Baseball Game

It’s funny that after all this time in Seoul I had not been to a game of the most popular sport in South Korea: baseball.

We went to Jamsil Stadium to watch a game between LG Twins and Lotte Giants. Right before the game started there were so many people nearby the entrance that the mobile network was collapsed and it was absolutely impossible to make a phone call any closer than a block from the stadium.

Finally inside the stadium. I must admit that even though I am not familiar with baseball rules, the game was quite fun. Maybe because you can drink beer during the game, time went really fast. In fact, Koreans usually watch the game while drinking beer and eating fried chicken.

The stadium was completely crowded and over half of the capacity of the stadium was for Lotte supporters (including us), who came all the way from Busan. Lotte Giants is known for having the most active supporters in the Korean league. Besides, they have one of the best Korean players, Dae-Ho Lee (이대호).

Also quite funny the way people support their team: with these plastic bags on their heads.

Being used to the soccer scoreboard, this one was quite a complicated one for me. It took me over an hour to get to understand each and every one of those numbers…

Already in the subway on our way home. We could not get the victory but still you can say by our smiles we had a great time watching the game. No doubt we will go again to watch Lotte winning the game!

Seoul Bike Show 2011

The Seoul Bike Show takes place usually every March in Seoul. I had been wanting to attend this show since I live in Seoul, but was not able to do it until this year.

Undoubtedly folding bicycles were the most prominent kind of bicycle at the fair. Since I came to Seoul its presence has been increasing an today I would say they are the most common kind of bicycle used by people living in Seoul, a city where space at homes is something very valuable.

One of the folding bikes, folded.

What would these guys be so interested in? …

… of course, these three bikes from the manufacturer “American Eagle”. Americans always know how to attract people’s attention 🙂

This poor Look carbon monoframe was left forgotten next to some boxes as if nobody cared about it…

If you don’t like titanium components because of their dull color (I love it by the way), don’t worry. This company makes gold-plated titanium components (no-kidding, really gold-plated).

Taxis in Seoul are popular because they are equipped with GPS since several years ago. Now bicycles can also have these devices.

This was the most expensive bike I saw in the exhibition… 15 million won (around 13,000 USD) for a true piece of work by De Rosa.

The whole family of Mavic wheels for road cycling. The top set was priced at 5,2 million won (4,800 USD).

These bikes with fixed gears (a.k.a. “fixies”) are also quite popular these days. They are usually painted in very live colors (I’m sure many Korean girls would love this one). Not having a free wheel make the bike lighter and cheaper, and require less maintenance. Some of them don’t even have brakes, as you can brake just by stopping pedaling.

Seoul at Night

I recently bought a new lens for my camera, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4. This lens is specially good for taking pictures at night because of its low f-factor. The bad thing is that autofocus does not work with by camera body (a Nikon D40), so I have to focus manually… Anyways these are some of the first pictures I took with this lens.

Ayummas cooking (and/or drinking) in a street market.

A pojangmacha in the street.

Another pojangmacha. Koreans love to buy food at these places, you can buy anything from a hotdog to tteokbokki (떡볶이).

Cellphone-cover shop in Hongdae.

A street near my apartment (and no, I don’t live in the countriside, it is quite common to find streets like this one in Seoul just some meters away from the newest and most luxurious buildings).

Tap-dance performance during the Seoul Fringe Festival.

The Seoul Fringe Festival 2010

For those who are in Seoul these days, there is an event you cannot miss. The Seoul Fringe Festival, which takes place every year in the area near Hongik University will be taking place from August 12th to the 28th.

This year’s festival poster.

Hongdae Area, or just Hongdae, is the area surrounding Hongik University, and one of the most vivid areas in Seoul. Being Hongik a university manly for art-related studies, the area surrounding it is full of art galleries, street markets, coffee shops and other interesting places. Hongdae is where Koreans try to scape from its Confucianist rules and become free. Many Korean alternative music groups (like 10cm, Crying Nut or Deli Spice) started playing for free in the streets of Hongdae.

Any weekend you can see performances in this ares, but during this festival there will be many more, and also during weekdays. There will be lots of live performances in the streets, and art centers. Outdoor performances are free of charge. Indoor ones range from 5,000 KRW ($4) to 15,000 ($13).

To give you an idea of what you can find during the festival, here is one of the promotional videos with images from last year’s festival.

Korean Movies with Subtitles

For those who are in Seoul, since a couple of weeks ago, it is finally possible to watch Korean movies with subtitles in English at the CGV movie theaters in Gangnam, Yongsan, Myeongdong, and Guro, thanks to the Seoul City Hall and CGV itself. I think this is a great idea, as there are a great community of foreigners in Seoul who were really looking forward to watching recent Korean movies with subtitles in English. I got to know about this initiative because we got an invitation to see one of these Korean movies with subtitles in exchange for filling out a survey asking us what we thought about this initiative and whether we would be willing to watch more Korean movies if they offered them with subtitles in English. Of course, I guess the survey showed that foreigners in Seoul are looking forward to watching Korean movies, and the initiative has been passed. Now we (foreigners) only need CGV offering schedules of movies in English on their website 🙂

Poster of 방자전 (The Servant), one of the most popular Korean movies this year, which we were invited to watch.