June 9, 2019
It is the morning after… The best day! Being in Il-woo’s Fan Meeting for the first time, was such a …delight! Every bit of me was touched by his loving nature, his sweetness, his beauty and kindness. I will start writing this post today, but I’m not sure I’ll finish…soon I hope to show you why!
So day 6 started with a lot of excitement… (Find the post about the rest of my days in Seoul HERE.) I had been up since like 5:30 AM…unable to sleep… I tried to stay in bed for as long as I could… I took those photos of the sunrise… and posted in Instagram…
I got up, took a shower and was able to relax a bit as my morning plans really kicked in after 9. I took a shower, I ate breakfast… I’m so embarrassed to say I brought my cereal! I’m very American when it comes to cereal!
Then I got dressed and left my entire outfit laid out in the bed along with the necessities I could not leave without that I would not be taking in the morning. I knew as the the Fan Meeting time drew close, I’d be more nervous and thus unable to think clearly. It was a good decision!
I headed out to my first adventure… The National Museum of Korea and The Hangul Museum. I got there at 9:30 AM so I had the time to really enjoy the grounds… the green areas between the museums is so beautiful! Trees and those magpie like birds were everywhere… and I even saw Korea’s National Treasure No. 2: the Bosingak Bell, from 1468, Joseon Dynasty. It was huge! I will post about these at another time… today I want to write only about his Fan Meeting…
So… eventually I got to the station Ewha Woman’s University, a tour guide dressed in red with a hat pointed me in the right direction…
I walked down a street that had many shops … all targeted to women… and some restaurants. I had a quick bite to eat at a Paris Baguette.
Then, I finally made it to the one of the structures I wanted to see in Seoul for the longest time… this:
What do you think? Very unique… for sure!!! I walked and looked for Samsung Hall, which was on one of the sides…then a familiar someone caught my eye… you know who:
As I ventured inside… my heart started beating faster… and there it was! My smile must have been a mile wide! This is what I saw…
I was too excited to document the next part, but I bought a whole bunch of Il-woo goodies! These were the offerings:
Update August 28, 2019: You can get all these items in his Kribbit Website, go HERE!
This is my loot…
There was also a telephone case and something about an animation and a doll but only X iphones… I still have an iphone 8…so… 🙁
And this my Il-woo passport:
Tickets would not be given until 3:30PM so I walked around and entertained myself… I walked part of the grounds of the university and I visited The Ehwa University Museum… I’ll add this later!
Finally the time had come to retrieve my tickets… got them and then I had about an half an hour so I visited stores inside the structure and another bakery…
Yes! A frog encounter… but soon I would have the real encounter!!! AHHHH!!! At last the time had come! I stood in line… butterflies in my stomach… my first look at the stage sent my heart pounding! I got to my seat… the hall was over half way filled. I sat and examined the pouch I had been given in the entrance… it was a banner! It was beautiful!
The lights dimmed, then other lights blue and purple filled the hall going in many directions… very modern music played and… the cover story video with him dressed in pink played on a big screen… after it ended there he was!!! Dressed in a light gray outfit… cropped pants that showed his ankles, white shirt under his jacket… the best smile ever! Pinch!!! I am here! WOOw!
June 10, 2019
It’s time to continue this posting… 2:00 AM…! I can’t sleep… writing this post hopefully will help me!
Part 1: Greetings
Jung Il-woo waved and said hello and walked up the aisles on both sides of the hall about a quarter of the way to get closer to fans… he greeted us. he talked for a while and sadly I couldn’t understand it and then hi introduced the MC of the night: Park Seul-ki. She filled the space with her enthusiasm and the best: Il-woo’s laughter. I lost track of how many times he laughed because of what she said! Her expressions and the change in her tone made me laugh too…
After this part they got chairs and Seul-ki asked Il-woo questions related to his life… about his magazine Kribbit editorial challenges and Haechi.
Part 2: First Song
Then Il-woo treated us to a song. It’s called Confessions and it was originally sang by Deli Spice. He has sang this in other Fan Meetings, so he must like a lot! it was nice having the chance to listen to it live by him… it sounded like this:
Part 3: Guest Actors: Jung Moon-sung and Jung Soon-won
It is 2:40 AM and as I was about to start this session of the Fan Meeting, Jung Il-woo who could not sleep either? just posted a photo with these actors. Coincidence? Not such a thing! The main reason why I am awake this early is because yesterday I was so exhausted, I went to bed at 8:00PM! I already slept 6 hours…! But also there is another reason… I woke up thinking about Il-woo… I looked out the window…and I spoke many words to him…out loud… words of prayer, of love and that unreconcilable feeling of sadness for leaving the place where he is physically… When will I see you again? I am so sorry Il-woo Ssi, I did not mean to wake you with the loudness of my thoughts and tears… it’s raining and its sound brings me comfort… it’s as if Seoul cries with me…!
This was the photo he posted:
This was my comment:
Back to the Fan Meeting… The two actors almost wore the same outfit to the Fan Meeting and Jung Il-woo joked about it… but I guess he decided to join them in the end!
In this part with the actors, Il-woo had a conversation. Sadly, no idea what went down… but I was a bad girl and I recorded part of it… so hopefully my tutor can give me gist later on and I’ll share it with you….do you want to hear it? Here it is:
Oh his laughter… how this is comforting to my heart in this moment!
Then probably the most fun part of the fan meeting came: They played a guessing game! They showed on the screen rewards that the fans would get depending on the amount the were able to complete… among them were a free signed poster and the one with the most a dinner will Il-woo! A staff member held a card with a word of a famous Korean? character… the actors acted out their personality and traits and the other too had to guess… “passeu” was said a lot towards the end. One of the prime parts in this game was when Il-woo got down and tried to do the snake on the floor… it was hilarious! His movements were pretty good but too slow…
Part 4 Yes/No game with the audience
This part was so great to watch… basically he would make a statement about a scene in Haechi and then he would ask the audience to say if it was true with a yes holding the palm of their hand up, or false with a no and keeping their hand down. I lost in the first question! Ha! Anyways the crowd thinned out as the questions went by. Let’s see… I remember a question about the scene where he holds the bow and kills a bunny? that was a no! It was a boar. Another one was if he shot a gun in Haechi… the answer no! A hard one was the type of hair on the brush that he is given when doing the civil examination. Ermite? something like this was in the question… ahhh How did I know what the questions were? He would put them up on the screen in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese.
After 15 questions, he still had about 8 people… too many for all the portraits about 11″ x 17″ that he had as gifts to the winners. So he brought down this number to two people with a game of rock, paper, scissors… so fun to watch! Finally he had two winners. Il-woo would asked them which of the 6 portraits did they want and then walk to them with it and sign it for them and then give them a hug. One thing that I was so impressed by in him giving these away is that he had to ask for every person’s hug!
I think this video is of the winner on his right:
I think this photo and video are from the winner on his left.
Part 5: Spaces Event.
This was one of the events that Il-woo asked fans to participate in. He gave the chance for fans to show him, his personal spaces about him. While he changed his wardrobe, hwe saw a video of him with the place where he keeps the gifts fans have given him…ever since his debut. It was great having him show some of the things people had given him. The collection of dolls of his characters was incredible! He also had a whole collection of frogs which was amazing!
Three people had their spaces show cased… a Korean, a Japanese and a Thai. He would walk up to where they were sitting, and a translator too if necessary. Then he would try to sit or stand as close to them and talk to them… he then would watch the videos of their spaces. They were spectacular! the Japanese even had a Kimono with frogs that were designed for him by autism patients! Two of them had gone to his baking birthday! These were some seriously hard dying fans!
Part 6: Doctor Il-woo.
For this part Jung Il-woo picked three people as well. He would read their messages with a really funny voice. These were the medications he subscribed:
- He recorded motivational messages for her… a morning, afternoon and evening one!…
- Got a Selfie…
- Her friend actually surprised her and sent Il-woo the note about it being her birthday on that day! So we sang Happy Birthday and then Il-woo took polaroids with them… no cake?!
I had sent him something for this part of his Fan Meeting:
Hello Il woo. This is my comment about you/story to counsel. Doing this was so much fun! I included my voice reading it … I thought you’d like to hear it! You know… before I knew your name was pronounced ‘roo’ and even for sometime after… I used to call you Chung 2 Woo! 😂 Sometimes the WOO part lingers because…
I have a WOO in my heart!
called Jung il WOO
I WOOake up sWOOeating.
HE sWOOps all my sense aWOOay!
He makes me sWOOn!
Is this a WOOping cough?
WOOhy! He makes me feel so WOOell! Like WOOpie pie!
WOO hoo! WOO hoo!
No WOOrds can describe
This WOOnderful feeling
of WOOndrous delight!
He makes me feel so WOOrth it!
Like there is no WOOne else in this WOOrld!
Every bit of my WOOmanhood
It’s totally overWOOhelmed!
And Just WOOhen I think I’m better
WOOait …is that my WOO?
WOOw! I feel WOOzie!
It’s WOOednesday all over again!
WOOhat WOOuld you advice?
WOOait! WOOhat did you say?
It’s Jung il Woo?
Yeah… I can see why he wouldn’t choose it… it WOOay out there!
Part 7: Take Photo Session
This was so great… we were allowed to take photos of him… officially! So the auditorium went crazy as Ilwoo posed in many ways and walked about half way of both aisles! There are a lot of photos in Instagram of this. Here’s some! I start with mine and credit if not in the photo:
Part 8: Jung Il-woo sings “Someone Like You”
After everyone delighted in taking many photos and video, Jung Il-woo treated us to a second song: “Someone like you.” from Flower Boy Ramen Shop! This made me so, so, so happy as it is from my favorite Il-woo dramas! I couldn’t help make a video… just had to have that memory!
This is the song with lyric subtitles in English:
Part 9: Closing and Goodbye
Well as that title states, Jung Il-woo thanked everyone for coming and walked both side of the stage and waved goodbye… I recorded this moment too:
Part 10: High Five and Poster
This part was not as long as I thought it would be… they basically start with the side closer to the door and everyone makes a line … one moment I was standing in line… the next I’m at the door hearing his voice and then I see him! And he sees me… I grab his hand instead of a high five and he grabs it back and says “Thank you for coming!” …!
I walk out and a young lady hands me a poster! It is signed by him!
This is a video of someone’s high five. So you can feel how fast it was!
My mom’s last words before I left on my trip were… “I wish you a happy trip to Seoul. May every moment hold something good for you. When you come back, may you say: “It’s was worth all my effort.”
It was worth all my effort mom! In so many ways!
I had the blessing of being able to attend my first Jung Il-woo Fan Meeting and be in the same space as “Him” as he shared his talent, his kindness and his joy with all his fans! Just that alone was worth it!
Then, there are all the places I encountered on this trip, all that I have learned and continue to learn about South Korea and this side of the world because of him…!
And I will share a bonus… something that happened to me that was simply astounding…!
I had made a gift fro him and I had it in a bag… my hope was to give it to him in the high five moment. But it was so fast and I was so moved to finally see him face to face that I didn’t even try. I knew it was not the right time…
I walked out of the Fan Meeting elated, so delighted! … but there was a tiny 1% of sadness that I was not able to give him my gift. I had to go to the bathroom really bad and I decided to go to a Starbucks next to the auditorium that I had seen before. I figured the lines would be shorter there.
Much to my surprise there was no bathroom! I headed towards the door and as I walked by the counter, a man carrying a cup passed me by in the opposite direction. I stop in my tracks… wait?! Was that Jung Il-woo’s dad? I turned around and I watch him putting sugar in his coffee. I confirm my suspicion and as I look more towards the right of the room, and I spot his… mom!!! She was talking with a group of like 5 fans. I could not believe it as I looked at them dumbfounded… I took a couple of photos of them and walked out. And I thought to myself …that was pretty amazing!
I find a bathroom, and as I washed my hands and went to grab the gift bag… the thought comes to me… Duh!!! You should have given the gift to his parents!!! So I walked back quickly to Starbucks. My heart almost sunk as they were not where they had been before, but with a deeper look I finally spotted them sitting way in the back with another couple having their drinks. Dad was sitting sideways and mom sat facing the wall so you could only see her back. No other fans were in sight. I gathered my courage and put away doubt and decided that even though I would be interrupting them, I had come from so far…! the other side of the world! So, I walked straight to them. I apologized for the intrusion. I said something like “Hello, I’m so sorry I do not mean to intrude but… I’m a huge fan of your son Jung Il-woo. I travelled all the way from Boston, USA to see him.” I had barely finished my sentence when both of them stood up and shook my hand! I totally forgot to use any Korean and spoke in English. I told them briefly about myself and asked his mom if she would not mind giving him the gift… She was so sweet and replied “Yes, of course. I’ll give to him! His dad then asked if I wanted a photo with her and I said “yes!” and so he took our photo… I told her at the end “Thank you for bringing up such a lovely man to this world!” She smiled in a very shy manner and said “Thank you!” and I said Thank you so Much to you both! and we then said goodbye! I think my cheeks were as red as the shirt I was wearing by the end of that! I walked away feeling now 150% HAPPY!
As I think about this… it is so amazing that I met them… when I think that 10 seconds before or after and I would not have seen his dad right next to me like that and I would probably not have recognized him. I have only seen like 4 photos of him! Then, when I think further… had I come in when they were sitting in the back I would not have noticed them! And had I not needed to go to the bathroom… I would not have gone to the Starbucks! So extraordinary! I’m so humbled and thankful to GOD… to life!
I met Jung Il-woo’s parents! at a Starbucks!!! And the reason why he’s so sweet and kind is because his parents are just as sweet and kind!
Well…this concludes my posting from Seoul! I am heading back home today! Thank you to all those who followed in my stories, my travels and my adventures related to Jung Il-woo and Seoul!
May god bless you and may your Il-woo dreams come true as they did for me! And remember,
“Where life closes a door… it opens a window.” (The sound of Music.)
It so does!
Yeah… I really love this photo!