one girl's journey across kpop paradise

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Yesterday I took my camera with me (and my friend) and just walked around Hongdae taking random pictures of interesting-looking buildings and things. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

I somehow stumbled upon the Coffee Prince coffee shop! It’s right behind the Hello Kitty on the hill. Here are some pictures.

And those are all the pictures of Coffee Prince cafe. On to random pictures of Hongdae.

My friend forced me to take this photo of this couple...~_~

My friend forced me to take this photo of this couple...~_~

We found a really nice little playground section in the middle of bustling Hongdae! What a surprise!

Just like childhood~~

Why so serious? I don't think he enjoyed my taking so many pictures of him...

Seoul would be so beautiful when the leaves finally turn red/orange/yellow :)

The outfits are to die for *o*

They were filming an interview here and I was getting looks for looking at them for too long...

And then we saw the cutest little dog!! I couldn’t help but take tons of pictures.

Too bad the dog never looked my way. And then my friend said that he was “dying”…of hunger. So we stopped by this “finger food” place, which was okay.

And then we settled into Toms N Toms, which is just like my familiar Starbucks, but it had 3 floors, so it was nice and lovely. Because the day had kind of gone south, I got a honey bread thing to compensate. It is so cute-looking and delicious at the same time. I almost didn’t know what to do with it. I mean, just look:

And then we went home. But not until after I got some delicious street food. Actually, the 2nd time I was eating street food, a car crashed into me. Or rather, my backpack. It was so unbelievable, and I almost didn’t feel it too. But even though the windows of the car were tinted, I could see the driver and front-seat passenger bowing to me in apology. I waved my hand, as if to say ‘No problem!,’ in a daze. And that was my day. Actually Saturday was much more exciting, but I’ll update about that later. Until next time!~

Advertisements

So this blog post title today is really lame, I know, but it’s kind of the best thing I could think of. Last Sunday, I did a little photo shoot with lovely Paula, one of my fashion inspirations here in Seoul. She has a great blog, filled mostly of fashion, but also of life, love, and how beautiful Seoul is, which I’ve also discovered myself the two or some months I’ve been here so far.

Paula is working at a vintage shop called OldOld. The store is located near Konkuk station (Line 2). It’s a cute little store in the basement of an old building, but there are a lot of gems just waiting to be discovered. For my friend and I, Paula decided on a knit-only look that was kind of angelic, and to play up that aspect, we shot only on a roof-top. It was a really fun experience, and I’d be happy to work with Paula again for any other fashion ideas she has. She was the first fashion blogger in Seoul that I found, and I was so happy to finally meet her. She’s perhaps even friendlier in person than online, and that’s saying something ^^

So here are some of the photos:

They turned out really nice and artsy, right? I really loved the outfits Paula picked. She’s a natural stylist :) I really love the fashion here in Korea – it was one of the drawing points for me. At long last, I got to work on a fashion project here…I’m grateful :)


I have this poster hanging in my room right now :)

So last Friday I finally got my butt down to Yeouido, where the KBS Broadcasting Station is located, to see Music Bank.

Now I have to precursor you guys on what it means to “see” Music Bank (or any other music show). Each artist/group has to do about 15-30 minutes of pre-recording before the live show, which starts at 6 pm (for Music Bank). The recordings start late morning and end before the live show. Each group that is performing that week, whether it be Super Junior or F.T. Island, or whoever else, has to pre-record their performance several times before the start of the live show, so that instead of rushing between set changes, some groups might not get to perform it live during the live show (I’m not sure who doesn’t get to perform…I might have to get back to you on that one).

Getting into the pre-recordings: It’s not hard to get into the pre-recordings. All you have to do is show up at the KBS Station about 2 hours before the start of pre-recording with a copy of the latest album of the group you want to see. You will almost always need this in order to get in. Go to the person in charge of the fan club (they will probably be wearing a badge that says they are fan club staff) and tell them you want to see the show. Show them your album, and they will collect your name and (in my case) write a number on your wrist. And then all you have to do is wait until the pre-recording starts, and then enter with everyone else :)

What to do in the pre-recording: The authorities say no photography or videos once you’re inside the KBS Building, and if you’re caught, you will probably be thrown out. They’re kind of strict about this. My friend, however, sneaked a picture inside the studio…so it is possible, if you’re sly enough. Fangirls (in my experience, a lot more girls than guys love kpop) are SO crazy. When I went to see Infinite, the girls around me were all screaming the members’ names at the top of their lungs, and waving incessantly, in the attempt to have the members wave and smile at them. And the fan chants during the actual pre-recording performances are so intense. Half the time my ears were bleeding from the fangirl screams. It’s like you’re at a sports match or something….maybe this is the sports culture of Korea :o

About the live show: I’ve never had any experience getting into the live show, and none of my friends have had either. For Music Bank, Music Core, and Inkigayo, there’s apparently some lottery system online for getting tickets. This most certainly requires a Korean social security number, which none of us have. There really must be another way to get tickets to the live show, but I just haven’t figure it out yet. I hear that Music Core is possible, but you’d have to get there really in the morning, and right now I don’t have that kind of patience. I will update later if I get any more information.

Now, finally let’s get to my experience!

So I got to the KBS Station via the National Assembly station on Line 9 (next to Yeouido). Unfortunately I don’t quite remember the exit I took right at this moment, but I will update with that information later. The KBS building is quite close to the subway, only about a 5-10 minute walk away. When you get to the KBS Station, make a right at the first intersection (after the traffic bars) and walk straight until you see a sign for KBS Hall (written in Korean), turn left, and walk up the stairs. It’s like an open space with a roof overhead, and the entrance to the recording studio is to the right. Find the fan club staff roaming around in that area.

This is what the place looked like when I got there (the entrance is actually on the left side of this picture):

And then once we started to line up, it looked like this:

And we waited a longer than I thought we would, actually. We were supposed to enter for Infinite at around 2:30 and I think we waited all the way until 4:10 pm…and I might’ve caught a cold, but it’s so worth it. INFINITE!!

And once we got in, I was so amazed. The studio was a lot smaller than I thought, but the set was beautiful! Really gorgeous. They were promoting Paradise, which I think is a great song. The choreography is really smooth, less intense than the Be Mine choreo, but great nonetheless. And the boys…well, they were a lot smaller than I thought they would be. They were sooo skinny, like malnutritioned kids from a third world country. Yes, I did just have to make that comparison. They looked exactly the same as they did on camera, so that was a happy surprise. Myungsoo looked really tired, so he was the only one who was not really waving back at us, but all the others were really enthusiastic at waving and smiling at us. It was a really good experience. I really didn’t want it to end, but sure enough, after 3 takes, the security guards were ushering us out the door. They were a bit rude about it too, but oh well.

Afterwards, we went to Handel & Gretel, which is the little cafe owned by Yesung (from Super Junior)’s parents. It’s right outside the main KBS gate – you cannot miss it. It was beyond adorable, but it was tiny as hell. We had to sit outside in the cold >___< Here are some pictures of the place.

And there’s the conclusion of my first attempt at going to Music Bank! I will actually be going back again this week, and seeing if I can get any more information. Hope this was helpful and I love reading comments, so please do comment below!


And this quote describes me perfectly…it’s inspiring me to get off my lazy bum and start working toward some of the goals I wanted to accomplish while here in Korea. Though it may seem unrelated to Korea, it is 100%, totally related. Read it and be amazed :)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

It’s beautiful, right? It’s by Marianne Williamson. Now go ahead and do that thing you’ve been wanting to do all your life ~


안녕하세요 여러분!

요즘은 바빠서 블로그에 글을 못 썼어요…너무 미안해요 :(

I’ve been so busy these days, so I haven’t had a chance to update this blog as frequently as I would like to. I know I said I would blog at least once a week, but it really has been crazy. Mid-terms are coming up next week, and I need to study this week.

But my 약속 or promise to you guys is that after mid-terms are over on Tuesday, I will be blogging a lot! I have a bunch of things to blog about…for one, I finally attended a music show! This past Friday, my friends and I went to the SBS Broadcasting Building and watched a pre-taping of Infinite for Music Bank! It was like a dream come true. Even though I didn’t get to see the boys super up close, I would say I was maybe 30 feet away from them at one point. The stage and the auditorium for Music Bank were awfully small, and also it’s kind of impossible to get into the live show without getting tickets off an online lottery. However, I met some people when I went who will be going back and also going to other shows (Music Core, Inkigayo, etc) so I will be going back. Next week’s Infinite’s goodbye stage so I will most definitely be attending! I will be making a full blog post about this soon, so stay tuned!

For now, here is a picture of the Paradise stage at Music Bank that my friend sneakily took. We aren’t supposed to take pictures inside the building >___< so strict!

Look! There’s Myungsoo/L :)


Ahhh so I have abandoned my blog for about two weeks now! So sad…it’s mostly been because I’ve been too busy and and then when I’m free, too tired/lazy to post. Let’s see, what have I done since I last blogged?

1) I started tutoring a KU student in English. The experience will come in handy when I want to come back to Korea and find a teaching job, I think :)

2) KO-YON JEON!! The annual sporting games between Korea University and Yonsei University are always a blast. Actually, I wasn’t expecting that much because I’m not a huge fan of watching sports, but Ko-Yon Jeon was so much fun. In fact, I have to deem it as the most fun I’ve had in Korea so far. Why? The cheering. At KU and at YU, each school has their own particular school cheering songs and cheers that go along with them. At the games (baseball, basketball, ice hockey, rugby, and soccer), you don’t sit to watch the game – you stand for hours at a time and cheer your heart out for your school. It’s really touching to see a huge stadium full of red shirts (KU’s official school color) moving in tandem to the cheers, and every time we score, it’s like a huge celebration. It’s school spirit like I’ve never seen before, and for once I was so excited to feel a part of this unique kind of patriotism. The cheering songs are SO addicting – I was listening to them on my iPod for a week after the games. This was the highlight of my experience so far. I wish I could come back to KU every fall just to attend Ko-Yon Jeon :)

3) I actually have done a fair amount of “partying,” as I would classify it. I had been pretty opposed to drinking and clubbing and the like, as evidenced in my previous blog entries, but the conclusion to the Ko-Yon Jeon was a night out in Sinchon, the area around Yonsei. And so everyone in our KUBA group went to a club in Sinchon. I told myself I’d make an exception since it was Ko-Yon Jeon (and we won!! It’s been years since KU won the games!!). And I actually had a decent time – enough to convince me to go clubbing again when my friend asked me to go a couple of days ago. Went to Club Cocoon in Hongdae – it was a really nice club and I’d definitely go again. My friend told me NB2 in Hongdae is the it place, so I plan on going sometime.

And this isn’t really an event, per se, but I need to categorize this. 4) Everywhere I go, I get Koreans asking me if I’m Korean. And when I tell them I’m not, I get this look of disbelief every time. “But you look so Korean!”, I hear. But I don’t actually think I look that Korean. It is pretty frustrating, because I feel like Koreans feel special kinship with other Koreans and a bit more resistance when you’re not Korean. I don’t think it’s surprising – I think every culture is like this, but Koreans are really proud of their country, so it was a bit intimidating at first. Now, though, I think it’s not so bad. Once you get to know them a bit more, they will realize you’re basically all the same. People are people.

5) More language things. I’m already involved in one language exchange program, but it doesn’t meet regularly. So I started going to a Korean tutoring (kind of) thing that’s on Saturdays. It’s held at a church in Gangnam, and the people are a bit older than I had expected, but they are very nice and really try to help you with your Korean (by talking slowly and in simple sentences and by explaining as much as they can). It was quite encouraging, so I think I will definitely continue with it. There is KU ISF Korean Class on Thursdays in the science campus, and it is a semester-long course, so I will be updating on how that goes. Ahh learning Korean is so difficult. My least favorite thing are the verb endings. There are different endings for every situation! I think there are hundreds of verb endings…that are impossible to completely comprehend. I’m starting to doubt if I can ever truly become fluent in Korean, but…I have to keep trying.

Once again, a very long entry, and not that exciting. Sorry guys! My brain is so fried these days. I’m just trying to keep updating, so that those who are interested can continue to follow me on my adventures. I realize this is my most incomprehensible and poorest written blog entry. Please excuse any grammar mistakes or just plainly stupid sentences, like this one.

I will update again when my brain is more in tact ^^ Annyong!