7.128 Play Ball


12 (Thu) May 2016



at Jamsil Baseball Stadium

-Jamsil, Seoul-

with DJ and friend

At Korean baseball stadiums, the food is either brought in or purchased at fast food outlets within.
Based on what places were selling — even Burger King emphasizing bird over burger — and what people around us were eating, the most popular item was clearly fried chicken, in various forms.
Beer is also sold in 2-liter bottles at convenience stores, much cheaper, which explains why the relatively expensive draft beer stands were somewhat quiet.

Jwipo is a Korean dried fish product.  Traditionally made from the fish jwichi* (쥐치), dried  — “jwi + po (dried meat)” — ground up and mixed with fillers, loaded with additives and preservatives, pressed into a flat patty, shelf-life = forever — Korea’s original mass-produced, highly processed junk food.  Typically flash-roasted (e.g., over coals or open flame), often served with gochujang or mayo or both, though fine on its own, eaten as a snack, ideally with beer.  Once ubiquitous, now something of a nostalgic novelty, more likely to be sold by street vendors in tourist areas rather than at any mainstream establishment.

As mentioned above, most people would rather eat fried chicken.
In its uncooked glory.
Griddle-pressed, which is unconventional…
…but perhaps preferable for convenience, expediency, consistency, and cleanliness.
Peanuts are a common accompaniment to dried fish.

Children’s Day Holiday + Annual Leave, Day 8 (see previously 7.127 Yangjangpi).

In Seoul.  Arrived last Monday.  On extended leave to take care of various administrative matters in preparation for the family’s move to the Philippines in a couple months.  Going back to Manila, by myself, this coming Monday.

*According to various on-line sources, jwichi is supposedly the same species as the threadsail filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer), which I find a little hard to believe, because I’ve never seen a fish looking anything remotely like this at a Korean market.

Took DJ — who’s completely consumed by baseball these days, wanting someday to manage a team after retiring from professional play — to watch a game.  His first time at the stadium, my first time at a Korean stadium.  By good fortune, the Samsung Lions (based in Daegu) — his favorite team — were in town this week to play the LG Twins (based in Seoul).  Lions won 7 to 5.

A very good idea.
Whereas watching baseball in America is strictly about what’s happening on the field — except in LA, where dumbass/half-assed Dodger fans like to initiate The Wave at critical points of the game — Korean baseball culture is all about the fans in the stands : cheerleaders, DJ and live band, everyone constantly on their feet, clapping, chanting, singing, dancing; never a dull moment.
Worth the price of admission.
Thunder sticks!
In a country with such a sophisticated waste disposal system — where even plastic bags at the grocery store are sold to be used as garbage bags — I’m shocked/ashamed to see that they haven’t figured out a way to reduce the trash resulting from all the packed food.

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