My first cri show in Seoul….
This is not my first trip to Seoul (am blessed that my job allows me to travel there twice a year), but this is definitely an especially special and memorable one for me. The days leading up to the day departing from Singapore were filled with much excitement and anticipation. I did not do much planning for the trip itself, the only plan I made was to “do everything related to JKS” – yes, as simple as that.
On the first day arriving in Seoul, we met up with some eels via an impromptu lunch arrangement. There were eels from Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It was raining cats and dogs as we were trying to search for the meeting venue – the gate of Hongdae. I was totally drenched when we finally found the Korean eel whom we have never met before standing at the gate waiting for us in the rain. When we reached the café, all my complaints were gone immediately– it was one of the shooting sites for Love Rain, and there were pictures of JKS displayed, as well as a poster with his autograph! We ate the food JKS had in the café during the shooting. Needless to say, we eels connected immediately – even though this was the first time we met and got to know each other – and we were chattering away, talking everything about JKS.
The following day, we had a pre-arranged ECI lunch gathering at Cola Mercato. We were pleasantly surprised they gave us the private room; yet were shockingly surprised they were serving only “Geun-chan menu” for the cri-show weekend. The group quickly got excited over decorating and signing off on the autograph book provided by Cola Mercato, while enjoying the delicious food that JKS had enjoyed in this restaurant.
We were all relaxing and enjoying our lazy rainy afternoon, when we spotted someone……someone we all know…… in the saloon – Geun-sama!!!! We wished he was Jang Keun Suk though (LOL!!) but nonetheless, he still got us all excited, and we can’t help throwing secret glances at him. My heart skipped a beat when BB (Kurt) actually walked past me when I came out of the toilet. We wanted to be obedient eels by keeping a distance and not disturbed them, yet, our hearts were beating so fast with excitement and our brains frozen, we were probably not able to think properly then. There is this little thought that ran through our mind – could JKS be in the same saloon now too?? Just that thought itself got us really thrilled, but we all agreed we should not hang around in that saloon and hence left – well, we need to get ready for the BIG DAY tomorrow…..
Day of Cri Show
After 2 days of non-stop rain, we were welcomed by Mr Sun on day of cri show, and we were glad (really cannot imagine queuing in the rain for merchandise and being all wet when watching the show). As we arrived at the show venue, I felt like a kindergarten kid going on her first excursion, and couldn’t contain my excitement. There were people setting up the rice wreaths along the path leading to the entrance; volunteers and staffs busy setting up the various booths (for tickets collection, gifts collections and merchandise sales etc), getting ready for a busy day ahead; and of course, excited eels like me busy taking pictures of the beautifully decorated venue, and there were no lack of excited squeals in the early morning.
We arrived at around 1015am and there was already a line formed for the purchase of the official product, which was starting at 11am. It was here my day of queuing and waiting under the hot blazing sun began…..
I shall skip the details of the waiting and queuing under the hot sun – it was a real test of stamina and patience. It absolutely didn’t help we did not have our dinner, and we were afraid to drink too much water as the last thing we need was to run for the toilet in the middle of the show! I was having an extremely bad migraine then – which had been bugging me since the day I arrived in Seoul, due to the lack of sleep before the trip, and all the running about and getting drenched in the rain for the past 2 days. Miraculously, the migraine almost immediately disappeared as I entered the hall! (side note: I was later told that staff had to call for ambulance to bring 2 eels to the hospital as they were suffering from heat stroke)
We were not able to locate our seats and hence approached the usher, who in turn asked a man standing along the corridor. To our amazement, he is papa Jang! He is such a friendly and helpful person, and even teased the usher that she couldn’t locate the seat 🙂
I was observing the stage as I was comfortably seated – I could see the details JKS had looked into, to ensure his all his audiences had a fair share of interaction with him. I noticed too in the middle of the extended stage, there appeared to be something that could be elevated; hence I was expecting to see him “lifted” later during the show (like what he did in Tokyo dome). This is what I truly admire and adore about him – His wanting to be involved in the planning of his show, not neglecting even the finer details; His desire to want to present the best for his beloved eels. All these thoughtfulness of JKS were later revealed and confirmed via a tweet by his staff on 8 Jul 2012.
Codeinconnu twitter: “While shooting “Love Rain”, Guen-chan made technical drawings of the stage by himself and requested “Much closer!”… Thanks to that, we beat our brains out to find the moving lines. The photo was his drawings”
I was in awe watching the show. He was very successful in transporting us into his magical world through the use of (high quality) videos which also acted as the linkages between scenes and at the same time, gave him time to change his costumes. I remember telling myself “wow, this is like watching one of those musicals! It’s not just a plain simple fan meeting, but truly a Jang Keun Suk’s show!” He would surprise us with mini fireworks during the show, water showering from above to create the effect of rain and even incorporated a mini magic show where he actually “disappeared” in front of us (side note: actually I LOL at this part coz it was quite comical seeing the “fake” JKS flying and got pinned onto the spider web). Overall it was a great production that deserves our cheers!
To the sceptics who are comparing his show with the “Phantom of the Opera” or “Lion King”, please remember there were no other cast in the show, JKS is the only lead cast during the show and had to sing live throughout the whole show, when he is not even a full time singer. To the audience who felt he could have talked more during the show, do remember this is not the typical fan meeting.
For me, I was so proud of him. I was touched to tears when he sang “In my dream”, a song he wrote. It was extra special as he played the guitar as he sang. I could feel the emotions behind the song, and it must have been extra special to him too since this is his 20th anniversary in the showbiz. I was happy for him that he is accomplishing his dreams one by one, not being distracted by the “noises” and discouragements around him, but with a “ZikZin” spirit, looking ahead and focusing on what he wants and dares to dream and fulfilling them. It has been my dream to attend his cri shows in Korea and Japan, it felt so surreal as I stood there listening to this song, watching him in a distance, admiring his every move, drowned in his deep sexy voice – I was so thankful it is now a dream come true! 🙂
On Monday, 9 Jul 2012, we again had an impromptu lunch gathering with Hong Kong and Korean eels. Halfway through our lunch, we received the following tweet from JKS:
Since the invitation was made, and we were near AREX station (express train that goes to Incheon airport), we decided to make our way there. Throughout the journey, all the eels were busy checking tweets, weibo, whatsapp, line messages etc to find out the latest updates of JKS, and if he had arrived at the airport. The Hong Kong eels even checked the various Korean air flights that were outbound to Europe – and we identified he is most likely flying to Paris, the 1330hr flight. We kept checking our watches, and wished the train could go faster. We arrived at the airport departure hall at 1326hr, to receive his next tweet:
We then continued with our plans for the day – to visit TreeJ to hand ECI’s gifts to JKS. Although we did not manage to catch the real JKS, we did see him on the way to TreeJ….not once…but 3 times!! What a treat!
————————— ECI’s gift and messages to JKS —————————
Dear Keun Suk,
EELS’ CLUB INTERNATIONAL (ECI) hand made this little gift for you to celebrate your 20th anniversary in the show biz. The 30 “rainbow” eels each bear a flag of the country represented in ECI, and the leopard print eel represents you.
To us, you are already our WORLD PRINCE, and we hope that each time you see this gift, it will encourage you that you are loved by many loyal INTERNATIONAL eels around the WORLD, and we are always there to cheer you on!!
Eels’ Club International (ECI)
After delivering the gifts to TreeJ, we went to this little restaurant for dinner. He had earlier tweeted about it and recommended that we should try the food.
JKS twitter: “Listing of Gun-chan’s going straight 2!! Mananim Recipe~~!! Without synthetic seasoning, all cooked by the owner of the restaurant with her original seasoning are artistic meals!! You must go no matter what! Especially I recommend the HongSil Noodles~!!”
The owner is a friendly lady, who immediately guessed we are JKS’s fans and chatted with us about his cri show 2 days ago. She even gave us a little “treat” of her home-made cheese. I enjoyed the food here very much, it is free of MSG yet very tasty, and has the “home-made” feel to it.
The next morning, we visited the White Garden, the filming site of the drama Love Rain. It is currently closed for renovation, but that didn’t stop us from taking pictures of the beautiful place.
We next went to Deji eating place for lunch. This is a small humble eating place opposite the university he attends.
I am still salivating as I am writing this, the cheese bibimbap was simply delicious. It was piping hot when served, and I am sure this is absolute comfort food during the cold winter in Seoul.
Having tried the various food recommended by JKS, I only have one conclusion – JKS is indeed a foodie!
The day ended with us doing another crazy act – and what a finale to the end of my JKS pilgrimage …..yes, I bought the ZikZin!!!!!
It is such an elegant and unique piece of hairband, it’s no wonder JKS loves it so much! ZikZin!!!!!
My close friend (a non–eel) asked me this question – now that you have attended his show, are you satisfied?
I want more!!!!!! 🙂