I only have twelve days left here.
Someone please explain to me how that is even possible.
In an effort to distract myself from that sad fact, I’m going to recount the events from the past week for you.
I made the decision to drop History of Korea-US Relations last Monday during the add-drop period and life has been a breeze since then. I enjoyed the subject matter and the teacher, and had already given my oral presentation, but being in class from 11am-6pm nonstop was fairly exhausting and it didn’t even satisfy any requirements for my school. I would have only received one elective, pass-fail credit at Georgetown and I wanted to use the time to explore Korea instead. I dropped the class on the day of the midterm and promptly went out to lunch in Sinchon with my other friends who didn’t have class during that time. It has been over a week since I made the decision and I couldn’t be happier that I made it! I now have class from 11-12:40, have free time from 12:40-3:20, then Korean from 3:20-6.
The Australia vs. China and Korea vs. Japan games were this past Sunday and were even more spectacular than the games from the previous week. These were held at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium as opposed to the Seoul World Cup Stadium, so a track separated the stands from the pitch. So, though we were in the 7th row, it was not as close as las time.
Australia and China each scored a goal in the first half and, until about 10 minutes before the game ended, it didn’t look like that was going to change. Then, boom. 5 goals: three for China and two for Australia (who, as a whole, were extremely underwhelming).
The game ended and we awaited the start of the main event: South Korea vs. Japan.
If you read my post from last week, you know that I was asked about the political connotations of the North Korea vs. South Korea game and I recounted how those in the stands had cheered for both sides, and how there didn’t seem to be that much tension on the field.
Korea – Japan was a different story entirely.
People in the stands booed the Japanese national anthem and the moment the game started, this happened:
It may be difficult for you to see, but the banners are of, we think, Yi Sun-sin and An Jung-geun who both played large military roles against the Japanese and are considered historical Korean heroes in the face of the Japanese invaders.
Then this banner was dropped:
It translates to “A civilization that forgets its history has no future”. When my friend CJ told me what it said, shivers ran down my spine.
Someone on the Japan cheering side was brandishing a full size imperial Japanese flag, Koreans were shouting “대한민국!”, the fans bordering the giant banner shown above got into a tussle with the security guards and had to take the sign down (to very loud boos at security from the Korean cheering section), and the players conducted themselves incredibly well, given the tension in the stands.
This game was the best of the four we’d seen by far. The skill levels of the two teams were not only more closely matched than the other games, but were much higher as well.
The Japanese goal keeper injured two of his own players on two separate occasions, the Korean team missed crucial corner kick after crucial corner kick, the stands erupted in cheers and groans accordingly, and my friends and I added our voices to the chants for Korea, ignoring the rain that attempted to dampen our spirits (hah, puns) for the entirety of the first half.
The game was tied at 1-1 both teams were fighting for that winning goal. Much to our horror and dismay, Japan scored and Korea was unable to retaliate in time. The game ended, leaving me and my friends in a slump. Words were sparsely exchanged and we were all fairly sullen for the rest of the night.
Expect another post sometime soon about how I intend to spend the very little time I have left!