I was cold, hungry but very happy to see Park Sihoo-ssi!
Cold, hungry but happy would be how I sum up my experience last weekend in Seoul. I really want to thank our sisters at Sihoorang, Park Sihoo’s Korean Official Fan Club, for their wonderful hospitality! Cold and hungry were no fault of theirs – cold more due to mother nature’s winter season and hungry through my own fault! But, many thanks dear Sihoorang sisters for making my day! You made me very happy! 고맙습니다!
Park Sihoo-ssi sisters meeting at Gangdong station
On the spur of the moment, I decided to head on to Seoul last weekend to join our sisters in Sihoorang, Park Sihoo’s Korean Official Fan Club for their year-end event. Having been a Park Sihoo-ssi fan for more than five years, I have certainly heard of Sihoorang which was started by the man himself when he first entered the Korean entertainment industry. I have also been a Sihoorang member for the last couple of years and communicated with some of our sisters there. Having only met a handful of them, it was a good opportunity to get to put faces to names I know. And it was not just our Korean sisters but also our Japanese and Chinese sisters too! We must have been around eighty strong!
The event also promised a scrumptous meal at the restaurant called 대사골 Daesagol which Park Sihoo-ssi has frequented before. And after lunch, if there were filming, a visit to a location shoot to watch Park Sihoo-ssi’s Choi Dokyung in action.
K-star press coverage onsite
We started our afternoon meeting at the Gangdong sub-way station at noon before heading off to the restaurant by taxi. When we arrived at the restaurant, its parking lot was decked with banners and posters of Park Sihoo-ssi and “My Golden Life”. A K-star press crew was also onsite to do a couple of video interviews with fans and take in all the actions of the day. So, sisters, watch out for this video news that should be telecast soon! Watch what K-Star reports and what fans had to say about Park Sihoo-ssi and to him.
We then headed up to the second floor of the restaurant which Sihoorang had booked the entire floor for the event. Seated Korean style on the floor, we were practically back-to-back in full capacity, but it was conducive for good intimate conversations with fellow Park Sihoo-ssi fans!
Sisters unite for Park Sihoo-ssi!
The appetizers or banchan as usual were already served at the table before the mains came. Me? I was a little carried away getting photos taken and posting them on Facebook. Food wasn’t quite my priority. I remembered there was the grilled duck and Park Sihoo-ssi’s favorite black sesame rice cake which his mother had specially arranged for the occasion. Many thanks, Omoni 어머니! Then, it was a blur afterwards where food was concerned as I hardly ate…so I deserved to be hungry with almost no food all day long since breakfast with a cup of coffee, a couple of bites of the duck and rice cake and a latte and fruit tea I managed to sneak in before the night was out. Hungry!
Delicious grilled duck with stuffing
Duck with stuffing ready to serve
Chuncheon dakgalbi chiicken dish which I did not get a bite
Park Sihoo-ssis favorite black sesame rice cake
As I fidgeted with my iPad and internet access trying to send out Facebook posts, the lucky draw started. Park Sihoo-ssi had graciously contributed some signed poster leaflets, personal items and a couple of autographed scripts of ”My Golden Life” for the event. Never been lucky when it came to lucky draws, I wasn’t paying any attention.
Then suddenly, my name was called…and then repeated by some sisters. Huh? What, what, what? I won some thing? Park Sihoo-ssi’s signed script! 진짜,진짜? For real? A much coveted script of “My Golden Life”, signed by the man himself? Hoo Woo! As can be expected, I was in a daze as I got up to receive it! Oh my! It is so very precious and worth every single word that I have ever written for ParkSihooSsi.com and on KBS drama “My Golden Life”! Many thanks Park Sihoo-ssi! It will be something I will treasure infinitely!
My treasured possession – Episode 11
My precious Park Sihoo-ssi autographed script
Script of Oppa Choi Dokyung
Then we received news that the filming had already started at 1.30pm and that we needed to hurry as this was expected to wrap up by 4pm! Yikes! It was already 2.30 pm! And we still needed to get to the filming location which was in Mapo, a half an hour car ride away, subject to traffic conditions crossing the Hankang River on a Saturday! So it was a mad rush as the remote restaurant had no access to transport – taxi, bus or train. Luckily, Sihoorang had arranged for a 7-seater to ferry us to the sub-way station to either catch a train or taxi.
Gift for the occasion
Sihoorang specially prepared gift
With the Chinese group or part of it, eight of us packed into the car and headed out to catch taxis at the subway station with the help of the driver. But horrors, we met with slow moving traffic conditions as soon as we hit the Hangang River and time was passing by, and fast! The taxi’s GPS showed an arrival time of 4.09 pm! Gosh, will we make it or would it already be game over when we arrive? Please wait for us, Park Sihoo-ssi!
Arriving at the address on the handwritten slip, we saw no sign of crew or crowd! But undeterred, we searched and finally found the film crew and a waiting public bus! Park Sihoo-ssi’s car was spotted at the back of the bus! Yippee! Our man was still there! But where was he?
Then ah ha! We spotted him, in the bus, but on the far side! Head down, a bit shy as all eyes were glued on him, he made occasional waves and smiled at us as the crew set up the scene for filming. Then suddenly, we realized on the near side of the bus, dressed in white but totally nondescript was Seo Jian! Oooh…a Choi Dokyung – Seo Jian scene! But wait before we could catch our breath, the bus with its cast and crew moved off…Oh, oh, oh! So we didn’t get to watch the filming!
The scene that was shot on Saturday but we never got to see
The Dokyung – Jian couple
Brrrr…it was cold!
Choi Dokyung and Seo Jian in action
Then 10 – 15 minutes later, the bus returned…and the filming was done! Huh? That fast? Out came Park Sihoo-ssi and Shin Hyesun-ssi, thanking each other before she walked off with three people whom I presumed were her stylists and manager. But we of course, had eyes only on Park Sihoo-ssi. He was swarmed and greeted warmly as he made his way to his car, smiling and waving before being whisked off in minutes! So, there, that really short “on location” shoot, out in the cold Seoul winter!
But wait! There is more! Another handwritten slip with the address of the next location was handed out! 8 pm, Choi Dokyung’s house! Oh! Go or not go? If we went, it meant we would miss watching the exciting follow-on to the cliff hanger of “My Golden Life” “live” on KBS 2! What to do, what to do? 어떻게? 어떻게? But the answer was obvious! After going through all the hassle of flying all the way to Seoul, we can’t miss watching our man in real action, right?
Oppa Choi Dokyungs house all decked out for Christmas
Oppas address…if you can ever find it!
As it would take a while to get to Choi Dokyung’s house which was in an exclusive district but not quite accessible, we hurriedly grabbed a cup of hot coffee from Starbucks and hopped into cabs and headed out!
Taking the front seat, I had a good conversation with the cab driver who knew a little English. And I was most happy that he knew about “My Golden Life” and Park Sihoo-ssi and was amazed that he had as passengers, Park Sihoo-ssi fans from China, Hong Kong and Singapore! Kekeke! 😄😄😄 Hey, our man is international, you know, he is not just any Korean actor! And when I whipped out my iPad to address an emergency from the office, out popped a photo of you know who and immediately, our cab driver exclaimed “Park Sihoo”! Yup, that’s our man!
The house of Choi
Side gate of Oppas house
We arrived at Choi Dokyung’s house in good time despite the heavy Saturday Seoul traffic. It would have been a long and tedious uphill climb if not for the cab! But, have we got the right place? Where was everyone? There was no soul in sight, no body, no filming machinery, nothing except a deserted street! But nice to take a couple of night shots of the simple, lighted Christmas wreathe decked on the front door of Oppa Choi’s house!
Then we discovered why we didn’t see anyone including our sisters…the few of them who have arrived earlier were cosy up in a gallery cum tea/coffee place next door, in the good company of the owner, a good looking Korean guy who spoke fluent British English! Some competition for Oppa? Hahaha! 😄😄😄Unfortunately, even though I was hungry, the gallery only served beverages and wafer thin almond biscuits, sweets which I don’t take…so I guess I have to stay hungry till the filming was over!
The cafe and gallery outside the Choi’s home
Things started stirring at around 7.30 pm when the film crew arrived and started setting up their equipment. Glimpses were seen of the arrival of Father Choi and Seo Jisu but no sight of our Oppa Choi. Rumours had it that he would be there at 8 pm. And all the fans got shooed off the front of the house so as not to interrupt the filming. So some of us hid in the gallery while others loitered about a distance away on the side road, all being courteously told by our Sihoorang sisters and the crew that there should be no photography or video of the drama and to be careful of the traffic and not to block the flow of the film crew and the residence returning home! And we were good girls, being as quiet as we could, not filming anything relating to the drama but not resisting taking photos and videos of ourselves! Being Park Sihoo-ssi fans, we want to make our man proud and not tarnish his reputation! Well done sisters! Me, I took nothing…so had to use some of the photos shared by those who did. Many thanks, sisters!
We were good girls not disrupting the shoot!
Park Sihoo-ssi came on time in his black SUV and obviously the news was out of his presence and all of us rushed out from wherever we were to have a glimpse of him but were shepherded to a side lane by Choi Dokyung’s house where were could only get peeks of what was going on.
Well, we saw Oppa Choi in action along the street outside his home, but I shall not be a spoiler on what transpired. You should be able to watch this scene this weekend! Get ready your hankies, okay! That’s all I can tell you.
The shoot for Choi Dokyung was really short…though the preparation was much longer We saw him in conversations and walk throughs with the director, putting himself through the paces in a very short practice before the cameras rolled! Oppa did great, there was hardly any NG! And it was already over! A professional through and through!
Park Sihoo-ssi after the first shoot
Getting into his get-away-car!
Thank you and good bye ladies!
Then Park Sihoo-ssi quickly came to greet his fans, shook hands with some before getting back into his car, wind down the windows to smile and wave at us before he disappeared into the night!
Tired, cold, hungry…but very happy, I trekked back to the hotel, hopped into a G25 store to grab some bites before I knocked out, KOed! The precious “My Golden Life” autographed script safely packed, and handcarried on flight home! Precious cargo! Happy! Kekeke! 😄😄😄
Many thanks, Park Sihoo-ssi for that precious keepsake!
Photo Credits – Many thanks! Park Sihoo Instagram & Weibo, Intagram by j_hyo.eun, ParkSihoobar.com, sisters who attended the event – my apologies but I cannot identify the sources but please accept my sincere thank you! Nance