Sorry for the delay. I just arrived in America on Sunday and I am still on Korean People Time and Jet Lag has been a drag.
But last Saturday, DN and I met on my last day in Seoul by going on an adventure. She travelled all the way to Cheonyangmni train station on the express train and greeted me as we were introduced to each other for the first time. We mastered the subways and plotted our destination, united in our quest to try and find the ONE: Rain. or at least his music company.
We got off in on a muggy overcast day that had us sweating like mad. We stopped at my last Korean restaurant where we had kimchi, kimbop, and 2 bowls of ramen all for just the equivalent of 5 dollars each. We practiced our small amount of Korean and used the universal language of hands gestures and pointing to order.
Satiated, we were off trying to find Rain's (or as DN liked to refer to as HIS) company, using a glossy little star map from the tour magazine DN had picked up from her employer. We could tell we were in the rich area by the amount of armani, luxury vehicles, coffee shops, and wedding gown boutiques there were. Asking foreigners on the street, we deduced that we were heading in the right direction, getting us closer and closer to HIM. But of course we were vanquished by DN's sudden urge to use the bathroom.
We were led to a dingy bathroom located in a parking/valet garage that looked like the bathroom where prostitutes are murdered; and, low and behold, DN had the cultural experience of using a 'Korean' toilet (i.e a hole in the ground). After careful switching of shoes and other effects, she was able to master the Korean toilet.
Upon leaving we ran into the owner of the valet. He was a kindly old Korean gentleman in his late 50s early 60s who mistook us for
owners of one of the cars. Upon telling him we were just there to use his bathroom, he began asking us if we were alright. DN told him that she was thirsty as she had not had time to fill her water bottle. Upon hearing that, he excused himself and returned with 3 bottles of water he had purchased for us. We tried to ask him how much, but he would have none of it.
He asked where we were from. I said I was going back to America as I had been a student at the University of Seoul and DN explained that Osan, an hour and a half from Seoul, was her home, as she is an English teacher. He mistook me for Spanish, though we corrected him by saying we were both African American. He then launched into how when he was 17, after he served in the Korean War, he encountered a Spanish American in the military or government who went on to teach him some Spanish phrases that he then went ahead and practiced on us. He was the kindest elderly Korean gentleman I met.
Unfortunately, some customers came up to get their car and my University friend Ann was calling and we got further directions to JYP (which is Big Bang and Wonder Girls' company) and then to J. Tune (Rain's company).
Upon meeting my friend Ann, we made our way down one of the narrow streets to find a Dunkin Donuts and across the street, the JYP building. We took pictures and then, correctly or incorrectly, we followed the map, got lost, asked some people, got lost, asked people again, and then got back to the JYP building. Hopefully DN will be able to find actual Rain with better directions then we had. We called it a day because Ann and I had to get ready for the 2PM concert.
The 2PM concert was sooo fun and much more of a family affair then most concerts as grandmothers were there and whole families. It was kind of different demographic but all good. I was excited because I had essentially been introduced to the world of K-Pop a few weeks prior and had only heard a few of their songs including 'Heartbeat' but I knew I would enjoy it. And enjoy it I did. 2AM and Miss A opened for them and they did a nice job.
First of all, let me just say that 2PM needs to change their name to 2:01 PM because they were on colored people time not once but twice during the concert, missing 2 of their cues. Another thing is that there were some loud crazy fan girls, including one that had to be escorted out by security.
Fortunately, Jaeyong had got Ann and my tickets in the middle of the auditorium with seats, so we had a nice view and were only sitting by a grandmother and some Korean American girls. My friends Rabiya and Victoria were 3 people from the stage in the mash pit, and had to deal with crazy fans including one that scratched Rabiya when she took the head off a rose that 2PM had thrown to Rabiya.
Other than that, they had no problems. 2PM was an incredibly considerate and friendly group, taking time to joke and talk with the audience. They also gave out roses to the audience. I thought I was the only black woman there, but, alas, I saw 3 Black women after,each with roses so that was cool. Take brought a young Korean fan onstage and played the piano to her, even with his messed up cornrows.
The concert featured cross-dressing, a parody of the Korean Drama one of the members had been in, and rain and motorcycles. For their solos, they also did English covers of "Empire State of Mind" and Usher's "Caught Up".
The sexiest part of the performance is when one of the members did an English cover of Chris Brown's "Take you Down" and he and his back up dancers literally gyrated topless onstage, sending the entire concert full of girls into a frenzy. When he got down and air humped the stage, the 60 year old Korean grandmother sitting next to me went into an apoplexy of excitement. It was so sexy, women almost threw their panties at the stage. I was ethnic and screamed "You can take me down any night!!" ... Don't judge me, it was my last night in Seoul. I'll have to post that video later but I'm not sure it's appropriate ;D
It was the most fun I've had at a concert in a long time, considering the last one I went to was a 50 cent concert when I was only 13 and was under the constant, disapproving stare of my uncles. I'll have to go to another K-Pop concert, next time for Rain's sexy self.
All in all, I had an amazing time in Seoul. I'll have 2 final quick posts about the Korean dates I went on and then a retrospective about my life-changing time in Seoul as a Black woman.