Question: I am attending my first soccer game in Seoul. What should I expect?
Response: MsCaroline - although not a particularly ardent sports fan unless her own children are playing - believes in full participation in the culture in which you are living, and that includes attendance at sporting events, even those that one would not otherwise attend in one's homeland. Soccer (football) is popular in Seoul, and for that reason, all expats should attend at least one soccer game during their stay in the country. The following are points for Westerners to keep in mind when attending:
- Soccer is huge in Seoul: This means that everyone in Seoul (and their brothers) will be riding the same public transport at roughly the same time. Expect to stand (you'll never get a seat) cheek-to-jowl, with at least a bazillion others(some of them
stinking drunkin very high spirits) on a subway train all the way to World Cup Stadium. When you arrive, expect to be swept up with the crowd, salmon-style, directly to the stadium. If you have agoraphobia or claustrophobia, it is recommended that you take a taxi instead. Better yet, stay home and watch the game on TV.
- Soccer games are family activities in Seoul: This means that, in addition to the
spirited drunksdevoted fans, there are numerous families with small children in the stands, participating wholeheartedly in the crowd cheers, looking for themselves on the jumbotron, and blowing their vuvuzelas with every last breath in their bodies.
Question: What is a 'vuvuzela'?
Response: A vuvuzela is a plastic instrument that looks like a long, skinny, kazoo with a flared end like a trumpet, sold by
Question: How do you say, "vuvuzela' in Korean?
Response: Not having heard any Koreans actually say the word 'vuvuzela,' MsCaroline can only base her answer on the Hangul (Korean alphabet) spelling. The fact that Hangul (through no fault of its own) does not include the 'v' or 'z' sounds results in the somewhat inelegant transliteration, "boo-boo-je-rah.'
Question: What types of refreshments are on sale at Korean soccer games?
Response: Soccer fans will be delighted to find all their favorite game day refreshments at World Cup Olympic Stadium in Seoul: beer, dried fish, and squid jerky. You can also buy popcorn and hot dogs, but MsCaroline sees no need to get carried away.
Question: I am in a disturbingly crowded subway car and cannot reach an overhead strap or a support bar of any kind. Is it likely I will fall over when the car begins to move?
Response: Have no fear, gentle reader! There is no need to worry about personal safety in this instance, as it is physically impossible for you to fall over because you are wedged in so tightly. At most, you may sway a little, but falling is out of the question. It is, however, important for you to remain vigilant and prepared to alertly spring out of the way when the car finally reaches its stop, or you will be trampled to death by your disembarking fellow passengers.
Question: On the way home in the subway station, I stopped in the bathroom and discovered this when I opened the door to the stall:
What on earth is this, and how should I use it?
Response: The object in question is an 'Asian Squat Toilet.' This type of toilet is used in many parts of the world, and medical research has conclusively proven that the squatting position has many health benefits, which MsCaroline believes may have something to do with the colon, but which