I can hardly believe it, you guys.
Gong Yoo, the man who occupies a very special place in my k-loving heart, held his first fan-meeting in 2 years. In TOKYO. And I WAS THERE.
I saw him IN THE FLESH, y’all.
It was a surreal, dream-like, exciting day, in so many senses of the word. I’m still reeling from the surreality of it all, as I type this.
I wish you guys could’ve been there with me, seriously. It’s too bad pesky little things like, y’know, geography, had to get in the way of us attending this fanmeet together.
But! Lookin’ on the bright side, here’s the next best thing: a blow-by-blow(-by-blow!) account of my big Gong Yoo adventure, in the heart of Tokyo.
HOW WAS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?
First of all, let me say that I’ve never, ever been to a fanmeet of any sort, and was fairly sure that I never would. Well, unless one of my big k-loves were to come to Singapore where I live. Then that might be do-able.
But I’m just not the sort of fan who would get on a plane to fly somewhere to see her favorite oppa.
And then it happened, out of the blue; I got to attend Gong Yoo’s first fan meet in two years. In Tokyo, no less.
Seriously, so very many things had to line up just so, for this to happen, that I hafta tell y’all ALL about that too.
First of all, Gong Yoo is famously rather reclusive, preferring to stay out of the limelight unless absolutely necessary. He is picky about his projects, hardly takes on CFs or magazine spreads, and even avoids red carpet events. Which only means that we hardly get to see him, at all.
He hasn’t had a fanmeet in two years, and the only reason that he had one now, is because his movie The Suspect is coming out in December. And of all places that he chose to have that fanmeet, he chose Tokyo.
And why am I even in Tokyo? It’s coz my sister just had a baby, and I’m here to help out. If she’d had her baby any sooner or later, I wouldn’t even be here.
In fact, I was originally due to leave Tokyo on 24 October, the first day of the fanmeet. So when I first heard of the fanmeet during my first 2 weeks in Tokyo, my thought was, “Aw. So near, yet so far. While GY’s on stage, I’ll be on a plane going back to Singapore.”
I’d mildly thought of extending my stay, but I also thought tickets were sold out, based on my very incompetent Googling in Japanese. (There was SO LITTLE information in English, I tell ya!)
And then, last weekend, just before the fanmeet, my sister and brother-in-law asked if I’d like to extend my stay, to help my mum with all the kitchen-ing and supermarket-ing.
I checked on all my other commitments, shuffled a couple of things around, and – ta da! – by Tuesday, it was confirmed that I was staying! I was going to be in Tokyo on both days of the fanmeet!
I decided to Google some more, and on Wednesday night – lo and behold! – I found a site still selling tickets for Day 2 of the fanmeet. Ahhhhh!!! But it was all in Japanese. Dang.
On Thursday morning, my (super kind! And super patient!!) brother-in-law spent hours with me on that site, trying to buy me a ticket for Friday’s fanmeet.
We even set me up with an account with that site, coz you had to be a member to purchase anything. BUT. The site rejected all 4 credit cards that we tried to use. ALL FOUR. Aaargh. I was practically jumping out of my skin. The prospect of the fanmeet felt so close, yet so far.
And then my (super smart!) brother-in-law figured out from the site that I’d probably be able to buy a ticket at a convenience store.
Apparently, in Japan, you can buy tickets to just about ANY event at a convenience store. YESSS!!! Because my Japanese (obviously) sucks, my (super indulgent!) brother-in-law went with me to the nearest 7-Eleven store and we got my ticket together.
I WAS GOING!!!! FAR. OUT.
The venue of the fanmeet, the Tokyo International Forum, isn’t that far away from where my sister & brother-in-law live. We’re even on the same train line, and it’s just 6 stops away. WOW. How super cool is that?!???
I mean, Tokyo is a huge city, so it could’ve easily been somewhere really far away. Heck, when my sister was in hospital after having the baby, it took 2 hours, 3 train rides and a whole lotta walking just to get there.
In such a huge city, the fact that the fanmeet was this close to me blew my mind. I felt like Gong Yoo was coming to me.
My (super generous!) brother-in-law even offered to take me to the venue, just to ensure that I didn’t get lost trying to get to my Big Day of Gong Yoo. It had to be way early, though, he said, coz he needed to be somewhere else by 3pm.
PERFECT. Coz the merchandise stations opened at 3pm, and what a bonus to be there early to grab my goodies!
By 2pm on Thursday, I was all set.
I managed the urge to leap out of my skin by tweeting and squeeing with all my friends in the blogosphere. All while keeping the ticket next to my laptop, as evidence that this wasn’t just another one of my elaborate k-dreams.
WHAT an unexpected, sudden, last-minute adventure!! Everything fell into place in SUCH a perfect way that I couldn’t have asked for more. And I didn’t even see it coming, to be honest. I’m moved, really, that such a big adventure came looking for me. ❤
The icing on the cake? The blog crossed 100,000 views just minutes before we left the house the next day. What a milestone. And what a way to celebrate. Mind. Blown.
THE BIG DAY
2pm. I leave the house with my (rather amused and very indulgent) brother-in-law, feeling super excited. I can hardly believe my big Tokyo adventure is actually starting.
It’s drizzling lightly and every other person on the road is holding an umbrella, except us. Who needs an umbrella when you’re this excited, right? I can’t stop fidgeting on the train.
2:25pm. We get off the train at Hibiya Station and start walking to the Tokyo International Forum. I take a few pictures and lots of mental notes for later, when I need to retrace my steps to go home.
2:35pm. We arrive at Tokyo International Forum. Ahhhh!!!
Brother-in-law shows me the amazing steel structure inside the main hall. We take a picture just coz.
I am excited. We are HERE. How surreal.
2:40pm. We find Hall A and brother-in-law leaves me to my afternoon of adventure.
It’s early, but I’m not the first! There are a few others hanging around but not a lot. There is a HUGE flower arrangement which is the object of many photo ops.
Eventually I find a queue outside and join it, assuming it to be the queue to enter at 5pm. Wrong. Turns out to be the queue to buy merchandise. Makes sense, though. Merchandise is advertised as limited in quantity, and this is the second and last day of the fanmeet.
If you want to be sure you get your own little piece of this GY event, better to come early when merchandise stations open.
Some fans show up with trolley cases. I wonder if they flew in for this? Or are they intending to buy huge stashes of merchandise? Or maybe they brought a whole lot of survival kit stuff. After all, it’s a long wait. Plus there’s a typhoon coming tonight.
3pm. Merchandise stations open, and everyone moves in. Everything is just incredibly orderly. I don’t understand much of anything anyone says, coz everything is in Japanese, and my very limited grasp of the Japanese language is not very helpful.
Following everyone else’s lead seems to be the best bet.
On a tangent, I start to seriously hope there’s more Korean and less Japanese ahead of me during the fanmeet, coz that means I will understand more. Relatively anyway.
Everything is expensive. 1,000 yen (approx 10.27 USD) for a glowstick, and 2,500 yen (approx 25.70 USD) for a desk calendar. Eep.
I decide to splurge and score 2 desk calendars and a special edition Monster magazine (2,800 yen) which is all in Japanese. I don’t understand a word of it. Lots of pix, tho. Plus, what’s a fangirl to do, since I’m already here? Might as well buy a couple of mementos, right?
More on these goodies later, when I open them up!
3:10pm. There’s nothing to do and nobody seems to be queuing. Everyone just stands around and takes photos with the giant flower arrangements.
3:45pm. I’m a little tired from standing around and wonder if I should be the rebel who sits on the floor. But this is Japan. The land of gentility and manners. I might horrify some folks, I suspect.
I put down all my stuff in an empty phone booth slot and lean on a wall instead.
Heh. Once I put down my stuff, so do 2 other ladies nearby. They snag the phone booth slot next to my stuff. Maybe if I sit down on the floor, so will they? Maybe all these people need is a leader?
It occurs to me that if this was in an English-speaking country, that I could’ve made friends with some of the other fans here by now. As it is, I’m just keepin’ to myself and listening to music and typing these thoughts on my iPad.
I’m thankful for the iPad to keep myself occupied. Many other fans who’ve gotten their merchandise and taken their photos with the giant flower arrangements are just standing next to the walls, just waiting.
No earphones, no phone in hand, no book, nuthin’. I’d be really bored if I were them.
4:30pm. Just half an hour to doors opening and getting into the auditorium. Eee!!
I should eat something. And use the washroom. That’s the upside of there not being a queue. I don’t need to keep my place in it. Washroom, here I come.
4:50pm. The floor lights come on. Ahhh!! Doors will open soon!!
I decide on a hunch to investigate the other end of the gigantic waiting hall and find a huge queue. Gah.
I ask a staffer what to do with my ticket and get ushered to a reception desk to exchange my voucher for a numbered seat. Argh.
Why didn’t I discover the monster queue earlier? Coz then I might’ve gotten a better seat, maybe?
Oh well. Shan’t waste time on regrets. Maybe it’ll still be a good seat, even though it’s on L3.
5:15pm. I find my seat and it’s pretty good – I’m almost in the center so I’ve got a good view even though the stage is further away than I prefer.
It’s really nice to be sitting down after standing for the last two and a half hours. There’s soft, soothing music being played over the sound system and my seat is nice and comfy. 35 more minutes before GY is due to come onstage. Wow.
5:30pm. A lady’s voice starts speaking in lilting sing-song tones into the mike. I have no clue what she says, but when she’s done, ads start playing on the screen. How odd. I feel like I’m in a movie theater watching ads and trailers before the movie comes on.
Ah. The ads are for mnet, which is the network that’s going to screen this fan meet sometime later this year.
The 2 ladies next to me have started chatting with each other. I kinda wish I could make a friend too. I haven’t noticed anyone else who doesn’t look Japanese. I could pass for a Japanese I suppose, so maybe there’s someone else here who isn’t local.
The audience is made up mostly of ladies, but I spot a few men here and there. I even see a family: a couple with a little boy. Aw. That’s sweet. They must all like GY. Or are they all here to support the mom’s love for GY? Either way, it’s sweet.
I hope little boy doesn’t cry or anything during my time with GY.
5:45pm. The lady’s lilting voice comes on again and she talks for quite a while. I think it’s a bunch of announcements.
More ads. I notice a lot of the ads feature Korean celebs. I spot Super Junior, Sulli, and Song Seung Hun on the screen. It feels oddly familiar yet unfamiliar, seeing Korean celebs that I recognize, yet hearing all the voice-overs in rapid-fire Japanese.
This would be even cooler if this was in Korea. At least I understand more Korean than Japanese.
5:50pm. The ads stop and the soothing instrumentals come on again. The atmosphere is getting increasingly electric. I can feel the excitement in the air. There is the sound of nervous chatter in the air, as we all count down the minutes.
7 more minutes to 6pm. My heart is beating faster, even though I look as cool as can be, typing away on my iPad. Is it my imagination or am I feeling a touch dizzy??
6pm. Nothing’s happening. Where is my Gong Yoo??
6:04pm. The music changes and a lady’s voice comes on and says something. I only know she says Gong Yoo’s name several times. Does this mean it’s starting soon?!? I feel nervous from the anticipation.
6:07pm. We’re back to soothing music. Wha..?
6:09pm. They down the lights. Eeeeee!!! IT’S STARTING!!!
We start with a video clip, which is basically a montage of various glimpses of Gong Yoo cute, and the audience murmurs oohs and awws at Gong Yoo The Adorable.
We see Gong Yoo reading, Gong Yoo cooking, Gong Yoo lazing and laughing, Gong Yoo snuggling up in bed with a drink.
Everyone drinks it up like parched desert travelers finding an oasis with fresh water.
I snap as many photos as I can, and this is the point when I realize that my photos are going to suck. I’m too far away, my camera’s not powerful enough, the screen’s not big enough.
Here’s a smattering of the better pix I got off the video presentation.
After the video clip, the lights snap audibly and dramatically, and suddenly, we see his silhouette. Eeeeee!!!! It’s him! It’s him!!
Even in that split second, it’s hard to miss his build, and his distinctive posture and the way that he carries himself.
The audience screams and light sticks wave madly in welcome. I gape with hearts in my eyes.
Amid the frenzy, Gong Yoo strides forward, and we see him, finally.
He’s wearing a sharp black suit and tie, his hair now grown-out a bit after filming Suspect, and neatly coiffed back. So handsome ❤ The sharp suit is one of my favorite looks on him. Aw. How did he know?
Gong Yoo greets the audience in Korean and thanks everyone for coming, saying that it’s wonderful to see everyone again. I’m a little surprised that he doesn’t say hello in Japanese, since that’s what most celebs would do.
But then again, this is Gong Yoo. He doesn’t play by the rules unless he wants to, and it always totally works.
As he greets us, he bows, and I feel it’s as much out of respect as it is out of appreciation. Aw.
The host for the evening and Gong Yoo’s translator join him onstage, and as the host does her spiel in Japanese, Gong Yoo smiles his famous cheeky smile. I practically implode from the cute.
The host excitedly tells everyone to get their cameras ready, and the lights come on, for an official photo-taking session. Gong Yoo obliges by standing and waving, while the entire hall explodes with camera flashes and excited squeals.
He then moves to the extreme right of the stage which extends partway down the side of the first block of seats, and climbs on a railing, so that the fans on that side get a better shot of him.
And then he repeats it for the other side of the hall, to more screams, which erupt as much out of appreciation as from the excitement of having him nearby.
My photos of that moment suck big time, but here are some nice pix that I managed to gather:
Through the entire photo session, Gong Yoo is obliging and charming, managing to look at ease and confident in the limelight, yet at the same time, kinda embarrassed to be in that limelight. How does he do that? It’s completely adorable. And swoony.
At the end, Gong Yoo asks for a group photo, much like the one at the top of this post, and we all smile for the camera.
The lights dim again, and the host says something about Gong Yoo mixing a cocktail. I’m like, wha..? But, why?
There’s a makeshift bar to the right of the stage, and Gong Yoo proceeds to pour stuff into a shaker, little jug by little jug. He adds ice, and then starts shaking it up.
He goofs around a little, bending his knees a little and bopping up and down in slo-mo accompaniment to the drink being mixed. Somewhere around here (I think), he teases the audience, “Today I feel like giving someone a kiss.”
Everyone squeeeals in response, which, of course. It’s Gong Yoo, offering a kiss. Eeee!!
When the drink’s mixed, he can’t open the shaker (ha), and brings it to the bartender standing by, saying his first Japanese words, “すみません” (sumima-sen, meaning, “excuse me” or “sorry”) and bows apologetically. Haha!
The bartender obliges and the shaker opened, Gong Yoo pours the blue mocktail into 6 martini glasses.
As he pours, Gong Yoo remarks that the drink is blue, just like the light sticks that the audience is waving. The response is muted, and Gong Yoo languidly grumbles that yesterday’s crowd was much more excited when he poured the drink, all “Ahhh!!”
Today’s audience then quickly backpedals and shouts out an “Ahhhh!!” – to which Gong Yoo answers, “It’s too late.” The audience keeps going with the squeals, and Gong Yoo mock-sulks, “It’s too late, I said.” It’s off-the-cuff, typical Gong Yoo humor, and I love it.
Next up, picking audience members to come onstage to share a toast with Gong Yoo, with the very mocktails that he’s mixed. Ohh.
Gong Yoo sips on his glass and declares that it’s delicious. He sounds mildly impressed, but it’s obvious that he’s just teasing.
The Japanese host then brings out a big box, and inside are the phone numbers of the audience members.
Gong Yoo whips out a phone, and he proceeds to draw numbers from the box, calling audience members on the spot, saying in Japanese, “Hello, this is Gong Yoo. Congratulations.”
As he calls each number, screams erupt from various sections of the audience as people’s phones go off. It’s exciting stuff, and everyone’s gripping onto their phones for dear life, hoping against hope that their phones will ring next.
Between calls, Gong Yoo keeps dabbing his face with a towel coz he’s sweating from the heat of the spotlights. He doesn’t miss a beat, though, and even banters in Japanese on several on the calls, “Hurry, hurry!” Hee.
Five ladies get to go onstage to clink glasses with Gong Yoo, and he even teases one of them, an older lady, that she looks like she can really hold her liquor.
She denies it, all flustered, and Gong Yoo sounds surprised as he teases, “No? But I thought you would be able to. Are you sure you can’t?”
Gah. So spontaneously charming. Even while looking uncomfortably hot under the spotlights, and even while still looking like he’s here in the spotlight only coz he kinda has to be.
We then move to the other side of the stage, where a makeshift dealer’s table is set up. The Japanese host explains what’s going to happen next and Gong Yoo gets behind the table and starts shuffling cards.
Basically, it’s an elimination round. 2 of the 5 ladies will be eliminated, and the remaining 3 get a mystery prize.
The game? A blind draw from the cards that Gong Yoo spreads out. If his card is better, he wins and the lady is eliminated. If his card is worse, she wins and gets to stay. Several rounds go by and it’s either a draw or he loses. He mutters, “This is going to be difficult.” Heh.
When one of the ladies finally loses, she protests and asks for a do-over. The audience is on her side, but Gong Yoo straightens up and says with a mock-serious face, mildly protesting, “I believe in fair play. It’s my motto in life.”
He stands his ground and apologizes to the lady. He shakes her hand with a bow. And then, when the lady walks the wrong way and goes back to the center of the stage and has to be ushered off the stage, Gong Yoo literally bends over laughing, saying, “Aw, now I feel bad.”
Giggle. Adorable, while standing his ground. That’s skillz.
After the elimination round, 3 ladies are left, and new cards are put on the table. These are larger, and all have different mystery prizes printed on them.
The cards are placed face down on the dealing table, and Gong Yoo mixes them up good and proper.
The first lady picks, and GY gets to see the prize first. He doubles over in laughter and mock chagrin, and says, “I can’t believe this. I said I felt like giving a kiss..” And the audience screeeams.
Gong Yoo mock-reluctantly goes to the center of the stage and gets down on one knee. Omo!
Then he grins before planting a quick peck on the lady’s hand.
Afterwards, he’s all polite and professional, shaking her hand with a bow, saying, “ありがとございます” (“arigatou gozaimasu” meaning “thank you” in Japanese).
The second lady makes her pick, and Gong Yoo cautiously uncovers the card to peep at it, only to deflate, “What’s the use, I can’t read it anyway.” Hahaha.
It turns out to be hug. A HUG!
Again, Gong Yoo looks and sounds rather embarrassed by this, saying stuff like, “Really?”
But then, he switches to a gung-ho, “Come here!” and he puts his arms around her, lifts her off the ground, and then swings her around, before putting her down. Omomo!!
The audience screaaaams, and I gape. Wow. He never ceases to surprise now, does he?
Afterwards, the lady’s legs are all soft and she can’t walk. I kid you not.
When the translator tells Gong Yoo what she said about not being able to walk, he pauses just a moment, then gestures to the side of the stage, “Have a seat then.” Pffft. Cute.
The third lady makes her pick, and again, Gong Yoo peeks at the card, but can’t read it. Heh.
She gets a photo with him, and the photographer is called onto the stage. Before the photo is taken, Gong Yoo asks for permission from her, to excuse himself off-stage to wipe off his perspiration. Aw. How polite.
I’m tickled that he’s been sweating all this time, that he’s such a sweat-er, though I feel a little bad for being amused. It must not be fun to be sweating buckets while wearing a suit under the stage lights.
Gong Yoo is considerate and asks what background she’d like for the photo. Then as they pose, we see Gong Yoo display his famous manner legs:
He asks for a second photo to be taken, and then after shaking her hand and thanking her, he adds, “If the photos don’t turn out well… there’s nothing that we can do.” Ha! Cheeky fella.
More audience participation type games.
The entire audience is divided into sections named A through J, and GY works the crowd a bit, asking various sections to identify themselves.
He misses several sections, and forgets what section J is called, simply pointing to them with a guttural “yeeargh!!” Hahaha.
There’s a large wheel on the stage labeled with the various alphabets, and Gong Yoo spins the wheel to identify the section of the audience that will progress to the next round.
Section B gets to play, and everybody rises to their feet and plays “kai-bai-bo” with him. It’s an honor system; if you lose the round, you sit down. It works coz this is Japan.
The last 4 people standing get to go onstage to pick a prize each.
The available prizes have been personally picked by Gong Yoo: a red muffler, a black leather cap, a red T-shirt from his favorite brand, an autographed DVD set, and a black backpack. All stuff that he genuinely likes and enjoys.
Everything gets picked but the T-shirt, and Gong Yoo appears to feel a little sorry for the T-shirt, picking it up to sniff at it and wipe his brow a little.
He then fake-throws it to the audience, and everyone screams. Cheeky tease.
Gong Yoo then announces a dance item, and before everyone gets too excited, he clarifies that he’s not the one dancing, and that he needs to do a wardrobe change in the meantime, and thanks us for waiting.
The dancers come on, and Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal comes on. It feels a little odd, but this song stuck in my head afterwards and I woke up with it still swimming in my head. Sneaky stuff.
After the dance item, we get another video clip, this time of various stills from Gong Yoo’s last drama Big.
As the lights fade in, Gong Yoo comes back onstage, this time wearing a casual-smart ensemble of crisp white shirt (Eeee!! I LOVE him in a crisp white shirt!), a black pullover sort of vest thing, black pants, and loafers without socks.
Music begins to play, and it’s Because It’s You, the song that he sang on the Big OST.
Here it is, for your listening pleasure:
The next segment is a pretty extended chat session, and Gong Yoo sits down with our Japanese host and his translator.
The Japanese host sounds perky and enthusiastic throughout, and Gong Yoo maintains his easy-going, laid-back vibe. He sounds genuinely sincere, yet doesn’t come across as try-hard.
He’s languid and thoughtful, and funny and witty, and his voice ebbs and flows easily and gently. He sounds relaxed and natural all the way through.
At one point, they ask him about good exercise for young boys, and Gong Yoo talks about swimming, saying that it really works to strengthen and build up the chest and shoulders.
The camera immediately pans to Gong Yoo’s shoulders and the host asks, “Like yours?” and Gong Yoo pfffts in laughter, waving it off. “That’s not what I meant.. I didn’t mean myself specifically..” HAHAHA.
Other things that Gong Yoo talks about include basketball (including a bit where he actually stands up and makes a demonstration of how to do a 3-point shot, hee), and how it’d be nice to take a cruise on a large ship like the Titanic, too bad that it’s sunk.
All this while, I marvel at the soothing tones of his voice. It’s lovely on the ears, really.
*I guess here’s as good a place as any to make a disclaimer: all the translations that I’ve provided are rough ones, mostly. My Korean and Japanese aren’t good enough to do exact translations, and I didn’t understand everything fully either.
We also get treated to glimpses of The Suspect in a later part of the chat, and we did get a peek at some Gong Yoo shirtless in the process. Eeee!! His physique is still as.. eye-popping as ever, just so you know. 😉
Gong Yoo explains that it’s not a song from any of his dramas or movies, but that it’s a song that he really likes, and he hopes that we’ll like it too.
The performance starts out with a speaking portion, and he says something like,
“If you listen to the words I’m about to say now.. You’ll know there’s no one else but you.. If right now I say everything that I want to say in this moment, in front of you, […??]. Even so, we, in this life, should meet once.”
Again, my translation is very, very rough. If you have a better translation, please do share!
He’s no professional singer, but Gong Yoo sings the song with passion and groove and oomph. The song’s got a sexy, bluesy sort of groove, very in line with his personal taste in music.
For his encore, Gong Yoo sings Second First Love, from the soundtrack of his movie Finding Mr. Destiny.
It’s a chirpy happy song, and he even gets a line of back-up dancers. A few times during the performance, Gong Yoo attempts a few dance steps, to the delight of the audience. He doesn’t do more than a few steps, though, and sticks to the singing.
Here’s most of that performance:
After the encore, Gong Yoo thanks everyone and bids us all goodnight and good-bye, and amid cheers and applause, leaves the stage. But the audience won’t let go so easy, and claps rhythmically for him to come back. And it goes on, and on, and on..
And finally, he does come back onstage!! Eeeeee!!! The audience goes wild, and I stand agape, again. I totally wasn’t expecting this.
And apparently, neither was he.
He exasperatedly implores the audience in Korean, “Let’s go home” but the audience won’t budge. He goes, “I’m not even a singer, what is this??” to giggles from the floor.
After asking after the various countries that the fans are from (I think he’s trying to come up with some encore thing on the fly) he tries another tack, “What about your kids’ dinners when you get home? And what about your husbands?”
More giggles from the floor. Choruses of “We don’t have any” come back. HAHAHA.
Gong Yoo tells everyone that he really doesn’t have any more songs prepared, and asks if it’s ok to sing one of the songs a second time, and everyone erupts in cheers. As the cheers die down, GY goes, “Ay, really.. If I’d known I could’ve prepared something” Hee.
Everyone starts yelling stuff at him in waves, and he cheekily reprimands, “I can hear it after you say it just one time.”
The music plays and he sings Second First Love one more time, to the delight of everyone. Afterwards, he ends with “Arigatou gozaimasu.. Annyeong… Kamsahamnida..” And then shouts out, “Saranghanda!!” Eeeee!!!
Afterwards, it really is the end, and we all start to gather our things together and shuffle off in a dazed cloud of fangirl happiness.
The vibe in the crowd is distinctly much more excited and electric than when we first got into the venue, and for good reason.
We got to see Gong Yoo!! Ahhhhh!!
It’s drizzling as I leave the Tokyo International Forum, and I promptly get lost trying to get back to the train station.
I walk around Ginza for a bit, asking random people for directions in broken Japanese. “Excuse me.. How do I get to the Hibiya train?” Ha. Not very elegant, but it got the job done.
Never mind that I was kinda lost, or that it was raining, or that a typhoon was on its way in. My brain couldn’t stop turning over the entire evening.
Sure, I didn’t get to see Gong Yoo up close, and yes, my seat was pretty far away from the stage. But it was the experiencing of his personality that made it feel so satisfying.
Through the entire event, Gong Yoo managed to keep an easy-going, laid-back sort of cool. He confidently fielded questions and teased the audience, using lots of off-the-cuff, spontaneous humor, and even let loose a few big laughs here and there.
Yet, the whole time, I also got the sense that he felt rather embarrassed at the limelight and adoration, and that he felt genuinely, affectionately exasperated at the stubborn insistence of the audience for more.
Despite getting the feeling that doing the fanmeet isn’t quite his idea of his favorite thing to do, I feel that he managed to convey the sense that he sincerely appreciates the love and adoration, and that he was genuinely being himself during the event.
I love that his personality feels so natural and genuine. The easy-going wit and laid-back candid sincerity is a big part of the reason I became smitten with him to begin with, and going to the fanmeet reminded me all over again why I love Gong Yoo. ❤
Annyeong, Gong Yoo-sshi. See you soon, k?
Heh. Since Gong Yoo had a final encore, I thought we should have one too.
Here’s a peek at the goodies that I scored at the fanmeet.
A sample of some of the lovely pix in the Monster magazine:
Lovely, lovely pix!! I’m SO glad they had this available! It’s not officially one of the fanmeet merchandise items, so I was super stoked to see a full magazine of gorgeous GY pix.
I mean, we know how rare those are.
Here’s a peek at the desk calendar that I got:
It’s a frame with loose sheets on both sides, so you can pick the month and your favorite pic of GY that month to gaze at you from your table.
When the year runs out, you can even make and print your own calendar sheets to keep using it. Or, turn the whole thing into a double-sided photo-frame!
Here’s a peek at the photos inside:
I honestly think this is by far the coolest among the merchandise available at the fanmeet.
To commemorate this huge adventure AND the momentous crossing of the 100,000 views mark of the blog on the same day (this fact STILL gives me chills), I’m giving away one of these awesome desk calendars!! Eeeee!! 😀
It’s easy! To join the giveaway, share with us in the comments how you fell in love with Gong Yoo. This giveaway is open to subscribers of the blog, so if you’re not yet a subscriber, you can find the subscribe button on the handy side-bar to your right. 😉
The comments on this post won’t ever close, so we can continue to spazz and squee indefinitely. But the giveaway itself closes on 12 November 2013, which is the day I arrive back in Singapore, and, it’s also the 11-month anniversary of the blog!
Ahh! So many milestones!! Happy, happy things, all.
I’ll randomly pick a winner and announce it the same week. And yes, I will ship internationally.
Last but not least – thanks for joining me on my big Gong Yoo adventure in the heart of Tokyo.. I hope you had a good time ❤
Edit: So I’ve picked a winner for the giveaway AND put together a bunch of Gong Yoo goodies for everyone. Check it out here!
@KFG – I thought I’d explored all of the Gong Yoo corners of your web site but here I am because of your post about your new fanboy love Jun ho. BTW there seems to be missing links in this post. Places where you say “here it is:” but no links.
I’m reading this as Nov 12 ended, so happy anniversary! I watched My Dear Youth earlier today but I discovered Coffee Prince and Gong Yoo through your blog last year and only got the courage now to comment. Thank you for this fun vicarious experience!
OMG….this blew my mind…i found Gong Yoo pretty recently (not even a month)…and i am already smitten by him. Falling for the roles/characters he played on screen is one thing, but getting to read about him off screen, his personality, his funny jokes, the way he treats people around, its totally different. This kind of fan meets are amazing and i wish some day i get to go to one as well..Just a simple wish like many others who make it.
Yes, his personality is something to experience! 😀 I hope your wish to attend a fan meet like this comes true one day! <3
Thank you so much for sharing your Gong Yoo fanmeet experience with us! I love reading your blogs because I truly felt like I was with you during the fanmeet! My heart even fluttered at several aww moments of the fanmeet just as you described!
I am very late, several years late but I am so happy that I came across it. Gong Yoo is my #1 Oppa just like you. He is just very charming and such a talented actor. I first learned of him from Goblin which I’ve seen twice and each time, I just become more of awe of him. I also loved his performance in Train to Busan and A Man and A Woman. I can’t wait for his new film to come out soon and be available for me to watch from California ❤️❤️❤️
Hi there Sheryll! It’s great to meet you! Thanks for sharing in my adventure in Tokyo. Gong Yoo really is very special indeed. <3 If you haven't watched Coffee Prince yet, I highly recommend it! 😍
Thank you so much for this. I just recently discovered kdramas and Gong Yoo is definitely my favorite. Thanks to your post here I felt like I was at the fanmeet. I wonder if he will ever come to the US? His fan base is still growing world wide.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, lynne! 😀 Gong Yoo is absolutely worthy to be your favorite, he’s very special indeed. <3 His fan base has definitely been growing, especially with his last few films, and the global success of Goblin. So maybe he might hold a fanmeet in your vicinity someday soon? 😀
OMG! love this post, love the way you write
Of coz love GY too
Keep up your good work
I ran out of GY goodles to watch too , may re watch Goblin lol
Aw, thank you, Chocoju! I’m so glad you enjoyed coming on this virtual adventure with me! 😀 Also, yay for rewatches – I honestly don’t know what we fangirls would do without them, since they help so much in tiding us over until we get new shows to fangirl over! 😆
I happened to surf the net and kinda watched the video for this fan meet!
Zero translation but never mind, I gotta watch GY. And then all of a sudden, it reminded me of your sharing experience.
I am contemplating whether to go to the Fan meet in HK
Never follow any star around before lol
That’s so cool, that you managed to watch the video online, Chocoju! I had zero translation too, when I attended, so maybe you had a better view than I did, since my seat was so far away from the stage, lol.
I generally don’t follow stars around either, and only managed to attend this fan meet because I happened to be in Tokyo at the time. So did you decide to follow GY to HK in the end? 😉
Hey kfangurl 🙂
Actually what prompted to go to HK FM was your article here. YEs I went lol I had a great time even I knew no one wakakak
As I dono if he will do anymore FM in HK, that was his first ever FM here. Lucky I understood but he was too far away tho:(
I even open a new IG account just for him , I know silly me
It’s 2017 now, but I’m reading this blog. Thank you for sharing this fantastic experience that every GY fan girl is dreaming about.
Glad you enjoyed coming on this virtual journey with me, Ana Maria!! ❤
Hello I am a korean fan in YOO&I official Fanclub. I wonder if I can get those pictures of The Gongyoo Premiun Night. The only way I cam get high quality of pictures of the fan meeting in Japan is this. 😂 Please Contact me if it’s possible. Thanks.
Hi Rennie, all the pictures I included in the post are at their full size, so if you like any of the pictures, feel free to download them. Of course, if you are sharing them on any platform, please include appropriate credits (as you can see, I don’t own all the photos in the post, and I have credited the owners as well). I hope that helps! 😊
Hi woaaa thank you very much for your precious sharing <3 I have enjoyed reading every bit!!!
By the way, I found that there is one audio that doesnot work now, Gong Yoo: Second Song Performance, would you please kindly let me know what his own favorite song is? I may find and listen to it on youtube ^^
Hi there Wonderer! Glad you enjoyed sharing my big Gong Yoo adventure!! 😄 I just tested the audio for the song you mentioned, and it’s working now! Sometimes the embedding is a little buggy, perhaps that’s why it didn’t work when you tried playing it. Perhaps try again now? 😊
Yesssss It works now thank you very much for your kind response XD
Glad that worked out, Wonderer! 🙂
Reblogged this on thienanh762.
Wow! I enjoy this kfangurl. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I feel like I am the one he’s hugging :). My smile reached my ear. I almost fall from sitting. I hope and pray that one day me too can meet him 🙂 God bless you.
I’m so glad you enjoyed sharing my adventure with me, Marnie! It was a very special day indeed, and I hope you’ll get to attend your own GY fanmeet sometime too! 😘
Hungry for news on Gong Yoo as I’m a brand new fan. I love his personality in Coffee Prince and curious to know what he’s like in person. I love your articles! I’m bookmarking your site as it’s so easy and funny to read. Am sure will be back for more 🙂
Hey there Leah, welcome to the blog! And to GY fandom in general as well 🙂 I LOVE him in Coffee Prince, he’s wonderful in it, and I have rewatched that show multiple times because of it. In person.. my impression is that he’s charming, but also a person with a lot of deep thoughts. Which is part of the reason he’s so picky about his projects. He’s been doing mostly movies, but I’m hoping that he will find a drama scenario that moves him enough to bring him back to dramaland!
I do plan to write a review for Coffee Prince, so you should see that on the blog at some point. It’ll probably take me a while tho – I’m rewatching the show to write the review. Hope you’ll enjoy the review when I do manage to post it! 🙂
He is very tall….i’m actually didn’t want to watch the drama big…airing at kbs recently..but then…ep.3 or 4 when gong yoo play as kkj..wearing suitcase…waahhhh…very handsome owh..
He IS very tall, ejeje!! He’s 1.82m, which is just under 6ft! And he’s so~ swoony and handsome, seriously. Big’s a mess of a drama, but worth it just to see the Gong Yoo awesome. He’s wonderful in there, so keep watching for him! ^^
What kind of person he is like except for acting line
What kind of person is GY? Well.. He’s witty, and charming, and spontaneous. I loved experiencing his personality in person, even though I was seated far away! 🙂
Another reason why we love GY..😃
Thanks ling! 😀 nomnomnom.. He is delicious!! ^.~
A video of that wonderful news shared by Muffin. Gong Yoo Appointed as UNICEF’s Child Rights Representative.
Thanks for this, kaiaraia!! The only bit I can quite confidently translate is the very last thing the host says in voiceover, that GY is not only handsome on the outside, but has a handsome heart as well. Aw. ❤
yep!…that is true kfangirl….the recent link shared by balingling mentioned the most important characteristic of GY….”well-mannered”…like what we always said a man with a beautiful mind!…and you’re recent term HANDSOME HEART!…i like that!..<3
Hee. I was just trying to translate the voice-over in the video as accurately as possible, and that’s the literal translation from Korean: handsome heart ^^v
What a befitting role and responsibility for GY.
R E S P E C T !
SO right for him! I myself have considered him a human rights advocate since Dogani.
This is exactly why I love GY … more!
Despite his handsome face, he’s far from vain. Despite his sexy physique, his heart is still fat, as fat as it can be + he loves children. That alone makes me root for him 100x. Thanks for sharing the news ChubbyDimpledMuffin. =D
He does love children. Proof:
Uh-oh! Posting the pix did not work. Anyways, here’s a link.
aaaaw 귀여운 ❦ my heart is melting!
Aw. This appointment really is PERFECT for him!! 😀 As I read the article, I couldn’t help but feel super proud of him, coz he’s been actively involved in the cause ever since Dogani, even before being appointed a special representative. You just know that this cause resonates with him at a very deep level. Sweet, sincere, awesome man ❤
Also, I’m re-posting the lovely pic kaiaraia shared, for easy viewing by everyone! 🙂
Okay, Gong Yoo with a baby is totally, totally precious. Can he play a father in his next drama, please? It can be a melodrama even, about a father who fights to keep his child, anything, as long as he can be a daddy.
You know I actually had this slapstick/action drama idea in mind where he plays a down on his luck cabbie who, along with a pretty, unsuspecting passenger, find the sweetest baby girl left in his back seat. After a big argument in which he accuses HER of trying to ditch the poor baby, a whirlwind of excitement and hilarity ensues as they try to find her parents or guardian, and dodge the mobsters and opportunists after them. (Mind you, the baby is really a billion dollar heiress!) Of course they grow attached to the baby after hiding out together and fall deeply in love. Can you picture it?
Asian babies are simply the cutest. And I also think mixed Asian children grow up to be annoyingly beautiful adults. LOL.
Oh, and my drama leading lady pick would be Han Chae Ah. I think she’s a beautiful, terrific actress with a great flair for comedy.
OMGGG I WOULD WATCH THAT DRAMA!!! 😀 You have a real knack for coming up with these ideas, Lady G!! Maybe you should become a scriptwriter for kdramas! Of course, there’s the tiny issue of being fluent in Korean, but hey, all for a worthy cause, eh? You’d be doing the entire dramaverse a HUGE favor by bringing us awesome stories, played by awesome actors! 😀
I’ve only seen Han Chae Ah in Gaksital, and she was excellent in it. I can totally imagine her doing comic while retaining her character’s emotional core. And GY is awesome all-around of course. I bet it would be a really fun, touching show, with just enough action and romance to make it exciting and heady, and just enough emotional heft to really move an audience and make us fall head over heels in love. GAH. Now I REALLY wanna watch that drama!!! ;D
Also. I hear you on the mixed Asian kids.. My new nephew is mixed, thanks to my Aussie bro-in-law and my sister’s Chinese genes. Even as a baby he’s a handsome boy. I think he’s going to be one of those annoying beautiful adults you speak of! XD
Well, hey, I can work with a Korean writer who can make sure we add all the right Korean elements, cliches, stereotypes, mannerisms and locales. They will edit my script like, : scratch this, too American. What? That guy would never do that, he’s not Spanish!, Don’t make them say that, say this instead…etc. etc. hahaha. 😀
Oh there would be plenty of emotions throughout. Those squee, they are falling in love moments. Those precious and baby makes three moments, GY bonding with the baby. Getting food dumped on his head, changing diapers. haha.
We must have a rooftop scene where someone is getting pushed off and lands on the giant blowup thingamajig from the cops. LOL. We need a near drowning rescue ala ‘Big’, but no comas or amnesia, some Martial Arts action (but done in almost a comical way) I want my favorite K-drama middle traffic, near trip in the street, guy catches girl dip scene, chase scenes, kidnapping…
and lots of food, because I want my leading lady to know how to cook and she feels bad that he’s on his own eating Ramen every night. 😀 Perhaps she is making plans to run her own bistro.
And just to make it more fun, even though he’s a bit of a poor Cabbie we can make him a musician, (perhaps better at writing songs than singing them, but good nonetheless!) who plays sets at night as a 2nd job. He can sing to our leading lady with a beautiful theme song he wrote and finished after bursts of inspiration getting to know her. He’s very intelligent, and would like to someday have his own music production company. (Since GY loves music!) All he needs is the start-up funds…which would definitely come with the reward when the next to last heart wrenching episode where the baby must be returned to her rightful family.
Then in the last episode, they are together/married running a bistro/bar/slash entertainment place that becomes a hit in Seoul, and she breaks the wonderful news that’s she going to have her own baby.
(Throughout the drama he saw what a great mother she’d be, even though at first she seemed like a uber career woman with no time or consideration for kids. Perhaps because her mother raised her that way and she vowed not to be like her. She’s starved for affection. I also want her to be somewhat engaged to a guy who is rich and wants to plan her life out for her. Our 2nd lead guy. In the end it could turn out he’s shady.
We can have a 2nd lead girl who works at the club GY performs and loves him from afar. But then maybe one of the guards really loves her. (so she’s not left dumped at the end!) I don’t want to make the 2nd leads too lovable because I hate having 2nd lead syndrome. hahaha.
Oh so much fun to come up with this stuff! So many ideas!
My word, Lady G! Your ideas for this show are so vivid that I can see it all in my mind’s eye already! 😀
The comedic bent which will be peppered with emotional heft, and enough romance to float a fangirl’s boat. And a kiss, filled with the same wonder and tenderness as we got in E12 of Big. And of course we’d have GY singing in various scenes, while playing the piano, or groovin’ with a jazz band to back him up. Omomo!! The potential epic scale of awesome!! *spazzes*
I want my drama kisses to be adult, there will be no “surprise eyes”, ‘planking’ standing up, or disgusted eyes squeezed shut, lips pressed tight as a mail slot. The lead actress will have to give as good as she gets. My idea for a first kiss is while he is giving the baby a bath outside on the rooftop. GY is mugging at the baby and making her laugh (thinking of all those super silly faces he made in Big.) She’s watching them with that knot in her stomach that she wishes she can have a normal family life just like this. She calls out Breakfast is ready and she comes over and kneels down to help finish cleaning her. Then it’s his turn to watch her with that same knot. She slips a little in the soap on the ground and falls against him. GY takes the chance after a beautiful ‘staring’ scene and he leans over and kisses her. Cue love theme, but I don’t want any camera tricks, this is a real kiss and she is not pulling away. Her hands do not hang limp at her sides, they grip him while he holds her face. Suddenly a huge splash of water spills over them and the baby is laughing. End of kiss. haha.
And absolutely there will be GY singing and grooving! Squeee!
Omo. Just reading your description of that kiss scene has a goofy grin plastered on my face!! Can we have the end-of-kiss splashing of water happen way later than earlier?? I like them kisses long and protracted.. so that GY can expound on the emotion and wonder of the moment.. Thud. Just imagining it is flat-out awesome.
Oh yes, and while he’s singing & groovin’ (swoon!), our heroine can’t help but appreciate his sexy appeal. Her eyes realize it first, and then her heart. Her brain takes a more roundabout route, which, cue funny scenes of confusion and perplexity XD Like, why am I staring? Why does the memory of him grooving on that stage keep haunting me? Why did I have a sexy dream about him? Tee hee!! I can just imagine the dream sequences!! XD
WE NEED TO MAKE THIS DRAMA HAPPEN!!!
You’re right, that baby bath kiss should be the ‘seal the deal’ kiss. It will be their last day with the baby, because they decided to ‘turn her in’ or however it’s going to happen. First kisses are usually funny and maybe clumsy and unexpected. 😀 Dream sequences in drama are often very funny. One of them should be in a smoky nightclub where she gets serenaded. and she puckers up, someone starts playing the sexy saxophone then suddenly it starts sounding like a crying baby! I can see her falling off her chair as he comes closer and closer, cuz in reality she fell off the bed, the baby is crying and he’s coming closer and closer holding her because her diaper needs major changing. (At this point he’s not the expert yet. haha!)
HAHAHA!!! Yes, that dream sequence would be hysterical!! XD We could also have another dream where our lovebirds go on a romantic date, with wine, flowers, dancing, and they even share a sexy, sweet kiss.. and then she wakes up only to find herself making out with her pillow..! XD Pffft. So much potential for mixing the romance with the comedy, seriously! XD
And yes, the baby bath kiss should be the “seal the deal” kiss.. but it won’t be our last.. We get lots of kisses afterwards, as they build their new life together. I’d like to see them find romance in the everyday things, like stealing a hot kiss in the kitchen while managing their bistro, for example. Swoon!
I love it! Lots of real Saranghe kisses! Yes a sweltering kiss in the Bistro kitchen as she’s busy cooking and balancing two plates for their super busy opening night. He grabs her face and plants one on her. 😉
Oh yes! And she takes the time to kiss him right back. And there is some hot ‘n heavy breathing to go with, until they break the moment to go back to bistro business! Omo. The hawt. I can totally see it ;D
Aww, I’m sure your nephew is beautiful! I only say that as a joke because I read one of the funniest books ever called ‘Stuff White people like’ and that’s one of the things, or two, ‘Asian fusions.’ and ‘Asian women’. haha.
Hahaha! That looks like a pretty hilarious book! And yeah. The nephew IS a handsome lad, even at only a month old. The boy was born with dark hair and deep steel-blue eyes. The color of his eyes have already started evolving, but that steel-blue was completely arresting, I tell ya! I think it’s safe to say he’ll be a bit of a noona-slayer 😉
haha, noona-slayer! He sounds like a beautiful baby. I felt the same about my 1st nephew when I first saw him in the hospital with that full head of black hair and dimples already and very tan. His eyes were black as almond marbles. They are still very dark. He’s 4 years old now and looks like a little man already. During the summer we were at a Native American festival and this little girl probably a year or 2 older than him, dressed in full Indian garb, kept chasing him around the tree and kept trying to play with him and hold his hand. It was so funny and cute.
Hahaha!!! That is just super cute! Sounds like YOUR nephew’s way ahead in the noona-slaying game!! XD My nephew’s got a looong way to go, being all of one month old as I type this!
Aww, he’ll be there before you know it. They grow so fast from the baby stage. I got attached to him because they lived with us for a bit. His brother who is 3, is also a big cutie. He’s light skinned with brown curly curls. They have similar features, but he took more from the ‘white’ side of the family, while the Noona slayer took all the spanish and Japanese looks. LOL.
Aw. Sounds like you’ve got very beautiful nephews!! Those mixed genes do often make annoyingly beautiful people, haha 😉
Lol that would be a sweet story. I can definitely picture it.
Thanks! I love your username!
@Lady G…. I’m already laughing just reading through your ideas. I’m reminded of Baby’s Day Out and Baby & I with Jang Geun Suk,
LOL. I need to give Baby and I another chance. The second the baby started ‘talking’ in that annoying voice over like ‘Look Who’s talking’ I groaned and put it aside. But it looks like a fun, cute movie.
Thank you Lady G.
@Lady G, lets get you a K-screenwriter partner STAT! I want to watch this drama!! Han Chae Ah, I totally love her in Mirae’s Choice, and I can so see her in this role. Oh and can Kim Sun Ah have a role as GY’s badass night club boss?? 😛
lol. Thanks DDee. I gave on Mi Rae’s choice, but I’m skipping through it just to see her storyline. I really like her there. She gives multi-faceted performances so you never fully ‘hate’ her 2nd leads, and she makes them sympathetic. Kim Sun Ah, hmm, why not? She’s the noona that gave him a break to work there. And sort of manages his career. Of course she harbors deep feelings for him. 🙂
LOL, I think it’s safe to say that every woman on this drama should have feelings for him, coz duh! Of course they would! Oooh and about Kim Sun Ah, she could also be…Sam Soon! Crossover! She could be Han Chae Ah’s baker buddy and best friend, who prods her about making a move on GY or else, she will! She’ll be openly admiring of him, and will get to say what we ALL think of him openly hahaha 😀
I haven’t seen Sam Soon yet, but hey, doesn’t she already have Hyun Bin?? That beautiful kisser?? Not fair to Han Chae Ah. LOL
Hmm good point, forgot about him. Maybe he can cameo too! He can ogle Han Chae Ah and make GY jealous. HAH.
Ah it will be one of those ‘in joke’ things, where actors guest star. That’s funny. Or HB can be in it! A small role as the bartender who is in love with her. LOL. That works for me. I want everyone except the villains to find happiness. 🙂
Yeah, HB pines frm afar! But ends up with Kim Sun Ah instead.Actually, I bet they all end up as partners in their new resto together–HB tends bar, Sam Soon bakes, Chae Ah cooks and GY handles the entertainment. This is shaping up to be a stellar cast, and with this premise, how can it go wrong?!
I love that idea, a perfect mix of cast and story and a fantastic ending. Everyone has a part in the Bistro and an OTP. 🙂
@kaiaraia I second that
@CJ Babe It’s only a pleasure
It’s wonderful when a person who has the power or capacity to make a better change uses his/her time and efforts to do so. Because celebs are so glorified, they can turn that into a positive action like he is doing. I really respect that about him and glad to see he’s helping children. It really warms the heart. Thanks for posting that bit of news. You don’t see it on the other websites that only focus on their careers and the fluffy stuff like movies and awards ceremonies, etc.
Respect, truly. I honestly think this cause crept up on him, in the sense that the Dogani book was a gift to him. He may not have read it otherwise. And yet, when he did read it, it moved him so much that he pushed for the movie to be made, which then in turn affected actual legislation. How telling is it, that he didn’t let it stop there, but has been actively involved in helping to champion the cause, even prior to his appointment as special representative? I just love how he responded to this cause which found him. He’s running with it and made it his own, lending his star power and influence where it really matters. Cannot help but love this man, seriously <3
It is amazing how it touched him so deeply that he ran with it. Most people might not have read a book like that otherwise, it’s a very sensitive topic. I am interested in reading that book. I’ll have to get the title and see if it was translated to English.
I actually think most people might not have read the book, even after receiving it as a gift. I mean, clearly the contents are disturbing (what an odd gift, now that I think about it), so not everyone would have taken the time to read it, or even approach it with that kind of open mind. I know I’m guilty of receiving certain books as gifts and then never actually finishing them for one reason or another. That GY not only approached the content with such an open mind, but then made it into his cause is just such profound stuff.
Apparently there isn’t an English translation of the book yet, which is a pity. Yet another reason to learn Korean, & fast? 😉
Makes me think that him receiving that gift was not just a coincidence. It was meant to be.
That’s a great point, kaiaraia.. I mean, anyone else who received that book (a) might not have even given it a proper read, and more importantly, (b) probably wouldn’t have had the same star power and influence to get the movie made.
I know GY has said that he didn’t have such grand ambitions of changing legislature etc when he pushed for the movie to be made, but just looking at what has been accomplished to date, you can’t help but feel like he was really positioned in the right place at the right time, for a reason. It probably WAS meant to be, is what I mean ^^
That’s a shame there’s no English version. :/ I guess the West has more than enough of their own hidden garbage going on to make books about. (Working in a library I see so many!) Oh yeah, it’s a big impetus to learn Korean! I’m reading all about the grammar rules right now and my head is spinning. I hated grammar rules in English. lol. Yet, I wasn’t bad at grammar, I just wrote and knew it.
Lol! I was just like you, Lady G!!! 😀 Up till I was about 15 or 16, I had no concept of what a noun or verb was. I just knew what was right or wrong based on my instincts. Must’ve been all the voracious reading I used to do as a kid! My mum (who taught English as part of her career) was absolutely aghast when she discovered that at age 16 I had no clue what a noun was! XD
I suspect though, that because I *listen* to Korean way more than I read it, that I won’t have as good instincts with the Korean grammar..! >.< Lol.
Me too! Always had my nose in books. That’s what it was, instinct. But when it came down to actual grammar lessons, like knowing you past and present participles, I blanked out. lol. Yeah, we have the Pimsleur approach to Korean. We ‘listen’ to the dramas all the time and just know what they are saying from time to time. lol.
Hahaha!!! Well, it does work, particularly if I’m not too concerned about reading Korean, as is the case when I’m watching drama 😛 My primary goal is to be able to watch dramas without subs. Secondary goal is to be able to speak Korean fluently enough to actually hold a conversation. The reading goal comes in last place, at the moment! XD But reading IS quite important, especially if I hope to navigate Korean websites or visit Korea, so… [deep breath] FIGHTING!!! *fist pump*
Yeah, imagine how many more goodies and gems you’ll find if you can read the Korean websites and blogs. 😀 I get excited every time I can actually read Hangul, even if I don’t know what it means. But my trusty dictionary is on its way. lol
Oh! You’re buying a dictionary?!?? You are VERY serious about reading Korean, Lady G! 😀
YES. I can only imagine the awesome if we could understand the Korean sites without waiting for other English blogs to translate and update. And! No more waiting for subs either! The potential awesome! 😀