(RP) South Korea Trip – At Last, It Happened!


It’s been a really long time.

I made this blog hidden for a good reason. I never write here anymore anyway.

I wanted to at least write something about my trip to Korea last November 5 – 8, same date of Super Junior’s 10th Anniversary. I specifically chose the dates because of that special reason. I told myself that if ever I would go to Korea, I would choose July 1 or November 6. For whatever reason, I felt so attached with Super Junior and I had this hope that I would see the reason why I cried tonight.

Just a quick narration of our family trip in Korea – on the first night, we got lost because of me. We rode a bus and missed the bus stop. We took a cab and the driver was very kind. He really tried to understand us even though he was not familiar in English. I used my little knowledge in speaking and writing in Korean. He was talking to me in Korean and I could understand quite a few sentences. There was a time when we actually and literally went around Gwanghwamun to find the hostel. We lost our ability to comprehend because we were truly hungry so I asked the cab driver to stop. He was still smiling and I was still thinking that he was very nice.

So, we just sat there, contemplating if we would get another hostel but I was reluctant. A kind man who looked like someone familiar helped us on our way to finding our hostel which was, mind you, right in front of where we were sitting.

No, he wasn’t a familiar Korean. This will not become a fan fiction.

He was a Filipino and heaven knew (he also admitted) that he was a singer in the Philippines. He was very familiar though… it’s like I had seen him on TV.

Anyway, we met our Korean host, and she told us that she thought we weren’t coming. She waited for hours. I felt so guilty so I kept on apologizing. She was very nice and accommodating, and the room that we rented was very clean. I would definitely get that again if I return.

So we were very hungry and sleepy. We lost our chance to go to the lantern festival near our place. We also lost our itinerary that I made especially for our stay because I planned not to go with a tourist guide.

As a first timer, we were kind of average to good tourist. Thanks for being into KPOP for almost 7 years. My parents were relying on me and my sister. I was happy that I was able to write and read Hangul and sort of understand Korean so we sort of survived our first official day. We went to Nami Island. Before going there, we got lost because we were not familiar with the subway. Korean subways are like Hong Kong and Singapore subways – they all had a lot of lines and connecting stations. Had we not read Korean words, we would not survive a day without riding a cab and we would really be bankrupt. But subways were good for the budget, especially if our budget was limited to less than 50,000 won for the four of us. We kind of exceeded the limit though because of cabs and buses which was more expensive than the trains. My mom would always get stuck in the entrance and exit because she would double tap the card or the card wouldn’t be read. She would always tap the card wrongly for whatever reason, the subway really hated her but of course, it was the easiest, cheapest and the fastest way – we couldn’t say no to it.

We bought the T-Money card and I loaded it – machines were easy to use.

So to get to our destination, I pre-booked a tour bus, but when we got there, I was informed that we had no reservation. So I confirmed in my email – thanks to the mobile wi-fi speed in Korea, that my reservation was not accepted. Of course, I apologized after fighting with the reservation officer. My father was of course mad because he was usually like that. He would always want everything planned ahead. And it was planned ahead – it wasn’t just executed very well.

So we rode the train again and we were glad to reach our destination after almost two hours. We ate at restaurant near the dock that served Galbi, and there we heard Kyuhyun’s A Million Pieces. I was overjoyed because I had been seeing him in the bus and in the streets and hearing him everywhere. We wanted to try the zipline to Nami Island but still, we were still on a budget. We bought a ticket for the ferry ride and went to Nami Island. Because I was a nature person, I enjoyed singing At Gwanghwamun while walking. We also took a lot of pictures because it was a picture worthy place.

Then we went back as early as possible to go to our next destination – the Han River. I pre-booked the ticket for the cruise and we had no problem except that it rained and it was too damn cold. We were there earlier so we ate at Lotteria before going to the cruise. We bought some chips and I swear, it was the best chips that I’ve ever tasted. I forgot the name though but it was mixture of sweet and cheesy. We sat on the benches while waiting for our turn to ride the cruise while eating and while listening to Taeyeon’s whole album courtesy of the restaurants around.

It was really cold that we decided to enter the waiting area. It was about two hours when we rode the cruise. I liked it, however it was a bit non-enjoyable. My sister and I, despite of the cold weather went out the cruise and some Korean guys took photos with us. They actually told us we’re pretty of course, I knew they were just joking around but the hell, we still said ‘thank you’.

Then we went home. I encountered a very displeasing person on our way home. She wasn’t Korean – that’s a clue. I would not tell the story though.

That night also was Super Junior’s 10th anniversary. I kind of regretted the fact that I wasn’t able to greet them properly so I would say it now: Guys, congratulations on your 10th anniversary! I have been following you for almost seven years and I am so happy that you reached your 10th anniversary despite of all the trials and challenges. I am so happy to breathe the same air as you on your anniversary. Even though, I didn’t tweet that much, I was still happy. Thank you and I love you. Let’s run together more!

Okay it was short and done, but I think I made my point.

Back to the narration. So we prepared for the night only then I realized that I lost my itinerary. I thought that I left it with the good cab driver the night before, so I created a new itinerary – a quite quick itinerary actually, because I barely couldn’t remember anything that I wrote, even the budget that I allotted for the whole trip. All I could remember was that I planned to go to Korean Folk Village the next day and return to watch VIXX Ken’s Cinderella musical in the evening… and of course go to Apgujeong for Kona Beans, then go to Gangnam for the KPOP Star Road – at least alone – but I ended up tagging my sister along with me. I bought her a ticket for Ken’s musical as well. She was lucky enough to get a close seat.

The next day, we went to Korean Folk Village and we got lost again because we rode a bus. On our way, we saw Werther (Kyuhyun’s musical) advertisements. Then we reached Yonsei University – which was, mind you, very elegant, and very beautiful campus.

We were noob in this, sorry, so we took a cab to go to Korean Folk Village. As usual, I was able to book our tickets.

It was raining so it was muddy. I enjoyed seeing the folk village but not as much because my boots had mud. I had to go to the musical later that day but I already looked dirty. I had a confession to make – I couldn’t walk nicely. It would usually happen, even back in the Philippines. The Korean Folk Village was really nice too to be honest. We saw the live actings of actors and we saw how Koreans lived way back before. I was also amused because it had some kiddy rides there.

We ate after and waited for the shuttle back to Suwon. It was almost a forty-five minute ride and I was panicking because we might not be able to go to Ken’s musical. But we made it after getting lost again. The mall in Suwon though was tempting, by the way. It was heaven for me because of the shoes!

So we went to Dongdaemun to go to Chungmu Art Hall. We were an hour earlier so I was thankful enough to hail a cab for my parents. After having a difficult time telling the driver where he would drive my parents to, thanks to my limited and rotten Korean speaking skills, he drove away. I asked our host to see if they were back in the hostel. I actually planned for them to go to Dongdaemun Shopping District, had my sister not watched the musical with me. She wasn’t really interested with Ken and VIXX in general so we were kind of in war especially when it came to VIXX. I was thankful though because she went with me or else I would get so out of place.

I could recognize a lot of Starlights, and I was also about to meet my Starlight friends who would watch the musical, Rein and Cami. I saw them separately though.

I was getting insane because I learned that Leo actually went to the musical to watch Ken on that same day when we watched it. If only I chose to watch the 3pm show, I would not be regretting because Rein and Cami saw him. But still, KEo!

The musical started. I was cursing inside my head while Ken was performing because his voice was out of this world. On the same day, Kyuhyun was having his concert also – I was regretting not to come because the ticket was quickly sold out and my parents didn’t allow me to have one more event.

Cinderella musical was awesome. I actually felt all the emotions, laughed, clapped, gasped and frowned if needed. The set was beautiful, and Cinderella’s and Fairy Godmother’s transformations were priceless. Of course, the other characters did well too. Especially Ken. I swear, I saw him looking at me once (glanced, to be exact) but when I looked back at him he looked away. I might be delusional though, but I hope he was thinking, “Why does a foreigner here? Does she even understand this?” That kind of look. I was actually on the seventh row on the most side of the center. Maybe he saw me, or maybe not, but anyway, the point was his voice was on point. Acting was superb too.

I thought it was the last Cinderella so I chose that one, but then they told everyone that they would be having an encore so my hopes went down for a mini-fanmeeting with Ken after.

Reini, my sister, and I went to the back to wait for Ken. I was able to see him saying bye and thank you to us before he went inside the van. He opened the side window and said goodbye and thanks (or no thanks) to that person who flashed her camera on Ken’s face, I captured a video of him. But then it was my first time to get up close for an idol, but I still kept my distance because idols were also humans who get angry when provoked.

So, it turned out that he was the only celebrity that I saw for the whole trip.

Then we said bye to Cami and Reini while we parted our ways in the subway. My sister and I went to Apgujeong for obviously Kona Beans. In Apgujeong, I saw VIXX’s advertisement for Chained Up, and also a birthday advertisement for Leo.

We followed the direction to Kona Beans and we got lost again. We reached Kona Beans by 11:10 PM KST. And of course, it was already closing. I didn’t know that it would close at 11PM – I thought that it would close at 12am!

So we went there for almost nothing. I gave up because my tummy was aching too much because of hunger.

We just went to sneak if someone was still inside and we saw a beautiful lady wearing white – she was very far so I couldn’t confirm if she was Jungsoo’s mom. Out of nervousness, and out of respect, we decided to not approach her to take a photo with her.

Losing both our hope and our stomach, we went inside a CVS to buy food and when we went out the store, we saw the beautiful woman going out. Weirdly enough, I panicked so I entered the convenience store again. I was so nervous. I didn’t know why but even though I couldn’t confirm, I was still happy to see her. I think she was really Jungsoo’s mom. Ugh, I am so embarrassed for not knowing her. I learned that she was just walking home. My sister told me to follow her, but I told her that we couldn’t because it would not be good. So we decided to stay, take a video of Kona Beans and walked towards it and saw someone near the cafe. We panicked that we almost backed out together. A man went by and thought we were weirdos.

Then a white car – actually we thought that it was Jungsoo – parked beside Kona Beans but after a while, the car went away after some minutes. And upon realizing that almost every car owner had white car, we just shrugged it off.

We went home disappointed and tired and still hungry. We decided to go back there the morning after to take our chances again of seeing someone. We were panicking because the subway might close but we actually get lost again. We successfully went back to Gyeongbokgung though.

So we ate the same restaurant where we ate the first time we got there. It was pretty value for money.

The next day, my stomach was hurting – maybe because I ate a very spicy food after filling my stomach with air. I wasn’t able to enjoy touring the next day, however, everything changed when we went back to Kona Beans. My parents insisted to go with us so they went with us but out of courtesy (and a little bit of shame) we asked them to stay at Apgujeong Station. We assured that we would be going back by 11am for all of us to go to Myeongdong to shop and buy pasalubong for everyone back home.

At last, the coffee shop was open. I was literally feeling sick because of my stomach and maybe because I was so nervous. I breathed in and out before going inside the cafe.

My sister and I video-blogged our way there, but of course it would be embarrassing to put it here.

Anyway, at last! I saw a lot of Super Junior posters, especially Leeteuk’s – actually all Leeteuk! It was heaven. Really. It was Hawaii-themed cafe. Around, you would see fans’ gifts to Super Junior and Leeteuk, congratulatory flowers and rice wreaths in a room. The coffee scent was aromatic. I was beyond happy. But still, we weren’t able to see Leeteuk’s mom – maybe because she was the one we saw the night before.

I ordered a dark chocolate cake and apparently, Jungsoo recommends it. The crew was so cute and I ship her with Jungsoo – apparently.

My stomach was not really cooperating but I still managed to finish the cake. It was so delicious. I don’t normally enjoy dark chocolate, but I can say it was delicious.

I bought a blue Angel Story pillow case, took the sleeve, the paper bag and the tissues from Kona Beans. I was beyond happy even though we weren’t able to see Jungsoo again. The fact that I went there was beyond amazing.

We went back to the station and we all went to Myeongdong to shop and eat.

There we ate the best meal ever, at almost 100,000 won, not bad, we still enjoyed the meal even though my stomach was really hurting so bad! No, I didn’t poop, if you ask. When we shopped, it just disappeared. Friends back in the Philippines had a lot of things that they wanted us to buy so we bought it all in Myeongdong. I completed my VIXX album collection and also Super Junior’s!

Shopping was cut because we needed to go back by four in the afternoon because we still wanted to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace, our last destination after we headed to the airport. We didn’t stay long and bought tickets though, we just took photos from the outside because of the lack of time.

We went back to the hostel and then after two hours, we went to the airport to wait for our flight.

I think… the thing that I would miss is the people who tried their best to understand you even though you cannot understand them that much. They helped us whenever we got lost.

Second was the food – especially those chips, and that legit Korean meal.

Third – fangirling stuff. I would definitely go back for that.

Fourth – weather. Yes, it was cold, but it was a good kind of cold that made our skin look younger.

I was so happy and when I got home, I wanted to go back again.

I would definitely go back again… next time with friends to fan girl.

July? November?

I choose both.

Oops, there. I thought I could narrate it in a shorter way, but I guess not. I missed a lot of places to go to but we would surely go back again.

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