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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Face off

I'm not a sports fan. Obvious, right?

So it might surprise you to know that Saturday night, I went to an ice hockey game with some friends to see Korea's Anyang Halla (Anyang City is where the team plays; Halla is a volcano on Jeju Island) play the China Sharks. Hey, it's a cheap night out and you can't knock it 'til you've tried it.

China Sharks

Anyang Halla players emerge at game-time

Having only been once to see the Washington Capitals play -- and remembering very little of that except for the fights -- it was definitely a learning experience. Karen had to explain a lot of what was going on but mostly, I just followed the puck up and down the ice and cheered at appropriate times. Plus there was a really cute ref who needed plenty of scrutiny, too.

Verdict? The game was actually a lot of fun -- six of us went and had fun cheering for our team (which emerged victorious, coming from 2-0 to score 3 goals in the final period). I don't know if it's something I would go to again but it wasn't the worst way to spend Saturday night.

Face off

Fans bring traditional Korean instruments to cheer on their team

Mascots waiting to go on-ice

Anyang Halla

Bill made some new friends

Today I went to church and it was, as seems to be the norm here, far too overzealous and evangelical for my tastes. Within the first 15 minutes, the pastor denounced the "heathen Hindu government" in India, so that didn't exactly give the best impression. Trying an Anglican church next week in hopes of finding something more traditional, and if that fails, hitching myself to the Catholic bandwagon.

Headed over to Itaewon to browse the used book selection at What the Book?, a fantastic English-language bookstore. It's such a strange area to hang out in because, as the foreigner district, it sometimes feels like being back in the US and not always in a good way. It's the only place in Seoul where I've been openly harassed by men, always non-Koreans. At least the Korean men just stare but the Westerners can be terrible.

The highlight of the day was a home-cooked dinner at Karen's apartment -- chili con queso. Mmmm!

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