Well the World Cup madness is over for another 4 years for England and for South Korea but we had fun "Fighting" for (supporting) our adopted country while it lasted. The world cup has provided us with plenty of amusement and material for lessons but its not just the action on the pitch that has been amusing.
Take the Korean World Cup advertising campaign for instance. The advertising campaign shows a group of foreigners standing around looking annoyed with their fingers shoved in their ears as they are shouted at by a stadium full of chanting Koreans. The slogan "Shouting for Korea" seemed to be an attempt to encourage the Koreans to shout even more than they usually do to cheer their team on. Presumably, this was in the (mistaken) belief that if they did it enough they might be able to annoy the other teams into losing. There were also loads of funny/irritating World Cup songs including the insanely catchy World Cup Song No.1 by K-Pop boy group 2AM which I played as a prize for my 2nd graders - by the end of that teaching week I was waking up humming that bloody song! And of course who could forget the 'Shouting Dance' by Big Bang.....
Imagine trying to get the English fans to learn that many moves!
About 3 weeks ago we were visiting a Korean friend of ours in Suwon (the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do) for the weekend and we just happened to be around for South Korea's first big World Cup game against Greece.Our Korean friend lent us South Korea t-shirts for the night and we went down to a sam gyop sal (bacon barbeque) restaurant to cheer on the "Red Devils", stuff our faces and drink plenty of soju (of course).
Sam gyop sal, delicious pieces of pork belly, cooked on a camp stove at your table nom nom nom!
Are you busy? In Korea is polite to wait to have your drink poured for you. The youngest person does the pouring apparently. But if you get bored waiting just ask "Are you busy?"!
We were wearing the old Korea football shirts that said "Be the reds!" (whatever that means). The new ones say "The Shouts of the Reds!" as the Korean team are the reds and "shout" seems to be a popular Englishee buzzword over here at the moment (as if the Koreans need any more encouragement to make loads of noise all the time!).
We were given these inflatable plastic thingys to bash together whilst shouting "Dae Han Min Guk" - they make a hell of a lot of noise
There were loads of Koreans there, mainly families with excited young children but also groups of young men hitting the soju hard and young couples too. The atmosphere was fantastic and the crowds were rewarded with an entertaining game and a Korean victory.
Spot the waygook! (foreigner)
We foreigners joined in the cheering too - "Dae Han Min Guk" (I think it means Republic of Korea)!! In fact, the Koreans in the restaurant were so impressed with our "Shouting for Korea" that when the game was won a group of men came over to our Korean friend and gave us a load of money and explained that it was to pay for our meal to thank us for our support! Best football game ever!
A happy Korean fan strikes a pose!
Some crazy Korean fans wanted to celebrate their country's win by having their photo taken with us in Suwon city centre! Say "kimchi"!
No, that's not a bloodied dismembered finger that Rowan's eating, it's just a deep-fried breaded lump of cheese dipped in ketchup!