The K-Advent Day 15 – Smugglers
One of the best things about attending live sport in Korea, aside from the actual sport obviously, is the ability to have a cold beer while soaking up the atmosphere and excitement on show. From sports as varied as football to baseball to even woman’s volleyball alcohol is freely available within the confines of the arena. So it does beg the question why so many of us still run the risk of annoying a security ‘gorilla’ by ‘smuggling’ copious amounts of alcohol into a match. From the slopes of Bucheon Stadium to the temporary terraces at Tancheon, from The Big Bird to Leol Park you will find fans delving into their bags for a refill all the while trying not to catch the eye of a jobs-worth steward intent on forcing you to decant your carefully hidden treasure into a cheap plastic, or even worse, paper cup. For many it’s as simple as not wanting to queue for a beer and potentially miss something spectacular for others it’s that feeling of rebellion the likes of which have been missing since the days of chapping Old Mrs. Hughes’ door and hiding behind her bins.
Of course for every punter who smuggles in the odd beer to avoid queuing there will be the proverbial ‘mile-taker’ who will feel the need to bring in a bag of swag that could sate the thirst of a shipload of Russian sailors. I know the quality of football on show in the K-League might not quite hit the dizzy heights of some of Europe’s elite leagues but it probably doesn’t need a bottle or two of Jinro’s finest to get you through 90 mins, now if it was the rounders? I would fully understand. Over the years we at 48 Shades HQ have witnessed everything from bottles of Soju, Sake, Wine and even bottles of Gin make an appearance in the stands of various Classic stadiums. Most stadiums seem to have some kind of bag search in place although for the most part this is mainly in operation in the ‘away’ end. Some grounds seem to place more importance on this than others with The Big Bird and Incheon United being probably the two most infamous. At 48 Shades we do love a challenge and there are few more satisfying beers to be had than those in the back rows of Incheon Stadium.
So if you are planning on taking in some of the opening matches of the new season we recommend one of two techniques. 1) ‘The scarf over the beer’ technique. This involves putting a scarf or something similar over the contraband in question and offering to open your bag to the nasty bag-searcher showing only the scarf and thus keeping your illicit goods hidden. 2) ‘The give one up for the greater good’ technique. This canny method involves looking incredibly naive and or innocent, picture Puss from Shrek!. When asked to show the contents of your bag you ‘accidentally’ reveal one of your cans. The Dick Dastardly-esque employee will be so happy to have unearthed a beer that they will almost certainly search no further and will instead pour said beer into a cup leaving you to enjoy the remaining cans at your leisure once seated.