Annyeong! From Seoul, South Korea!
The theme for this trip is, “anything goes”. As in, we don’t have any planned itinerary and we will only go out when we feel like it. The only thing I have planned is a visit to the two gardens – Jade Garden and Garden of Morning Calm, and I’m going to do it on my own because my other two companions have been there before and they don’t feel like coming back. It’s a new challenge for me, the super-geographically challenged person that I am, so expect a blog entry solely devoted to that experience. Wish me luck!
We started this journey with a surprise. We didn’t tell Sookyoung 이모 that the guests that she’s expecting is actually me, Mommy Chie and Charity. What she was expecting were Charity’s mom and sister. Well, it’s not exactly a total lie as Mommy Chie and I are Charity’s spiritual mom and sister. We were mapping out our plan to surprise her but the plan got totally busted. As we were walking along the street leading to 이모’s house, we bumped into Sookyoung 이모 herself, who was so shocked that she nearly passed out right there on the street when she saw us.
For our first activity here in Seoul, we saw Episodes 14 and 15 of My Lovely Girl. I haven’t seen a single episode of this drama yet, so I didn’t know what to expect. To be perfectly honest, I was impressed by Rain’s acting in that drama. I am not sure if my expectations are just lowered because I was kinda ‘traumatized’ by his performance in his last two acting projects. But really, his acting here totally moved me. I saw the episodes without subs, but I understood the emotions that he was conveying even if I didn’t understand the dialog.
I can’t say the same about his co-star, though. Was she happy? Was she sad? Was she angry? I don’t know. Her face is the same no matter what’s the scene. #myopinion
But in my opinion, the best actor in the cast is none other than the Golden Retriever.
From Bongeunsa Temple, our next stop is the Cheongdam-dong area for some agency-hopping. It’s the first time for Tita Cheeh to visit the entertainment agencies, but for Tita Ruby, she has been there before. She was with us when we tried to search for The Missing JTune Office in 2010. But I promised them that even if I’m only playing this by ear as I didn’t review the directions before leaving, the J Tune thing will not happen again. Or so I thought.
I was thinking of ways to reach Cheongdam-dong from Bongeunsa without walking all the way back to Samseong station (it will be quite a long walk from Bongeunsa). I know that Samseong-dong and Cheongdam-dong are (relatively) near each other. Way back in 2006, we walked all the way from JYPE office (which is in Cheongdam), to Samseong-dong, to Bongeunsa, to COEX. But we were with our Korean friend Helena at the time so we didn’t get lost. This year, I got lost inside COEX Mall; do you honestly think I will dare try to figure out the way from Bongeunsa to JYPE on foot? And on blistered feet at that??
The answer came up when we got out of Bongeunsa’s main gate: there was a bus stop.
Continue reading →
I bet my travel buddies are either or at the title of this blog entry.
True confession: I am geographically-challenged. I am super bad at directions. I can’t distinguish between left and right. I always take the long way before realizing too late that either there’s a shorter way, or I was totally going to the wrong direction altogether.
This recent Korea trip is most challenging for me for two reasons: (1) No Charity, the navigator; and (2) no Lou, the ENG-KOR translator in case we need to ask for directions. Although I’m traveling with two people who have been to Korea multiple times before, they’re both worse at directions than I am (ironically, one of them draws maps for a living) and they can’t even read Hangeul. I’m going to have to push myself to the limits for this.
Saturday (July 13) was supposed to be reserved for a trip to Jade Garden Natural Arboretum, filming site of two K-dramas that I recently liked: Full House Take 2 and That Winter, The Wind Blows. (You could say that this would’ve been our substitute for the now-defunct Full House filming location in Sindo Island.) However, the weather did not cooperate that morning and we decided that it might not be worth the effort to travel that far only to get wet and muddy, not to mention that we might not enjoy the beauty of the place if we can’t see nor photograph it properly. So we just decided to forego that one (I was telling myself, ‘save it for autumn’) and just explore the Gangnam area for a change.
Continue reading →
Oh wait. This isn’t Trip Advisor.
It was raining pretty hard the entire day on 12 July so we’re glad that our itinerary consisted of indoor activities. After our brief stint at the Lee Soon Shin set, we moved to KBS Hall for the live broadcast of KBS Music Bank. We got there a lil’ bit too early for the 4:50pm call time so we lingered outside KBS Hall with the other fans. Thankfully, the waiting area has a roof overhead so we’re all protected from the rain.
File photo from October 2012.
I shudder at the thought of doing this at SBS Inkigayo where fans have to wait outdoors, with nothing to protect them from the elements.
Continue reading →
I mentioned in my entry about our visit to the set of A Tale of Two Sisters that there was some sort of confusion when we thought that we’re visiting the filming of You’re The Best, Lee Soon Shin. Sookyoung 이모 knows that we want to go there, too, so she arranged another studio visit for us (thank you so much, 이모 ). Unfortunately, the schedule was on Friday (12 July) and we already had tickets to KBS Music Bank on the same day. It takes a lot, and I mean A LOT of effort to get those tickets, so foregoing it is definitely not an option. Filming usually starts at 2:30pm, so the deal was that we were to meet at KBS Annex at 2:20pm for Lee Soon Shin taping, then proceed to KBS Hall for Music Bank at about 4:30.
Unfortunately, there were delays in the filming schedule and it eventually started at 4:00pm. We only had about 30 minutes to observe the shooting and possibly meet some of the cast before we absolutely have to be at KBS MuBank at 4:50. Also, we were told that IU and Yoo In Na were not scheduled to film that day but Jo Jung Suk and Son Tae Young will be there.
Continue reading →