Mar 282018

We’re on the train to Busan (insert obligatory zombie jokes here, har har) and I’m taking advantage of the free WiFi so here’s a quick update from yesterday! We spent the morning hiking up Namsan mountain to N. Seoul Tower, which Henry kept saying was going to BE SO CROWDED but then it wasn’t. I will do a proper post on this and also our lunchtime in Myeongdong, but right now I just want to quickly update about seeing the Jonghyun memorial at SMTown in Gangnam.

I was one of millions of people who were devastated when Jonghyun from SHINee took his life last December and it was important to me that I get to pay respects and add a note to the wall. Part of the process, as my friend Alyson Hell would say.

Here are some photos.

This was playing on the gigantic, seriously the largest I’ve ever seen on a building, screen outside of SMTown.

The Jonghyun shrine is on the top floor of SMTown, in a back corner room. The mood was understandably somber, and the people in there (maybe about 20 at the time of our visit) were very quiet and respectful.

I started crying immediately. I mean, do you know me? #emotionalhurricane

Chooch and I both wrote notes to add to the wall (his was so freaking sweet, I wanted to die) and then we slowly walked around looking at the fan art and other beautiful and thoughtful messages from around the world. It was really enough to take your breath away. You could just feel the love and pain radiating from those notes.

My heart ached so bad while we were there. But I feel grateful that I got to see it and just the simple act of standing in a room with other people who are still mourning and remembering was really special.


  4 Responses to “Wednesday Korea Update, 3/28/18: Jonghyun Shrine”

  1. Way back in 2001, I got to see the John Lennon exhibit at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It was something I had never experienced before. To see the brown paper bag with his clothes still in it, that the coroner handed to his wife…it just…. well… I guess, maybe you can relate. Seeing all the guitars, the scraps of paper with songs scribbled on them, notebooks full of lyrics… His voice piped thru the rooms as you walked thru. It was haunting. I am so glad I was able to take that trip. It is something I will always remember.

  2. If every note is a life touched, then he succeeded.

    This trip is just so far out of every American’s comfort zone, but not you. All of this is fucking amazing.

    • Thank you for reading it! It was seriously the trip of a lifetime. It felt way different than any other trip I’ve ever taken because I was so deeply connected to the culture, and it really was the first time we experienced something that all three of us loved and had a big interest in. It was really bonding for us!

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