Experience of an Expat: Cheering for the Hogs from Abroad

Chung Sung-Jun

Taking the site's mission of spreading Sooie around the world a bit literally.

Ok, so not really an Expat, but I'm assigned for about the next 6 months to work in Yeosu, South Korea. Yeosu is an interesting city. It has about 300,000 people, but feels like SO much more because South Koreans live in these large high rise apartments and 8 story buildings that have tiny 1500 square foot restaurants inside. It's a weird place.

As you would guess, they aren't very keen on American Football here. Last night I met a few coworkers in the hotel bar (named "The Bar") and while I was waiting I used cashews and peanuts and some other strange things Koreans call nuts to explain the basic setup of the game of football. The current Razorback (and most teams) offense caused me to use a 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB formation on offense and I used a 4-3 to defend against that just like Paul Haynes would. I didn't explain to him that it meant Ross Rasner would be in individual coverage against a WR, though. I did this because he asked why I at 5' 9" wasn't a football player and wanted to use the big cashews or almonds as linebackers to show the size difference between a Linebacker and a peanut sized safety.

It's a 13 hour difference over here, so while I write it's in the afternoon here while you all are sound asleep for the next few hours, my coworkers and I will gather into the hotel lobby tonight and huddle around a small laptop that connects to my slingbox back home. While it will be Tuesday night here we will watch Monday Night Football. It probably just ended as of the time I'm writing this at about 3 pm.

Our next football watching party will be Sunday when we watch the SEC Championship game. It will be airing at 3 PM Central time on Saturday which means 6 am on Sunday over here.

I tell you all this because I want to make you aware of how foreign it feels. How the comforts of home are left behind for a hotel. The food I would've enjoyed for Thanksgiving last week was replaced by soup with little minnows in it and fishcake (whatever that is). At least I get rice... more than I've ever wanted. I'm so far from anyone that cares about the Arkansas head coaching search. No one over here has purchased an "I like Mike" Bumper Sticker and I would probably get in trouble if I rented one.

I hope you all value the proximity you have to our beloved state and team. It's a great team. Even the football team that went 4-8 is preferable to being 15 hours in a plane away from home. I'll get a short trip home for Christmas and we'll drive up to Fayetteville on the 25th from my family in Memphis. My wife wants to leave on the 29th, but you better believe me, I'm going to put everything in my power into seeing this basketball team play that day and leaving the next.

We'll see what happens.

Go Hogs! From Yeosu South Korea. Hogseu Idong! Uuuu Dwaeji Sooie!

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