Thursday, May 24, 2007

Our Weekend in Suwon

Last weekend Matt and I ventured out to Suwon to visit our friends Eddie and Gisela. The big plan was to hang out and then go watch a soccer game at the World Cup Stadium and hang out some more. We'd never been to Suwon and expected it to be a lot like Gimpo. As it turns out, Suwon is way cooler than Gimpo and if we were living there we probably wouldn't be so stir crazy to get to Seoul all the time. Eddie and Gisela live in a great area that is filled with a lot of stores, coffee shops and restaurants. We had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and then walked around a bit before heading to the stadium to watch the game. None of us had ever seen a soccer game in Korea (and possibly never seen a live professional soccer game at all). It was definitely a fun experience and I wouldn't mind going again sometime, maybe to watch the Korean national team play.
When we first walked into the stadium there was a guy handing out small blue garbage bags. I thought it was kind of strange but I figured they just wanted you to gather your own trash or something. Once we entered the seating area we realized their true purpose- they were official cheering bags! Koreans sure love their soccer and the fans are tireless and enthusiastic. We took a short video during one of the chants (although this was later in the game when the fans were slightly less energetic) so you can get a feel of what it was like. I wish I'd known some of the chants and songs they sang so I could have joined in. My love of cheering is only second to my love of free stuff.

You'll notice I have my awesome headband on while Matt is modeling one of the complimentary cheer bags.

Have you ever wondered what the concession stand looks like at a World Cup stadium? Well wonder no longer! It's a bit ghetto, if you ask me, with all the cardboard boxes and empty/broken freezers. Most popular snack item? Ramen noodles.

It was the Suwon Samsung Bluewings against the Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i. Suwon seemed the stronger team since they were pretty aggressive and spent a lot of time in Ulsan's attack zone. However, any time they had a chance to make a shot they either kicked the hell out of the ball and totally missed the net or made really feeble shots directly at the goaltender. As a result, Ulsan ended up winning 2-1. Look at the poor dejected mascot.
After the game we walked around a bunch and looked at the statues and sculptures around the stadium. The rest of the night was fun and we had some dinner, some drinks, and tried to watch a movie (unfortunately the DVD wasn't cooperating). When we first arrived I thought that our apartment was pretty nice but theirs is even better! I suppose they are in a new apartment complex though and aren't working for a hogwan. Sunday morning we slept late and then went out for breakfast and had delicious fruit waffles at a coffee shop. Here they consider them to be dessert and finding a "western" breakfast is pretty difficult so this surely was a treat. They were massive so Matt and I shared one. Delicious!
Not long after breakfast Matt and I had to head home. The trip is a fairly long one, especially on Sunday when I suspect the trains/buses run less frequently than normal. Less people were traveling though so we were able to sit down and that was nice. Sometime we'll have to have Eddie and Gisela out here but it will probably be a fairly boring time since we totally live in the boonies compared to them. I guess there is always noraebang to fall back on though! For more pictures click here!

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