Thursday, 11 September 2014

140821 Taemin at MCountdown Begins Open Studio

as usual, this is a personal travel account, not an ordinary whatever that means fanaccount, so if you just wanna read about the open studio, there's gonna be irrelevant stuff.

so this whole thing came about as sort of a chance thing.
I saw an acquaintance, who's also currently in Korea and doing the whole kpop thing full on, make a questioning tweet about Bangtan maybe doing Open Studio today since this was their comeback day for Dark & Wild.

she wasn't sure so I asked my K friend, Chris, cos since Taemin's currently promoting (I wrote this on the actual day, but I didn't finish it until now. he's not promoting anymore), she's totally on top of music show schedules.
of course she knew and she told me it wasn't Bangtan this week cos it was Taemin. she asked if we were gonna come watch cos she was going there right now. Taemin was having radio schedule in the afternoon so almost all the noonas had gone to watch that, so she figured there wouldn't be that many lining up at the moment.

I told her I wasn't sure cos hubs was napping at the time, and I hate having to suddenly rush out the door.
but still... the thought of a chance to see the Open Studio, and Taemin that up close, even if it was through a window, sounded more and more tempting, and in the end we decided to give it a shot.

we'd just show up an hour before show start and see how things were and if it would even be possible to see anything.
if not, we'd just go back to Hongdae instead, so win-win.
we opted to not take our umbrellas cos so far we haven't really needed them when we did bring them......

of course, as soon as we got up from the subway at Media Digital City station we were met with light rain. the walk to Mnet seemed a little far and the sky seemed REALLY grey, and for a moment we debated whether or not we should just drop the whole thing cos the possibility of getting drenched seemed not that appealing, even for the sake of Taemin.

we decided to just jump in a cab if it started pouring, and in the end the rain never really amounted to anything before it stopped, and the way to Mnet was a lot shorter than it looked on the map.

it was a peculiar area. almost every car on the road were either taxis or driving school cars moving around reeeeally slowly lol
and not many people around, which was lucky cos I twisted my right ankle in my tall sandals and took an embarrassing spill on my ass and almost on my face. thank god there was a fence between the sidewalk and the road I could bang into or I would have, literally, just have rolled out into the street. at least none of it hurt.

before we knew it we would see girls coming from all directions, all going towards the same place, and since they were clearly kpop girls (don't even ask me why, but it's easy to tell? lol) we just followed them.

we wandered around, both looking for the studio but also just taking in the area. they have some interesting new architecture in this whole area, but that's another story.

we found the studio, and at this point, around 4:50, there were only around..25-30 people waiting closest to the windows. behind them were these, marble waves? I dunno what to call them, but some arty stone thingies that, when we stood on them, were tall enough to let us see over the heads of the people in front.

we had only been there for a few mins before a person on the ground right in front of me, bundled up in a yellow raincoat, waving her arms, catches my attention out of my peripheral cos I was busy looking around at everything. turns out it was Chris! :D

and once again, a trained K fandom friend pays off, cos she tells us we can't stand on the stone thingies and that security's really strict about shooing people away.
at this point we just climb down and stand right behind her aka in 3rd row (and she's shorter than us so it felt like 2nd row lol), but over the next 30-40 mins all the noonas come rushing in after Taemin's radio appearance ended, and if we had waited and just been shooed by security, there would have have been nowhere but the back row for us to stand and both of us wouldn't have been able to see anything, not even hubs cos the ground slants away from the studio.

about a quarter past 4, K.Will and Yewon enters the studio and start prepping. they both get lots of squeals and some people are obviously there for them and not Taemin.
they look really great, and they seem relaxed and comfortable with each other and there's chatting and laughing, and lots of smiles and waves for us when the moment permits them to divert their attention.
at some point there's suddenly commotion by the door of the studio, and suddenly they come outside to shoot what I assume is either a teaser or an intro thing or something.

but no Taemin in sight, and even after 5 when the show starts, there's still no sight of him..
it's not until about 20 long minutes have passed that he suddenly appears! blonde hair, white suit, and that damn black mesh shirt.
he looked like a dream and honestly, for the first time I didn't even care about the blonde or the wavy styling and the 50/50 parting. he looked amazing.

everyone has seen the show by now so you can make your own judgement, but to me he seemed slightly.. not nervous, but you know, that solo-interview nervous, having to talk and be witty and whatnot.
it wasn't anything crazy and he soon relaxed more, and it wasn't awkward or anything.

obviously, the whole talking thing was in Korean so I didn't pay much attention to trying to decipher that part, I was more focused on just watching him and taking a few pictures here and there, while hubs made some little videos.

I was standing next to a tiny Taiwanese noona (I think? overall there was a surprisingly large amount of Chinese-sounding noonas/something clearly not Korean or Japanese), and when I say tiny I mean when she climbed her 2-step step ladder I was still taller than her. how she runs a fansite under those conditions is beyond me.
but she seemed nice, we smiled at each other a lot :D
unlike P3 noona who just always walks around with such a grump on, like, smile woman, you should be happy you're seeing him.. <_<

at one point he got up and showed a few moves from the choreography, and even though there were nipples all over thanks to the mesh shirt, it was the part with the fan that was the highlight.

a girl had been picked and was standing in the little security zone between us and the window. I can't even remember by now, but did she ask him a question? I dunno, point being was that at first K.Will and Yewon came over to the window, trying to get a reaction out of her, but of course she only had eyes for Taemin and barely looked at them which made us all laugh.
then Taemin came over, literally just 2-3 meters away /DIES, and all the girls went nuts.
he smiled and held up his hand on the window and motioned for her to do the same, and then he bent down to her eye level, put his face all up to the glass, smiled and touched his lips, asking her to- window kiss him.
she didn't move, and judging by the reaction of the other girls she would have probably been killed on the way home had she done it.
he should have picked me, I would have done it.

but that was about that? Korean chit-chat and then it was time for goodbye pictures. only my hands and hubs' half face (sorry for blocking you, babe) made it in the shot lol

people started leaving as soon as Taemin did, and we were getting ready to do so, too, when the door suddenly opened and they were getting ready for something, so we quickly went over there, this time standing on the stone wave so we could see.
turns out K.Will and Yewon had been challenged and ended the show by doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

after they were done, we wanted to walk around and look at the area (aka hubs wanted to take lots of pictures of the buildings), and Chris had to go home. it was a little sad having to say goodbye cos we all knew that due to our schedule, it would probably be the last time we saw each other on this trip. 이따 봐 친구얌~

literally not five mins after we had said goodbye, we hadn't even crossed the road outside the studio yet, did it start to rain, and this time it absolutely poured so we ran into the Holly's Coffee in the 1st floor over-looking the square by the studio.
it wasn't a bad deal per se. they had good coffee, food, free wifi, and outlets by the comfy chairs so we hung out for a couple of hours until the rain had almost stopped.
and in the end hubs did get his photos, just night-time ones, on the way back to the subway.

all in all it was a fun experience, even if it was over pretty quickly. on the other hand, we also didn't wait that long, so it was okay.
it was totally amazing to see him that up-close for that long, and in many ways I'm happier to have had this experience than a performance one cos I'm not crazy about his song it felt more intimate this way.

note: if you would like directions to the open studio location, feel free to drop me an email ^^

for pictures and videos it's the usual drill.

please, DO NOT RE-UPLOAD my cams without my permission, but feel free to spread my youtube links around, preferably with a "do not re-up" note.
and DO NOT crop, edit, gif, vine, or whatever else you can think of that would alter my original material.

as far as the pictures are concerned, feel free to share if you find them good enough for that, but DO NOT crop my watermark, DO NOT edit, and please re-up in full size. please credit.

other than that I hope you enjoy, and as usual, thank you if you actually read through this entire post 

Taemin ending photos
I kept waving my hand in front of the camera orz


his nail polish is worse than mine orz it's a little too artsy for me

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