Wishing Kris a ‘Happy Birthday’ from Sydney ^^
About two weeks ago I made the effort of getting up early in the morning and going to the city for a gathering to wish Kris ‘Happy Birthday’. Since I’m all the way in Sydney and could not be present at KCON in L.A., which took place on the same day, to see the members of EXO-M, especially Kris, I thought being part of this event would be a nice opportunity to express my sincere wishes.
Honestly, I haven’t had the opportunity to show this kind of support for someone that I admire because it’s hard for people to gather in the Middle East, where my home is at the moment, and do these kinds of things. Since the opportunity came up while I’m here in Australia, I decided to be part of it.
The gathering in Sydney was organized by Baidu Wufan (Kris) Bar and I ended up being the first one to reach the meetup point, which was Circular Quay where one can get a spectacular view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House. The gathering was meant to take place at 11 A.M. and I reached around 11:15 A.M. I thought I was going to be late, as I had missed the bus that I was meant to take a little earlier, and had to wait around 20 minutes for the next one to hop onto. Little did I realize that I would actually be spending around 2 hours in the city on my own before everyone was able to gather up in one place. I wanted my Changsha friend to come early with me, but she came later on as she had some other tasks.
As soon as I reached Circular Quay and stood in front of the train station where the gathering was specifically meant to be, I called the organizers of the event and they informed me that they were in Chatswood and that I should meet up with them at Chinatown instead.
I’ve never traveled from Circular Quay to Chinatown, so I called one of my friends to ask her which way was the quickest to reach Chinatown. She told me that I needed to take the bus to Central and then walk to Chinatown. I asked one of the ladies that was supervising at the Circular Quay train station if there was a bus nearby that I could take to Central and she kindly showed me the directions.
After taking the bus to Central, I walked A LOT as it took me a while to find my way to Chinatown. I was using Google Maps on my cellphone and asking a few people for directions too. I was happy that it was a nice and sunny day and I enjoyed the atmosphere while looking at all the stores, restaurants, and other interesting places as I passed by them. I’ve finally managed to figure out my way around the cosmopolitan city of Sydney on my own now. The heart of Sydney doesn’t seem so large anymore.
As I walked around for 20 or so minutes trying to figure out where the main part of Chinatown was, I started to feel really hungry. I did not have breakfast since I was in a hurry to make it to the gathering on time. After walking around for a bit, I saw a 7/11 store nearby and went in. I was tempted to the buy some chocolate, but I decided not to. I really wanted to buy a cold sandwich, but there was none that had tuna and I couldn’t eat the other sandwiches that were available there as they had un-Halal meat in it. My stomach was growling, but I decided to ask for directions to the main part of Chinatown and then make my way to that destination.
Sydney Chinatown – Definitely a key place to gather for Kris‘ birthday
Once I reached the main part of Chinatown (the whole area I was walking around was Chinatown, but it wasn’t the main part), I called the organizers again and they told me that it will take a while for them to reach. I was kind of nervous and excited because I wanted to see how Kris‘ fans were like in real. It was that moment where I was more interested in getting to know his fans than seeing how much they love Kris xD I like meeting new people and talking to them. If I meet someone that loves talking, our conversations can go on for hours about a whole variety of topics!
On an amusing note, several months ago I was at a mall and I bumped into one of my Chinese friends, who was working at a store. She introduced me to one of her other friends that was present by stating, “She is also a fan of Kris!” It’s as if wherever I go, I end up randomly bumping into someone that is a fan of Kris ^^’ I don’t tell anyone that I have blog posts on Kris and EXO, unless they are close to me like my friend from Changsha or they luckily stumble upon my blog. I like it that way.
Inside the main Chinatown area (notice the yellow sign on the left-hand side with the word ‘dragons’ =P)
Anyhow, when I entered the main part of Chinatown, I felt even more hungry. There were restaurants literally everywhere, but I couldn’t eat anything from there. I wanted a light snack. There was a cafe within the vicinity and I heard 2PM‘s Hands Up as I walked by it. The cafe mainly served desserts, but I was looking for something else to eat, like a sandwich. There was also a bubble tea store, but they didn’t serve any snacks. I decided to wait for the group in front of the dragon statues near the Chinese gate, and as I waited for a while with my cellphone in my hand to keep myself attentive to any new message or call from friends or the organizers of the gathering, I thought I should check out the East Asian entertainment store, Rong Bao Tang.
It should be noted that Rong Bao Tang contains lots of K-Pop merchandise. This also happens to be the place where I bought my EXO-K and EXO-M mini-album from.
K-Drams including Kris‘ favorite, IRIS =P
While I was in this store, I browsed through some of the K-Pop albums that were available and looked at the section where there were K-Dramas and J-Dramas. I spotted one of Kris‘ favorite dramas, IRIS, as I was looking around. Hahaha! Seeing the above picture, I have to indicate that 49 Days, City Hunter, and Secret Garden are some of my favorite K-Dramas. I know that some people did not like 49 Days because of its slightly sad ending, but I thought it was a brilliant drama as it included philosophical elements in it and made one think deeply about life.
Apart from this, the members of NU’EST have walked down the very same aisle that I took this picture from =P Yes, K-Pop stars visit this East Asian entertainment store as it’s one of the most popular ones in Sydney.
After a while of roaming around the main part of Chinatown and just taking in the atmosphere and clicking photos, I decided to leave the area and take a walk around the place. Just a few minutes of walking, I spotted another 7/11 store. I went inside because I was extremely hungry and needed something to eat before the gathering. I didn’t know how long the event would take so I wanted to make sure that I had enough energy.
To my surprise, I spotted Krispy Kreme donuts inside the 7/11 store! I haven’t had Krispy Kreme ever since I came to Australia so I immediately told myself, “I’m definitely going to buy this!” I felt better after having my scrumptious glazed donut (I always go for the glazed donuts) and I knew that the sugar would give me some energy for a while. I just realized that Krispy Kreme is Kris‘ nickname. Get it? KRISpy Kreme. Hahaha! I spotted many things in and around Chinatown that reminded me of Kris. I didn’t take a photo of my Krispy Kreme donut because I was eating it in public while crossing a street. I thought the crowd around me would think I’m strange =P
While I was walking back from the 7/11 store, I spotted this.
K-Pop Karaoke Place
I’m not aware of how well-known this K-Pop Karaoke place is but I do know that the most popular karaoke place that offers songs in Korean, Chinese, and English is Big Echo Karaoke Box. The price there is pretty cheap too. It’s where all the Asian students go to when they want to kick back and enjoy the weekend. I’ve been there with a large group that included a mix of Chinese, Korean, Malaysian, and Indonesian students and it was a lot of fun.
As soon as I got back to the main part of Chinatown, I went into a store with cosmetic products and decided to spend my time looking around at some of the things that were available. I asked the salesperson a couple of questions about particular products just to kill time and I was quite surprised to have found some BB cream by Dr. Wu.
Dr. Wu’s Magic Cover BB Cream xD
I wonder if Mr. Wu Yi Fan uses this =P Who knows? Maybe he IS Dr. Wu xD
After taking a good look around the fancy store, I decided to go to a small mall nearby to check out the Korean and Japanese stores. Many of the stores had interesting clothes and some trendy-looking tops, but once I saw a a sign indicating that there was a food court at the top-most floor, I proceeded to that location. However, as soon as I reached the top-most floor, I got a call from the organizers of the event telling me that everyone was waiting outside. As I was heading out, I saw a store that had clothes that seemed like they were out of an Anime cartoon or manga like Vampire Knight (I haven’t even watched or read it, but I’ve known about it for a very long time). The salespeople inside looked like Japanese rock stars because of their hairstyles and dress sense. I found it intriguing. I was tempted to take a photo, but I was in a hurry so I simply left.
Outside the mall I saw a group of girls standing and talking. At first I didn’t know if they were all Kris‘ fans so I passed by them by just a few steps, but then looked back and saw a girl taking down names of everyone on her notepad. I decided to approach her and she noticed me. I asked, “Hello! Is this the group for Baidu Wufan (Kris) Bar‘s event?” and she told me that it was. She then greeted me and took down my name. The organizer apologized for the delay in the event and I mentioned that it was fine.
There were around 16 or more of us girls and I was the only one that wasn’t Chinese. Everyone seemed to be speaking in Mandarin. I greeted some of the girls, but there was a bit of a language barrier as I began speaking in English. I was kind of surprised as many of the students in my university that have come directly from China are fluent in English. Additionally, many of the girls in the group were high school friends and there was only one girl that was a university student, who I met later on. I thought I was the only one that came without a friend. I really wished my friend from Changsha was with me at that moment so that I wouldn’t be the eldest in the group.
One of the girls in the group was from Guangdong Province and she had a straight nose, a well-defined narrow jaw bone, and double eyelids like Kris too. Her hair wasn’t black, though. She had light-to-medium brown hair. I mainly talked to her in the beginning, but she had a difficult time saying some things in English as she had only been in Sydney for five months. Nevertheless, she still spoke well. She was surprised when I mentioned the name of the university that I attend and she said that she really wants to do her bachelors there in the near future. It’s actually hard for a lot of students to get into my university. I told her, “Study hard and you’ll do fine!” Another girl in the group was from Changsha but I didn’t talk to her a lot. Is it me or do people that come from the same province in China have similar features as one another? I’m pretty sure it is like that because in Pakistan, sometimes you can tell which part of Pakistan people are from by simply looking at their features.
Moreover, I find it cute when I meet Chinese students and I ask them where they are from and they say, “China!” thinking that I wouldn’t know any of the places in the country that they are specifically from. I often say, “No, I want to know where exactly from China you are from. As in, which city?” The response is always, “I’m not sure if you know the city…but it’s…” Most of the times, I apparently do end up knowing which city they are talking about, which surprises them. If I don’t know the city that they are talking about, I just ask them which province their city is in and that I will look it up and find out more about it. After all, I love learning about other places.
Thumbs Up! Friend, me, friend at my friend’s farewell ^^
Speaking of this, one of the Chinese guys, who is quite tall and has a very deep voice like Kris, that I met at my friend’s farewell yesterday says that I know more about China than he does. He is obviously joking =P Moreover, I found it quite surprising how he kept doing the ‘thumbs up’ when all of us were taking photos. Since he was aware of SOME K-Pop groups, I told him that the members of EXO, particularly Kris, does the ‘thumbs up’ all the time. He was intrigued and stated, “Whoa! This must be a sign! Now I must check out EXO! I’m going to Google them when I get back home and look up their YouTube videos.”
I informed him that EXO is a Chinese-Korean boy group and that the name of the group is short for EXO Planet, meaning that the planet is outside the Solar System. Furthermore, I stated that the group is divided into EXO-K and EXO-M and that EXO-K primarily promotes in Korea and EXO-M primarily promotes in China. Additionally, I told him that EXO has 23 teasers, 2 prologue songs, and one main music video. He replied, “You should be one of those people that promotes them. You’re already doing a good job!”
On an amusing note, he believes that K-Pop boy groups are trolling on fan girls when they do the peace/victory signs and try to act ‘cute’ or do aegyo xD Sometimes I do wonder if they really are TROLLING.”Even though we cannot be together…my ‘<3′ will always be with you – We are ONE!” seems like full-on trolling to me =P Dui Zhang, don’t say these things if you don’t mean them or are sincere about it! Then again, he always ends up making a puppy face that makes me believe that he really does mean those words >.< By the way, I love the word ‘trolling’. Some guy spoke about trolling and trolls, especially on the Internet, in one of my classes and I burst out laughing really hard xD Other students saw me laughing and started laughing too =P
Going back to the topic, once everyone’s names were taken down by the organizer of the event, we decided to move out and take a walk to the bus stop. The final place that we were supposed to head over to was Circular Quay. I thought, “Great…I just came from there.” Anyways, I talked to the girl from Guangdong Province (I’m not revealing any names so please bear with me when I say this) while walking to the bus stop. Then the group separated into two groups as there was not enough space on the bus. In the beginning of the journey, I was standing but then the girls that were sitting at the back seats motioned to me to come towards them as there were empty seats nearby them. I listened and found an empty seat next to a stranger. The stranger had to get off at a stop earlier than ours so I went and sat next the girl from Guangdong after a while and we continued talking.
The bus only took us to a stop that was closest to Circular Quay, not AT Circular Quay. We waited for the other group of girls to join us as soon as we got off the bus. It started to get a bit chilly outside, but luckily I had my cardigan on. A few meters away from where I was standing, I saw one girl from the group smiling at me. She seemed really friendly so we ended up talking with one another. She was a university student but was doing her bachelors. She came on her own as well and didn’t know anyone. We clicked pretty well. We talked a lot while heading towards Circular Quay. She has been staying away from her parents for a few years since high school. Her parents are back in Shanghai while she has been in Australia for quite some time. I thought, “Wow…I guess it’s getting really common for young people to be living away from parents now, especially kids from China that study abroad.” Sometimes they don’t even get to see their parents for more than year like my close friend from Changsha.
Group pic. in front of the Sydney Opera House
Upon reaching Circular Quay and walking to the spot where we could get a good shot of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House in the background, each one of us was given either a poster/picture of Dui Zhang, or a banner, or just a board with something written on it. Surprisingly, one of the pictures that was printed out was of Dui Zhang at Incheon Airport leaving to L.A. for KCON. This means that the organizers of the event were up-to-date with information on Kris.
I was about to take the pink banner that had hearts on it and the saying, “Kris, you are my angel,” but I thought it was too cheesy for me. What if Kris is not an angel? I would be heartbroken =P I just went for the square cut-out with Kris‘ name, his EXO symbol (the dragon), something written in Chinese, and the words, ‘We are one!’ The square cut-out was in black and white and looked simple (I’ll post a clearer picture of me holding the sign when it’s actually Kris‘ birthday, iA ^^’).
A security guard saw all the posters, banners, and signs, and approached the organizers of the group thinking that we were protesting. Hahaha! The organizers explained that they were for wishing someone ‘Happy Birthday’. Many people, especially the men that walked by us, kept looking in our direction. They were wondering what we were doing and who we were wishing ‘Happy Birthday’ to. Many found it quite amusing.
In the first picture of this post, I look tiny. Hahaha! It must be the angle that the picture was taken from. I am petite, though. Teehee ^^’ I’m the one at the far end on the left-hand side of the picture wearing white and with a board that has Kris‘ symbol, the dragon. When my brother was young, he used to joke that he could pick me up and throw me across the soccer field and that I would go flying all the way ’cause he is much taller than I am *cries* Ever heard the saying, “Pick on someone your own size…”? Maybe I should not tease Kris. I don’t want to be thrown across the basketball court and go flying all the way *cries* ;_; Anyhow…
When a video of the group was being made, a couple of us were trying to figure out what to say. The girls came up with, “Please visit Sydney!” I said, “How about, ‘Please FLY to Sydney?’ Kris is a dragon…he can fly” *does the flying arm movements like Dui Zhang in the Sina Interview* All the girls got excited and said, “YESSS!!!” I thought, “I wonder what would have happened if I wasn’t here to suggest this?” =P Hahahaha!
Since everyone in the group was Chinese and I was the only non-Chinese person, I was taught how to say, “I really like you, each and every one of you,” in Mandarin. It was kind of funny as everyone was looking in my direction to make sure I got it right xD I wish I knew Mandarin. Thank you for taking care of me.
Ayo Kris! Happy Birthday! xD
Interestingly, two Australian girls, who looked like they were in their early 20s, noticed our group while heading towards the Sydney Opera House and said, “EXO!!!” We were all surprised and they stated that they saw the members of EXO at a fan signing event in Korea. I asked them, “Which fan signing event?” and they replied, “The one at Incheon.” I told them that it was awesome that they got the opportunity to see them and since I was curious to know how EXO are like in person, I asked, “So how are they like in person?” One of the girls mentioned, “They are SO adorable!!!” We asked them to join our group photo/video, but they were in a hurry to get to some place so they left after telling us, “Enjoy!”
A moment later, one other girl and her friend from our group initiated a conversation with me and we talked for a while. We later exchanged e-mails and took photos together. There was a discussion about Weibo and I told them that I don’t have a Weibo account but tried signing up for it several times. I mentioned that in order to sign up, one needs a residential ID number for China, which I, of course, don’t have. They told me that they could make a Weibo account for me, which I thought was really nice of them to say.
My friend from Changsha joined me later on when group pictures were being taken. I quickly ran to her and gave her a hug and wanted her join the photo but she was too shy. I tried to convince her, “Why don’t you come in the picture and wish Kris ‘Happy Birthday’?” but she said, “It’s alright, I’m just going to take a walk around for half-an-hour and enjoy the lovely scenery…It’s such a beautiful day! Just give me a call whenever you’re done and we can head over to the museum.” I promised her that we would go the art exhibition and spend the a day in the city before she leaves to Venice, Italy for her internship. Hence, I could only stay at the event for a little while.
Please fly to Australia, Kris! =P
When it was my turn to be individually recorded, I stated, “Please fly to Australia. Don’t be stubborn!” which seemed to cause many of the girls to giggle, and I also mentioned that, “I really like you.” I’m using Dui Zhang‘s own words as a comeback…kekekeke! However, my part in the video was cut short just like everyone else’s so I placed my words in a picture that I made for the video that is being compiled by the admins. of the international Facebook page for EXO.
I called my friend later on and told her that we can head over to the museum. She came, but then I got caught up in taking more group photos. My friend decided to take the honors of using my camera to snap some lovely photos of the group as well. Furthermore, I introduced her to the other girl that was from Changsha and they talked for a bit.
I said goodbye and thanked the organizers and left with my friend to check out the museum nearby, explore a bit of the city, and later meet up with some of my other friends at late afternoon!
Before leaving, I asked my friend to record a video of me from my camera wishing Kris ‘Happy Birthday’ in front of the lovely water and the Sydney Opera House in the background, just in case my part got cut for the video by Baidu Wufan (Kris) Bar. The video would have been great for sending it to the admins. of the international EXO Facebook fan page, who were organizing a birthday video for Kris, but then a few seconds later into my video some Australian guy in the background trolled with his friends by deliberately making funny poses as I was speaking. I didn’t notice until I inserted the SD card into my laptop and watched the video. It kind of ruined the lovely message that I had, but I found it really amusing too…..hahahaha! xD It’s alright ’cause I think the two pictures that I sent in and the Baidu Wufan (Kris) Bar event was already enough.
After this, my friend and I grabbed McDonald’s because we were hungry. I can only eat filet-o-fish and non-meat food from McDonald’s here because the rest of the meals that are available are not Halal. I ordered a filet-o-fish burger ’cause it’s somewhat filling.
Happy Birthday Kris…here is your present =P It’s full-o flavor as the box says. TROLOLOLOL! xD
Hahaha! Just kidding ^_~
I’ve never done something like this before. It makes me laugh. Dui Zhang clearly has no idea that I do not do these sort of things, such as holding up signs and banners, because they are too cheesy for me =P I don’t know…I get shy. Hahaha!
Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself for being a “fan girl” (I still like to call myself a “friend” because it’s much nicer…but friends are supposed to be there for one another, right? I think that would be difficult to apply here). Well, what can I say? It’s an experience and this is probably the first and last time that I’m doing something like this…unless my really close friends are around and are enthusiastic about doing something similar xD
Of course, my filet-o-fish burger is nothing in comparison to the awesome gifts that Kris‘ fans have made xD Check out one of the gifts that a Chinese fan has made for Kris‘ birthday:
520 Hand-Made Roses by a Chinese Fan for Kris‘ Birthday
(Credit: To the rightful owner)
She made 520 roses, which took around half a year. 520 is supposed to mean, “I love you,” in Chinese. I hope Kris sees this. It seems like a lot of hard work and dedication was put into this. Plus, it looks beautiful. It kind of reminds me of how some girls make 100 or 1000 paper cranes for someone they admire. Honestly, I would never do that unless I’m in a situation where the feelings are mutual and I know that my feelings of appreciation would be reciprocated by the receiver. As a lady, it is always nice to see a guy step in and show some form of appreciation rather than a girl taking huge leaps to show her love and care for someone that may not be able to reciprocate the same amount of love and care for her.
On the other hand, my friend from Changsha told me that there are many Chinese fans that take great lengths to show appreciation for someone famous and sometimes end up doing something crazy. I guess some people have this burning passion inside of them that they can’t control =P
On a random note, when I saw the above picture of the hand-made roses, I suddenly remembered the significance of blue roses. Did you know that people once used to search for blue roses, thinking that they were rare? In literature and art, blue roses symbolize love and prosperity for the seeker. However, natural blue roses don’t exist and if one ever sees a blue rose, it’s simply a white rose that has been dyed blue. It would be awesome if natural blue roses were real and if they were rare, then I’m sure that many people would have a fascination in them and flower shops would sell them at a high price compared to other colored roses.
Also, a thought crossed my mind a while back. I really have no idea about whether I would ever be able to meet my favorite K-Pop groups or see my favorite K-Pop star in person. It’s true that some of us may never get the chance, as some things are just not meant to be. Maybe it’s for our best. Who knows? I guess that’s how life is.
Indeed, it’s going to be difficult to see EXO when they gain more popularity in the future. Then again, everything is in God’s hands, so one may never know what may happen. Furthermore, I’m not a big fan of crowds where people get injured from all the pushing and shoving just to get a glimpse of their favorite celebs. Hence, I think it would be very difficult for me to attend fan signing events. I’m a bit claustrophobic and I don’t like seeing people get wild and act uncivil towards one another. I like calm and peaceful environments. Let’s pray that we get to meet EXO in a calm and peaceful environment one day, iA! ^^
This post has become way too long, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to wish Kris ‘Happy Birthday’. I never imagined that I would be doing something like this for someone that I don’t even know, but I know it’s for someone special ^^
Apart from saying that the filet-o-fish is his birthday gift, I would have gladly shared this cupcake that I had at a warm and cozy chocolate cafe called Max Brenner on the same day. I also saw chocolates in a box that had a dragon on it on the way out of the cafe. I really wanted to take a photo of it for Kris, but I didn’t get the chance =( So here is my cupcake instead =P
My Cupcake ^^
Overall, I just wanted to wish Kris ‘Happy Birthday’ and let him know that he has fans from all over the world that care about him ^^ So early HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kris! ^^
P.S. It’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow!