Wednesday 23 March 2011

St. Patrick's Day in Korea.

So roughly 6,000 miles from home It's hard to imagine that St. Patrick's day would be anything like a normal one...and yet it was. The 17th itself passed off without too much fuss or fancy as most of the Koreans had never heard of the day but our fellow co-workers made an effort wearing green (more than Dee and I did, we realised that neither of us owned a single piece of green clothing in our entire wardrobes). That night we went for a few quiet drinks but the real fun and celebrations happened on Saturday the 19th. Dee and I, anxious for an early start, headed to Seoul before most of our friends and were more than happy with what we discovered on our arrival. A river of green shirt, hats, pants and faces flowing along the streets of Insa-dong. The distant melody of Molly Malone led us to the main gathering and it wasn't long before Dee and I were in full swing blaring out the songs along with the band at the top of our lungs. Looking around and seeing so many obviously non-Irish people who were celebrating our small country made me so proud. It really seemed to be true that the Irish are a beloved nationality. The sun shown down on the crowd as they attempted the siege of Ennis (it was a funny sight to watch such a mixed group of people hop up and down and crash into each other all to the unheard directions of an Irish man on the stage)
! We were joined slightly after by our friends (Canadian, America, Korean and English) who all embraced the spirit of the day just as quickly and it was obvious from the beginning that it was going to be a very good day. That evening the U2 cover band finally finished up the official festival but that was not the end of the day. We moved to the Itaewon (foreigner area) of Seoul and continued the celebrations which were topped off with the Ireland-England match live at 2am that night. The Irish bar was packed with all sorts of people (the vast majority of whom were supporting Ireland) and winning that game was the cherry on top of an altogether wonderful day.
After the match people started to drift out to the next pub leaving the few obvious Irish stragglers. I started chatting to a girl standing beside me and discovered she was from Clare. Being so close I named a few people I thought she might have known and discovered she is actually 2nd cousins with my 2nd cousin. At that moment standing in a bar in Seoul celebrating St. Patrick's day, surrounded by Irish and finding a cousin of a cousin I may as well have been at home. I felt that the world got a whole lot smaller for me in that second and home isn't as far away as I thought.


  1. Good day everybody... Good post...

  2. wow. ive been reading your blog and you seem like a really cool person. I'm glad you are having fun in korea.

    it sounds like you have had quite the adventure. I am new to korea and am looking for some cool people to hangout with since I've been having a hard time making friends since my school is small and my co teachers are much older. there is one young person but she's got a korean bf so she never seems to want to hangout. anyway, just trying to make new friends. I don't have a blog just fb so if I don't seem to much of a freak to you please shoot me an email on fb or whatever. itd be nice to talk to someone who lives here and is friendly and open minded.