The unexpected and unwelcomed guest appeared that day.From morning onwards there was downpour while people were making hectic preparations for the 'big festival'.Yes it was more of a festival and even Christmas celebrations were not so enthusiastic in a country where a good number of people believe in Christianity.Markets and shops are full of reds,reds and reds everywhere.South Korea playing in World Cup finals 2010 is the festival.Rain did not kill the spirits of the soccer craze people.Me and my friends were not able to decide where to go.We wanted to make sure that wherever we go we had fun and not regret for we had been eagerly waiting for this day.We finally decided to go to Sichong(City Hall).There were other places where giant screens will be put to telecast the South Korea vs Greece match live.City Hall is in the heart of Seoul and huge screens were put in Seoul plaza.
Although we could feel the enthusiasm of people on the road and subway.It was a total chaos when we get of at City Hall subway station.Many were wandering here and there,may were making brisk business,selling reds(rain coat,hair bands,can beers etc). Girls and boys,locals and foreigners were in full gear.There was a long line in the washroom and many struggle to wait for their turn :).There were one giant screen and two small screens side by side and also lots of temporary kiosks.It was raining still though it wasn't heavy.People were cheering and singing.At one moment I felt I was in a soccer stadium with.We manage to squeeze our way through the middle and made our place.The match started at 2000 Hrs KST and cheering and singing continued...."Daehan minkuk','Arirang,arirang...arariyo".I tried to take a glimpse of the main giant screen but in vain.I had to satisfy myself with the lesser one which was well visible.It doesn't matter as it was impossible to concentrate on the game.I bet most of the people who came there were not concentrated at the match and it was the fun and the excitement of being in a crowd that mattered most.
The crowd was very lively and energetic.Beer was on sale everywhere and ofcourse little costlier.I guess those who were selling beer had a good business apart from the raincoat and T-shirt dealers.And the more the team have matches the more they make profit.So if the Koreans make it to the finals than many of them will become rich for sure.
Suddenly everyone went wild when the Reds stunned Greeks with their first goal.Fireworks filled the air along with a loud music.At that moment I felt I was in a World cup soccer stadium and watching the live match.Half time and the beer sale was on the rise as well as the spirits of the people.Conquering the Greeks were obvious in the second half of the match and that made every in the place exhilarate.The second goal was swiftly put in and again the crowd went up in air and than the fireworks.It was evident that Greece were not going to make it to a draw.Finally the match was over and the reds made their mark in South Africa and did well in their first match.
The sad part of the event was that after the match the place was scattered with beer cans,raincoats and other stuffs.It was like a stampede had just taken place.It would be quite a huge task to organized the place again.The surprising thing was that the crowds behaved well and there was nothing that was irritating and unusual.That is why it is said culture is important whether it is respect for women ,elders and other people.No nuisance and thus everybody enjoyed the moment at the fullest.I am also delighted to be part of the history.
Hope one of the Asian countries come home with the World cup this time.Or Am I being too optimistic!!