Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I love this game

No country keeps it more live during the World Cup than Brazil. Este blog torce pelo hexa do Brazil.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Be The Reds!

That's one of the common slogans of the many Red Devils T-shirt designs. Today when I asked what it meant, I think the explanation was something like it's an urging for others to take on the red and cheer for Korea. Apparently red is a color of good luck (I think originating from the one of Korea's agricultural staples, the long red pepper. Back in the day, a string of red peppers would hang in front of a house to brag to the whole block that house just had a baby boy born.). The color red is also supposed to dispel bad luck. My co-teachers were confused for a second that along with a color of such good fortune and mojo , why the mascot was a devil. Devils, ghosts, boogeymen aren't appreciated much out here.

Anyway, I speak of the Red Devils because Kristofer mentioned them in his blog. He mentioned that being a World Cup virgin, he could pick any team unless his country was participating. Yeah, I think generally that's how it goes, if your country is participating, that's your team. Unless of course, your team is America in which case it seems to be ok to have divided loyalties. In Korea, no such luck. I think people would understand if I was a glutton for disappointment, that I cheered for the American team. But people wouldn't be too happy if I cheered for Japan or any team other than Korea's team. It's serious out here. It is the topic of many prayers at my school.

Still, it's nice to be part of the home team. In all my time here I have always referred to Korea as "Korea." When I speak to people I just say, "Here in Korea..." or "Korean people..." That's even when I speak in Korean. It's strange because here everyone says, "Our Country," and "Our Country People/The People of Our Country." I'm not a part of the "Our" or "We." Until the World Cup. It's that "Be the Reds" motto that ensures if you know the rehearsed songs, dances, and claps for the time being you can get away with being a part of the "Our."

Dae~~~ Han Min Kook! Clap-clap, clap-clap, clap!

Monday, June 19, 2006

World Cup Kiwi Style

Hi again. I've not been back to the Traveling Beans post in quite some time. I mean, who really wants to read about swim teaching, bike shops and sheep? I figured I'd leave that to the Kiwi tour. But the World Cup. Yes. I'm not that interested for two main reasons. 1) I've never been that into soccer/football. Only when my first boyfriend played and I could watch his hot body running up and down the field. The second reason is that here, in New Zealand, the serious football hooligans/fans/nutters are up watching the thing at 4am. Yes 4am...beacuse that is when it is live in Germany. Only it's 4am here! So you've got people who would not be caught dead awake at 7am for work...and people that SHOULD be getting enough rest in order to get up at 7am for work...all awake at 4 in the morning to And there are other showings in the afternoons, which I suppose are like prelims or something (should I try to sound more interested?) but yeah. They're not shutting down the city streets, but they are opening up the bars for more hours (and i didn't think that possible.)

Something interesting is that, while they won't shut the cities down for some huge world-wide soccer tournament that everyone is obsessed with, they do shut cities down for things called A&P shows which is basically like a giant farm fair. Yup, during the Canterbury A&P show, it was considered a holiday and we all had paid days off. To celebrate cattle and tractor pulls. Mind you, it was pretty cool and I got to show a llama in the main ring. Kiwis have also gone pretty nuts over the rugby Super 14. Probably more nuts than over the soccer. But once again, i'm just not that interested in that sort of sport. I've tried to get into that side of the kiwi spirit, but meh. I'd rather be biking or swimming, tramping or running, for which there is a seperate sort of kiwi spirit available.

I just want to say that I hope all my traveling beans are doing well in their final months out and about in the world. And I think it's probably a good time to say (for those who don't know) that I'll be staying in good ol' NZ for a little bit longer. I'm extending my Visa and yeah...will be here for a few more months...years??? Who knows? But I just thought I'd put that out there. Maybe if I EVER make enough money to travel for more than a weekend (it's very hard to travel on the NZ Dollar) I will have some more interesting things to write about. Until then it's bike shops and sheep. Keep in touch kiddies!

A growing blog and...Worldcup fever

We have another new addition, Carole Ketnourath. Another Hamilton alum and long-term world traveler. Carole will be in Thailand, I don't want to take the spotlight away and speak for her too much. However I will say she will be working in the field of education, human rights, and economic development. I know she'll specifically be dealing with issues in human trafficking. I haven't had word from her in a while, but she's joined Traveling beans, so as encouragement for her to post, and to make Jubin happy, let's write something.

Maybe because we're all at the end it's tough to write; new happenings continue everyday, but the past of the whole year must be flashing before us as we reflect before we head home. One of the questions on my Fulbright report is, "How have you grown as a person?" such a vague open-ended question like that deserves a really ambiguous answer --I should just tell them my soul has grown, unless they want a novel.

There may be some whining that we haven't been writing, but I'm sure there'll be plenty to read when we write our end-of-year reports. But those reports gotta get done first. Until then, just use the side bar and check our individual pages. On Superheroes Kristofer has some, as he would say, "tasty" (and beautifully sweet) Brazilian beats up, as well as futbol insights on Disciple. Amelia is showing off Poland, Nicole is forever the faithful blogger, and you can decide whether France is to be loved or hated after reading Brit's adventures. They're picking up the slack for Hil, Bennett, Derrick, and me. Though, I am trying to get something up on the Worldcup nationalistic hysteria --I mean, fever here in Korea.

Speaking of which, what's soccer/football/futbol/Worldcup like in your neck of the woods?