Hi Hi ….. excuse me for the long absence. I guess by now, every details in the Osaka Event has been revealed and savored by the fans over and over again. I really don’t feel I have much juicy stuff to add, but I have this urge to complete my journal (not that anyone cares). So if you can’t sleep and resort to counting sheeps to take you to lala land, save it, this human tranquillizer is at work here ……
June 1 Sunday, we get up very early that morning, or should I say it we didn’t have a deep sleep? Cloudnine told Pallet and I that there are already thousands of fans waiting outside the Dome and the souvenirs tents will be opened earlier than scheduled. Being the ‘laid-back’ me, I am half afraid that we’ll have to march over to the Dome for our next round of ‘standing’ marathon again. I breathe a sigh of relief when the thoughtful cloudnine decides that we’ll pace ourselves accordingly today, phew!
Another reason is I am looking forward to meeting someone special this morning (no no, not Yong Joon. I wouldn’t even dare to think of that possibility! It’s our lovely liezle!) Mariko and liezle are supposed to arrive from Tokyo this morning and I am sooooo hoping that she’ll call me. We go down to the hotel café for buffet breakfast and there are really not many fans around anymore, so we can safely assume that Yong Joon has already left early for the Dome. Since I am not much of a ‘buffet’ person, so I just have some fruits and bread (BIG mistake as I learn later that you should eat when there is food, drink when there is fluid, ‘go’ when there is a ladies room in any BYJ event.)
I get a call from liezle while walking out of the café, I am so excited and hopefully my piercing volume does not scare the graceful Pallet off. Liezle and mariko rush from the Dome to meet us, so the 7 of us congregate in our tiny hotel room. Liezle is everything I expect her to be - pretty, pleasant, warm and always with a sweet smile on her face. Of course there is our cheerful mariko and 2 other nice sisters – Corina and Christy (hope I spell their names right). We are busy chatting, taking pictures and exchanging gifts till we realize it’s check out time as cloudnine and I are returning to Tokyo right after the Event.
The plan is kiyomi has reserved a restaurant near the Dome for a group of sisters to enjoy an (authentic Osaka) Okonomiyaki lunch before the Event. Since we have to go to the Shinkansen station to store our luggage (we can’t really drag it around the Dome, can we?), by the time we accomplish everything, this is the crowd situation we face in the train station!
I don’t think the staffs anticipate volume like this on a quiet Sunday afternoon. The ‘normally efficient’ ticket machines keep breaking down, the staffs look stunned (still very polite and patient though) when they see so many women swarming out of Taishoo station.
Of course we miss our delicious lunch, but there’s no time to dwell over it. We bid goodbye and thank all the sisters for their hospitality and companionship. We still have a long walk under the intense sun to the Dome. You don’t really have to know your way at this point, just follow the enormous crowds of women marching in one single direction (I feel like I am going to a pilgrimage!) Along the road, I can see some men in pairs holding something like tickets shouting out to the crowds. It’s pretty obvious these are scalpers, I jokingly tell cloudnine this is the first time I see bad guys in Japan (as Japan is such an honest and safe country). Further down the street, I spot a fashionably dressed girl in her 20s holding a paper board obviously looking for a ticket. Sigh!
As we are approaching the Dome, you can already feel the power of Yonsama. Average passersby in Osaka are probably wondering what sort of parade or demonstration that mobilizes so many middle age women on a Sunday? You can’t help but be proud that you belong in this strong force which creates the Yonsama phenomenon. It seems that everything that relates to BYJ is turning eyes and making history everywhere.
Cloudnine and I sit in different sections of the arena, but lucky we still enter through the same gate. Cloudnine makes sure that I am settled in my seat (kamsumphamnida) and hers turns out to be not too far from me. I start to look up and around the gigantic Dome and its very unique composition of audience. This really is an amazing sight of 35000 women with such hopeful faces and longing hearts to meet one man they love so much. The air inside the Dome actually looks very misty and the noise seems to have dispersed so far away rendering the atmosphere even more dream like.
While I may not have much luck with HRH, I have to admit I am very lucky with Bae sisters. As soon as I sit down, a gentle looking Japanese sister diagonally behind me comes up and starts speaking in perfect English! She introduces herself as an English teacher from Fukuoka and we start chatting about Yong Joon as if we are old pals. Then I notice all the heads around me keep turning to the aisle. Ahhhh, I spot bb’s Manager Yang and President Bae (of BOFi) are standing over there chatting casually. Manager Yang looks dashing as in the pictures, smiling gently and occasionally glances around the Dome. No one really swarms them for autograph or handshaking, I think all the sisters’ hearts are waiting for that other gorgeous man in the backstage!