Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another Baseball Post? WTF?

Yeah, but this one isn't so much about baseball per se--not that the others were, either--but about afterwards. Anyway, let's be chronological. I met Nick and Andy, the usual suspects, at the Sindorim subway station so we could proceed together to Incheon (the airport city 30 km west of Seoul).

We were headed for Munhak Baseball Stadium, which is adjacent to Incheon Munhak Stadium, home to Incheon United FC. In Incheon. The ballpark hosts SK Wyverns baseball games, and holds about 30,000. The SK Wyverns have won the Korean championship the last two years (you may remember I attended a playoff game vs. Doosan Bears with Andy back in October). SK is a Korean telecom. All the teams (except for Heroes) are sponsored by a Korean 'chaebol'.

Here are the restroom signs at Munhak Baseball Stadium:

Men's room sign at Munhak StadiumWomen's room sign at Munhak Stadium

The Wyverns were hosting the Seoul Heroes (formerly the Woori Heroes, formerly the Hyundai Unicorns, Chongbo Pintos, Taepyoungyang Dolphins, the Sammi Superstars, etc) for a 5:00 start on Sunday afternoon. Well, the weather wasn't great, but it had looked okay when we agreed to go at about 10:00 this morning.

As the class of the league, SK were expected to hammer the Heroes, but it was only 4 - 1 at the top of the ninth when "Ba-rum-ba", one of two Western players each team is allowed, hit a two out, two run homer to ignite the remaining fans. Next up was Clark, the other Westerner, who predictably grounded out.

The game had zipped by and was over by 7:30, so rather than hurry home, we stopped into one of the myriad tent restaurants between the stadium and the subway for some refreshment.

tent restaurant
After five minutes of normal eating and drinking involving a very tasty kimchi pajeon (spicy pancake) and a big bottle of beer, our foreign-ness was noted and our table served as the nexus of these phenomena: 1) old drunk Korean dudes love talking baseball with foreigners; 2) old drunk Korean dudes speak marginal English; 3) old drunk Korean dudes remember the Korean War/Vietnam War/Cold War and think all Americans do too; 4) old drunk Korean dudes don't actually give a damn if you understand what they're saying; 5) old drunk Korean dudes are as touchy-feely as young, undrunk Korean dudes, which is plenty.

new friends
It was really kind of crazy, these old guys yelling at us about their favorite ball teams, and stuff that Nick and Andy couldn't even understand, until finally friends of these interlocutors ended up hauling them away, so we could enjoy a drink in relative peace and quiet before getting on the subway toward home.

For the first time in a while, I got to Sindorim station without being kicked out onto the street to find a taxi the rest of the way home. Good thing I don't actually have to teach tomorrow.

1 comment:

SuperDrew said...

I look dangerous in that last picture!