5 Korean Husbands. 13,000 Fans. And Me.

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Through a magical twist of timing and fate, my favorite Korean boyband, BigBang (yes, I know, people, I have betrayed my NSYNC roots hard) had their first comeback in 3 years and first concert in Korea in over a year, last weekend. The weekend before last. April 25-26, in Seoul. Naturally, I was ready to leave some bodies in the streets in my quest to see them live.

I enlisted one of my Korean co-workers, Ara, to help me, and we made plans to go to a Starbucks and buy the tickets. But that didn’t happen; another friend recommended a PC Bang (bang=baang=room, aka what we would probably call an internet cafe), where the internet connection is super fast due to all the people playing MMORPGs and trolling the respawn, Jeremy. We planted among the horde of unwashed college guys screaming creative curses while playing “League of Legends” (also known as just “LOL” here) and pulled up the ticket-buying website, G-Market. Ara and I looked like totally out of place with our work clothes and ovaries.

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We pulled up a clock and the website and then proceeded to fight thousands of other people for seats. By that I mean that EVERY SINGLE ONE we clicked on that was free, disappeared immediately? Our conversation was “yes!” “gone” “none” and “ahhhhhhh…” Finally after about 15 minutes, we found one on the 3rd floor and we were both shouting “BUY BUY BUY” among the curse-hurling, ramen-eating college boys. I was elated: it was really happening.

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I spent the next 2.5 weeks preparing emotionally and physically for this concert: bought train tickets, booked AirBNB, and purchased an external battery so my iOS stuff could just keep going and going and going. Friday, April 24 couldn’t come fast enough–so I jumped on the train with a dream and a cardigan (a yellow one. The cardigan. Not the dream).

I arrived in Seoul and made my way to the AirBNB and had some potato wedges and take-out beers whilst watching kids screaming for their mothers across the lake at Lotte World amusement park. I found myself waking up at 7:30 the next morning to start the process of sexy-ifing myself. Which of course took less than 5 minutes. You know what Tae and I are about.

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I headed over to Olympic Park early to get in line to pick up some merch for friends and found myself in line for 3 hours…alone…surrounded by Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese speakers. It was a multicultural love fest of sharing umbrellas and interacting on Twitter with other shameless BB lovers.

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After the line came some lunch, then waiting, more waiting and then finally, I got in line as we heard the thumping bass sounds of dress rehearsal. We got in and I found my nosebleed seat on the 3rd floor, section 33, #231.

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And then, at 6:34pm, April 25, the BigBang 2015 Comeback began.

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Glorious, dorkery. And then I went back the next day, to suffer through standing, pushing, rib-cracking, fainting women for a chance to see these idiots’ faces.

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Notes:
-standing area tickets are like volunteering to be tribute to die in the arena but there are no hot Hemsworths. I have never been so sweaty for a non-sport event, ever. It was like a sauna that you paid obscene amounts of money for. I saw at least 10 people lifted out of JUST MY SECTION for fainting.

-Their video teasers and filler videos were AMAZING. I was so impressed; the Sergio Leone vibe was strong in music, in the look and style and the Tarantino influence was tangible and awesome. I would just flat-out buy the music from them. So impressed.

-YG Entertainment does not play around with photos/video. I had the girl next to me pulled the first night and they deleted all her photos/videos and let her come back. Another girl on Twitter said she got pulled from standing and was forced to delete everything AND kicked out. That said, I felt for our section’s security guy, who was jumping on the barrier screaming in Korean to put our cameras down. I wanted to pat him on the back like “you tried, bro. There was no stopping us, but we know you tried. Nyah, nyah nyah.”

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-The concert was awash with their hits; opening with “Fantastic Baby” and running through “How Gee,” favorites like “Haru Haru” and “Cafe” as well as the VIP anthem, “Lies.” Each member did a 1-song solo stage (with the exception of Seungri, who had 2 songs/a mashup) and I got to dance along with people who knew every.single.lyric.

-you really can see all of their faces and joy watching fans sing along with them. It really was cool to see them respond and point at people, to throw water on fans and towels and then take their mics away to hear us sing *their* lyrics back to them.

-These idiots are hilarious and put on a huge, big, insane show, and I am so, so glad I went. I know it was a lot of money, but I tried to remember–when am I ever going to do this again?! Thanks to everyone on Twitter (@alyssa_bailey), Snapchat (baileysayswhat) and Insta (@a_bailey) for the love and translations! Until whenever, VIP nerds.

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PS: Taeyang. Stop trying to steal me from TOP, you thankful little shit. King of fan service, indeed.

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Fish Fillet O’ LIES: How Korean McDonald’s Delivery Broke My Heart More Than Boys

So in Korea, you can order McDonalds AND THEY DELIVER IT TO YOU. These crusaders of goodness mow every pedestrian in their path down to get to you (I know because I appreciate their work ethic from the sidewalk they pushed my face to in their quest for short delivery times).

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So now that I’ve approached the twilight phase of this time in Korea, I found myself up at 11:36pm talking to YMKCW (Young Male Korean Co Worker) on Kakao (a messaging app similar to iMessage, but cross platform Android/iOS/PC/Mac), and we were mutually complaining about how hungry we were and I decided I was not truly an expat unless I could figure out how to order McDonalds at an ungodly hour. Despite YMKCW’s (very nice) offer to order for me, I turned him down and turned to the internet because I am a woman who solves her own hankerings for questionable food products, dammit.

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I was directed to McDonald’s Korean page, and chose “English” in my tab. And then I chose “Order.” And then the problems started.

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WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? Oh. Oh. Wait. What the hell is my address? *frantically scrounges in wallet* Note: I usually get all messages/mail/packages shipped to my school’s address, which I have memorized. I’ve never shipped anything/written my address to my actual apartment down.

Bailey>YMKCW: What’s our address?

YMKCW>Bailey: your address?

Bailey>YMKCW: Yes?

YMKCW>Bailey: you don’t know?

Bailey>YMKCW: I know the region/city/district/neighborhood…

YMKCW>Bailey: I have to look it up

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**suddenly runs to kitchen because I realized I HAVE BILLS like an ADULT, y’all, BILLS BILLS BILLS which have my address on them.**

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ITS HAPPENING. I”M DOING THE THING.

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Wait. What the hell is this. I JUST WANT TO STUFF MY FACE FULL OF MURDER. What even is this message?! WHY ARE YOU KEEPING ME FROM BEING HAPPY? *PS: do not put these kinds of messages in Google Translate because it is strange as all hell*

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PPS: It said something like “please select the proper address we found” aka the blue link in the bottom but I COULDN”T UNDERSTANDS.

Bailey>YMKCW: What *IS* this?! FEED ME ME FEED FOOD BIGBANGBIGBADBIGMAC

YMKCW>Bailey: your address? just click the blue address and then confirm.

And then….finally…the big moment:

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