Tae Wang’s army journey- Day 1

Our flight was at 1.40am, 29th November. Jos had already left earlier on a SQ flight. After all the usual photo takings etc, we checked in and split into different groups. Kee actually went to get her camera there. Some of us went for a drink and that’s when we managed to upload that Tae Wang army photo that we took on JF site. Ahhh.. the convenience of modern technology. hehe!

I tried watching “Attack on the Pin-Up Boys” but gave up after 30 minutes. In case you are not aware, this movie stars the very popular Super Junior boy band in their first movie. At the risk of incurring all their fans’ wrath, I must say, please watch it if you really, really have nothing to do. I went to sleep in the end as I figured I would be sleep deprived once I reached Korea. But I actually ended up sleeping more than usual because there was so much travelling on the road.

We touched down at Incheon airport finally at about 8+am. Ahhh….why does the air in Korea smell different? ^^ There’s something that says: “BYJ and all the other cute Korean artistes live here.” haha!

Managed to meet up with Jos, who said she almost fell asleep whilst waiting for us. Julie and I went to collect the handphone that we had booked via KTO’s website. There’s a discounted price of 2,000won per day for renting the phone via KTO’s website. I have a 3G phone but I figured it would be easier for my Korean friends and business associates to call me on a local number. For more information, you can click here for more information. Only snag was I didn’t get my number before I left for Korean even though I registered 1 week before departure.

Met up with the guide, Lily (who was a Chinese national and had migrated to Korea when she was very young) and Manager An (who speaks limited English).

And then we loaded all our luggage onto the bus and we were off! Everyone was excited at the prospect of seeing BYJ.

taewangbus

Manager An said that because of time constraint, we wouldn’t be able to stop to eat or have many breaks. haha! This turned out to be a familiar routine throughout most of our journey. At one point, we even dubbed it the JF/BYJ diet tour. But seriously, I think the girls are brilliant because most of them never complained about the lack of meals but they all learnt one word: “화장실” (hwa jang shil= toilet). And very often, the girls ended up going to men’s toilet because well..the ladies outnumbered the guys. I mean, there were 17 women and 2 men. : ) Below was our one and only toilet break during the nearly 3 hours journey to Danyang

toiletbreak

As we neared Danyang the filmsite, we took out our banner and put the last minute finishing touches to it.

kelly-taewangbanner

We reached Ondal, Danyang, the filming site about noon and already, there was a whole group of Japanese fans waiting there. The place is a big long, driveway/ carpark leading into the film site but the Japanese fans were standing only in one section of the road/ driveway. We weren’t sure what was happenning, but we were led to stand behind them. I was hoping BYJ might get out to greet the fans, as he did sometimes in the past.

The fans, including us, were waiting from where I took this photo to near where the big umbrella was. The film site was beyond that.

danyangfilmsite3

So there we were, waiting and waiting…cold and hungry. We didn’t even dare to go to toilet as we weren’t sure when he would be coming. It seems it would be soon. Some of the Japanese fans were rather kind and did offer us some snacks.

After waiting for more than an hour, just as I was seriously debating if I should make a 100m dash for the nearest toilet, suddenly, an murmur went through the crowd and some of the Japanese fans stood up. The LCK guides came to say that he would be passing by soon and those of us who were standing at the back, were allowed to stand up on the chairs. Yeah!

Up went our banner! And then we were rehearsing our shouting slogan. You can really sense the thrill and excitment in everyone. ^^ Me, being so short, of course had to stand on one of the chair lah.

And then, suddenly, he was there, in front of us, waving to us through the car. It went passed all the fans slowly. He was in his mostache look. Now for many of us, this would be the first time we see this new look, even though there were a couple of pictures floating on the internet. He looked really serious and didn’t smile. Not sure if it was because he was getting into his character or tired. Sigh… But it was over very quickly.

In all the excitment, our shout didn’t really come out well (I think many forgot to shout when they saw him. hehe!) and we weren’t even sure if he saw our banner as it was held rather high up. Sigh…

But, hey, we saw him for that brief few minutes and I think for many of us, that was all that mattered.

Highlight over, it was time to settle our hunger pangs. Lunch would be in one of the restaraunts there. Some of us wanted our things from the bus, so we walked back to bus. And guess what? hehe! I was rewarded with the sight of Joomochi walking up and down, as if practicing his lines. He looked preoccupied, so I just smiled and greeted him. He smiled and bowed back. Alamak, should have told him I was from Singapore, then maybe could have taken a photo with him. And then on my way back to restuarant for lunch, Kelly, Jessica and I saw General Ko preparing to change into his armour. We saw 2 Korean fans approaching him and getting his signature. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any paper with us. 🙁

Ok, things to note in future- always have your camera and notebook with you just in case.

This was our lunch…not sure what’s it called but it was quite good..especially in the cold weather. Anyone any idea what’s this dish?

danyanglunch

And then after lunch, it was photo taking time. hehe! Of course lah. The big banner of TWSSG….how could we resist it?

danyangfilmsite1

bellindanyang

This seems to be the centrepiece of the place but I have no idea what it is…..

jpnfansreservation

Now the above is a strange phenomena that occured shortly after the afternoon drivepast by BYJ. The Japanese fans had taken all the chairs from the earlier location and moved them here and ‘reserved’ them with their bags, clothes etc. Again, we couldn’t understand why they were in rows of 2 and 3 for just that particular section when the driveway was big and long. But this would become our major source of unhappiness later on in the night.

ajik

In the midst of the phototaking, this little child came out. Of course, we didn’t who he was as he only appeared in Episode 23 (that very night’s episode!). We heard he was Dam Deok’s son but we didn’t really believe it because hehe….he looked like a girl. But he was so adorable. And then Julia, became the envy of all of us when she picked him up. Aiyoh, this little boy really not shy leh. He even gave Julia a kisss on the cheek! Hmmphf! We wanted to shoot arrows at Julia after that. Not sure what his parents thought of a bunch of nutty foreign women going crasy over their son. 🙂 Isn’t he just adorable? Think he will break quite a few hearts when he grows up

juliaajik

danyang-joonsfamily

At about 4pm, we went back to our hotel to deposit our luggage and to wait for the cue for BYJ’s next drive past, which would be at night….Though we were not sure what time that would be, but we were told to assemble at 6pm at our hotel’s lobby.

We stayed at 대명리조트 (Dae Myeong Resort). The place is actually quite nice and the room big and comfortable enough. But unfortunately, not much time to explore the place. There’s supposed to be a suana or hot spring or something in the hotel …but instead we went in search of the super mart and the PC room. Very important! 😛 Room with a view…sort of

danyanghotelsview

At about 6+, we all set off for the film site again. No idea when or where dinner would be as it all depends on when 임금님 (the King) would make his appearance. But we were well armed with snacks and biscuits. hehe!

It was almost dark by the time we reached the Ondal film site again. This is winter after all. We thought we would be able to have dinner later in town as the vibe was that he should be going off soon. So we satisfied ourselves with these delicious snacks like 국화빵 (Gukwa-ppang) and 오뎅 (Odeng). And if you never tried Odeng on a cold winter night, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. It’s just fish cake in hot broth. But gosh, it’s really, really delicious as a simple snack and it’s cheap too. I think it was 500won? I’m actually salivating at the thought of it. But somehow, this food is best eaten from a Korean side food stall and not in a restaurant. The very pretty lady doing the red bean paste buns.

gukhwappang

dinner-odeng

You can tell how much they’re enjoying their Odeng from the look on their faces. At one point, we all got bored and cold and crowded into the restaurant where we had lunch earlier in the afternoon. There were many Japanese fans there and the guides were there as well, having their dinner.

And then suddenly, at about 8+, there was a commotion outside, and so we quickly got in line. And that’s when the trouble started.

It seems the Japanese fans, who’ve been camping at these filming sites and were almost the only fans so far in all these situations, had some unspoken rules, which was never explained to us. Remember the photo earlier where they had reserved a spot at the driveway with the chairs and their belongings? Well, it seems, we were supposed to go behind them. Which really puzzled us no end because as I explained, the driveway was very big and his car would have to drive past the whole stretch. So in other words, he would see everyone if we lined the driveway in a single file. Because it didn’t make sense to us and we couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about, we chose to stand next to the Japanese fans instead of behind them, but we didn’t block their view. There was also a few Korean fans a little further from us. But the Japanese fans didn’t like it and they also didn’t seemed too happy when we raised our banner. Hmm…

So they kept going up to their guides to complain, who then went to Manager An to complain. To give Manager An due credit, he didn’t say much though he was under much pressure. I shall not elaborate much further on what went on for the next 30 minutes as it wasn’t very pleasant but we were made to move back quite a few steps so that we were standing a little behind the Japanese fans’ line.

The guides were still trying to get us to move behind when suddenly, his car drove by and as the girls raised the banner (not me lah, I’m too short to do such a job), some of the big burly guides blocked our view and banner. Now, I’m not sure if this a deliberate act or accidental.

Anyway, I still managed to see him, as did most of the girls, though it would have been clearer if the guys weren’t in front. This time, he looked much better than the afternoon drive past. He was at least smiling and looked more relax. Maybe because it was the end of the day and he was going to have his dinner? ^^ Whatever it was, it was good to see him looking happier and waving to us. But whether he knew the Singaporean army was there, we didn’t know as it was so dark and there was so much confusion.

After this incident, we had completely lost our appetite for dinner and were in a most foul mood. Text messages were flying fast and furious as I ‘reported’ on the incident back home to Singapore. So we went back to out hotel to catch that night’s Episode 23 of TWSSG.

As we got off the bus, Manager An apologised and bowed to us. Like I said in my first post, I think they didn’t realised that we do not behave like the Japanese fans (after all, we are not Japanese). Their mistake also lie in the fact that they didn’t explain the situation to the Japanese fans earlier, so when we didn’t follow their unspoken rule, it caught them by surprise and also made them unhappy.

For most of us, it was instant Ramyeon for dinner in our room as we sat down to wait for TWSSG. Actually, instant Ramyeon taste really good, especially when you are in Korea. Out of the 17 of us, only Jessica, Kelly and myself were the most updated about the drama. Kelly was one up on us as she had managed to catch Episode 22 the night before (the night we were leaving for Korea). The rest had either watched only a few episodes or hadn’t watched it at all.

So I think for many of the girls, it didn’t make much sense. Even for me, I had a hard time trying to understand the dialogue and I couldn’t pause or rewind. Sob! Sob! But it was good to watch him on screen, looking all handsome and charismatic. And of course, we saw Ajik, the little adorable boy that we met that afternoon. And for some strange reason, that particular MBC channel was all fuzzy when TWSSG started. But it was ok moments before and the other channels were perfectly clear too. I figured maybe there too many people watching the same channel?

At about 11am, the girls all assembled in Lynn’s and my room. We discussed about the earlier incident and in the end, we decided to just watch and observe for the next few days..

Of course, it was not a great start to the first day of our tour. The only consolation was that we managed to see him twice.

But it did get better as the tour went on, except for another hiccup. Which would be another story.

End of Day 1, 29th November

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