A few days ago, my rock star friend from the bandstalker era who now owns and manages a ramen house (and to whom I owe a blog entry – sorry, Atsushi! I’ll do that after this, promise) sent me a message asking me if I’m attending Kpop Con 5. I said ‘no, unless I’m given a good reason to do so’. He said his restaurant, Ramen Daisho, might host a meal for them. That’s about the extent of our conversation on that topic.
Thursday night – rather shortly after midnight of Friday, to be exact – he sent me another message, asking me if I’m sure I’m not interested in meeting the Koreans. I’m like, which Koreans? If it’s not a celebrity, I’m not interested. Hey, just being honest, here! Apparently, what he didn’t tell me before is that Ramen Daisho is hosting the press conference for the Kpop Con 5 guest artists and two of the guests (excluding Boyfriend) will be attending. He didn’t tell me which ones are showing up, basically because he didn’t know who. And frankly, I didn’t know who, neither, so I can’t give him an answer when he asked me.
Since I was scheduled to meet my Voltes friends on Friday, anyway, I found this to be the perfect opportunity to (1) meet up after weeks of absence (believe it or not); (2) let them try the newest ramen house in town; and (3) have some Kpop celebrity sighting. It’s like hitting three birds with one stone.
Long story short, we arrived at Ramen Daisho at around 6:30pm, when the presscon has long been over. I saw my friend Atsushi in front of the restaurant chatting with Vernon Go of Pulp Live! (who brought in the artists for the Kpop Con) and Atsushi he saw me, he immediately told me to get inside the restaurant to see the Koreans. While getting seated, I took one sweep at the people inside the restaurant and saw a plethora of people with colored hair and Kpop-inspired outfits which led me to ask this question: “uh, which ones are the artists??” Fortunately, there was a Kpop Con 5 poster beside our table and we used it as reference to weed out the idols. It is also on this poster where we learned that contrary to our earlier impression, Lunafly is actually a boy band. We thought since the group’s name has ‘Luna’, there should be a girl in there somewhere.
Atsushi approached our table and said, “so, did you see them?” Us: “uh, which ones are they?” I swear, it’s getting more and more awkward by the minute. Suddenly, I saw one idol-looking boy in a hat who came out of the VIP area and approached the table beside ours, so I said, “I’m guessing the guy in the hat is one of them?” Atsushi said yes, he’s one of the artists. Atsushi actually told me many times to take pictures and asked me if I want to take a picture with the artists. I repeatedly refused. One, I know that Kpop idols normally do not allow taking pictures with random people, unless of course as a favor for someone (and in this case, it’s the sponsor who will ask so I’m pretty sure that if we asked, they would oblige). Two, I’m trying to avoid that super-awkward moment when the Korean celebrities would discover that the person asking to take a picture with them doesn’t actually know who they are. Three, despite knowing that they might oblige because it’s the sponsor who will ask and Atsushi assured us that the boys are nice and accommodating, I dread at the possibility of being rejected by a nugu. Being rejected by a Top Star is one thing, but being rejected by a minor star? Embarrassing.
Anyway, we just decided to have our ramen dinner while the idols are also having their dinner. About an hour later, it’s time for them to leave. The idols passed by our table one by one and we smiled at them. They smiled back. Some of them even bowed towards our direction. They left quite a good impression, manners-wise, so I guess that’s a good start for them.
Now I’m thinking, I should’ve given in to Atsushi’s prodding and had our photo taken with the artists. What if they become super-popular? We could’ve gotten a headstart over the other (future) fans.
With a little help from Mr. Google, I found out who were the artists that we saw and kinda had dinner with at Ramen Daisho. They are:
(Photos shamelessly stolen from Ramen Daisho’s Facebook Page.)