Celebrity Sighting in Korea
Blogging is all about getting as many views as possible, and since I became what you might call a full time blogger I’ve been pondering what to write about in order to achieve that, and then suddenly yesterday it dawned on me; I have to write about celebrities that’s what’s going to make my views explode, I will break the internet like the bloggers’ equivalent of Beyonce!
Or well, maybe not quite, but I did figure that writing about celebrities would be a fun and interesting topic, not only for me to write about, but also for all those kpop fans out there to read about should they be wondering (and I wager they are) what the possibilities of spotting some real life celebs when visiting Korea are like.
Now I do not consider myself a passionate kpop fan or in general a great consumer of Korean popular culture. I have no biases, and while I do occasionally listen to kpop, it’s not my go to choice of music. In the same way I’ve only watched one full Korea drama, which I liked mainly because of the entertainment value, and not so much due to the fact that Lee Min Ho starred in it. However this doesn’t hinder my excitement whenever I find myself in the vicinity of Korean celebrities, something that has actually happened a few times during my stay here in Korea.
I don’t know quite what it is that excites me so. I think it’s the sensation of actually seeing one of these elusive creatures like spotting a rare bird that so excites me. Just to be clear; when I say “see” I mean in the flesh and blood, for it is nothing less than impossible not to see a celebrity advertising soju or skincare on television, as cardboard cut-outs in front of stores, or even as decorations at metro stations. But know enough with the blabbering, let’s get down to business, let me tell you about seeing actual live celebrities in Korea.
From my experience spotting Korean celebrities is actually relatively easy. For my part I never actively sought out celebrity hotspots, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. For example, during my first week in Korea, a friend and I went to a mall on Yeouido, and while we noticed that something was happening as people, mainly teenage girls, were gathering in a corner of the mall, we didn’t think much about it. My friend had to draw some cash, and as I stood waiting for her to finish, a group of oddly dressed guys with microphones walked past. They went by fairly close to us, as in I could easily have reached out and touched them close, and while I had absolutely no idea who they were I put two and two together (I know I’m so smart), and realised that they must be idols of some sort and that they probably had a fan event, thus the reason why they and all the teenage girls happened to be at the mall that Sunday afternoon.
Another time I suddenly found myself in the close vicinity of a celebrity was one day when I decided to stop by one of my favourite cafes in Hongdae only to find it filled with cameras filming some TV show with a man and a girl. The manager of the cafe told me that the girl was a model and that the guy was from the boyband 2AM. Had I been a fan I would probably have filled my phone with pictures and asked for autographs, but having no idea who either of them were I just sat back with my coffee and had fun watching the filming proceed. When they were done and everyone walked out the guy even looked directly at me as he walked past close by me. I am sure that had I had just a single drop of fangirl blood in my veins I would have been have been screaming and fainting, but that not being the case I just took another sip of my coffee as I watched them walk away.
I have to say I almost feel bad about having such experiences, as I think that I do not appreciate them as much as other people might have, but that’s not the point here. What I’m trying to communicate to all you fan girls and boys out there is that from my experience even though you do not actively seek out places with reputations as “celebrity hotspots”, chances are that you may just happen to have a celebrity passing by you, or sitting at the same café as you. You won’t be in doubt as they’ll most likely be working, and thus will be clad in some funky outfit or be surrounded by cameras, and while they probably wont have time to chat with you, there’s nothing that’s going to keep you from basking in their glorious presence shining upon you at least for a little while.