Thursday, 1 July 2010

The World Cup in Andeok

Saturday, June 12th. It was a tiresome evening in Andeok. Both Ken and I had just finished a Saturday’s worth of English camps, and we were utterly exhausted.

Despite covering hours upon hours of camp activities with our students, we mustered enough energy to attend another of Andeok’s community events – watching the 2010 World Cup, South Korea vs. Greece, live from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in South Africa.

There were a fair number of Andeok residents sitting on the ground in a field in front of the local police station. They placed themselves on flattened out cardboard boxes and picnic mats. Ken and I both received Red Devils’ (the South Korean soccer mascot) t-shirts and pairs of inflated clappers to cheer on the soccer team representing South Korea.

Moments before the game was projected onto the screen, men with hard, hanging drums, spurred on the crowd with their strong, solid beat. Everyone was shouting “Dae-han-meen-guk! (The Republic of Korea!) and hitting their clappers together.

Finally, the game began. The first goal was a perfect setup. In mid-flight, one of the soccer players kicked the ball into the net, which turned our little community into an uproar. In the second period, another mighty goal was scored by South Korea. The players of Greece’s team seemed to grow tired. However, South Korea’s Red Devils seemed to maintain their drive until the very last seconds of the game. No matter which direction the game was teetering towards, it was clear that South Korea fully supported its country’s representatives. Every moment of the game was devoted to shouts and screams of encouragement, the banging of the drums, the inflated clappers, and the hypnotizing chant, “Dae-han-meen-guuk!”.

After two hours of “on-the-edge-of-your-seat” soccer action, two praise worthy-goals by Lee Chun Soo and Park Ji-Sung, an overall score of 2-0 favouring South Korea, and over two hundred deflated clappers, everyone was buzzed and must’ve had a good night’s sleep, exhausted from their enthusiastic cheering.

However, the night was not over for me, Ken, and Justin (the Andeok Elementary School English teacher who joined Ken and I during intermission). We stopped by our local convenience store to buy some celebratory ice cream, and found the owner red-faced and beaming with excitement. He told us that he watched the game on his small TV, which was rested at the top of one of his shelves, and downed seven beers while doing so. He continued with his eighth after offering us some beer in celebration.

After spending more time than we had expected in the store and reliving the highlights of the game, the owner urged us to have one drink with him at a bar. Remembering the last time we were supposed to have one drink at the bar (it turned out to be several), we tried to turn him down gently, but he was quite persistent.


After the store owner closed up shop, Justin, Ken and I walked down the street with him, while he took our arms in his own and swayed from side to side. We eventually made it to the bar…the owner, slowly rubbed her eyes as she had just been woken up by us.

She welcomed us in, as we apologized for our late entrance, and set us up with anjou (snacks) and beer. From dried seaweed and a medley of fruits, to succulent, marinated beef, we happily filled our stomachs with the delicious late night snack. About an hour after our noisy entrance into the bar, we were completely spent, exhausted from the seat-gripped game that was the South Korea vs. Greece World Cup match.


‘Twas a good night.

- Jess


  1. Dae-han-meen-guk…zzzz…

    haha, I could hear the sound and rhythm. The whole world went crazy all, ya.. The soccor cup magically gets all nations united

  2. Ken, I think Jessica is starting to get you to drink a little too much. May be you should find someone who doesn't party so much :)

  3. Hahahaha I agree!
    What a bad influence ;)

    - Ken