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Posts Tagged ‘jufc’

Last weekend, the Jeonju United Football Club hosted their annual dinner and award ceremony in an upstairs room in T.G.I. Fridays. The boys put on their Sunday best (WAGS too) and everyone toasted the players with the most as the certificates and trophies were handed out.

The formal evening began brilliantly with a phenomenally discounted meal, complete with plenty of beer, wine and wineade (which tasted like a Shirley Temple to me). Evan dressed to the nines in a shirt and tie, while I donned a black dress, shiny sparkling tights and ankle boots. I worried about braving the weather for hours beforehand, considering it got down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit outside… and I was wearing a DRESS! AHHHHH! Luckily we had a few drinks at the Beer Cave before dinner, where Rachel and I convinced everyone to take a cab, even though the restaurant is in our neighborhood.

Dinner was fabulous, except we ran into a group of our kindergarteners — one of which was celebrating her 8th (7th in American age) birthday. The children followed us around like puppies for awhile, bringing balloons to our table, charming our friends and asking for sips of mekchu (eek!). I obviously forbade it, telling them that it was “grown-up juice” until the birthday girl whispered loudly about it being beer. Still hoping that one doesn’t somehow bite me in the ass down the road.

After the ribs were picked clean and everyone’s cheeks flushed with the rise in our BAC, it was into cabs and onto Japanese soju, were we ordered pitchers of fruity cocktails and gossiped at multiple long tables chock full of foreigners and friends. The volume of our conversations increased with every strawberry and kiwi soju we put down, but the population in the University hot spot didn’t even notice. Our noisy mass fit right in :)

Finally, it was time to DANCE! The football lads and ladies made our way to M2, the favorite new spot for sick spinners, chic locals and disco lights until the wee hours of the morning.

Evan loves to throw down some hyphy moves on the floor with his pals — especially kitty cat Theo down there. One of his little-known and under-appreciated talents.

Inevitably, the dancing led to a high kick off, with bunches of alcohol-fueled friends tried to kick higher than each other, throwing up our feet to the beats.

I probably flashed a few innocent bystanders in the process, but I believe my kicks were high enough to deserve a shout out (from myself… whateva). It was another awesome night with awesome people that we paid dearly for the next day :)

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This weekend, Evan and I packed up our bags and headed out of Jeonju, all the way to Ulsan for the biggest waygook (foreigner) soccer tournament in Korea.

The cup featured 16 different teams from around the country poised to show off their football skills over the course of two days.

The trip to Ulsan isn’t a short one, so we opted not to spend the money on a hotel room Friday night and go down early Saturday morning instead. After a filling dinner from Aladdin’s Lamb and minimal sleep, we raced out the door to meet up with our carpool buddies at 5:30 AM.

From Jeonju, we took a cab to the Iksan Train Station, where we caught a train to Daejeon. Then, we hustled from that train station to the other train station in Daejeon, just in time to catch the KTX bullet train to Ulsan. When we finally arrived to our destination, we got aboard a shuttle bus and went directly to the field, where the boys were playing in 10 minutes. They changed on the shuttle there — it was pretty nutty!

Once at the field, it was relaxation time. I joined the group of supporters and spent the afternoon sunning, eating hot dogs, drinking beer and trying my hand at cheerleading, lead by our fabulous head cheerleader, Elizabeth (a fellow Long Beach lady, the most awesome of kinds).

We actually had quite the time there on the sidelines, laughing and twirling signs, waving flags and generally being bad ass supporters. There wasn’t a better group of gals I could have spent the weekend with.

The “We love you Jeonju, we do” cheer (sang to the tune of We Love You Conrad from Bye-Bye Birdie) was my particular favorite. That and “Shot! Shot! Shot, shot, shot, shot, shot!”

I even managed to do a couple of cartwheels and (almost) land them.

Well, almost land some of them. Not this one (obviously).

After the end of day one, the boys had scored second in their group (lost by goal deferential) and were ready for a shower and the free buffet that awaited us. Little did we know, the Hotel Taehwa had other plans — and by other plans, I mean they had lost Jeonju’s reservation! Wah wah.

Luckily, love motels littered the streets and alleys surrounding the hotel, so we got set up in new digs relatively quickly.

After that, it was straight to the free buffet, where I literally stuffed my face full of Korean food and free soju and makgeolli. The only beverages that cost money were soda and beer, but Ho worked his magic and got those for free too. By the time I was stuffed like a giant bird on Turkey Day, my eyes literally could not stay open.

Off to bed we went, getting a whopping 9 hours of shut-eye before the big day ahead of us — pretty impressive.

Morning: a quick shower and trip to Paris Baguette for a cheese bagel and coffee (nom nom nom), then it was off to the pitches for the quarter finals. They played at a different field the second day, and us supporters were delighted to find a few marts along the road nearby to pick up snacks and beer.

Oh, and we got super awesome sweatshirts too… only 8,00 won!

It was pretty much beer o’clock when we got there.

Fast forward two games later, to the finals, where the men still haven’t conceded one goal in the entire tourney. We were whooping and hollering at the sidelines (we even recruited a guy from another team to wave a flag) making the other team sad and jealous while their tiny group of girlfriends scowled and rolled their eyes at us, as if they were above cheering for their boyfriends. Stupid. Don’t hate us cuz you ain’t us!

At one point, a few Koreans on horseback came around and asked if we wanted to go for a ride — I had my boots on anyway! It was perfect! We ran after them, then got confused when they put sashes on us and gave us trash bags. Consensus ended up being that they 1) wanted us to pick up trash while walking with the horses or 2) wanted us to pick up horse crap. Either way we ditched them, but it was weird!

Unsurprisingly, Jeonju Unathletic FC ended up killing it in the final game, never giving up a goal the entire weekend and mowing the field with every team they played. The boys went home with a gigantic trophy and 500,000 won. It was a weekend full of cheer, excitement and all the good things in life (including a cinnamon/sugar pastry thing we got on the street en route back to the train station — very delish). Well done, gents!

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