29 Aug 2011

IAAF Games

I had asked my buddy to come to university if he did not mind to show me on how to use the special washing machine in the laundry room. Afterwards I had made my way to the city centre and to see the IAAF stand to ask if there had been any tickets left. There had been still a few left but only in the Premier seat from 80.000 Won to 100.000 Won (up to £70). So I decided to purchase the 100.000 Won ticket, which is seated at Finish Line and front row plus a meal in the Premier Lounge. 

The ticket office told me on how to get to the stadium via the subway, but still without Korean you are just lost as all station name on the information board are in Korean language. Good that Korean people are willing to help and show you the way to the correct train. By boarding on Line two I had meet elderly people who guided me onto the train and let me seat in the special seat (for elderly and disabled). The person who greeted me was once a day in 1947 an exchange student in Germany and was very happy to talk to me in German. He told me about his culture shock experience, that he did not understand any German only just the few basic words. He needed to learn also quick German and still was not able to answer the right question. His professor taught him well and he had been able to improve his language. Despite only being twice in Germany, the second time in 2006 for the World Cup he speaks very well German language.

Our way has change as his entrance to the games been in Gate 5 and mines for Gate 11. I had made myself to the gate and was looking forward to see the “super” stars in real when they will run for the 100m. It had been my first time to see those kind of events live from the stadium and especially a World Champion Ship same as on Saturday watching the marathon run for 2 ½ hours. If nothing is planned for 4th September I will attend the last marathon of men in city centre.

It was also a special highlight when South Korea was running 1500 meters in the stadium; as the part I had been in was South Korea corner only a few French and US supporters.  The crowd has gone crazy when Kim was in lead but unlucky had been over taken in the last meters before the finish line.  The second special highlight what everyone has come for and the stadium had filled up full for the 100m run of Bolt, but unlucky he had a false start and with the new rule he had been send home.  They can be lucky that Blake also from Jamaica has won the race on 100m under 10seconds.

I have stayed a bit longer to get a close up picture of Blake as he passed by the press, TV and radio station for an interview. In the background I could hear his friends talking that Bolt was back to normal and knew he couldn’t do much about it.

I was one of the last one already to leave the stadium and try to make my way back to the university and knew that the bus No. 937 will take me to Main Gate. I could take the shuttle bus and subway to city centre and would have a wider option on busses, but it would be a longer way to get back to university and twice expensive. While I was looking for the correct bus station, I had asked some young people for the way, but instant a middle age couple had helped me whose English was much better. They come from the area, but as they use the car they would not knew the bus. They asked me to come with them to their village (=”dong”) and there might be a bus to the university. They had been very friendly to me, to spend their valuable time for me to get me home. As in their part of town was no bus to the university they decided to take me home. They know on how it feels to be alone in another country, as their son is in Tokyo working.  I actually did not know it will take another 20km to the university from their house, but it was very kind of them.

So if you coming to visit Korea just be aware Korean are shy to talk to tourist as they believe their English isn’t good. Give them some time to think and speak and they will be able to help you; do not rush as you have all the time in the world. They may don’t have time as they need to go to work and other business, but they will try the best to help you and will not leave you alone in a foreign country.

1 comment:

  1. I like your lest two paragraphs. They are very touching.:)