Friday, April 17, 2009

Lotte rae Kang Min Ho! Oh Oh Oh Ohhh, Oh Oh Oh OOHHH!

Another great week in Busan. We've been in Korea for just over 3 weeks, weird, it seems like longer!

This week saw some firsts for me.

On Monday I had my first Noraebang (Korean karaoke) experience. A teacher from my school invited us out to dinner because her niece's Canadian husband needed someone to speak English to. Tired from the weekend, we were hoping to have dinner then get home early. That obviously didn't happen. We were dragged to do some noraebang. Here's how it works: You go with a group to people to one of the many karaoke rooms that are on each block, and get a private room for your group. There are 1000's of songs to pick from, lighting controls, mics and a disco ball. Everyone must sing. This goes on for hours. Now for those of you who have been subjected to the horror of my singing you're probably already cringing. To make matters worse I had an incredibly sore throat, further increasing my singing disability. And yes, it was that bad ... but surprisingly I actually had fun. I did 1 solo and 2 duets with George. This year is all about getting out of my comfort zone, and if I can get up and sing in front of my friends and coworkers then I can do anything! I'm just chalking it up as the most embarrassing situation I've ever encountered, laughing about it, and moving on.

Another first this week - a Lotte Giants baseball game. I don't even like baseball, but it was the most fun I've had in Korea so far. We went with a group of EPIK teachers and had an incredible time. I can't even describe what a great atmosphere it is ... everyone is SO excited to be in the crowd. There are songs for every player, all of the fans make newspaper pom poms and use them to chant throughout the game. Food and drinks at the stadium are cheap, but you're also allowed to bring in outside food or drink. Walking in, you have to go through a tunnel formed by vendors, all trying to get you to buy their spicy chicken, kimbap, beer or soju ... it's like a mob! The drunkenness inside the stadium is widespread. A friendly Korean man came over and did a number of soju shots with one of the guys in our group. When 4 of the girls went to the bathroom we got so many high-fives from teenage Korean boys. When a ball is hit into the crowd everyone immediately point to whoever caught it, and in Korean chants, "Give it to the baby". Without fail the ball is handed to a baby or toddler nearby. The lucky kid is then hoisted up by their parents and everyone cheers. In the eighth inning orange plastic bags are handed out to the crowd and everyone inflates the bags and puts them on their heads. We all went for the basic style but there were people who had fashioned them into devil horns or even giant bows. Once this happened we were on our feet for the rest of the game, singing along to all of the songs and having a great time. It was hilarious to see 1000's of people with plastics bags tied to their heads. Korea's wild! Then, when the game ends, the bags are taken off and used to clean up all the litter that's accumulated - genius idea! I'll definitely be going back to many games, probably as early as next week.

And the best part? My ticket, 3 beers, shared spicy chicken, caramel corn and hot dog: less then $20!! I love the Lotte Giants!

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