it.

A couple of our coworkers.

A few of the other teachers we came with.

Caitlin and I infront of the field. The stadium was packed.

One of the teams was called the LG Twins. Apparently they are the Korean version of the Yankees. They lost to the Lotte Giants from Busan.

The ladies.

There was a brief burst of rain during the game which led everyone to pullout their umbrellas. Kind of a cool sight to see.

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