소원

We’re in the most challenging phase we’ve ever been through. I thought the black ocean in 2008 was the worst phase, but even through the darkness at the time, there are always pink lights peering through. But now, we’re at risk of losing the pink light.

Without it it’ll be pitch dark.

I was puzzled at first, why would the most stable fandom be shaken by yet another dating news? I couldn’t understand why the local fans and some ifans were so disappointed by what happened. The usually calm and most supportive fans were openly voicing out their disappointment, and some even leave. Some were quick to judge them, including myself, to think they are too sensitive and delusional.

But after a while, I could understand them.

They’ve been investing their time and energy, supporting the girls by any means possible and shielding them from negativity from ground zero. But then this happened. By the person they trusted the most in the group, the leader herself. It’s as if all their effort of ‘building a wall you can’t climb over’ was in vain. It was the worst scenario possible, because it’s as if the wall was destroyed by the people it’s supposed to protect.

But, to turn your back against them and leave in the middle of a crisis like this is unfair.

I don’t know about you, but to me SNSD used to bring me a lot of joy. Though I’m not that crazy of a fan I once was (lol I’m a casual fan now) I never forget the times the girls made me smile.

How many of you listen to their songs when you were stressed?

Watch their shows and laugh your heart out to forget about your problems for a while?

Went to their concert to travel to meet new friends and have a great time?

Spent hours writing/reading stories about them when you need an escape from the real world?

We run to them when the world was too much to bear. But now when they are being put in that situation, we leave them. It’s unfair.

The girls are public figures, idols who dedicate 80% of their lives in front of the public eyes. It’s different for us. We can love them wholeheartedly one second and then we lose interest, went to do different things, or go on dates, got married maybe settle down and have children. They will be just a mere memory.

But the girls, they’ve been united as a group past the idol expiration date – 7 years. They did their best the first 6 years, and actually still are, but how long will this goes on? They are like us too, human beings, not real goddesses.

At this point it doesn’t surprise me if some of the members wanted to take a break, pursue other goals or even settle down. All their hard work since they were young kids had been paid. They’ve reached their current goals and achieved success at mid-twenties. It’s normal for them to do so. I won’t judge their choice of men either, because they’ve done so much through the years, following company and fans requests. Can’t they at least choose who they want to love?

Maybe what Taeyeon did with her IG did cross the line a bit. As love struck as she was with him, she should be more mature and professional handling her SNS account. The SNS account that she claimed to be just for her fans. But knowing Taeyeon, she’s the type to flaunt the things she likes, look at the tons of Ginger posts. She must really like him. Love can make people lose their logic sometimes.

Always remember that Taeyeon is just God’s creation, like you and me. She may look flawless on the outside, but the truth is she’s just a young woman. Sometimes she’s humble; sometimes she became a bit proud. But it’s human nature. She did apologize, it was quite quick and I doubt the company had control over that. She did her part, she wanted to make things right.

Now it’s our turn to be the bigger person and forgive.

 

Seoul Spring Trip 2014 Day 2 – Food & Culture Academy, Sejong Centre, Namdaemun, Hongdae

26/3/14

The primary reason for this trip is this, to get the certificate from the Food and Culture Academy. The place was located near Gwanghwamun, and it was 800m walk from the subway. Silly us for thinking that 800m is a short distance by walking. But we get to enjoy the morning scenery along Gwanghwamun road and a few times distracted by the delicious smell of Red Bean Fish Bread (Bunggeoppang). I was worried that they didn’t sell it anymore since it’s a winter street food, so I was overjoyed when I saw the stall haha.

DTWO7

DTWO2

It wasn’t hard to find the place, the direction on the website was clear enough. The teacher, Jay was expecting us. The academy seems empty with only two teachers around. Jay told us that the others were sent out on site to help with a drama shooting. She was a nice young woman and she speaks fluent English too. The class was fun and informative. The teacher was friendly and understanding. We made a Bibimbap with seafood because we told them that we don’t eat meat. She got curious and asked us about Halal meat and Muslim diet. And I kinda enjoyed explaining it to her.

“In Islam, we slaughtered the animal in the name of God, whispered it to the animal and make sure it was ready. We did it in the least painful way for the animal to die. We don’t simply eat meat that we don’t know how its life was taken away.”

DTWO3

DTWO4

DTWO6

DTWO5

 

The bibimbap was great. So delicious. I can’t even describe. And my sister graduated with a Bibimbap Degree that day! LOL

We stopped by a cute café, Chateau Chocolate because it was so cute. It’s a small place and it sells chocolates! The hot choco was yummy! I also bought a bag of Bunggeoppang for the road teehee.

DTWO9

DTWO10

DTWO11

We went to Kyobo Bookstores since we’re already there. But before that we made a stop at Sejong Experience Centre, the entrance near the King Sejong huge statue. It was a nice underground museum. Everything about King Sejong and also Admiral Yi was there. We accidentally found a calligraphy booth for tourists and wrote our names in Hangul! We even asked the pretty staff to write one for our Milk Moustache Café! In the meantime, we managed to join the 4D theatre for Admiral Yi and the glorious story of how he leads his army of only 15 ships defeating 300 Japanese ships.

DTWO12

DTWO13

DTWO14

DTWO15

DTWO16

DTWO17

DTWO18

DTWO19

We finally found the bookstore after wandering a while. I bought No Breathing DVD! I was so excited with No Breathing and haven’t even watched it unless I get the original DVD or watch it in the theatre. Got the DVD, special first print edition. Yay. I also grabbed an SM The Ballad mini album, without knowing why.

We went to Namdaemun next, to buy gifts for the loved ones at home. Got so tempted with the fluffy Hotteoks and bought some! We then relaxed a bit at A Twosome Place café across the street.

DTWO20

DTWO21

DTWO22

DTWO23

DTWO24

For dinner that day, it’s Hongdae’s Turkish Kebab! Isn’t that Arab guy adorable? :3

DTWO26

DTWO27

DTWO28

DTWO29

 

Next: Day 3 – Snow Crab experience at Noryangjin Fish Market!

Seoul Spring Trip 2014: Day 1 – Dongdaemun, DDP & Myeongdong

25/03/14

Image

We’re back to the Hangul land again! And this time it’s just in time for Spring! Well, it was supposed to be springtime but somehow the winter refuse to leave earlier and we only managed to see the blooming flowers on the last day of our trip haha. But the weather was so pleasant; it wasn’t so hot and not so cold, just perfect so we’re not complaining lol.

This time my sister and I decided to stay at Hongdae (Hongik University), the place where I stayed last summer with my friend, The Granny. We were there for Soshi concert lalala. Anyway the place is called Neo Seoul Guesthouse, located near Hongdae city centre. Last summer it was called Blu: Guesthouse Seogyo, not sure why they changed the name, maybe some problem between the popular Blu: Guesthouse chain and the owner, I’m not sure, but the place is still nice as before.

I like this guesthouse because it’s clean and spacious, also their cable TV and the free breakfast. There was also the resident cute puppy living there, last time it was only a puppy but now it’s all big and grown up haha. But the owner keep the dog on leash most of the time, so it was okay for us.

This time we’re not really depending on an itinerary, we only have a loose list of places to go lol. The first place we went after check in was Dongdaemun. Been to Seoul twice but I’ve never set foot at the infamous shopping district.

As soon as we get out of the subway, we were directly at the entrance of the newly opened DDP, Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park. It was only been opened for 4 days and we were already there! Probably we’re one of the earliest Malaysian who set foot there?

DDP was amazing. AMAZING. We were in awe most of the time, mouth gaping with ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ as we walked into the architectural monument. It was designed by Zaha Hadid, a female Iraqi-British architect. It was shaped like a real-life spaceship. It was huge and there were exhibition halls on each floor. When we were there, there was the Seoul Fashion Week going on, and the ground floor was filled with stylish people and models. Photographers were snapping photos randomly, I don’t know if there were celebrities attending, because almost everyone there looked like they’re ready for photo shoot. For a moment I felt like I was in Capitol, from Hunger Games Trilogy. And I was dressing like a District 12 tribute lol.

Image

Image

 

Image

But inside the building was filled with old people lol. The entrance is free, so I guess the old locals from around Dongdaemun were to visit first. Grandmas, grandpas and ahjummas were filling the expensive stylish seats on each floor, it was quite a funny sight.

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

Found an SM STARDIUM pop up store inside DDP. Lots of EXO stuffs and very little GG stuffs. Overpriced.

Image

Image

We went strolling around Dongdaemun after that, buying clothes that were really cheap and stylish at the streets. Almost everything was on bargain and it was so tempting. Haggling was kinda fun too, as I asked for ‘Coffee money’ every time. They understood the term well lol!

It was almost dinner and we realized that we haven’t had lunch. We looked for the famous Dongdaemun Grilled Fish Street but failed! I don’t know why it was so hard to find it, and we settled at Holly Coffee to recharge.

Desperate and hungry, I dragged my sister to Myeongdong to pay another visit to one of the hottest Mat-Jib (famous) restaurant, Myeongdong Eommoni Jib! This place was listed in the KTO halal place recommendation. We ordered the famous dish of the place, their Haemultang (Seafood Stew) and a seafood pajeon. The owner, not sure the halmeoni name was there, greeting customers in her signature uniform. She wore the same clothes like every day…

Image

 

Image

 

Image

After dinner we continue shopping at the usual places, the annual cosmetic shopping at Banila Co. and Nature Republic. We also went to SPAO for their cheap but high quality shoes and clothes.

Image

Image

Image

 

Next: Day 2 - Food & Culture Academy, Sejong Centre, Namdaemun, Hongdae

 

 

 

 

SHIP

“I ship them together!”

“They are my OTP!!”

“My ship is real.”

These are the common things you will hear if you’re actively joining certain fandom. I’m talking about any fandom in general. Directioners, Beliebers, J-Pop or… SONES are all fandoms.

There is nothing wrong with shipping certain pair of people. They look cute together so we ship them. It’s normal.

It’s all good, until you ship them in a hardcore way.

Hardcore shipping is like living in a box where there is only one hole to see outside. And outside that hole is what we want to see. We feel happy to see the pair we ship being with each other, it’s like the light shining down from the hole and lighten up the box we’re trapped in. But when they’re separated or being with other people we don’t like, it’s like the light had been taken completely and it’s all pitch black again.

It’s not a healthy thing. IT’S NOT.

Hardcore shipping will make you believe what you think is real is happening.

Why?

Because you see they are holding hands so often so they must be in a relationship.

They always stand next to each other it must be because they can’t stand being apart from one another.

They exchange glances and smiles in public because they want to make sure their other half was there.

Their hug is different than the others because it is filled with pent up emotions and longing of love.

They poke each other and are playful because they were teasing each other and can’t wait to get alone later.

“It’s just normal things that friends do,” said someone, and you said “Nooooo!”

Why?

Because you and a group of other friends who are also shippers think they are more than just friends. You guys talk about it every day in twitter, chatrooms and forums. You guys even have screencaps of proofs (that you take when they randomly looking at each other) so they must be dating in secret. Heck they even share clothes it must be because they were sharing a room the night before! You even have secret insider info about their secret relationship that you don’t even know where the source came from but who cares? It must be real.

Because you and the shippers agreed it’s real.

Because you read countless of FAN FICTIONS about them being hot with each other and it must be real. Some of the fanfics that your friends wrote even go into detail about what they do in bedroom and how they do it so it must be based from real events!

And then you see your shipped pair onstage with the other members. And you can’t help but to look for ‘moments’ between them. Even when they are separated and doing exactly the same thing they do with each other but with other members, nah you look past all that.

But when your shipped pair suddenly brushed shoulders, then look at each other and smile, IT’S LOVE. I mean, they only look at each other that way. It’s not like you really care about other members interaction (others could be playfully kissing and hugging but they all don’t matter), but you know your shipped pair have something special by just that glance. You just know.

You even relate anything that’s not even related to their relationship. Like when you saw one of them stretched body when they wake up from a TV show, and your mind goes automatically to your shipped pairing. It must be how she stretched when they’re doing it! You even macro it and share it to the world and think it’s cute.

And then you heard rumors about the pair that you ship might dating some guys. You go on hating on that guy and call him names. And when other people agree that one of your shipped pair and the guy are really dating, you call them delusional. Simply because it don’t make any sense to you. Why would she date that guy when she’s perfectly happy in a relationship that you know exist? So others arguments are invalid. Even when the guy and she are spotted wearing couple items and giving blatant hint, you know they are just made up stuffs that the delusionals made. Tsk tsk. Don’t they have a life? You wonder.

And then you go to their TV recordings. Great! You are closer to them. The interviewer asked question about whom their ideal type is and you shout out their names. Of course, right? They are in love with each other so it’s no question. You are actually helping them answering that question. You saw your shipped pair faces turned red and you think it’s because they’re shy.

And then you go to their fan singing events. This is the opportunity you have! It’s finally time for you to prove that your shipped pair is real to the non-believers! So you go up to them with your paper and asked them to sign on it. You asked questions about their ‘relationship’ and asked them to circle the answer. You write sentences in language they don’t really master and asked them to agree on it. And then you share it with the world. So what if your idol just signed in agreement during that less than a minute fansign with her that ‘she’s the bottom in a gay relationship’? It’s funny. And duh, it’s true anyways.

 

 

HEY.

IT’S NOT FUNNY.

IT’S NOT CUTE.

IT’S…

 

 

Okay stop.

Don’t you remember the time when you first discover this group?

You were so happy listening to their songs; they are cute and dancing in sync. You watch that same music videos countless of times just to hear the song and watch them dance. You even imitate the dance when you even hate dancing. You listen to them when you’re sad; you listen to them when you’re bored. They lift you up when you’re down.

This group.

You don’t even know the members name, but you know you like this group…

no, you love this group.

 

But, what happened since then?

Now all you can see and think about is the two members that you ship together. You heart hurts when they’re sitting away from each other when it’s completely normal and became depressed when they are rumored dating other guys when they’re already at the age to date men.

You might not realize it, but you’re neglecting other members and only see your ship. You no longer enjoy their music as much as you did back then; you’re more looking forward to see the interaction of your favorite pair.

And you don’t really care what you did as a hardcore shipper.

Have you forgotten that the group members are human beings too? Have you forgotten that they have feelings? Or that they have life outside their glitz and glamorous job?

It’s not fair for us fans to do this to them. You’re accusing them being in a romantic relationship with each other when they are close like sisters. How would you feel if people accuse you dating your own sister?  Since when does holding hands between good friends translates to a secret affair?

Remember that idols are people too just like us, they have lives. They go out and hang out with group of friends that we don’t know, spend time with their families, go on dates, went through heartbreaks and problems of everyday life. They don’t live like how we picture them do in fan fictions.

Sorry if I talked too much. Some may feel irritated reading this like, what does she know about hardcore shipping? She doesn’t have the right to judge us and all.

Well, the thing is, I know. I was a hardcore shipper once.

And I’m writing this because I feel responsible and I can’t take it anymore. I can’t just sit and do nothing and let the young fans corrupt themselves. You know better to stay away from hardcore shipping and just enjoy them as a group. Or just adore them for their cute and dorky sisterly interactions. If you’re too young to read the smut fanfics, you know you should stay away from it. Even if you’re old enough, too much of it is not good for your mind.

I know I’m being ironic because I’m a writer too, and at times I write a few graphic things in my story but truthfully, I regret it. I know I have young readers and as an adult, I should know better than writing things like that. I’m sorry, I was being irresponsible.

 

I love my fandom.

I know not everyone is like that but I hope those people can be more rational and stop treating the girls as if they’re only objects of people’s imagination.

If you love them, treat them with respect.

They had done so much to make their fans happy, it’s the least thing we can do as fans.

 

The 27th Golden Disk Awards in Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia (15-16 January 2013)

GDA.

Since the first time I heard about the rumors that it will be held in Malaysia, I refuse to believe it. Well guess what, it just happened this week lol. Despite me being in disbelief and not planning to go to the event, I did bought tickets a few days before day 1 show lol. I realized that this could be a once in a lifetime thing and not going to let it pass me by.

So I took a day off and go to the event. Haha.

Day 1 was more exciting for me, because all of my favourite groups are there (except SNSD). KARA, FT Island, Beast and CNBLUE were all there on day 1. We managed to catch the red carpet appearance up close. They all are so good looking lol. The show was great, they had great sound system and the stage was pretty amazing too. Though there was a bit problem with the fan zones because it’s not like how it was described in the plan before. Kara had to perform Pandora twice due to technical error. Poor them, lucky us lol. But over all it was a great show.

Day 2 was also great. I reached there late since I went to work. We bought tickets in front of the entrance after haggling with an illegal seller lol. But it was cheap. We missed 4 acts which 2 are my faves, T-Ara and Miss A. But it was okay since Sistar and f(x) were still wasn’t performed. I can’t forget that beautiful duet between Hyorin and K.Will.

These are the photos during red carpet on day 1. lol the barricades. Can’t do anything about it.

From day 1.

Nicole was so exited while announcing Beast. lol in-laws.

Day 2. I take more fancams than photos since I was further behind this time.

 

I’m happy so many people turned up despite the venue being far from the city. Sepang International Circuit is an F1 racing track and I think it’s cool for us to held concerts at racing tracks haha.

I saw many casual kpop fans came, mostly working adults and family filling up the zones. Fans who were there was so supportive of all artistes. I’m proud. lol.

I hope SNSD will held a solo con in Malaysia this year. This year Bukit Jalil Indoor Stadium can now be used again ~

Heard rumors here and there about the 9 to visit Malaysia again like they promised in March last year. Hopefully it’s true ~

Seoul Backpacking Day 5 – Apgujeong, SM Entertainment, Legally Blonde, Dinner With Kim Family

Our day 5 begin lazily, mostly because of the hectic schedule we had the past week. We head out to Apgujeong to experience the Korean rich people culture. Lol.

When we get there, the atmosphere was so different from the other side of the river. The buildings are new and the people were wearing more fashionable clothes. And then we found the infamous ‘plastic surgery’ road. It wasn’t hard to find because the whole street was lined up with plastic surgery clinics! There were 5 storey buildings and there were 5 different clinics or more in one building. And there were so many buildings I lost count. If you’re looking for getting some job done, lol you’ll be spoilt for choice.

We wander around as I wanted to visit SM Ent building since we were there. We got on a taxi since we didn’t know the way and shyly asked the driver to get us there. Lol idk why but it feels embarrassing to go to SM Ent building as if we’re sasaeng fans. But I just want to visit like visiting a historic monument. haha.

While we were in the cab, I saw a young woman came out from a nearby clinic. Not sure if she just got her face done or she’s there for a follow up, but almost her whole face was bandaged, leaving only eyes and mouth visible. It wasn’t a pleasant sight to be honest and it was hard to take that image of my mind even until now.

The taxi driver dropped us at SM Ent building and I take photos lol.

We left SM Ent through the new Apgujeongrodeo subway line and boy I was surprised. The underground walkway to the subway was luxurious unlike the subway we’ve been before.

It was still too early to go to COEX for another Legally Blonde so we decided to go to Itaewon for lunch. We had more Bunggeoppangs and Turkish Kebab also Hotteok yum!

And then it was time for another play for lovely Jessica Jung’s Legally Blonde Musical. No other Girls’ Generation members visited the play this time. The play was fun like usual. One who watched can tell how much Jessica enjoys playing her part as Elle Woods and performing with the whole team. Her smile was radiant and she was so cheerful making everyone laugh with her witty lines. I fell for Jessica all over again. Like I said before, she’s amazing.

They gave orange juice at the end of the musical

After the musical, we rushed back to Myeongdong to meet up with the Kim family. Mr. Kim met with my sister through work and now his whole family already familiar with us. Their family drove all the way from Gwangju to meet with us. We were lost in Myeongdong lol. We can’t find Lotte Department Store even though we went there before. So while navigating through the crowd with the aid of a kind couple, we saw people filming, presidential candidates giving speeches and also this SNSD giant board.

When we finally met them, Mr. Kim treated us to lunch at Saffron Restaurant at Ibis Ambassador Hotel just across from Lotte. It’s my first time eating Arabic food and I love it! Gosh it’s probably the best meal I had while we were there.

Mr. Kim’s daughters were as usual, the eldest one who looks like After School Uee was so prim and proper while the younger one was being a princess and demanding this and that. Lol. I spoke Malay with her and she spoke Korean to me but idk how we managed to communicate. Haha.

Ahwon latching onto her father while our Princess Shiwon waits

After dinner, they treat us to coffee and then gave us presents each awww. It was handmade Korean dolls in traditional outfit and the boxes were hugeee. We’re not sure how to take it home lol.

After parting with the Kims, which the wife even shed tears as we said goodbye, (lol she said Koreans like to cry) we head down to Myeongdong for last minute shopping. We had a lot of fun hahaha.

The next day we woke up early in the morning to catch the shuttle bus to airport as our flight was around 9am. We managed not to exceed the maximum weight with our luggage yay. We checked in early and even have the time to get our tax refund.

Bye Bye Dalkom!

Everysing inside the departure hall

The flight soon take off and we’re headed back to Malaysia. But I already miss Seoul and it’s people.

I’ll probably going there again this year. ^^

 

Seoul Backpacking Day 4 – Itaewon, Soshi G-Factory, Melon Music Awards

When I wake up that morning of day 4, it was drizzling outside. Rain during winter made it a lot worse, it became even more colder than usual. But despite the weather, we determined to continue our itinerary for day 4, which is a visit to the multicultural Itaewon.

We took subway to get there and it was still raining. We each brought an umbrella which was provided by our guesthouse. Itaewon is really multicultural. There were shops in various languages along the street also a lot of restaurants selling foreign food. We even found a restaurant selling Malay food but it was overpriced. Like 10,000krw for Asam Pedas? Better eat them back at home. Lol.

Our quest was to look for a Halal Korean restaurant that I found while making research on internet, Muree Restaurant. After asking a helpful guide who was on duty, we found the Islamic Street that leading to the Seoul Central Mosque. There were so many halal restaurants along the street, mostly selling Indian or Arab dishes. There were also a lot of Malay words on the banners in front of their premises, lol telling me just how many Malay tourists had come here that they have to compete for customers. It’s true though. We bumped into so many Malaysians there it almost feels like home. After climbing the steep road, we finally found the restaurant.

We had bulgogi, kimchi fried rice and kimchi egg roll with side dishes. It was delicious.

After filling our appetite, we head over to Seoul Central Mosque just a few meters away for Solat Zohor. It was Friday, and the mosque was full with people. A few local Muslims tried to converse with us, in Korean, of course lol but I only understand less than half percent of what they’re saying. They thought me and my sister were foreign students lol.

After leaving the mosque in the shivering cold we felt hungry again lol. We tried Bunggeoppang (Fish Carp Cake with red bean fillings) from a nice ahjusshi vendor and then rested for a while for authentic Turkish kebab at Pasha Deli Café. The kebab was nice but the Bunggeoppang was nicer! The hot red bean filling just melt in your mouth and I still remember the taste!

Soshi faces were everywhere in Seoul, and Itaewon is no exception. Aside from Yoona face covering the Innisfree shops, I also saw Soshi Baby-G ads at bus stands and also at the G-Factory there. So we went there just to take closer look. Soshi is everywhere in the shop.

After Itaewon, we wanted to shop at Ewha Woman University so we hop on the train to get to Sinchon. But when we get there, it was still raining, maybe even more than before so there weren’t a lot of shop opened. Disappointed, tired and cold, I decided that we should go to Olympic Park instead.

Going to Melon Music Awards was not in our itinerary. But we went to the venue just to pass the time. I was hoping to see the idols on red carpet but due to the weather, there wasn’t one outside. Disappointed once again, we were ready to go back to Chungmuro but then; suddenly an ahjusshi gave us two tickets. We couldn’t say no, since we were already there. So we took the tickets and went in.

We sat next to two Singaporean friends who were Sones. The stadium wasn’t full even when it was almost broadcast time. The staffs had to re-arrange the audience to make it look full. Lol.

T-Ara hardcore fans

The show was great, and there were a lot of young enthusiastic fan girls screaming their hearts out for Infinite. Lol I think Infinite is more popular than other boy groups in Korea right now. Even though Beast was also there, but B2UTY screams are not as high pitched as Inspirit.

We didn’t wait till the award was over because it’ll be chaotic sharing trains with the fangirls. We left right after 2NE1 flawlessly performed I Love You.

 

Next: Day 5