I love going to baseball games. It is one of those things I gladly splurge for. $50 for a ticket to Fenway or Wrigely…no problem. Ever since my father walked me into Fulton County Stadium in 1986 to see a double header between the Braves and the Mets(the same Mets that beat Boston in the WS), I have been a total sucker for the ballpark. I have to admit I was a little reluctant and nervous to see Korea’s version of the game. I thought it would be so Busch league.
The game looked the same but in the stands things were far different. For example, I ate mandu(steamed dumplings) in lieu of a hot dog. Strange but not big deal. Also, the crowd was loud. I mean like European soccer loud. The fans rarely took a break between chants.
Businessmen did shots of soju when the hometeam got a basehit. Ajumas(old women) led chants. One man fell over the seats in his nice suit in an attempt to catch a foul ball. One boy sucked on dried octopus. There were no peanuts, cracker jacks or hot dogs. School children stuck their hands up the mascots tail(Ddong chim in Korean…google it if you are interested in the literal translation). It was like my first grade class…completely out of control.
Earlier in the year, it would have all seemed strange, but we know we are in Korea. At this point nothing is weird. Not even the kid rollerblading through the stadium or the guy literally breathing down my neck at the urinal. These days its just a part of living in Korea.