Yesterday was all centered around one thing: 2NE1’s concert.
I was going together with Naomi, a good friend and we set off from home at 2pm, planning to get there at 3, in order to be able to buy goodies before the good things run out. We also needed to change Naomi’s ticket, as hers was bought later than mine and was therefore an E-ticket and a not a real one.
Unfortunately for me I had gotten home late from the surprise goodbye party prepared by Unnie and Naomi for me the previous night. After having gotten home I then decided to write my blog right away as I knew that I would completely forget it, and wouldn’t be able to write it properly if I didn’t write it right away. Because of this I ended up going to bed at 5am, and as a result I only managed to get four hours of sleep (I need quite some time in the morning to get ready and Naomi was coming over to our house at 12).
I ate noodles in the morning = at 11AM and we headed out just on time.
As soon as we arrived we headed over to the goodies booth, there two of Naomi’s japanese friends were waiting to get their goodies. After meeting up with them we headed to the end of the queue and carefully considered what to buy. I had initially wanted to buy a light stick but knowing that we had bought stand tickets I decided not to as I figured that standing up for several hours would be bad enough and that there was no need to add a light stick in my hand to make me even more tired.
So I eventually decided to just buy a hairband and a towel set. the hairband costing me 4000 won (~20 Danish crowns) and the towels 38000 won (~190 danish crowns).
2NE1’s concert theme is their team cheer: 놀자 (pronounced Nolja or nolza, meaning: let’s play) and they really had made a great deal out of setting the playful atmosphere at the concert site. There were three guys going around to set the mood. One of them was dressed as a clown with long legs. He made balloons for everyone, went around singing songs, and made people laugh. The two others were wearing roller skaters, they wore most of the goodies that could be bought at the site and went around making people laugh and handing out lollipops. One of them was wearing the 2NE1 towel the same way as I was and they jokingly said that we were a couple every time they crossed me (couple clothing is very popular in Korea).
Other than that there were also several other small booths, such as a photo booth were one could get a free polaroid photo taken together with 2NE1 real size pan-carts and games to win free merchandise from the sponsors.
The concert started at 8pm but people with stand tickets had to start lining up at 6pm, so we diligently went to the line-up place, but when we discovered that we were supposed to wait at the end of one of the lines we just sat down close by and waited.
At 7pm the queues finally went inside and we tried to find a good place to stand close the the stage = big mistake. I felt that I had made a lot of mistakes already before entering the concert hall. Before leaving this morning I had first of all debated wether to wear high heels or normal shoes. High heels would obviously be quite difficult on my feet, and might not be wise in case things got wild, but I don’t have any boots here anymore, so normal shoes would probably result in getting my feet stamped pretty badly. In the end I decided on high heels as I was a bit worried about not being able to see the stage properly without the extra height. I had furthermore debated wether to take a big bag or a small one, ending up taking the small one. My decisions ended up making me feel quite tired before the concert had even started, yet they showed to be wise in the end as I really would have had a harder times seeing without high heels and there is a risk that my bag would have been lost of I had taken a bigger one because things did indeed get pretty wild in the standing section.
I don’t have any more photos from yesterday from this point on simply because cameras are prohibited at concerts in Korea and anyone trying to take a photo will get their camera snapped away by a security guard, hence forced to leave the concert site in order to get it back only to get their ticket ripped to pieces so that they won’t be able to go in again. Thankfully they didn’t discover the camera in my bag during the bag inspection, but they did discover Naomi’s so she had to store it away before she could enter the concert hall.
Everyone was standing quite close together before the concert started, but it was all pretty bearable. 2NE1’s latest music videos were showing on the big screens while we waited and a bonus ‘kiss time’ had also been prepared, just like at baseball games where the couple showed on screen has to kiss. Naturally if they didn’t kiss everyone in the concert hall loudly complained, but if they did there were applauds and cheers to be heard everywhere.
Eventually the lights went out and that’s when people went crazy, pushing forward with all of their might in order to get more front. The trick here is to know when to switch one’s shoulder in order to be able to get more in front, I turned out to be a natural at this and we soon made it to the third row (having initially started at the 15th row).
The concert was great fun and I got to see all of the members up close only about one and a half meter away. But then, suddenly, at the very middle of the concert I could feel that I was completely out of power, I had no power to move, to sing or even to keep my eyes open anymore. Everyone had been dripping with sweat after the first 10 minutes, boys and girls alike, so I don’t think that there is any doubt that it was caused by dehydration. I said to Naomi that I wasn’t feeling well and needed air, I told her to stay were she was and made my way to the back of the stand section, that wasn’t as crammed. I approached the security guard saying that I wanted to get out and he opened the gate for me. When I got out of the concert hall into the main lobby there was quite a lot of staff.
I could barely speak at this point but managed to get a few words out while trying to catch my breath: ‘Whe….where can I … buy… water! water!? I am so tired that I think that I might die.’ Of course I said it in Korean, but that is roughly what it translates into. There were two staff right in front of the door, and they both looked at each other realising that my condition was quite bad. One of them told me to wait for a minute and said that she would get me water.
That is how I ended up getting special staff water, I drank 4/5 of the bottle right away, waited for a couple of seconds until I could see properly again thanked her with a 90 degree bow and went inside again, this time staying at the back of the standing section. There was no pushing and fighting there, someone had punched my hairband so that it broke earlier, but I had managed to pick up the pieces and put them in my bag, no I’m not quite sure how I managed that either. More of the stage was also visible from the back, as it could sometimes get hard to see everything if we got too close because of the masses of people.
I had only missed the showing of a small video, and no live songs, while being outside (my moment of weakness was well chosen) so I still managed to enjoy the entire concert without too much trouble.
I met up with Naomi and her japanese friends outside of the concert hall and we all headed home together.
I talked with Unnie for a while after getting back while packing my things as fast as I could. When everything, more or less, apart form things such as my toothbrush, toothpaste, BB cream, etc., was packed I went to bed. But today as well I had something special planned and this event was set to happen in the morning so I knew that I wouldn’t get a lot of sleep.
Four hours later I woke up by a distant calling. I first thought that it was our neighbors (and we can never hear anything from our neighbors so I must have been pretty far out). Then I realised that the sound came from inside our room and I concluded that Unnie was up and accidentally switched on music without her headphones on, but then it hit me that it was my alarm. I quickly made my way to the table and stopped it before quickly hopping in some clothes and getting myself ready to go out.
I bought some water and cookies for breakfast on the way and headed to Jamsil Sports Complex (around 45 minutes with the metro).
I was going to the Idol special sports competition where 150 idols (korean popular singers) were scheduled to attend. The reason that I was going to this event was because SHINee, my favorite idol group, was scheduled to attend even though they have had constant schedules in Japan for the past many months.
I didn’t expect a lot of fans to attend it since the stadium was pretty empty during the same event last year. So I got myself quite a shock when I arrived and saw row after row after flocks of fans waiting to get in. I later saw news today that 10000 fans had attended the event.
It was a bit over 8am when I arrived but I only got inside the stadium at 10:20. The two hours were spent similarly to 2NE1’s concert yesterday; with a lot of push and pulling, a maximum of sweat and a minimum of breathing. Of course I was standing in the SHINee line (in Korean they queue up according to fanclubs that then get different seats inside the stadium). I knew that the SHINee line was the right one to stand in, not only because I am a SHINee fan, in principle I could stand with another fanclub as long as I cheer for their team as well, but simply because there were a lot more SHINee fans than any others. I think that we were at least 3000 SHINee fans, with me getting in line in the middle. Because there were so many fans rooting for SHINee I knew that we were bound to get the best seats (as anything else would lead to a mass dissatisfaction from the fans, which the organisers really want to avoid as Korean fans are more….. passionate than most).
Most of SHINee’s fans were very kind, young and cute, and I spoke to a couple of them, but all of them were mad about not being able to get in first, because there were too many so fans it took longer to get in. There were three entrances and half of one of them was completely occupied by SHINee’s fans. They allowed us to go in 25 at a time, and then we had to wait a couple of seconds before the next 25 could go in. All the other fanclubs had managed to enter while half of SHINee’s fans were still standing outside (even though around 15 SHINee fans went inside every time whereas the other fanclubs only allowed one person to enter each time).
I eventually approached the entrance and was able to see the security guards, which was probably one of the funniest things I saw the entire day. There were around 50 security guards in the entire stadium to hold 10000 fans, which was pretty ridiculous to begin with. Of course they tried to get us to go in orderly and one of them (the one standing closest to me) shouted: ‘Go back, don’t push, go back a few steps!’ in Korean. As soon as he had shouted it he got responses from the fans such as: ‘YA! (ya is very impolite in Korean) Why should we move back!?’, ‘WE CAN’T!’ and ‘JUST OPEN THE ****ING DOORS AND LET US IN!!!’ He was completely taken aback and apologised while completely abandoning this strategy.
I eventually got in and there really were a lot of people. I immediately headed to the best spots, which, just as I had predicted, was reserved for SHINee’s fans. I found myself a good place to stand, even though the security guard had tried to make us leave saying that we couldn’t stand up and had to find somewhere to sit. Everyone angrily replied that they hadn’t waited outside in the burning sun for two hours to not be able to stand with the other SHINee fans and even this big security guard also bowed back like a dog having been kicked at the sound of the angry fans.
A big number of idols had attended the event but just like all of the other fans I focused my attention to a couple of them, mainly SHINee of course, and particularly my favorite member in SHINee: Lee Taemin.
Special Lee Taemin compilation:
SHINee got huge support from the amazing amount of fans present but everyone also seemed to be sad to discover how tired they all looked from their schedules abroad.
Twice, while he was sitting with two different people, Key had pointed in my direction and waved to the fans there, all crazily waving and screaming back, I had been sure that he had just pointed towards the big bunch of fans even though that I had felt his stare, but now I have my doubts. I finished my water after a while and left for a short while to buy some cold water. When I came back soon after (having found help from a fellow SHINee fan to find the water-selling man) there was no good spot to stand in the SHINee section, so, I headed to another fanclub close by: Super Junior. After about 10 minutes Key seemed to search the fans. After a while he looked towards the Super Junior fans, put on an expression that seemed toread: found you, and pointed in my direction again. Being the only SHINee fan in this section I smiled and waved to him, as the only one there having spotted him, and just as expected he waved back all the same. Yes, indeed, I was discovered by SHINee’s Key among tens of thousands of fans.
One of them, Leeteuk also took very good care of the Super Junior fans and ordered some Vitamin water from the staff that he then personally threw up to his fans.
When I got home Unnie had prepared yet something else for me. She had gone to our school’s Kimbap shop and bought my favorite Kimbap for me. The amazing thing about this is that they don’t make this kimbap very often, and they weren’t going to make it today, but because she begged they made a special one just for her/me. She said that the other students seemed very jealous.
Lokty visited us in our room and we talked for a while before Unnie helped me to carry my many bags (I have to pack some of my things again) to my hotel.
Inside the hotel room, that I am now sitting in, I discovered something very dangerous: a TV.
And this is not just a TV, it is a HUGE TV! Goodness that is dangerous, it makes me want to lay around inside all day and fill my need for Korean entertainment shows.
My hotel room is very nice, although it had a slight smoke smell at first, but I opened the window wide when I first came and the smell has now left, which is actually quite amazing. Actually, a lot of Koreans seem to like to smoke so almost all Norebang, restaurants, etc. have that smell of smoke, I was positively surprised that I was able to make the smell disappear so quickly from my hotel room.