Credits: crazyoverJKS’ husband – don’t worry, he’s straight too! :p
Welcome to the world of political intrigue, strategy and subterfuge, where nothing is as what it seems, and in order to locate our brightest star, we had to weave our way through convoluted theories and pit our minds and endurance against those who are against us …
Target: Jang Keun Suk
The WTA XXXX papparazi team: Aphrael77, Carol70, crazyoverJKS, Chicken Little aka Daydreaming, Sophie, Gingercake
The “enemy” : the organizers
It all started on Sat 4 June around noon when we were waiting for JKS to depart JW Marriott for his rehearsal. We heard that some fans had planned to chase Sukkie and had booked vans. Another eel Apple provided us with a van driver’s contact. He charged a cheaper rate of RM 800 but he had no star-chasing experience nor any contacts, compared to RM 2,400 for another driver who had the contacts, the experience and the news. The inexperienced van driver told me that there were at least 7 exits out of KLCC and he wouldn’t know which exit JKS would use, so we thought there was no point in booking his van.
Then with the chaos that ensued when JKS departed JW Marriott and in the rush of the fan-sign event and Cri Show that day, we didn’t talk about chasing JKS. After the Cri Show ended, we followed the crowd out and down an escalator into a path that I didn’t recognize, so Carol asked a security guard for directions and we had to go up the escalator again to go out through another way. While walking, we were chatting and soon we reached the main entrance and porch where several vehicles were parked. I cannot recall who, but one of us suddenly said, “Aren’t those the fan vans that are chasing JKS?”
We took another look and indeed saw several white vans and some fans getting into the vans parked on the other side of the porch. On the side of the porch near us was another white van, but with security personnel milling around it. Was this JKS’ van? Upon further thinking and discussion, we concluded that it wasn’t JKS’ van but it was his security personnel’s van, so wherever JKS would go later, this van was bound to follow! Also, we saw JKS’ manager getting into this van too!
Our excitement mounted. Carol had parked her car in the open-air carpark beside KLCC (perhaps 100 metres from the porch). We decided to get into her car and had to detour a big round back to KLCC porch to check whether the vans would still be there. Luck was with us, and the vans were still there! We stopped behind the security van with another vehicle between us, but after a while, that vehicle drove off and we had to pull up directly behind the security van. We were anxious whether the KLCC security would chase us away, so all the while, we concocted various excuses for stopping there i.e. we were waiting for a friend to join us (someone pointed out there were already 6 of us squeezed in the car). Then I thought, why not just say we were waiting for a friend to pass us something?
Several more minutes passed slowly as we watched what happened around us – people moving around etc. Suddenly, the van ahead of us moved out and all the fans’ vans followed. So did we! We were all quite flustered actually, and there was a babble of voices in the car as everyone talked about which van to follow and where the vans were and which direction to move in – a wonder that Carol could stand it! The vans, especially JKS’ security van, drove at a breakneck speed and at one point, we lost sight of the leading van and most of the vans, but after a while, we spotted a fans’ van lagging behind and followed. Luckily, we managed to catch up with the long line of vans, and Carol was driving faster too.
Tailing JKS’ van
When we got to a traffic junction right-turn, Carol was so fast that she overtook the security van at the right-turn and after turning right, we were still ahead of the security van, so Carol slowed down and allowed them to overtake us. Soon we reached the seafood restaurant Imbi Palace (we realised that JKS has a penchant for seafood) where all the vans had stopped at. We dropped the others off first, and Carol and I went to park the car at the carpark a distance away, then came back. By then, JKS’ manager and colleagues had gone into the restaurant but JKS had not appeared yet. We soon realised why. There was a wedding dinner going on at the ground floor of the restaurant! There were many, many guests in the restaurant, and some of them were starting to leave. JKS could not possibly appear when there were so many people around, so we guessed he might be waiting in his car somewhere.
Outside the restaurant entrance, we waited, and waited, and waited. We saw JKS’ staff going into the restaurant with a few bottles of wine, but there was no sign of JKS. The wedding dinner guests were still leaving the restaurant in groups. At nearly 11.15 pm and more than half an hour of waiting, we guessed that JKS could be inside the restaurant already as there was a back door to the restaurant. Either that, or JKS could have been in the first car to reach the restaurant and he had gone up already. The other fans had already gone to the eating house across the road to get some refreshments and we did the same too.
At about 11.30 pm, I cannot remember what caused the commotion, but all of us thought that JKS was getting ready to leave soon, so all of us fans and various van drivers dashed across the road. Us fans stationed ourselves outside the entrance again, and JKS’ van pulled up straight to the entrance. We thought he’d be coming down soon, so we waited, waited and waited…. until we were all so tired. A couple of eels sat on the doorsteps; some of us including me leaned against JKS’ van. Gingercake even joked that could she get into the front seat next to the driver and wait there for JKS, then the van could also take her along directly to where JKS was going. It was a very tiring wait; it had been a long day for us with the overnight coach from Singapore, arriving in KL at 5 am, the move and check-in at JW Marriott, the long noon wait at JW Marriott, the fan-sign and a long time of standing on our feet, another long 2 hours of standing at Cri Show waving our lightstick etc and now more waiting and standing outside the restaurant – the eels outside the restaurant were really a wilting bunch of eels. In the meantime, Carol had driven her car from the carpark and re-parked it at a spot outside the restaurant that would make it easier for us to tail JKS. Still, we waited.
Waiting outside Imbi Palace – I’m the one nearest the van in red
Oh ya, 2 amusing incidents during the waiting. Remember the wedding dinner? The bride was in her car (the groom beside her), waiting to see JKS too! Haha! Also, there was a mother who had climbed up onto a parapet ledge with her camera wanting to get a good view, and her little girl carried by the father was crying for her mother to carry her, but the mother said, “Wait! There’s a Korean star who acted in YAB. I must get a video of him. This is the first time in my life I’m doing such a crazy thing. Wait until I finish video-ing him!”
JKS came out at around 11.45 pm, his eyes looking a bit red (perhaps from the drinking?). He smiled and waved at us, and got into his car. We started running for Carol’s car, got into it and soon we were chasing JKS’ car. We followed him all the way to Zouk. It was nearly 1 am, and Carol had to go home, so she dropped us off at Zouk. We were in time to see JKS’ staff (I don’t recall seeing JKS himself) enter Zouk via the back entrance, an entrance that was off-limits to normal guests. Then we went to the front entrance to take a look and saw that there was a long line of people queueing to enter Zouk. Zouk was very packed. We were thinking whether to go in.
Carol called me at that point to say that she was further up the road; she had stopped there because she saw some fans’ vans that had stopped there too. The fans were not going into Zouk because it was too crowded, so they had decided to wait outside. The rest were ok with either entering Zouk or quitting our chase. I was very tired and I didn’t fancy going into a super crowded place with possibly very little chance of seeing JKS, so I opted to go back to the hotel. Later, on Sunday, we heard from a Thai fan whose friend had gone into Zouk, that the place was very crowded and smoky, but the friend managed to see JKS for a few minutes on the second floor. Glad that I didn’t go in though, I cannot even take cigarette smoke for 30 seconds.
Back at the hotel, I worked on my fan-sign fan account until nearly 2.30 am. Marriott had free internet for our room package, the video upload speed was superbly fast at under a minute for a 1-minute video but its download speed was very slow, so I had to wait ages for a page to load and get the information I needed. I could have finished my work earlier except that my netbook was hanging on me in the last hour. I couldn’t even open my eyes and it was a relief to crawl into bed.
On Sunday 5 June, we had a leisurely lunch, then went for a short walk at Chinatown and then to Berjaya Times Square Mall to look at that star merchandise shop on level 5. Walking into that shop is like walking into a treasure trove. The merchandise there were all non-official, but it did not stop us from going ooh, aah and almost buying up everything we could lay our hands on. I nearly busted my budget on his merchandise, haha!
We walked out of the shop and bumped into Ferlyn, Ning and their group of friends. They were there for the merchandise shop too. They also told us that JKS was having his press conference at the hotel from 3 pm to 5 pm. That immediately changed all our plans – we decided to go back to Marriott and chase JKS again! But before that, we decided to go for tea first (in case we wouldn’t have time later to have dinner).
[Ok, here I have some memory loss, so there will be some slight inaccuracies as I’m glossing over the account.] Once at the hotel, we went our separate ways – crazyoverJKS to level 3 to check out JKS’ press conference venue, Carol was making some enquiries with various people, I went up to the hotel room to use the toilet. I think we must have waited for some time at the hotel. CrazyoverJKS came down to tell us that the press conference was over and she could walk freely in and out of the venue. Later, we heard that JKS was going to this restaurant called “Sakura” for dinner, and we decided to go there ahead of him.
We reached Sakura; Carol and I went in. Carol went to the reservation counter and started to make some discreet enquiries about whether anyone made any booking. The waitress asked us what time. Carol said she didn’t know the time, but it would be around in the evening. Waitress asked for name the reservation was under; we couldn’t provide. I was extremely nervous, because well…. Quite awkward, isn’t it? We couldn’t say we were fans; we couldn’t give any concrete information or reason why we were enquiring about other people’s reservation and I could feel the waitress thinking that we are very strange. Another lady (maybe supervisor) came over to assist (since there was hardly anyone in the restaurant at 5.30 pm). I noticed a plump, round-faced Chinese man standing further in. He was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and looked like the restaurant staff or manager. When he heard us enquiring about the evening’s reservation, he had a rather furious look on his face, picked up a book from the table, turned and left. I was quite worried that he’d inform JKS’ managers and then the dinner would be cancelled.
Finally, we did get the information we wanted. There was a group reservation for 25 persons at 6.30 pm. This matched the information from our source – it had to be JKS and his team. Also, another 2 groups of fans had already arrived at the restaurant, which further confirmed the news.
We made a reservation at 6 pm, and went to much length to pick a table that we thought was close to the entrance of the VIP private room and where we thought JKS must pass by in order to reach the room. At 6 pm, we decided to go in and order our drinks first, and wait for JKS to arrive. Then later, we ordered our food – the rest had the restaurant’s signature nasi lemak (the dish had chicken and was uniquely drenched in curry while I had ee-fu noodles). The menu looked interesting and there were some desserts we wanted to try later. While waiting, we were also observing the table of fans near one of the restaurant’s entrances (the restaurant had 2 main glass entrances). The rest in my team saw JKS’ security personnel sitting with this table of fans. My back was to the entrance and I couldn’t see them unless I turned around, but I didn’t in case it was obvious I was looking at them. It was obvious that this group of fans gained their information from the security. We waited and waited and waited. A very long wait. A few times during the wait, Carol sms or called her contact to ensure that the news was still correct and JKS was indeed coming.
Then, all the JKS security left. We were anxious and wondered if there was a change in plans. However, after that, we saw several people in JKS’ team coming to the restaurant – the photographer, the Korean interpretor and RL organisers. One short-haired, plump lady (not sure who, but could be RL organising team) came over to tell us that JKS was coming to the restaurant and asked us not to create any commotion when he arrived. We agreed, and with this confirmation, we happily finished the rest of our dinner.
Another group of fans had come in and took the table nearest the main entrance and we realised, nearest to the other door to the VIP room, so JKS would come in through the entrance and go to that nearest door instead of bypassing us to reach this door near us. A bit disappointed that we chose the wrong table, but we comforted ourselves that we could at least see him.
Pardon me for repeating this – it was a long, long wait. The waiters had already started serving food to the VIP room but JKS wasn’t there yet. All sorts of thoughts surfaced in our minds. How could they start the feast without JKS? Unless JKS wanted to come at a later time, have his dinner hastily and then leave directly for the airport? Or was he already in the room via some back entrance we didn’t notice, like Sat night? But the back entrance was a narrow and dirty one into the kitchen; JKS couldn’t have used that, and the front entrances were in our clear view. During our long wait, we gave a new meaning to “momosuk”. The Chinese Hokkien dialect meaning of “mo” is to dilly dally and take one’s sweet time, and “momosuk” means that JKS was very good at taking his time and being late; we even joked that he must be taking his time to bathe and slower than a girl in putting on make-up and making himself look pretty!
It was nearly 8 pm – where was JKS? Carol received a call from her contact to say that JKS was not coming to the restaurant – it was merely a ploy to divert his fans there. We immediately settled the bill and went back to the hotel, leaving the other 2 tables of fans there. On the way back, we discussed the latest news. Maybe JKS wanted to shop at Starhill Gallery that was connected to Marriott on the second level, or maybe he went swimming at the hotel pool since the pool was closed at 7 pm, that’s why he wanted to divert us. We were full of regrets that we couldn’t be at the room keeping an eye on the pool at the same time; someone even suggested that next time, we should set up a surveillance camera in the hotel room to record 24 hours even while we were out so that we wouldn’t miss JKS at the pool!
A pic of the pool from our Marriott hotel room
A zoom-in pic from our hotel room – ….. lucky for JKS that we didn’t manage to get any pic or video of him at the pool!
But I was fuming mad… at the RL lady who came to feed us false information that JKS was coming to the restaurant so that we would stay at the restaurant. But what is the point of doing that when there were scores of fans at Marriott lobby? The only positive thing out of our long wait was, we managed to have a nice dinner instead of like Sat night when we were tired and standing during the wait.
I understand that the RL lady was doing her job and possibly feeling very satisfied that she had completed her mission of misleading us. On hindsight, who are we to the lady and RL organisers? Not even friends, and no relationship at all! Why would she be so kind as to tell us that JKS would be coming here? We only had ourselves to blame for being so gullible. Lesson learnt – don’t ever believe what your enemy tells you. I have to applaud her for her masterful acting performance – JKS is not the only wonderful actor around; the staff around him have picked up excellent acting skills too, and practised them on us.
To that RL lady (I hope you read this), I am not angry with JKS’ change in plans, I am not angry with him or Korean/RL organisers diverting us, I am angry with your deceit and your lie. You could have left us alone at the restaurant, and we would have kept on believing our source that JKS would come to the restaurant. Even if you did not come to tell us this lie, we would still continue to stay at the restaurant. Your lie is unnecessary. To you, we are nothing, and perhaps more like irritating pests you have to get rid of, but I will remember you forever, as a person full of deceit and I will never ever trust a single word you (or the organising staff) say again. This may sound a bit serious, but I cannot accept deceit and lies. I think I am a rather honest, straight-forward person. Even when friends suggest me to tell JKS I drew that portrait I asked him to sign during the autograph, I cannot. It’s not drawn by me, and I cannot say it is. I am someone who finds it very difficult to tell a lie, so I despise people who are full of deceit and not what they appear to be on the surface.
The portrait I got an artist to draw and JKS signed on it
We made it back to the hotel; JKS had not left yet. There were some fans at the hotel lobby but not many. His van was not parked at the hotel entrance, so Carol drove through 5 basement levels of the carpark to try our luck and we got so excited when we saw his van parked in a corner! Carol was so excited that she stopped her car directly in front of JKS’ van, thinking to stop him from driving out and he’ll come over to talk to us. We managed to persuade Carol to park somewhere else and below is her 2nd choice of parking … LOL. Finally, we decided to park in the lot directly opposite JKS’ van. We did not want to bother him but just take a video of him departing from Marriott. So we stayed there until we saw him. We were the only group of fans at B5 carpark at the Marriott, and this is how we got that exclusive video. We didn’t follow JKS to the airport though; the airport was too far away for Carol and us, and we decided to call it a night. This ends our star-chase.
JKS came out from the exit behind the van
Back in the hotel room before our bed-time, crazyoverJKS was already suffering JKS withdrawal symptoms. She asked rhetorically, “Where is our star?” and answered it herself, “Our star is in the sky” referring to JKS being on the plane. And the next morning when she woke up, her first thought was, “JKS is back in Korea! I wonder what he’s doing?” … …
Our star was JKS but the undoubted heroine of the day (and nights) was Carol. Without her being so willing to drive us around, without her unique charm and characteristic to be able to talk to many, many people and gain all sorts of useful information, we would never ever have this memorable star-chasing experience. And she helped us save at least RM 1,600 on booking van to chase JKS. Thank you, Carol!
The presents from Carol to me, and also 2 mobile phone accessories I forgot to photograph
The stuff I got from the merchandise shop
Sticker and unofficial photobook
“I love JKS” metallic accessory (left), mobile phone accessory (right)
Poster 1 (3 posters for RM 10)
Mug is a gift from Carol
Poster from unofficial photobook
Poster from autograph session
Freebies from autograph session