Ok…since I had such an outrageously great time while in Seoul to see the amazing, extremely handsome and magnificently talented G.O in the musical Seopyeonje, it was only natural for me to want to return to Seoul to see him in this third musical, 바람의나라 (The Kingdom of the Winds). Naturally.
The only problem – I had two vacation days left to my name. How was I going to manage this one? Well, the Korean musical gods were on my side. See, the musical was going to be having its run during my birthday. My birthday fell on a Saturday this year. I saw a way to do it and I acted on it!
If I left two days before my birthday which is 17 May, I would arrive on the 16th and could manage to see more than just the two shows that were scheduled for the 17th. Let me be frank. Once you see G.O and experience both his amazing talent and incredibly gracious fan service, you want more. I knew when planning that I was going to want to see as many shows as I possibly could in the short time I would be in Seoul.
While in Seoul to see Seopyeonje, tickets for Kingdom went on sale. I promptly went to the Seoul Arts Center and bought tickets to the shows for 16 and 17 May. Confirmed. Next was to get a plane ticket, place to stay, and I was on my way.
With all my ducks in a row, I just had to wait. Now, I am NEVER one to rush my birthday to arrive. Oh hell no! Another year older. No thanks. But there was just something too sweet about this one. I knew it would be special because it would include seeing G.O.
My journey started out rough. I decided to leave on the evening of 14 May, fly to San Francisco and then wake up refreshed the next morning to fly from San Francisco directly to Seoul. Best laid plans, right?
Wednesday, 14 May
Literally five minutes before we were set to board our plane, there is an announcement that our pilot called in sick. Jjinja??? We were essentially in limbo because we did not know if there would be a replacement pilot or if the flight would be canceled completely. I promptly went on stand by for the next flight AND got a seat on the flight the next morning. I like to be prepared and well, I HAD TO GET TO SEOUL!!!
Two and a half hours later, we had a pilot. WHEW!! We would arrive into San Francisco after 1:00 AM, but that was no matter as we were going to arrive.
Thursday, 15 May
Sleepy but excited, I made my way to the San Francisco airport the next morning ready to fly to Seoul. GAME ON!!! Well…sort of. Everything was on time. The plane was there. We boarded well in advance of the departure time of 10:50 AM. Oh, I was feeling so hopeful and excited. I knew that once I arrived into Seoul that afternoon, I would be seeing G.O perform that same evening. Squeeeeeeeeeee!
As we began our taxi to the runway, we hit the brakes hard. I mean HARD. I don’t know why but we came to an abrupt stop. Then the announcement: “Is there a medical doctor” on board? JJinja????? The young Korean man sitting next to me and I began discussing all the possibilities of what could have possibly happened. We determined that the pilot had a heart attack or passed out at the controls. I thought…no way!! Another pilot-less plane?? This cannot be happening.
We were wrong…thankfully. But, we still had a huge problem. When we came to that abrupt stop, one of our flight attendants fell. JJinja????? Wasn’t she supposed to be seated and buckled in? I mean, the plane was moving! She fell hard too. Yes, so hard that paramedics were called. So, it was back to the gate.
As the clock ticked away, I knew I was losing precious time to get from Incheon to the apartment to the theatre. I thought, ok…even if we are an hour late, I should still make it….maybe. We eventually departed one hour and a half hour late. This could be a problem – but I still had hope.
Friday, 16 May
We arrived Incheon at approximately 4:07 PM. The show was at 8:00 PM. I kept telling myself, you will make it…you will make it…you WILL see G.O! Since I did not check luggage, I headed right to customs. I was through customs in literally ten minutes. SCORE!!
Then I had to rent a portable modem. I needed to be in touch with everyone back home. I was through the rental process in literally ten minutes. SCORE!!
Now to the express train to Seoul Station. I arrived to the train location at 4:45 PM but the train did not depart until 5:00 PM. Ok, stay calm, I thought. There is still time, even if I made it to the apartment by 6:30 PM, I should still have enough time to get to the theatre. What I failed to remember was that this was Seoul. It was Friday night and it was rush hour.
I also had to figure out where the apartment was. I was starting to lose hope.
Once the train arrived into Seoul Station, I still had to take two subway trains to get to my final stop. Like a scene from a drama, I was running through Seoul Station to get to the #4 Line. Bobbing and weaving through the people, I got to the train. I had three stops to the #3 Line. Once to the #3 Line, I had 4 stops to where the apartment was.
Off the train, I hauled to the apartment (which I found with ease). I walked into the door of the apartment at 6:40 PM. There was time….THERE STILL WAS TIME! I literally showered off, changed, put on some lip gloss and was out the door by 7:00 PM. JJinja??? How come it takes me 2 hours to get ready for work at home??? LOL!!
Back to the #3 Line, I had 5 stops to the theater. Off the train and on the shuttle bus to the Seoul Arts Center, I walked into the CJ Towol Theatre right as doors opened for us to begin being seated in preparation for the show.
After all of those travel challenges, I made it! I even had enough time to take a few pictures in the lobby of the theatre!
Then there was the show.
I honestly cannot describe it adequately. It was breathtaking, grand and visually spectacular. The music amazing, the cast fantastic and G.O….sigh, G.O is a revelation to me. His talent is bigger than any of us can measure. But that evening was not without challenge for him. Hodong and his spirit animal, The Phoenix, open the second act – playfully as a young boy and his young bird would be want to do. The only glitch, G.O’s microphone was not working.
Oh my goodness….I felt so bad for him. But I can assure you he would not have wanted us to feel bad because he continued on as if nothing was wrong. Ever the professional, he made his way through the opening of the second act through his huge duet number with Go Young Bin (Muhyul) without a working microphone, and received a huge applause when he finished the song. I had tears in my eyes for so many reasons at that moment. I was moved by the song, in awe of his courage and talent, and so incredibly happy for him that the audience recognized what he had just been through and he was amazing through it all.
By now most everyone has seen the fan cam curtain call where his costar, Go Mi Gyeong, took a moment to acknowledge what had happened and gave us all another opportunity to recognize G.O and his fortitude, professionalism and above all, talent. But here it is again:
He received another rousing round of applause and love from us! Oh how I LOVE this man!
I captured a couple of pictures before that moment.
He was perfect in every way.
Following the show, I had no idea where he would walk out and no idea where his awaiting car was parked. So I did what any resourceful fangirl would do…I followed a couple of other fangirls!!
They lead me to a parking lot where I saw a few other fans waiting. I kept my distance and waited along with them. I was pretty sure I was in the right place.
Sure enough….up the ramp from the building G.O came walking. He was talking animately with fans walking with him and I had the distinct feeling he was talking about the microphone incident. He was charming and friendly and as sweet as ever with the fans. His natural state of being: charming and friendly.
As he walked to the car, he crossed in front of me. He did not see me but I was standing directly behind him. And because I was so close, I could not hold back from placing my hand on his back. I simply could not resist. Tell me…COULD YOU? I thought, well, I am standing behind him, if I put my hand on his back and if it startles him, he will turn around and what’s the worst that can happen? He says hello, right??? LOL!!
He was wearing a hoodie with the hood up so a picture would not have served well. Besides I had one hand engaged in touching his back so I was in no position to take a picture!! Ladies (and any gentlemen who may be reading), he is very warm to the touch. He radiates warmth by simply being as genuinely gracious, nice and friendly as he is and I felt that warmth not only to the touch, but in simply how he interacted with us.
Once in the car, we all patiently waited for him to roll the window down like he always does. He did, but only partially, and that is when he saw me, recognized me, smiled in recognition and grabbed my hand. I admit, it is nice to be remembered. But it is even better when the remembrance is coming from G.O!
This was my 6th time seeing him after a show and that handshake, my 6th that I received. I have a pretty good record so far, don’t you think? ^^