Yes, you read that right, stalking fangirling. And specifically, fangirling for one of the most popular Korean groups to date, Super Junior. While our summer trip in Seoul also included sightseeing and shopping (after all, for three of us, it was our first time in Korea), one thing we did which I find unique and unforgettable was fangirling. And no, it’s not simply stalking. As I will endeavor to explain in this post, fangirling is an art, a skill, and has become an all-consuming passion for a lot of people who call themselves true fans.
|Old friends and new friends outside KBS|
Do I call myself a Super Junior fan? I know their names (after some effort by the way!), I like their music, I love their performances, and I find all of them quite cute each in his own way. But there’s a part of me that hesitates to call myself a fan because after I saw the level of devotion and passion of some of their fans (like my travel companions above), I’m afraid I’m no match 🙂 I guess you can say this account is that of a newbie looking into the fascinating world of the Korean/ Super Junior fangirls.
In our first day in Seoul alone, we were able to visit two Super Junior-related coffee shops and were able to tick off one item from our “Summer in Seoul” list: to see Super Junior in the flesh.
TV Station Fangirling
It seems that one surefire way to make the most out of a fangirl trip to Seoul and to be able to see your favorite Super Junior in person is to visit the studio of the TV station where they have their taping/live performance for the day. On the Friday we were there, that station was KBS. Before that day, I was only familiar with KBS and SBS because I also like watching K-Drama.
But that afternoon, there we were, patiently waiting outside the studios, hoping for a Super Junior sighting.
The scene outside the studio was one of patience/impatience, drama, and excitement. Especially during the two instances two groups of Super Junior members entered the studio.
It also helps to have impressive and technologically advanced gear in hand—all the better to capture the moment and to make the most out of a sighting of the boys.
For those readers who don’t know who Super Junior are, I will never expect you to appreciate the following pictures. But for those who do and are fans, these were the products of the long wait:
|Spot Kyuhyun, Eunhyuk, and Ryeowook|
Then, it was near-chaos after the show, when it seemed everyone was clamoring for one last glimpse of their idols.
And where I saw otherwise sane-looking, healthy young women go gaga at the sight of the famed celebrity vans.
Good thing Super Junior’s Leeteuk happily obliged with an appearance:
One thing that I immediately noticed was that a lot of these girls were very young! I may no longer fall into the “young girl” category myself but believe me, you’ll feel young and carefree yourself when you’re with this crowd—especially if your only concern is to see your favorite Super Junior member in person. I guess I have one consolation—that in our group, at least I was not the eldest (hihi). But truly, being with fangirls that day was a riveting time that made me forget about complicated issues like love, career, money, and well, my age 🙂
Coffee Shop Fangirling
Another surefire way to indulge the fangirl is to visit the coffeshops owned by their favorite Super Junior member. If you’re not lucky enough to actually have your order taken by the actual Super Junior member himself, then the closest consolation is to meet and have your picture taken with that SuJu member’s mom—which will apparently earn you enough bragging rights in the SuJu fangirl world. 🙂
We visited KStory in Myeongdong, a coffeshop dedicated not just to Super Junior but to other stars of K-pop as well.
Like the other Super Junior coffeshops, in all fairness, this place had good coffee and refreshing drinks too. And we even made new friends.
Our second coffeeshop was Handel and Gretel, near the KBS station, owned by Super Junior member Yesung’s parents.
M. wanted to see Yesung in the flesh.
Unfortunately, he was probably off on one of his shows. So, she had to happily make do with a photo op with Yesung’s mama:
Next it was Kona Beans at Apgujeong, the Hawaiian-themed coffee shop owned by Super Junior members Leeteuk, Sungmin and Kyuhyun.
This time, it was Aissa’s turn to hope for a Leeteuk sighting, and got a picture with his mom instead:
And Leeteuk’s mom even invited us over for a group pic:
When you can’t see Super Junior up close or in the flesh while you’re in Seoul, some will be content to bring home original SuJu merchandise back to the Philippines or to have their pictures taken at Lotte World’s Star Avenue .
|Buying original SuJu merchandise in a Myeongdong subway station store|