“Quan Lei Da” (Home run)
“Zhong Hua Dui, Jia You” (Chinese Taipei, Let’s Go)
OOOOHHHH SEE YA (that one’s the same)
Taiwanese people love them some baseball. And even though Linsanity was huge over here for a while, baseball still takes the prize as national sport of choice. Obviously there was just a little bit of excitement for the World Baseball Classic, especially when the first round was held in Taichung (about an hour south of us).
I’m not a huge sports person (unless it’s Tarheel basketball) but I can’t deny their incredible ability to foster friendship and unity. The excitement and pride in your team, the pure joy when they win, and the shared disappointment when they don’t—it’s a beautiful thing. And I think we all can agree that no matter how many times you watch Remember the Titans, you always end up holding back tears.
When it comes to baseball and the World Baseball Classic, if anyone knows how to come together and cheer for their team, it’s Taiwan.
A Taiwanese flag in one hand and a Taiwan Beer in the other, we attended the Taiwan vs. Netherlands game just about two weeks back. It was unreal. Normally I don’t find myself completely riveted by baseball, but this time the Taiwanese crowd had me jumping out of my seat and anticipating the next ‘wave’ the entire game. There was barely a moment when the stadium wasn’t erupting in cheers of “Hit a homerun” or “See ya”, while pumping their fists into the air. With a sold out crowd and two noisemakers to each attendee, the thunderous sounds of loyal fans rose into the heavens. Luckily the angels must have heard because they seemed to choose our side. Taiwan took the win with a score of 8-3, and we joined our Taiwanese friends in the celebration of our team.
Sadly the winning streak has come to a disappointing end. In a grueling game against Japan, Taiwan lost during extra innings. Our newfound Taiwanese friends at the bar were understandably upset. What’s more, we were genuinely sad to see Taiwan lose. Although we’ve only been living here for a year and a half, we’ve come to feel a sense of pride for the small island we call home. And we’re incredibly grateful that they are happy to welcome us as part of their family, too.