I made this drawing a few weeks ago for Yukari, a wonderful woman I met once by chance who did an incredible thing for me from across the US. although my watercolor is a bit lame (getting back into drawing, a bit rusty), it was the absolute LEAST thing I could send to her as a sign of my appreciation.
long story, long: I spend what nickles and dimes I have to get to LA to see every SM Entertainment star step foot in America to do a show for the first time together. This includes SUPER JUNIOR. at this point in my life–a year after I discovered who they even were–I would just stay up till 4 AM watching English subtitled clips of them, learning their names, their songs, anything I could figure out about them. Never in my right mind would I ever believe to see them in the flesh in my entire life.
So let’s skip to my dreams coming true, and seeing them in the flesh, on US soil, performing songs LIVE I had only experienced on shitty internet clips. I also got to share this experience with the only other person in the world who I know likes K-pop. it was a glorious reunion with a friend from the east coast who I had visited earlier this summer and we last minute were able to scrape enough money to meet together in LA to see SMTOWN LIVE 2010! this was the only stop in America they were making on their “world” tour.
we meet at the airport. we wander around aimlessly trying to get out of the airport. we find an airport van. we cram into one almost already full. we excitedly whisper back and forth about how unbelievable it is that we were about to see Korean Pop Stars as real human beings, alive, in the US. It is slowly revealed that more and more people in the van were there for the same reason! One of which was Yukari! A Japanese woman who flew in from New Hampshire on her own to witness this amazing event! Everyone in the van was from around the US, it was really effing cool… brought together over the love of KPOP!
We go our separate ways to our separate hotels before the concert that night. there were some fan meet ups we wandered in and out of in the afternoon, and we bumped into Yukari again! we exchanged facebook info to keep in touch over the love of Kpop.
Long story already long now into short: We keep in touch. I find Super Junior announces a huge mega show (known only as SUPER SHOW #3) happening in Japan in February. 2 days added. 3rd day added because it is madness. you have to pool your name to even get a chance to buy tickets. all this info is on a Japanese website, run by Japanese suju fanclub members….in Japanese. I ask Yukari if there is any chance I can figure this out and get a ticket since I will be in Japan at this time. After weeks of back and forth, it is revealed that YUKARI WON A CHANCE TO BUY ME A TICKET. I send her a check to pay her back and this photo of her favorite SUJU member, Donghae that I drew after thanking her a million jillion times on facebook. Her mother in Japan has been holding onto the ticket for me until I get there. it was the nicest, most elaborate, most intensely awesome thing anyone has done for me that I can even think of right now.
I met a stranger in a van in a city with a kpop concert by chance. months later, from across the country and corresponding with another country around the world, the forces that be…. I–a platinum blonde American girl–get to see the hugest Korean boy band in the best country ever: Japan.
Thank you, Yukari.
Dreams do come true.