Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 2 - Fighting Korea 승리의 함성

We all woke up early and headed to Insadong where Christine had to do some things for her Australian working visa application. We toured around in the grey city for the morning with threateningly stormy weather, before heading back to the hotel for a midday nap.

For weeks, people adorned with the patriotic 'red shits' have been demonstrating their enthusiasm for the Korean Soccer team competing in the FIFA 2010 World Cup. We might even watch the next game on a big screen in the park at 3am on Wednesday morning! The hype can be seen in various videos on YouTube showing street flash-mobs, concerts, custom-made music videos with famous Korean singers creating medleys including the catchy Fighting Korea chant.

In the early afternoon we headed to Lotte World which is described on wikipedia as, "... a major recreation complex in SeoulSouth Korea. It consists of the world's largest indoor theme park that set a Guinness World Record open all year around,[1] an outdoor amusement park called "Magic Island", an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorailshopping malls, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities, and movie theaters all in one place. Rohanna was happily amused to explore this venue full of large stuffed characters like Lotty & Lori, restaurants and snack huts, rides designed for very small and fearless children as well an outdoor stage with enthusiastic performers willing to entertain all kinds of crowds. Here we had the most fun. First hip-hop dancers and then a Filipino cover band who liked to pull people up on stage! They eventually noticed Rohanna's strawberry curls and beaming smile and beckoned her to the stage. Unluckily Tia was the one holding her at the time and therefore had to face the crowd and answer the MCs questions. Rohanna held on to my arms for dear life, squeezing my waist with her legs as the MC asked us where we were from and what Rohanna's name was. Too shy to even say kamsamnida or accept the free CD gift, Rohanna remained frozen by the spot lights. When we got down from the stage, a smile and the natural colour returned to her face. "Was that scary, Hanna?" I asked gently. "Yes," she replied quietly with watery eyes and a fierce tone of seriousness.

After leaving the park and while approaching the taxi stand we saw a street vendor selling all sizes of the 'red shirt' in a soccer jersey style. We picked one up for little Miss Korea and then headed home to the hotel, with Hanna singing Marry Poppins songs along the way.

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