So there are weekends when some cool stuff happens as you should already know being an avid reader of this momentous blog. 😉 This past weekend however, was indeed special to us on a few levels and so I will share……
To begin, our Saturday started off (minus the smashing breakfast prepared by moi) with a trip to the very cool and supposedly very famous Kimchi Festival in Gwangju. The Festival took place alongside the world cup stadium and featured samplings of most any kind of Kimchi you could think of, along with some very cool exhibits on the history and culture of the fantastic Korean dish. Vendors lined the parking lots selling other edible selections that ranged from crazy fresh lookin meats to wafer cookies. Our friend Natalie almost got us tossed for stealing one but alas, the dumb looks on our faces once busted was our key to freedom yet again.Not nearly as many foreigners as I suspected but there were a few that seemed to be taking in the festivities with the locals. Here’s a sampling of some Kimchi art that was displayed in one of the exhibit halls.
The highlight for us was most definitely our first ever Kimchi making experience which let us get our hands covered in pepper paste as we smeared the heavenly spread onto some pickled cabbage with veggies. It actually felt really good to be taking part in something that the locals have been doing for quite sometime and to gain a better understanding of the labor of love it is to prepare Kimchi.A nice little side note to that part of the festival was the interpreter who was with us during the Kimchi making process. This allowed us to fully understand the seminar given beforehand and really made the experience that much more educational.
Ok enough of the nerdy stuff. So after the fest we marched it over to the World Cup to meet up with some folks who were gathering to bid some fellow co-workers goodbye in typical foreigner style, drinks, drinks and a bunch more drinks.The soccer game as usual was packed out and sounded like a golf match anytime did anything halfway decent but we’ve come to expect smaller crowds as the Gwangju Phoenix have fallen from grace quite quickly this season battling it out for 10th place in the division nowadays. The highlight however did come from our section as Nicole attempted to explain to the group how a lady at our gym was hula hooping while reading for one hour in our gym the other day. When her words weren’t enough to paint the picture she stood up and innocently enough gyrated to simulate the movement…this was immediately caught by the camera man (which was probably because she has an ass and Korean dudes don’t see much of that) and blasted up onto the jumbotron for the 100 or so people at the game to see. This was only made funnier moments later when some little Koreans felt compelled to mimic the interesting cheer technique a few moments later a few rows in front 😉
So the game sucked but that was ok because we were into a different game and sport all together being broadcast on one of the girl’s phones. The Kia Tigers, the local Gwangju professional baseball team was in the 5th inning of game 7 of the KBO Championship series being played in Seoul!
The score at that time was 5-1 in favor of the opposing SK Wyvern’s (i think its a dragon…) so spirits were low but little by little they battled back and in the 7th inning tied it up 5-5!At this point we had been booted out of the stadium and asked to watch elsewhere so we found a convenient store that looked like it had been somewhat transformed into a sports bar to show the game on their massive 21 in television. We popped a squat at one of the tables outside, grabbed some beers and watched through the windows as the magic that only a Tiger could drum up ensued in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs…….
watch the video to feel the tingles in places you didn’t know could tingle…….
here’s a homemade vid I shot that’s far less clear but the audio gives you a taste for the excitement. (sorry for the sideways action)
This was Kia’s first championship in 12 seasons and their 10th overall as a team which is tops in the KBO. It felt really cool to be living in a city that had a championship team come back to glory as its been made pretty apparent to me that even through their drought, the fans have always been behind their team 100%.
After the game we cabbed it over to a local park for a early evening picnic of beer, wine, pizza and chicken wings. As is the life in this strange land, we were greeted by a courtyard full of jazzersizing women. Not the greatest shots but it gives you the idea. A few of us attempted to keep up but quickly found out that this was not our scene and quit for the booze.
Unfortunately I do not have any photos from “Soul Train”, the local bar we finished up at but if the success of a night is built around the complete alcoholic anihilation of the honorees, then the night was indeed a flawless victory.
So, that our story and we’re stickin to it. Keep readin and we’ll keep livin!…..well, we’ll live anyway but we like that you read 😉
Halloween at the hagwon (our school) is next!