Here is the 1st part of Tori’s fan account. She really had a daebak experience meeting SeungGi and supporting him at the Olympic Torch Relay. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I did. 😛
BTW, I have created a new page “Meeting SG” where I’ll be compiling the fan accounts. Send me an email if you have something to share as well. 😀
I met Seunggi oppa everyday during his stay in the UK (22/o6- 25/o6) and so I thought I’d write a (short?) fan account to share with all of you~ Airen and Seunggi oppa hwaiting~ I hope its not too boring, here goes nothing…
Having been his fan for a long time I was extremely pleased when it was announced that he would represent Samsung as a torch bearer for the London 2012 Olympics. Not only was oppa coming to the UK, but also to Manchester- my hometown! Through hours of research and contacting random people, I finally found out all the details and so waited for him at Manchester Airport…
22/o6/12: Manchester Airport- Lee Seunggi-ssi’s Arrival
I was told that he would be catching the flight from Amsterdam to Manchester and arriving at 16.55 so after work experience I rushed to the airport in hope that I’d catch him. However, the train arrived at T1 so I had to run all the way to T3, it was so tiring but so so worth it! After having ran flat out for 15mins I finally found all the International Airen at around 17.15 already there waiting for oppa. Unlike everyone else I didn’t wait for hours on end for him~ I did feel slightly guilty when I stood at a good place at the front. There wasn’t a massive amount of fans- probably around fifty Airen? Not too sure but it’s not the number that counts anyway, it’s the support we give oppa; we did make the terminal very crowded with our signs! Right next to the arrival gates was the Samsung stand with various name tags spread across the table with a few staff. One man was on the phone for the whole duration~ Busy busy busy~
The electronic chart at the airport flashed: |16.55|Amsterdam|Claiming baggage| By this time I was past nervous, I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to take any photos because my hands were shaking so much. Looking back it reminded me of when oppa said he would always get sweat on his palms from seeing Shin Min Ah~ I swear my heart was going to jump out anytime soon, I could feel it pulsing so loudly I was paranoid that people could hear me although I knew that was impossible! Oh and another thing, I’d forgotten to bring my memory card and so I couldn’t use my camera! How stupid- I’m such a babo. (I think oppa’s HeoDang-ness had caught onto me- eek!) I had to use my phone which, luckily, was good quality but took ages with the zooming~ Moving on from my little problems, something really funny happened to all the Airen. Behind the screen separating the arrivals to the fans a huge shadow of a trolley carrying a lot of luggage appeared, we all immediately thought it was oppa with all his stuff! A few cameras clicked here and there which caused a frenzy amongst us- nobody knew what was happening but because some people were clicking away, everyone just followed suit! It turned out to be just another person coming back from their holiday…
Then to our surprise, at around 17.25 a herd of Samsung staff and other Korean people (the other torch bearers and the lucky fans selected by Samsung) walked out with all their luggage. Everyone immediately flashed their cameras in hope of catching oppa, but to our disappointment yet again, he still hadn’t come out. I doubled checked the people who came out just incase one of them was oppa in disguise- silly I know, but the tension was killing me! All the Koreans took their name badges and one man in particular walked up to the International Airen to read our placards and to see what we were holding since we were all just huddled there with our cameras ready. He asked in Korean, “Who are you waiting for?” To which everyone shouted, “LEE SEUNGGI-SSI/OPPA!” All the Koreans and Samsung staff immediately laughed at our crazy enthusiasm. As everyone slowly left for their coach, I quickly did a few bows and said bye in Korean to all of them to make sure they thought positive of Airen. Little did I know that in a few days time, some of them would have remembered me- kekekeke~
30mins had passed since his flight had arrived and all the fans were starting to get a bit impatient with all the false alarms and no sign of oppa- I also expected him to be one of the first to get off instead of the last one out! Suddenly, a little cute kid came out smiling, who was obviously pleased to see so many cameras pointed at him. Straight away he struck many different poses as the cameras clicked away like mad with his mum was struggling to pull him away. He was adorable, he definately livened the atmosphere. I was still paranoid about whether oppa had already left or had gotten a different flight than the one scheduled so I peered over at the Samsung stand to see how many name badges were left, I saw “LEE SEUNGGI” on the table and so returned to my waiting spot with even more enthusiasm having confirmed that we hadn’t missed him. As you have probably figured out by this time everyone was squirming with excitement, I did a quick scan around the Airen and I was happy to see everyone sharing the same awed smiles waiting for oppa to arrive. It seemed so surreal that he would be in the UK and walking past the screen that separated us!
Finally the aforementioned Samsung man at the stand got off his phone which everyone took as a sign that oppa was going to come anytime soon. Everyone was poised with their cameras, a few flashes went off from the nervous fans having held the button for so long. My heart was beating like crazy, felt like I was going into an oral exam- weird comparison I know but the same flutter was there. I took a few deep breaths to try to steady my heart but not only did it not work but instead I started feeling faint with giddyness. Holding my phone, I stood behind a short Airen (no offence intended~) and so I had perfect view. All the Samsung staff seemed to straighten up and tidy up the stand, by this time everyone knew for sure that oppa was about to come out. I could feel the tension and nervousness in the air with the buzz from all the excitement…
At around 17.40… HALLELUJAH! MY AMAZING OPPA FINALLY CAME OUT!!! He was wearing a checkered grey suit jacket, his signature white shirt, matching checkered pants and sunglasses. His manager (who I later found out to be a really nice person) was right behind with his luggage- poor guy. Back to oppa. He casually strolled out. Then looked up and to his surprise, saw all the Airen there waiting for him. He stopped mid-step and gave us all a huge wave accompanied by his brilliant all-kill smile. Everyone was screaming and it as if the King LeeJaeHa had stepped onto the stage… Cameras were flashing left, right and centre! I’m sure if he hadn’t been wearing his sunglasses he would have been blinded! I thought everyone would just stand where they were and take pictures just like in Poland- in vain hope that he would go past all of us and sign something/give a handshake. Oh how wrong was I! So many people just ran towards oppa! I felt so sorry for him! He actually looked a bit scared and obviously quite shocked. His manager and a few Samsung staff acted as bodyguards but that was no where near the amount of protection he needed.
People were pushing and shoving not only each other but also oppa- I know nobody meant to but seriously, everyone needs to remember to give oppa some personal space! I really wanted him to acknowledge my presence or even to just look my way but I really didn’t want to turn into one of those annoying fans so I stepped back a bit and observed. With my phone I unsuccessfully tried to capture the whole commotion and just as I was near the front of oppa I got pushed out of the way and into a door! Somehow because I was taller than almost all the fans, I could see above everyone and focus on oppa. As he scanned the crowd and signed anything he could whilst being guided out by manager-nim his eyes locked onto mine. Being lost in the moment I quickly stuck out my hand and he gave me a quick handshake. Absolutely shocked I gawked at oppa and obviously amused by my reaction he grinned at me with slight laughter in his eyes. OPPA SMILED AT ME AND GAVE ME A HANDSHAKE! KYAAAAA~ My heart must’ve skipped a beat; I think a part of me died and went to heaven. Only afterwards did I realise I held my breath throughout the whole ordeal as I was gasping desperately for air. I totally forgot about my surroundings, it felt like time froze. Only when rushing fans hit into my still-outstretched hand did I snap out of my own little bubble. I shouted at him in korean, “OPPA! GOOD LUCK FOR TOMORROW! I LOVE YOU~” I really doubt he heard me but I couldn’t care less, oppa gave me his personal attention and that was the first time in my life I’d ever been this close to him.
At this point he had already rushed out of the building to the awaiting coach and all the fans were still huddled around him with a few fans shoving pieces of paper at him. I understand the enthusiasm but we do need to give oppa his breathing space~ Anyway, when I finally got to my senses having dazed out from the handshake and dazzled by his smile, I quickly ran to catch up with everyone else. Oh I forgot to mention, the weather was absolutely appalling! But then again what do you expect from Manchester?! Raining like mad, everyone opened their umbrellas and chased oppa. I scanned the crowd and noticed some fans stopped at the exit, I really hope it wasn’t because of the rain that hindered them. I mean… LEE SEUNGGI OPPA IS IN FRONT OF YOU AND THE RAIN IS STOPPING YOU?! Being behind I quickly ran into the pouring rain to catch up, being so anxious to catch up I nearly ran into him from behind. Now thinking back on it, I should have done so. Hehehe. But then again that’s what I dislike about the crazy fans so I’ll just leave that in my dream world~ This time I got close to him- right infront- and I said to him in korean, “You’re really good-looking oppa! Fighting!” He not only responded with, “Thankyou~” but also gave a little bow. So so cute!!! I mean I know it’s korean etiquette but seriously I’m like his nobody and quite a bit younger- he really didn’t have to. It really showed how he kept his humbleness and not let fame get to his head like many other celebrities. Oppa jjang!
With so many people huddled, all I could do was watch and shout support to oppa, I didn’t manage to get an autograph or a photo with him but I really didn’t mind because I got his attention. He didn’t officially stop to take any photos or to sign anything but due to his love for his fans, some lucky Airen got autographs! Oppa was quickly escorted into his coach and a few Samsung staff stood guard at the door of the coach- I did understand their actions as they just thought they were protecting him, but I really didn’t think they needed to since as Airen we would know how to respect his personal space. Unsurprisingly he walked all the way to the back of the coach and took his seat by the window. Hopefully this was because he wanted to be in full view for all of us (and not because it was his allocated seat haha) I think 1N2D had gotten to him, he even sat right at the back when he got on the torch bearers’ minibus after doing his run! He’s so used to it- it was nice to actually see and point out his little habits. It felt weird seeing all this in real life and not on-screen. I really can’t explain the feeling~ It’s just like… AHHHHH! (there goes my explanation.)
Standing directly below his window I could see that he was waving and smiling which most certainly cheered all the fans up who were all soaking wet from the horrendous rain. I think he started to run out of poses to do so he grabbed his little name tag saying, “LEE SEUNGGI” “Torchbearer”. His radiant smile really showed how proud he was of being one of Samsung’s/Korea’s representatives! After taking many unsuccessful photos I just decided to keep smiling at him since he was still beaming at everyone. This went on for quite a while, eventually it became slightly awkward and even my smile froze. It’s crazy to think that I actually spent enough time staring at a celebrity that I felt awkward~ He must’ve felt the awkwardness too as he quickly turned around to talk to manager-nim and play on his phone- poor oppa. I know many people will read this and expect him to provide this kind of fan service since he’s a celebrity, but we have to remember that he could have just as easily told manager-nim to shut the curtains.
Aside from all the great fan service he was providing, he did something that although was really small, it really touched my heart. He was so caring and the best bit is that it wasn’t even for show as there was no media to capture it. As the rain was thundering down oppa made little hand gestures to tell us to use umbrellas or to take cover under the building. It was so nice of him to care for our well-being, he could’ve just cared about what his next pose was going to be or what the next thing on his schedule was. The highlight was his little hand gestures because we couldn’t hear him through the window and so at first didn’t quite understand what he meant. We all looked hopelessly at oppa whilst he was throwing his arms about. So so adorable~
As I was about to grab my phone from my bag a clever idea hit me. I quickly waved my arms about like a mad woman to get his attention- just as I was about to give up he turned my way with a curious look on his face. I ransacked my bag looking for my little notepad and pen. Since I didn’t have much time to think…
I just scrawled in korean, “LEE SEUNGGI…”
I constantly looked up to check if I still had his attention and then scribbled, “OPPA…”
This time when I raised my head he made little movement to tell me to go on, I swear my heart was about to explode with joy!
Without missing a beat I wrote, “I LOVE YOU~♥”
The moment I lifted my eyes off the page and gazed at him…
HE MADE A LITTLE ♥ WITH HIS HANDS AT ME! HE SENT ME A HEART! KYAAAAA~♥
After this little encounter my heart was beating so so fast! I couldn’t breathe! No exaggeration~ (okay maybe a tad) It was just amazing how not only did he respond and encourage me with the notepad but also aimed a heart to me! Out of everyone, at that moment in time, he looked at me and it seriously felt like we were in our own little word. Yes this is crazy cheesy and totally cliched but I don’t know how else to put it. I guess I’m surprised I didn’t faint with all the giddiness~ For him to just- his eyes- the heart- his smile. Seunggi oppa I really miss you right now! (Typing this right now is making my heart beat like mad!)
Confirmation of Location
Returning to reality, I re-focused on him and he was making little hand movements to everyone showing “2” “4” “4”. Confused I looked around and then LovelyHeoDang from the official Airen staff declared at the top of her voice: 2.44PM ROCHDALE TOMORROW! Thankfully oppa personally confirmed the route and time he was running as there was major confusion as to all the details regarding the Torch Relay. It was great to see that he tried to invite everyone to come along, just like his “Mr. Promoter” persona in 1N2D~ I loved how he didn’t tell the manager to tell us or leave it to Hook Ent. to give us the message. Also after he heard the announcement he quickly did an “okay” sign with his hands and nodded to re-confirm it.
He was literally sat at the back of the coach waving and smiling for about 5mins non-stop. Poor oppa, his face must have felt rigid as he turned around and spoke to manager-nim again. As he turned around someone from the Samsung staff in the seat infront of oppa goofed around for us fans, encouraging us to take pictures of him. When oppa realised the staff took his fans’ attention, he made a little playful annoyed face at him. So so adorable!!! 25years old and I still think he can be crazily cute. Then after a few more photos here and there, the luggage compartment at the side of the coach closed at around 17.50. The loud bang of the compartment closing caused all the Airen to go into a farewell frenzy. Everyone waved their little fan flags, declared their love and bid their farewells to oppa as the coach slowly pulled away…
And yes all that happened within the space of 10mins. Absolute madness.
I saw some fans rush over to the taxi stand to hopefully hail one to follow the coach- truthfully I did think about doing that too however… As I have preached time and time again it’s always best to give oppa his personal space and after all that flying I’m sure that he would have really appreciated it if we gave him enough time to settle down. And so with a heavy heart, I walked back slowly into the airport reluctant to move away from where I last saw oppa…
Stay tuned for the next part!
P.S. The photos are taken by me apart from the ones which are on an eye-level with oppa~ (they’ve been taken by my amazing friend ^^)
-TO BE CONTINUED.