When my life is 80% daydreaming about Korean stuff, 20% sludging through another basic American day, a convention like KCON gives me life. For two days, I was able to be around other people who also appreciate the culture and the joys this beautiful country brings into our lives, rather than be giving strange looks because I prefer Running Man over the Bachelor or gochujang over BBQ sauce. And so what if I eat kimchi for a snack at work?
The Hallyu wave has engulfed your girl and there’s no fighting the undertow.
This is my third attempt at writing this thing: the first two times WordPress was s douchebag and didn’t save my edits. So at this point, we’re going the pictures/captions route because I have nothing left to give. Wah.
Also, real quick because I know there is a popular misconception that I use some kind of crazy vaginal sorcery to brainwash Henry isn’t doing my bidding: he is actually pretty down with the Korean craze as well. I mean, not as much as I am obviously because it takes a certain kind of bipolar nutjob to basically let one obsession with a music genre totally rebrand your entire lifestyle, but he does actually like most of the idol groups (not BTS though, inexplicably) and he genuinely enjoys cooking Korean cuisine and sends me articles about Running Man that he reads on k-gossip sites. We finally have something that we’re enjoying together!
Now if only I can get him to do KpopX fitness videos with me…
All that being said, I’m going to try and cast one of my witchy spells to get him to help me write this post.
Chooch French-fried me at the McDonald’s booth, where we got these cute reusable bags that proved to be invaluable as we collected free shit every time we turned around. I was really annoyed that the guy who took the picture didn’t take a second one!
Tous les Jours is a French bakery chain in Korea. I know – I was unsure at first too. But the stuff I tried was so good and had a great Korean twist to French classics. I’d give anything for another piece of milkbread right about now.
Anyway, the only thing Chooch cared about from this place was the fact that a $10 purchase got you a battery-powered mini-fan. The first one he got didn’t work (user error probably) but later in the day, Henry threw down another $10 on beverages and Chooch finally got to have man-made air blown into his overheated face.
“When you can’t afford real friends” – Chooch
There was an entire section of the convention dedicated to the Winter Olympics! Here is Chooch standing with a cutout of the group Highlight.
“Keep walking maybe she won’t follow” – Henry
Chooch got so much free shit, it was incredible. This wasn’t even all of it. The I Love K-Food booths were giving away so many foodstuffs, just by playing games like Plinko and spinning a wheel.
The best part about the vendors and booths is that they were all blaring their own playlists, so it was literally Kpop cacophony.: A/K/A FUCKING DELIGHTFUL.
“When your mom makes you take pictures with someone you barely even know about” – Chooch.
” Don’t be fooled, he knows who they are.” – Henry
Ha Ha and Gwangsoo from Running Man are K-Food spokespeople! It was so exciting for me to see their likeness outside in the real world, among so many other people who also knew who they were! (They’re my two favorite people from Running Man! If/when Henry and I split, I’m going to add to my “H” knuckle tattoo so it spells Ha Ha.)
Some of the awesome k-beauty products I bought from the Nature Twenty booth. I wanted everything!
“You’re already beautiful enough, you don’t need any of that stuff” – Henry
Song Joong-ki!!!! <333333
“Me and the gang” – Chooch.
“Little did I know, they were going to pick from the opposite side of the tree I hung mine” – Chooch.
If you hung your wish on the Wishing Tree, you were eligible for a drawing later that day. The prizes were an iPad, concert tickets, and fan engagements. Dumb Chooch didn’t win for once. They had some actual men from the PyeongChang Olympics committee there picking the winning wishes! That was pretty cool. Pairing the Olympics with KCON was extremely smart marketing.
GAHHHHH KOREAN FOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!
“Choices were pretty slim, though the ones there were good.”- Henry
We all ate lunch from the Korilla booth. I had the tofu taco, Henry had some type of meat taco, and Chooch had veggie mandu. Plus Henry and I split an order of Kim-cheese fries, which was my kimchi fix. I think I’m addicted to that shit, you guys.
My favorite food stall was the traditional Korean beverage guys, though. They served me up some ice cold sikhye (a wonderfully sweet rice drink) and it was divine.
(Chooch apparently hates the word divine, at least my usage of it, so now I want to use it a lot, maybe change his name to it and stick some PINK FLAMINGOS in the yard.)
G-friend was at the AT&T tent at one point so Chooch climbed on a cement thing and got a picture of two of them.
“When I realized I’m not athletic”- Chooch
“Piano lessons to continue” – Henry
“Slide to the left. J/k” – Chooch
I asked Henry why he and I don’t wear matching couple outfits like those two in the pink hats and he was quick to point out that those two weren’t a couple, but a girl and her gay friend, which I thought was presumptuous because why does a guy in tight shortalls have to be gay?
Anyway, this was during a G-friend “Fingertip” choreography lesson, which was pretty boring to watch. Maybe when I’m a certified KpopX instructor, I can have my own demonstrations at KCON!!!!!!!!!!1111111
That girl back there in the yellow shirt is a super annoying YouTuber.
“We at least agreed on that” – Henry
“When your fam just leaves you” – Chooch.
“When your fam ‘thinks’ they left you.” – Henry
This was right before Henry made friends with a NEWARK COP while Chooch and I were waiting for the PyeongChang wishing tree drawing. He was so proud of it too! Later, Chooch and I saw an old ass cop scoot by on a Segway and I was certain it was Henry’s new boytoy in blue, but then when we were leaving the convention that day, some younger cop jovially smiled and waved to Henry like they knew each other.
“That’s my new cop friend!” Henry said, full of pride.
Anyway, I made this picture b&w because Henry is always head-to-toe grayscale so what does it even matter.
That fucking Tous les Jour fan.
“It’s not a ‘fucking’ Tous les Jour fan. It’s a FREAKING Tous les Jour fan” – Chooch.
Random acoustic set from a guy and girl but it wasn’t in Korean so I lost interest.
“That face you make when you’re not ready” – Chooch. (“If it was Daddy, I would say, ‘That face you make when you see a girl'” – Chooch.)
My people. I loved how diverse the demographic was!
“When you’re 11 and driving. I don’t know.” – Chooch.
Chooch got to play some crazy-ass crane machine controlled by a Toyota CH-R (they called it the CH-rane game) and won a Line Friends notebook. He was salty because it took him so long in the day to finally play and by that time, they were all out of the Line Friends plushies. This was somehow Henry’s fault.
“When you eat kimchi unknowingly and like it” – Chooch
Seriously, I was like, “Hey Chooch peep this Korean pancake, you’ll love it” BUT IT WAS KIMCHI JEON. Henry makes a delicious jeon, you guys. So maybe when we’re in Korea, he’ll be able to supplement his Subway meals with the occasional jeon.
That moment you catch Henry getting brochures from someone at the Korea Tourism Organization booth and fall in love with the bearded dope all over again.
Chooch was on the prowl for more shit to win.
“When you try to find new parents” – Chooch.
“When you’re tired AF and still forced to get a picture taken” – Chooch.
Chooch looks like he got beat up in his attempt to get a Highlight sign to take into the concert, but really this is just what his legs always look like because HELLO 11 YEAR OLD BOY. He falls off his bike everyday, I think.
And that was Day one of the convention! Concert recap coming soon.