Home > Current Events, Life > Euro icheonbal (2008)

Euro icheonbal (2008)

On Thursday and Friday nights I saw my first glimpse of Euro 2008, in the form of most of the two semi-finals, courtesy of my Hungarian colleague, Bo. He invited me to his apartment to watch the games repeated at ten o’clock Korean time, nearly a day after the live matches. As we finish work at ten, we missed the first ten to twenty minutes of each game.

At Bo’s place I met his Korean wife. She introduced herself, ‘I’m So-yeong;’ then, with a broad smile, ‘I’m so young!’ We sat on or by the bed watching the TV opposite, and I was unpleasantly conscious that I was sweating a lot. I was fed a lot of fruit – peaches and watermelon chunks. The game itself, Germany versus Turkey, wasn’t too bad, with Germany going behind, then equalising, then going ahead, then Turkey equalising and finally losing to a goal scored in the 89th or 90th minute.

On Friday, while I’d managed to avoid seeing the result in advance, Bo and So-yeong hadn’t been so successful. The game wasn’t so entertaining. Russia seemed to be the equals of Spain in the middle of the pitch, but Spain converted three of their many chances and Russia didn’t seem to have a single shot on target.

So-yeong went to sleep shortly thereafter and Bo and I stayed up till the early hours exchanging music. He gave me various albums of Hungarian guitar bands – and the Beastie Boys most recent CD. We were using my computer hooked up to his external hard drive, and he helped himself to a number of albums, including some classical stuff for his wife and some Metallica and Rammstein, and the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, at my urging. (I really should listen to some of the Hungarian stuff before I go to work on Monday. I’ve recently made myself a new favourites playlist on WinAmp, which I’ve called ‘Favourites +’. It has a lot fewer tracks than my ‘Favourites’ list, but it’s a much more intense, enjoyable listening – and singing – experience.)

On Thursday evening, at some time past midnight, I said I should head home. So-yeong asked me what I would say to the taxi driver. I hadn’t even considered that the subway would be closed and most buses finished by the time the game was over. I rather lamely suggested ‘E-kaeseul juseyo.’ She said that wouldn’t do and she and Bo accompanied me downstairs to the roadside near a main junction where taxis appear to congregate, waiting for fares.

The first taxi driver she spoke to didn’t appear to have any idea where we wanted me to go (‘eunhaeng sagori’ – ‘Bank Intersection’) and he drove off. The second driver found it on his navigator and off we went. On Friday, with So-yeong asleep, Bo and I were expecting similar hesitancy on the part the drivers. I approached a taxi and said, ‘Eunhaeng sagori?’ The driver enthusiastically replied, ‘OK! OK!’ And that was that.

Looks like I’ll be back at Bo and So-yeong’s for Sunday’s final on Monday night.

Categories: Current Events, Life
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