Spicy Egg Pod Soup, and the Steelers getting a Thumping

Firstly, sorry it’s been so (relatively) long, I know there are a number of people who rely on my blog to know that I’m still alive. Then again you could always ring me…. (James can’t help noticing that with the exception of my parents (I love you guys!) he seems to be the one making ALL the calls – hint hint!)

As my regular readers may have gathered (don’t you love how I kid myself with that!), a trip to City Hall is always eventful these days. I’m in the privileged (or from my point of view, downright irritating: it’s a long trip and I rarely have time for it) of being called up to the press centre by the Seoul Government every so often so they can ear bash me into producing them another bunch of unimaginative two-a-penny tourism articles (there’s only so much you can wax lyrical about a new market, but it’s paid and will look good in the future so I won’t argue).

This week City Hall was as messy as ever. With the ongoing beef protests turning violent, I was greeted by the site of a number of police buses smashed to pieces and grafittied with various anti-governmental slogans lying at the side of the street. Meetings with the government people are usually held over a suitably unusual Korean meal, and this week it was spicy fish egg-pod soup. The egg pods look precisely like particularly veiny sausages and taste like somebody decided to mash seeds and boil them with a particularly nasty tasting fish paste. I forced very little of it down.

Culinary oddities aside, the high point of this week was an FC Seoul game. I didn’t think I’d ever say that: as much as I love to watch the local live games, FC Seoul are about as dire as professional teams come. The visit of reigning Korean Champions Pohang Steelers, however, somehow brought them to life. And when FC Seoul come to life it’s quite a sight to behold: Korean soccer fans like we all remember them at the 2002 World Cup, with their crazy celebrations. Slovakian ‘Dejan’ was the hero, knocking in a hat trick of one touch finishes, to the utter disbelief of a Pohang side who now find themselves behind the completely un-mighty Seoul in the K-League. Dejan’s hat-trick was so high class, in fact, that it wouldn’t have looked out of place in the premier league. If he wasn’t 27 already I’d be saying watch this space. But I’m thinking he might have missed that boat. Check out the video section for some footage of the truly ridiculous celebrations from the FC Seoul fans.

Other than that this week has pretty much been a nightmare: intensive courses have meant teaching hours of more than 12 per day, which has left me absolutely dead on my feet. I’ve somehow squeezed in an expensive meal with a student and another farewell party in the middle, but it’s all passed by in an unexciting ‘I’d rather be in bed’ way. Bring on the weekend!

J x

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