I had a plan. It was a good plan. I had the goods. They were nice goods. And, I had a bias (G.O) ready to celebrate a birthday on November 6th. Having given Federal Express a good chunk of my hard-earned change via my MBLAQ Love Package campaign, I figured they would be the best bet to get my bias his birthday gifts, and do so well in advance of the actual celebration day. Best laid plans, right? It seems Fedex along with the Universe (and the Suwon Lotte Department Store) had something else in mind. When the birthday box failed to pass through customs in Seoul and was returned to me, it seemed the only way that darling man was going to receive his gift from my Byung Hee World blog partner, Nelly (MyMyooz) and I, was if I would deliver it to him myself.
When the diligent and ever helpful Mr. Ahn from Fedex Incheon called me to say that my package was not going to clear customs, I was disheartened. For a week Fedex Incheon in Seoul tried to work with J Tune to get that box delivered to the birthday boy. First, J Tune said they would get the info needed. Then they said they could not. Then Fedex asked J Tune to simply call Seoul customs to acquire a customs identification number. It would have been that simple and the birthday box would have been delivered to the birthday man. But, J Tune had no interest in getting something every entertainment agency in Korea should have so that international fans (like myself) can ship to their biases without incident.
Finally, it was confirmed that the birthday box would be returned to me and in what was the ultimate twist dripping with irony, I received the box back on November 6th….G.O’s birthday. >.<
I was disappointed, to be sure. However, Nelly and I surmised that this was a sign of some kind. The gift was never meant to pass through customs and given to a random representative of J Tune. No, it was to be hand-delivered, as in passed directly from my hands into G.O’s.
As The Universe Churns
Before I left for Seoul on November 26th to attend MBLAQ’s two Curtain Call concerts, the above advertisement was popping up all over my Twitter feed. I couldn’t be sure but it looked like MBLAQ was going to make an appearance at a Lotte Department Store on November 28. How fortuitous! Having learned my lesson in my two previous trips to Seoul this year (April to see G.O in Seopyeonje and May to see G.O in 바람의나라- The Kingdom of the Winds) about arriving on the day of an event, and subsequently missing it and/or barely making it in time, I was determined not to see a repeat of that nonsense. This time, I wanted to arrive at least 2 days prior to the first Curtain Call concert on November 29th. That well-thought out plan put me in town for what ended up being an in-store appearance by three of the five members of MBLAQ, with one of the three being my beautiful bias birthday man himself, G.O.
The international A+ contingency of myself, Marlena (from Poland), Nadine and Marina (from Germany) and Clara (from Japan by way of Brazil) were securely at the doors of the Suwon Lotte Department Store well before the 10:30AM opening. It was raining and it was cold. And to compound the situation, none of us had a clue as to what this event was all about, where it was within the store (other than somewhere on the 4th floor) and whether or not any member of MBLAQ would actually appear. But we were hopeful.
Once the doors opened, we made our way to the 4th floor. Since this was a grand opening, many people were there to simply take part in all of the various gift giveaways and what not throughout the store. We were focused on one thing: seeing MBLAQ!! In the fine print of the advertisement, it did state that Seung Ho, G.O and Mir were the members who were going to make an appearance at the store for the Tate clothing line. So once we hit the 4th floor, we looked for the Tate area.
It was not hard to find as a small group of fans were tightly gathered at the Tate display, all with cameras in tow. We found the place. Now we just had to wait.
Vying for a good position was key. The security at the store kept us tightly cordoned off and on the edge of the Tate area. In addition to the store security detail, I had to deal with a couple of unruly mannequins in addition to a lovely sweater display that insisted on obstructing both mine and my camera’s eye view! Nevertheless, I settled into my position and waited.
Now, I’m thinking….Seung Ho, G.O and Mir were most likely going to pop out from behind the Tate doors, like magic, and greet us. Oh no…no. Not the men of MBLAQ. There is simply no pretense with these men. They walked in off the elevators at the opposite side of the floor, like they were coming to shop and plowed straight through the group of us. Yes…G.O walked right in front of me, dead center through the crowd, past those unruly mannequins and to the counter area of the Tate display.
Everyone knows by now how bad I am at getting pictures at those moments. Here’s proof. LOL!
Oy! It’s hard to calm down and hold a camera still (at least for me it is). Furthermore, there was so much activity with fans all trying to get a picture or video, the men moving through the crowd, the crowd moving toward the men, etc. Then, there was security trying to control it all. Until the men were safely on the other side of where we were, it was a little chaotic. Once they were positioned in the Tate area, we could all breathe, relax and yes, take pictures. From my position, I could not get a clear shot of my bias. But I did manage to capture a somewhat decent picture of leader man, Seung Ho.
Let me just say that pictures of this panda will never do him justice. I have heard that time and time again. I can finally concur that this is indeed a fact. He is stunning. Somehow I managed to position my camera between those pesky mannequins and grab that shot. But I was having no luck at all getting one of the man I longed to see the most, G.O. Oh…and I had the birthday gift in tow but did not know how I would manage the feat of actually giving it to him. So, I had a lot going on!!^^
It was then I made a decision to move to the left side of the Tate area. And when I did, my bias came into full view. I posted all of these via my Twitter account earlier because I knew I was not going to be writing a post for a while. But here they are again because at long last, I was able to actually get a few decent pictures of this incredibly handsome and amazingly sweet man.
I will admit that I was constantly getting in trouble with the security guys and was repeatedly told to move back – at least I think they were telling me to move back. However, for the most part, their requests were falling on deaf ears because this girl could not help it…see bias, need to get closer!!!^^
OMG….he looked so handsome. Drop dead gorgeous!!
At one point, I got his attention by calling his name and he walked right over to me, close enough to take the birthday gift from my hand. My bias heard me call his name, acknowledged it, and walked right towards me. Even I am finding it hard to believe I lived through that!! All of those woeful moments waiting and wondering if and when my package would clear customs flashed before my eyes and disintegrated into fangirl fairy dust the moment he looked at me, smiled and took the bag from my hand.
I wished him a happy birthday, he smiled, nodded his head and headed back to rejoin Seung Ho and Mir. So.Very.Sweet.
I am still an amateur when it comes to picture-taking or video fan-camming. I had an amazing opportunity to get a wonderful picture (or cam) of Mir who, at one point, stood inches in front of me, gave me a palm-to-palm handshake, flashed a peace sign, and made his way back to the others. Instead, I managed a couple of nice shots of the back of his head after he walked away……classic!^^
I am decidedly a pro at getting pictures of the backs of heads!!!^^
Amazingly, I did manage a little fancam.
Everyone has asked me if G.O remembered me from my previous
stalker sessions attendances at his musicals. I cannot say with certainty he remembered me. But he did look over at me a couple of times and the best way I can describe it is this way: he looked at me as if he was scanning his brain trying to remember. You know when you see someone you know you have seen before but are not sure and cannot remember precisely where, how and when it was? That is how he looked at me and that was ok.
I did not expect him to remember….the guy has been through a lot these past six months and has been exceptionally busy and focused. I know he is known for his incredible memory but seriously, how many fans has he seen in his career? Thousands upon thousands upon thousands.
It did not matter if he remembered me or not. What mattered was that I was there supporting him and supporting MBLAQ. I saw him and he saw me. I was there, in the same country, in the same city….in the same department store as my bias!!! And, by the work of a very crafty universe, I was physically able to hand him a gift, a gift that had journeyed from the US to Seoul, back to the US, and finally back to Seoul…to him. Sort of like me, right?♥