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Beaches, Buffering, and Buriram: The Adventures of a Seoul E-Land Fan Abroad Episode 2

It's been a mixed bag for the E-Land since we last touched base. There have been wins, losses, a cup game and even a penalty shootout. We are still only a few games into the season, but I already feel the heartburn coming on due to that team I so enthusiastically support.

I am still surviving here in sunny Thailand, pressing on and trying to spread the word of Kim Do-kyun and his men. The 'Pattaya Leopards' fan group still only has one member in it, but I am pushing to see if I can increase that figure as the weeks progress. Follow me once more for a little update on what is it like to be a Seoul E-Land fan abroad.    


Buried By Bucheon

Well, it was only a matter of time, wasn't it? The first loss for Seoul came once again after having a wonderful performance the week prior and a performance that filled the fan base with hope. Well for myself, I was quite frustrated with this one for more than one reason. Remember in the last episode I stated how I will head out for this one? Well, I completely forgot it was St. Pattrick's day the next day so I had a choice to make which one would get the funday treatment and St. Pattrick won.

I thought that being out of the country, I would be more accepting of defeats, but I was clearly wrong. Having a balcony is not a good idea for me. Especially due to my colourful language in both English and Korean. Luckily I'm on the 22nd floor, so any frustrations heard may not have reached the security floor below. However, there is my luck really, isn't it? The first Saturday kick-off for the Leopards and I decide to behave myself.  

Holding Daejeon Korail's Breaks (Just) 

So here we are, the Korea Cup. Finally a break from the K League for some classic knockout competition. I did decide that I would venture out for this one. Thanks to the power of the KFA and their YouTube channel, they made this game very easy to follow.
 
This was an odd one, I paid to sit by the beach, on a low reclining deckchair. A glass of Coca-Cola in hand watching a fully rotated Seoul squad play Daejeon Korail. It certainly was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination. To be honest, the most interesting part of the ninety minutes was telling several people that I would not like any company and that I was fine sitting here alone. Everyone is very friendly over here, especially on the Beach Road.
 

So 1-1 it finished at regular time, followed by 30 minutes of extra time and now for penalties. To be completely honest, My battery was on low, I was starting to get burnt, and I was getting tired of saying "I'm fine sat alone, thank you". I didn't really mind which way the shootout went.
 
Dreams danced through my head about the second week of Songkran. If we do not win the shootout, I could have another quiet week in Laos. Or I could go again to learn more about the history of Cambodia. I was already planning my alternative trip but before you know it, Seoul came out on top and the Seoul derby was booked in for the next round.
 
Defeated I was not and I was straight onto Jeju Air booking flights for April. I like Jeju Air as I had about 70,000 won of points on their app. This is not a paid promotion, but if anyone from Jeju Air is reading this, I take all bookings. So if anyone is around Seoul from April 16th-18th, do come and say hi. . 

Annoyance Against Anyang

Well, is it too early to say panic stations for Seoul E-Land this season? It wasn't going to be a classic for Seoul against Anyang by any stretch of the imagination, but it would have been nice if the Leopards actually decided to turn up to Mokdong. Although touching on panic stations, I was the one panicking for this one as my internet went down prior to the game. You know, watching Seoul getting beat in 240p makes the whole situation a little more souring?


Well, Seoul were not the only team to let me down this weekend. Manchester United decided to leave it until the dying moments of the game to score against Brentford. You would think that would have me elated, that would be if Brentford didn't kick off and had the ball in the back of United's net only a minute and a half later. In what was 99 minutes of football on the weekend, both teams decided only in injury time to actually find their goals. Then it was the time for Pattaya United to play out a stalemate, slipping further out of the playoff spot with only three games left.
 
Finally, on Sunday evening, it was time for some Gaelic football. The Boys in Blue, Baile Átha Cliath, Dublin in the league final, surely the powerhouse that is Dublin GAA football could not let me down? Well, it went all the way to penalties which is super uncommon in Gaelic football and then lost out to now champions Derry. In what was a sobering weekend of football action for yours truly, at least I celebrated my 30th birthday with some live music, good food, and I even managed to make a few friends. Maybe that Pattaya Leopards fan group will not be a pipe dream after all.


Gripe with Gimpo

So my venture into Thailand continues and Seoul's climb down the table also seems to follow suit. Against A team that Seoul have done quite well against in the past, this fixture gave us nothing more than a 1-1 draw against Gimpo. To be honest, my recollection of this game is as boring as the actual game itself.

Sitting at home watching these games are really starting to take its toll and I must venture out into the city to find some E-Land recruits. If I am going to have to suffer another fluffed Seoul E-Land season, then I do need to have some others with me to take the frustration together.  

From Seongnam to Buriram

I have finally ventured out of my condo for this one. However, it is not what it seems. So we are in the middle of Songkran here in Thailand when this article has been published, hence my venture to Korea next week for the Seoul derby. This week is the first week off and I'm making the journey up to Buriram, a six-hour bus ride from Pattaya and with myself always thinking on my feet, I booked the bus ride right in the middle of the Seoul vs Seognam game.


It all started very well for me when big Bruno put the Leopards ahead. Yes, I may have cheered a little too loudly on the bus, but this is nothing new. Thoughts go back to Seoul vs Busan back in 2019 where they managed to go from 3-0 down to 3-3. I was on an airport bus back home and I had the bus rocking by the time the equalizer rolled around. As we drove through Sa Kaeo, more cheers came when the main man again doubled our lead.

However, this time the tables turned for me and Seongnam got back into the game. Pulling the game back to 2-2. Now I am sitting here on a hot bus, with little water, and feeling miserable. I really do not know why I do these things to myself at times. It is a shame there are no Buriram United games on when I am up in the region of Isan, I might get the opportunity to finally see some decent football.

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Let the Adventure Begin

Well, a little tamer take from the last time I checked in with the first instalment of this series. Hopefully, the next offering will be more adventurous. Well, actually I know this will be the case because the next game is the long-anticipated derby and I shall be there in Seoul to drink it all in.

It does look as if Seoul are starting to stumble in the league and that long fall down the table we see every year is beginning to take shape. Never mind for the moment I say as next on the cards is cup football. A win against FC Seoul would see all spirits rise and maybe, just maybe give us our spark back. I know for sure, I'll be there cheering them on along the way.



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