I’m not a football fan so I was an unlikely candidate to attend let alone enjoy the Daegu FC match this weekend. But I was offered a free ticket and I never turn down a freebie so I went along with my main co-teacher and her kids who brightened up the car journey with their detailed film reviews of the The Great and Powerful Oz and Wreck-It Ralph – delivered in near-perfect English.
Daegu Stadium, where the match was being held, was one of the host venues of the 2002 World Cup so it’s pretty darn grand even without the mountain range would-be-casually hovering in the background.
Everyone knows what European football fans are like so I’d prepared for the worst but turns out Korean fans are about as far removed from their Euro counterparts as its possible to be. Where European fans are commonly male, drunk, violent and cynical, Korean fans are all ages and sexes, drunk on life and above all, unwavering in their support of their team.
Everything warranted applause – even when the other team scored or one of our players missed an easy shot the crowd jumped to their feet and clapped. In keeping with the festive mood each time one of our players entered the box a commentator would work the spectators up into even more of a frenzy to urge the player on to score, and throughout the entire match the whole stadium was part of a continuous Mexican Wave, so that every 2-3 minutes your conversation would be briefly elevated!
I have officially been converted.
In addition to developing a latent love for football, this weekend I also
– Failed to buy a phone because of the devil soju
– Succeeded in buying some furniture for my apartment via a vaguely hilarious combination of sign language, terrible diagrams and face pulling
– Found and went to my local cinema which is so cheap that I may just move in
– Found my new favourite local coffee shop
– Signed up to a gym (lots of rice and beer is taking its toll)
– Made plans to see Psy in April