It is currently Wednesday, September 28th, 9pm in Korea. but technically, my adventure began on Monday afternoon, September 26th.
On Monday, I raced to the airport after taking an exam to make my 3:40 flight. but my mom and I reached the airport at 3:00 and missed baggage check in, causing my sister and I to book a later flight to LA.
Anyways, with all of those issues aside my sister, Deja, and I reached LA safely and had enough time to eat some Panda Express before boarding the plane. I was trying to look for the members of Kre8, the other USA team that was supposed to fly with us, but I couldn’t find them :/
So the flight from LA to South Korea was very, very, VERY, very long ;_; 13 hours of on and off sleeping, eating, movie watching, and textbook studying.
We started preparing for landing around 5am KST. By this time I was jumping around in my chair with excitement. Before hand, I had been fairly passive (the reality of this entire trip had yet to hit me, and still hasn’t completely hit yet), but at that point I was dying to run out of that plane xD
Ok~ so we land, grab our bags, head out of the plane, and *TA-DA* the beauty of the Korean…airport heheh. After immigration I found Kre8 while picking up our baggage :D Apparently they had been sitting somewhere in the back of the plane. After we got our bags we went through customs and changed some currency. Tara, (one of the Kre8 members) realized that she left her camera on the plane and we waited a bit for her to go get it back (although they never did find her camera). Once we (my sister and I) exited the terminal/area/whatever you wanna call it there was someone who called out my name and a camera filming me as I pushed our ginormous luggage cart (my sister and I definitely over packed >.> I think we had the biggest luggage peices lol) in their direction. Diana, the schedule director handed us a welcome package and breakfast and told us to wait for Kre8 to come out. As I was waiting I spoke with Jinchul, a staff member who had been present during the LA competition as well. He was sorta quirky, but nice xD
*Btw, when we arrived in Korea it was after 5am , Wednesday September 28th–we had left LA at 12:20 am Tuesday PST.
After Kre8 joined, us we proceeded to exit the airport, with more filming action going on. The camera man was named Yu Sok (I think xD) he was really cool :)))
Then Kre8 took the bus to Savoy hotel while my sister and I went in a car with Jinchul and his buddy to the hotel as well. On the way there I sang along with Jinchul and his buddy to 2NE1 and SISTAR19 lolz! They had this super fancy gps too, but I think we still got lost because we went through some strange back roads and drove around in circles a bit. womp~ We stayed at the hotel until about 1pm to wait for the other contestants from Russia, Brazil, Spain, and Japan to arrive. Some of the contestants for Thailand and Spain were delayed arrival until tomorrow.
Alright so after 1pm the bus arrived with a group called “rain’s Girls” from Russia :D They were all so well dressed! And they said they were covering miss A’s breathe ^o^
Ok so we rode the bus from Incheon to our main hotel in Gangnam, Seoul. And on the way there, Yu Sok had to film us talking to each other, singing kpop together, and what not xD It was so awk lol~ Then he started showing us ranodm images of celebrities on his camera, like Jessica from Girl’s Generation, Jiyoung from KARA, and Lee Kwang Soo from city Hunter :DDD.
We also passed by Namsan Tower, which I believe we’re going to visit tomorrow(?)
Alright so we arrived at our hotel–which is very high class btw–sometime around 3pm KST. But because the room they assigned us hadn’t been cleaned yet, we had to get a new room lol–also, we still can’t figure out how to use this high tech phone >.>
Anyways~ My sister and I dropped off our luggage and were told to meet in the lobby for dinner at 7pm. Then we went out to explore Seoul! We walked up and down the streets nearby our hotel (in order to find our way bakc and not get lost kekeke). There are like 5 coffee/bakery shops on each block and at least one Family Mart store on each block too lolz! I stopped to buy some dukboki. ANd I wish I could speak more Korean because I was trying to tell the cahsier at the food stand that I want dukboki and he was replying in some weird terms lol. Actally, first I didn’t know what to do when I entered the place because he was busy cooking something and this is what happened:
I walk in awkwardky looking around.
Worker glances at me.
Me: Jeo-jeogi— (my fail attempt at excuse me)
Worker: Chamshimanyo~ (please wait a moment)
Worker: (says somehting I didn’t understand)
Worker: (more words I didn’t understand) Takeout?
Me: Ne, ne~ (more fail)
The worker puts some dukboki in a take out container, pours TONS of red sauce on it, and then sprinkles some pepper and green things on it lol.
Me: Kamsahamnida! *walks out awkwardly*
My sister had ice cream at Baskin Robins while I ate dukboki for the first time. And GOOD GRACIOUS WAS IT SPICEHHHH!!!! I mean, I knew that it was going to be spicy…but gee willikers lol its WAS HAWTTT xD And chewy :p My sister said it was like a nuclear bomb lol xD
ANyways, after eating, we walked around some more. The people here are extremely fashionable! All of the women walk around in heels and chic jackets/dresses or cool sneakers and the guys have on their “city man” glasses heheh. Also, they kind of smoke a lot :/ That aside, everyone here is really nice :DDD I LOVE KOREA! ^O^
My sister and I went back to our hotel around 5pm, showered and got ready for dinner. We were a bit late in meeting everyone at the bus because they wanted us to meet at 6:30pm and we thought they met 7pm so we reached the lobby at 6:40 Dx
Yeah so we get on the bus which held me, Kre8, Minfi AKA sexyshushis on YT, and two groups from Japan. The bus took us to a really nice buffet styled restaurant. Idk what teh place was called but we had a private room with fancy decorations and “Kpop Festival Signs” everywhere. Everyone sat int heir tables by country so I sat with Kre8 and later Abby who arrived late from the airport with a few other groups. Then we met Eric, our translator/manager/guide for the trip :D Every group had a translator (Russia, Brazil, etc.). Before dinner, there was a presentation about Seoul and Visit Korea Year and an overview of our schedule for the next week. We were also introduced to all of the staff and amazing marketing and advertising workers who helped put this event together (God bless their souls <3). Then we had dinner buffet style: salad bar, seafood area, sushi bar, meat stations, stew station, dessert area, and just tons of exotic looking foods! I ate eel, sushi, and rasputins? (hairy grapes!) And I had some cute mini cakes for dessert. There was also a chocolate fountain! :D
After dinner there was another speech by someone from Seoul Newspaper. I couldn’t hear what his name was, but he apparently created/founded the event and was also a judge for some of the regionals o: Then, we were given Visit korea Year gift bags with a jinsu candy (?) it’s some sort of herb tea candy , tasted fairly good :3
It was roughly 9pm at this point and we all headed back to the buses and back to our hotel. That was about it for today’s experience :D I know I wrote alot :/ but there’s just so much that happened today >.<
I will write something every day and be sure to post pictures so check frequently! :D
Apparently Seoul is were you randomly encounter Kpop stars, I love this place!!! But I’ll tell you more about that in a bit ;D
OK so our day began wiht breakfast as usual and we were supposed to leave the hotel for dance class at 9:30 but we left at 10:30 instead. I can't remember the area we went to, but we danced at Hong Young Joo Dance Studio. Hong Young Joo is a famous choreographer/dance trainer who has worked with JYP, SM, etc.
BUT ALONG THE WAY SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED
So our group which today included Japan, Brazil, France, and USA teams were walking to the studio from where our bus parked (cameras filming our every move), when suddenly a black van pulls up beside us:
Me: *point* Thats looks like one of those vans that celebrities drive in in Korea!
Abby: Yeah i wondre if there are celbrities in there?! :DDD
Then all of a sudden the front window rolls down just enough for us to see someones hair, eyes, and part of their nose lol xD I kept trying to figure out who the person was but it was a bit hard to tell.
Person in window: Do you know who we are???
Crowd makes questionable ruckus
Person in window: We are BEAST!!!
I realized at this point that it was Yoseob (from the voice) and the van drove away as we all started screaming and basically just freakin out xD Abby, Minfi, and I were screaming I was practically doing leaps and turns all the way to the studio lol xDDD We thought that maybe we were having a dance class with BEAST, which is why we were extra excited, but in the end that wasn’t the case :/ lol But its even more aweosm that we ran into BEAST so spontaneously like that LOL.
SO when we finally reach the studio, Hong Young Joo introduces herself and has us perform a bit of our competition pieces so that she and her team could critique and helps us correct/perfect our dance. I was a bit nervous when performing mine because the cameras always tend to creep me out a bit and I kept slipping/tripping over my feet >.< AT the end she said I was “perfect” lol xD But idk I still feel lacking, I wish that I could do another dance :/
After we performed for he, we broke off into separate groups so that we could work individually with a dance trainer. I didn’t get her name but my trainer was a really good dance, she helped Minfi with her Rania dance and Juri(?) the cute ittle Japanese girl with her I Am the Best dance—man that girl can dance!!!
Anyways~ she and Hong Young Joo basically told me to add a little bit of extra moves since Hot Issue is an older dance/song to be less boring and maybe to travel across the stage more for camera angles and things.
After dance practice we had a more traditional style Korean lunch with tons and tons of side dishes. We could barely fit everything on the table lol. The food was so good though, especially the beef pancakes…I forgot what they’re called again–sorry Tim ;_; lol
Once we were fully stuffed we headed back to the hotel. My sister and I really wanted to go shopping so we went with Tim (one of the MBC staff members) to the underground Subway mall :))) Tim is half Korean and half American but his Korean is really good and he knew the area really well. I swear we’d be lost without him xD
Alright so we walked to the shopping area form our hotel, and the place underground is HUGE!! I really wanted to get some boots and CD’s but a lot of the shoes were expensive and we couldn’t find the CD store. But in the end I was able to find a pair of boots for a pretty good price :)
Then Tim took us to a bookstore so we could buy some CDs :)
And Im not sure if this was before or after CD buying but SOMETHING AWESOME HAPPENED AGAIN.
So we were walking down the street when I spotted a blonde girl in a hoodie walking with 3 other people. One girl had red hair, the other brown hari, and one had a short hairstyle cut. I vaguely recognized the girl with short hair first, and I pointed at them and said chocolat? They walked past us and I kept trying to tell my sister that they were definitly form an idol gorup. So I decided to run up to them.
Me: Hey aren’t you guys in that group Chocolat??
The girls were slightly dumbfounded lol
Me: Singing and dancing to Syndrome
Girls: Oh yes yes!! :D
Me: Im sorry that I don’t know all of your names but I recognized your faces and I like your song :D
Girls: oh thank you!
Me: Can I have a picture?? :D
Girls: No Im sorry we can’t take pictures, no make up >.<
Then I said it was nice to meet them and wished them good luck as they ran to cross the street. What surprised me the most is that these girls were running around by themselves lol. And even though there’s not really famous yet most of the members are younger than me so it was a bit of surprise lol xD
Anyways~ I baiscally went all out at the music store xD I got 6 albums and my sister bought one of them because I ran out of money >.>
SHINee’s First Album
SISTAR’s So Cool Album
Infinite’s Paradise Repackaged Album
Boa’s Copy and Paste Album
Brown Eyed Girls’s Sixth Sense Album
U-KISS Neverland Album
We’re going to music core tomorrow so if we get to go backstage I hope to get their autographs :3 (BEG, U-KISS, Infinite)
After this we had to go back to the hotel in time to meet the group for our Hongdae outing!
We left after 5:30 and it was after 6:30 by the time we reached. We had until 7:40 to explore and eat dinner before our NANTA show a 8pm. *OMG NANTA was also a highlight of the day!!!*
Me and my sister, Minfi and her mom, and Abby and her mom all followed Tim around there area. And btw Hongdae is definitely where the night life and hang out spots are at!! Its also ver popular for underground artists/musicians to perform.
Abby and I spent a lot of time spazzing over the good looking guys that we saw lolol xD
We walked around for a bit before stopping at a small chicken skwewer place—again the name escapes me Dx—but the server spoke good english and when he saw our custom made kpop shirts he mentioned YT dance videos :D We all ended up getting barbeque and teriyaki chicken skewers. And while we waited for everything to cook we made conversation with the server who told us about the shist of his shop (which was filled with tons of cool knick knacks) and who some famous ppl had eaten their before too.
The skewers were very delicious and spicy! Even though I order mine with mild spice, my tongue was still burning afterwards xD
Then we headed out because we were pressed for time. We stopped at a Mando (fried dumpling) stand for another snack and then headed to the nanta theater.
NANTA is basically a nonverbal, dance, cooking, musical show!! Its really cool with tons of drumming, cooking and acrobatic stunts. And the show is EXTREMELY FUNNY.
OMG this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you guys but Abby and I basically spent the whole time fan girling over one of the actors of was really really smexy *.* And towards the end of the show he waved and smiled in our direction because we were so loud xD. Two of our Kpop show people were pulled onstage too, it was so HI-LARIOUS!!! One got married, one had to pull a trash can off someone’s but, and the other participated ina dumpling battle xDD It sounds so crazy right?
After the show we took pictures of the cute actor, we got his name AND his email from one of the NANTA items that were on sale, MWAHAHHAHAHA~ >:D
Then we headed back to the buses. I ened up buying another CD too xD Miss A’s A Class :)))
When the buses arrived we headed back to the hotel for sleep zzZZZzz. We’re heading out to Gyeongju after Music Core tomorrow as well~