Tuesday, June 29, 2010

World Cup Fever: Seoul - Republic of Korea vs. Nigeria

Soccer, or football as it is known in most of the world, is a pretty popular sport, albeit exclusively outside the United States. When my cousin asked if I would like to go watch the game with her on the streets of Seoul, I gladly agreed to check out the scene. When else would I ever get the opportunity to watch soccer with a million other people?

You could not escape World Cup Fever anywhere on the streets of Seoul. Everyone had their own ways of expressing their love for the national team.

I had no idea you could pack this many people onto a stretch of closed-off 12 lane highway. Since the game started around 3:30 AM local time, we had to claim our spots around midnight. The diversity of interests and multiple outlets for fanaticism basically eliminate the possibility of this type of gathering happening in the States. It was sick to witness and be a part of.

Beer and chicken certainly helped the time before the match pass.

Those green things are traffic lights.

People sported blinking horns.

All the freaks were out.

Just when I was about to forget where I was, a grilled squid vendor walked by.

So did the source of thunder-sticks

I rolled with my cousin and her friend.

Red light. Green light.

Lil' Drummer Boy

Some fans were more into the match than others. Who wears high heels to a soccer game?

At some point, I guess everyone decided to watch the game.

This kid couldn't handle his liquor and slept through the entire match.

The game ended in a draw, but Korea still advanced to the Round of 16.

A massive-scale cleanup project awaited.

The sun was starting to come up when all the festivities were complete.

And I too headed home after an amazing experience.

It may never be football to me, but to stand in the middle of a million excited fans fervently cheering on their team was something special. I will never forget it.

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