Helo welcom 2 my websight
Ladies and gentlemen,
as most of you probably know (if not, you should be very ashamed!) I was in Paris this weekend to attend the first ever (or, well, technically the second ever since I went to the Saturday concert and there was a concert the day before as well) European performance by SM Entertainment’s artists: Girls’ Generation, F(x), Super Junior, SHINee and TVXQ!
Because I wanted to share my experience with everyone, I’ve created an extensive travel report; taking over 350 pictures and 25 videos to show you all what an awesome time I had and to make sure I’ll never forget these past four days.
Day 1 − Getting to Paris
We’re starting our story off in Breda, where me and Cleo (my high school friend who is also a giant koreeaboo) would board the bus that would take us to Paris around midnight. It was cold as hell, and the bus was like 20 minutes late, starting our weekend off at a bit of a sour note.
[This is Breda International Bus Station. Seriously. There wasn’t even a sign or anything, it was just the corner of a street!]
However, when we stepped into the bus we realized waiting outside in the cold was hardly the worst of our worries. I didn’t take a picture, but imagine this scene, only in a bus:
The bus was completely crammed full of foreigners (mostly black people and people from India) sleeping under mats and carpets they brought themselves and the Dutch bus driver (who was a giant asshole, by the way) had to forcefully (he seemed to enjoy it, too) wake up a stoned-as-fuck blonde dude so me and Cleo could sit next to eachother.
Needless to say, the bus trip was horrific. We would arrive in Paris at 6 AM, and the concert would start that night at 6 PM, but I only managed to catch about 4 hours of sleep in the bus because the guy in front of me thought it’d be pretty damn awesome to shove his chair in my face so he could lie down properly, leaving me with about as much leg space as a SMART.
Unsurprisingly, we were extremely happy to be out of that chicken coop when dawn finally broke.
Day 2 − Bienvenue à Paris
But it was all worth it of course, since WE WERE IN PARIS! Glorious, beautiful Paris! The city of love and beautiful architecture!
And..you know..smelly subways.
Filled with giant lines of tourists looking to buy a subway ticket.
[Imagine being that guy at the counter right now. Waking up at 6 AM to go to your shitty job and being confronted with a huge line of foreigners who can’t speak French and have no clue where to go. I applaud that guy for still having a smile on his face after the thirtieth dude asking him in broken English which subway to take to his hotel.]
Actually, everyone from our bus lined up in front of a ticket machine first. It was only after like 20 minutes of waiting that some people realized that ticket machine didn’t actually dispense tickets but ‘recharged’ already bought tickets and everyone moved over to the ticket booth a bit further down the hall. We were lucky to be somewhere halfway the line and not all the way at the back.
The Paris subway system is pretty damn awesome. It’s old as fuck, of course, much like everything in Paris but the most expensive five star hotel, but there’s a train every 5 minutes or so and the directions posted in the subway stations are excellent.
Many thanks go out to Ghislaine for supplying a detailed description on how to get from the Eurolines Bus Station to our hotel, and for telling us how to travel an entire day for only €3,70 because that definitely saved us a lot of trouble so early in the morning, but after a few trips with the subway it was as if we’d been using it for years. They’re also extremely fast and relatively clean (apart from the smell).
Our first non-underground sight of Paris:
A super cute METRO sign!
One of the (admittedly, very few) pros of being up in Paris so early was that there was basically no one outside yet, so we could take some pictures before heading over to our hotel.
We were staying at Hotel de Paris, which is basically right across the street from Le Zénith, and we got the chance to take some pictures at the site before it was flooded with kpop fans.
At least, we assumed there wouldn’t be anyone there yet. It was 7 AM and the concert wouldn’t start for another 11 hours, but there were already fans lined up in order to get the best possible standing spots!
Me and Cleo luckily had VIP tickets (that sounds a lot better than it actually is by the way, but it did mean we had pretty decent seats and could just walk in through a separate entrance whenever we wanted) so we could just show up minutes before the concert and sit down in our reserved seats.
After visiting the venue, we went looking for our hotel, which took a while because we both suck at reading maps, but we did manage to find it in the end.
However, we couldn’t check in until noon.
THAT WAS LIKE 5 HOURS AWAY!
AND I WAS SO SLEEPY!
But there was nothing we could do, so we set out to see a bit of Paris before we either died of exhaustion or managed to make it to twelve ‘o clock with our eyes still open.
When we started off around 8 the streets were still completely empty, but by 9 AM everyone seemed to have woken up and there were little markets opening up everywhere and tourists started flooding the streets.
Of course that was around the time we finally made our way to the first couple of main attractions. The first thing we walked into was the Hxf4tel de Ville, which is apparently a (very beautiful) museum.
Naturally, we had to bust out our Koreeaboo tourist skills for this one:
A little bit further on the road was the Notre Dame, which is of course mostly famous because of Disney films and not really because of what it is, but it’s friggin’ stunning nonetheless. I quite enjoy looking at classic architecture, so I was glad we had a bit of time today and all day tomorrow to check out the sights in Paris, especially since this was the first time there for me. We managed to hit most of the tourist attractions by the way, and of course we took pictures at all of them, so I hope you’re ready for a long ride!
Then we walked around a bit, and around 10 AM Cleo wanted to meet up with her sister who went to the SM Town concert the day before and was leaving for Holland that evening. I was still super tired, so I wanted to check in to the hotel and try to get some rest as soon as possible and since it seemed like the meet up would take some time, we parted ways and I was browsing an awesome cd/dvd/comic/manga store for about an hour. All the comics and manga were in French though, of course, so they weren’t much use, and all the dvds were just French editions of American movies (I was looking for maybe a Luc Besson or Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie, but no luck), but there was a budget box with some random cds for €1,50 a piece and I bought two of them. I love just buying random cds that look interesting, but I don’t often get the chance to since it’s not often you run into really cheap cds.
Anyway, after that little ‘shopping spree’ (I almost walked out with 4 cds and a L’Arc en Ciel dvd, but I decided against it since SOPOOR) I went on my way back to the hotel and thanks to the awesome subway system I arrived there
at a little past 12 to check us in and put away our suitcases and bags safely in our room.
The hotel itself was a bit scruffy by the way, but it was cheap and other people were paying up to four times as much a night to stay in places kilometres removed from Le Zénith while we could practically roll there right out of our beds. The beds were a bit hard and the furnishing was a bit Spartan, but all in all it was an awesome deal at €35 per person per night.
Anyway, since Cleo was out, it was up to me to buy some merchandise for her friend who begged her to get some stuff of his waifus (Taeyeon and Tiffany) and of course to get some stuff for myself. However, it was already 12:45 by the time I settled everything into the room and the merchandise stand would open at 1 PM, so there was no time for me to rest my by now bloodshot eyes.
It was like slave labour! Cleo! While you were enjoying delicious Vietnamese lunch I was standing in line with sweaty neckbeards, not eating, and dying of no sleep!
Ahem. But in any event, I made my way over to Zénith to stand in the merchandise line (where I met the guy who I sold my extra tickets to, small world!) where it took one of the security staff friggin’ 20 minutes to remember that “Oh sorz the merchandise line actually opens at 2, not at 1. TROLOLOL COMBIEN DE SLEEP?” So I pretty much sprinted back to the hotel to get some sleep, and I had a 20 minute power nap (is that
what they call it? It did
feel like one, because I was
a little refreshed after it and after dropping some artificial tears into my dry eyes) after which I made my way back to the Zénith again where the security dude failed AGAIN.
“Hi, so, isn’t the merchandise line open yet?”
– No, what, I just told you, it opens at two ‘o cl–
“But it IS two ‘o clock.”
– Oh, yeah, I mean two thirty.
After about 20 minutes of waiting, some of the kawaii azns in line in front of me noticed that there was a rather large amount of people already surrounding the merchandise tent a bit further down the line, and asked the security dude about it.
Apparently we’d been standing in the wrong line all the time and there was actually no line to get to the merchandise.
So we could’ve just walked in there at 1 PM to get our stuff and left to get some friggin’ sleep, were it not for the complete desinformation provided by Zénith staff. But all was well now since we could finally get our hands on our precious SME merchandise!
I bought myself a SMTown tumbler and a fan of Jessica. I know, I know, I’m betraying my Sunny by not getting her fan, but if you see Sica’s (and you will at the end of this blog post) you’ll understand why I had to get hers. And I wasn’t about to get two €6 fans that I’d never use. So Sunny~ah mianhe!
After that little escapade, it was time to finally catch some sleep, and Cleo came back at 5 PM to wake me up and get some diner. Since she had already eaten a big lunch and the concert would start in about an hour, I just had some McDonald’s (I know, right? We’re in Paris and we’re eating at McD’s. Beat me on the head with a fuckstick.) and we were off to the Zénith for SM TOWN LIVE IN PARIS!
Day 2 – At the Concert
Before the weekend started, we’d heard from the French organization/fanclub Korean Connection that a lot of things would be prohibited at Zénith, including the all-important lightsticks and bottles of drinks (because apparently some dumbass threw a lightstick at a member of SHINee at the SM Town LA concert and we all know the murderous intentions of people with bottled drinks), but when we got there at 6 we didn’t even get screened and could just walk in with our stuff. If only I had taken my Sunny lightstick that I had bought especially for this occasion! But I didn’t want it to be confiscated ;_;
Anyway, we received our goodie bag (which was kind of a ripoff since we paid €55 for it because there were no more VIP tickets without the goodie bag and inside of it was just stuff that you could also buy at the merchandise stalls and there wasn’t even a t-shirt!) at the entrance and I was lucky enough to be able to exchange my SHINee picture set that was included for a SNSD picture set, and we explored the building a little.
Le Zénith reminded me a lot of a smaller version of xc1hoy here in the Netherlands. The reception hall was pretty nice and had this cute little Visit Korea Year stand with two bigass Samsung HD tv’s where they were showing video clips of the SM artists. They were also handing out little booklets and these badass ‘Radiation Protection Stickers’.
I have no idea what the little gold plated stickers are supposed to do, but they look really great so I snapped up four of them to put on various appliances.
Hey, they were free.
And I’m Dutch.
Entering the actual venue, an Asian woman dressed in some sort of Race Girl outfit showed me to my chair. Cleo had heard from her sister that the ‘hosts’ expected to be paid for their services (which, apparently, consisted solely of reading chair numbers) and I jokingly responded that I’d pretend not to understand her because I didn’t want to pay someone for something that mundane. When she actually asked for the tip, she did so in French and I really didn’t understand it, so I asked her in English if I could walk out freely if I had my ticket with me and she answered politely and left. Fuck yeah, incidental cheapness!
Check out the crazy fangirls I was sitting next to:
They were friends of Cleo, and they were pretty cool, specially for crazy fangirls :3
Take a look at the stage before and after lights out:
[Whose idea was it to ban lightsticks, seriously? Shit looks awesome!]
A lot of the fans had left their lightsticks at home, but all the fanclubs were handing out glow sticks (those sticks you have to break first and they begin to glow) in the color of their groups, so luckily it was still a great sight. Most of the SNSD fans (pink) were down on the floor at the standing places, and most of the seats were filled with SHINee (light blue) and Super Junior (blue) fangirls. The few red ones are from TVXQ! (or DBSK) fans.
Random fun fact before I begin the photo and video walkthrough of the concert: theaudience was mostly female. Mostly SHRIEKING female. However, almost all of the girls were there to see their boy groups (i.e. SuJu, TVXQ! and SHINee) and were standing up on their chairs, screaming and waving their lightsticks and jumping up and down during their performances, but during the girl groups that I came to see (SNSD and f(x)) they usually sat down and the few guys that were there were the ones standing up. It was pretty funny to see the camera man from Korea’s MBC filming the crazy fangirls around me while me and this one guy behind me were sitting down, resting our feet until one of the girl groups would come on, and then when they did all the girls sat down and I was the only one in the row standing up/waving around my glow sticks like a crazy mofo.
Also, personally, I really don’t enjoy SHINee or TVXQ! so I sat down during most of their performances except for the few songs that I knew of them, but I quite enjoy Super Junior so I was standing up for most of their songs (especially Sorry Sorry!) dancing and taking pictures.
I get the appeal of SHINee and TVXQ for girls, but their music sounds a bit generic to me. SuJu’s songs are fun and playful so they’re a lot nicer to just go along with.
And of course the entire reason I came was SNSD, so I’m sorry if I blocked anyone’s sight by standing up on my chair, but FUCK YOU IT’S SNSD WHOOO~
Oh, and I didn’t know f(x) very well a week ago, but after watching Chu I think I’ll add them to my list of awesome girl groups!
Anyway, on with the pictures!
I’m going to copy this set list from ahmins3’s livejournal (I made some corrections) and put some pictures under every performance. There will also be a video for any song I happened to have filmed. Click any of the pictures to see a larger version of them.
The concert started off with a short introduction video with the artists thanking all the fans for showing their support to SM Town and Korea in general, and every time a dude came on your ears would hurt from all the fangirl squealing. That’s part of the charm though, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had seen in some of the fancams from the SM Town LA concert.
I did, however, have a 3 day neverending beep in one ear because of a certain Chinese fangirl left of me (love ya Cleo =p).
LaChaTa – f(x)
The first song was La Cha Ta by f(x), and as always Amber (the tomboyish one with the blonde hair) was a huge crowd pleaser.
Tik Tok – Jessica & Krystal
Immediately after, Krystal (of f(x)) said something about her sister (SNSD’s Jessica) and before I had mentally prepared myself my second favorite SNSD girl was already up on stage dancing with her sister to Tik Tok.
Chu~♡ (츄~♡) – f(x)
Then Jessica left and the rest of the f(x) members hurried back on stage.
I should take a second to discuss this by the way, because I’ve never seen a concert go so smoothly in my life! It might be because I never go to pop concerts, but this was the first time where there was almost no waiting in between the songs and everything just ran like one classy as fuck smooth 3 hour long train ride. Kudos to the Zénith staff for making this such a great succes.
Anyway, Chu is my favorite f(x) song, so I was pretty hyped when it was the third song performed tonight.
Stand By Me – SHINee
Replay – SHINee
Get Down – SHINee
Juliette – SHINee
As you can see by the four titles here, there was a bunch of stuff I didn’t really care about. Juliette is a pretty awesome song though, but the one I filmed was Stand By Me because apparently that’s from the soundtrack of Boys Over Flowers (an incredibly popular kdrama) and the fangirls were going crazy.
Here’s a picture from Get Down though:
Sorry Sorry Answer – Super Junior K.R.Y.
When Sorry Sorry came up on the screen, I grabbed my camera as soon as possible because it’s my favorite SuJu song. Of course I didn’t know that there was some sort of alternative ‘Answer’ ver
sion that was more like a ballad though, but I still enjoyed it.
Poker Face – Heechul
Single Ladies – Shindong Eeteuk Eunhyuk
Then, OUT OF NOWHERE:
MEN IN DRESSES
DANCING TO LADY GAGA AND BEYONCÉ
SuJu’s Shindong was especially awesome in filling his latex dress out, with his manboobs (and nipples) showing through it perfectly.
I lol’d hard though. Jay-Z should try this some time.
Crazy In Love – Heechul Shindong Eeteuk Eunhyuk
Way Back Into Love – Seohyun & Kyuhyun
I didn’t take any pictures of Crazy In Love, but I did take some pretty good pics of the second SNSD appearance of the night. Our maknae Seohyun sand a beautiful (and quite possibly live) duet with Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, starting from the far sides of the stage and slowly making their way forward and closer together. It was a great song and one that fits Seohyun perfectly, and she did a wonderful job at making it sound genuine.
A-Yo (YG FAMILY Cover) – Key, Eunhyuk, Shindong and Minho
Right after the low-key ending of Way Back Into Love, I suddenly heard fangirl screams approaching the sound barrier from right behind me, so I readied my camera and shot this.
SHINee’s Key appeared from one of the audience entrances completely out of the blue, and the other three artists appeared from the other corners of the venue and made their way through the gasping fans. I was lucky enough to catch some of it on video. If it had been SNSD members I would’ve gladly thrown my camera away to touch them or something though, I mean he was walking RIGHT THERE. This was another situation where my height was quite useful by the way, as I could easily jump up on my seat and film Key while the girls were too busy trying not to faint.
Run Devil Run – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
Then, after all that fangirl bait, finally the first SNSD song!
I was pretty torn between spazzing out like a fanboy that just got electrocuted and making a video and taking pictures, so I did both, which is why there are no videos of full songs. The pictures came out pretty decently compared to some of the others I’ve seen online, but I so wish I could’ve been closer to them.
Our seats were good enough to distinguish the members from eachother, but it would’ve been great to have seen them up close. However, just seeing them in real life for the first time ever was a magical moment that I’m never going to forget.
Introduction – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
This was especially the case for the wonderful introduction, and of course Sica’s and Sunny’s speeches in particular. Hearing Jessica’s lovely voice in real life is surely what all men dream of. I’m not even sure why I love her voice so much, but damn it was great to hear it! I wish she’d talked on forever.
And yes, that voice yelling KWON YURI and SUNNY~AH was me. DEAL W/ IT NERD!
Also, the girls’ French was so incredibly cute. Especially Sunny’s, of course.
OUI, JE SUIS TRES CONTENT!
동화 (My Child) – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
Following this mindblowing cuteness was a song we haven’t heard live by SNSD very often, My Child. The little marching bit in the middle was too awesome not to film, so I filmed it <3
Kissing You – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
Although I wish they’d sang Mr. Taxi at this point, seeing them perform Kissing You in their classic ‘school girl’ skirts definitely didn’t disappoint either. The full force of SNSD awesomeness was yet to come though.
Super Girl – Super Junior
너같은 사람 또 없어 (No Other) – Super Junior
But first it was time for some Super Junior, who also had a really cute talk to the audience about being in Paris for the first time and Shindong clumsily forgetting his lines, making that awesome awkward face. And yes, Shindong is my favourite SuJu member because he’s an awkward fat guy. They should put an awkward
fat guy in SHINee!
HAHAHA – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
Now, however, it was SNSD’s massive invasion, showering the audience with two of their coolest songs, starting off with the HAHA song which was, if I remember correctly, initially written for a commercial about..orange drinks? The song is wonderfully upbeat and great to shout along with though, and the playful way the girls delivered it made me enjoy it even more.
I also managed to snap some close pictures of Sunny when she was interacting with the crowd on the closest stage.
힘내 (Way To Go) – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
After that, the girls performed one of my favourite songs: Himnae!
I like Himnae because it’s a bit rock-ish, and that makes it perfect to rock out to in a full arena.
This is where the set list gets a little blurry, because ahmins doesn’t list SNSD’s Genie and I’m not really sure where to place it exactly since they switched outfits after Himnae!
I think this is the correct order:
Miracle – Super Junior
Dancing Out – Super Junior
No pictures or videos for these as I had already taken a bunch of SuJu shots and was expecting to take a few more later.
소원을 말해봐 (Genie) – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
There’s only so much awesome a man’s heart can take. SNSD in their sailor outfits doing the hackey-sack dance right in front of me? And Tiffany speaking the immortal words “Paris…PUT IT BACK ON!”? I must’ve died and gone to heaven.
Part of the dying meant I wasn’t filming anything though since I wanted to enjoy at least one song ‘in real life’ isntead of staring at them under my camera.
NU ABO – f(x)
F(x) came out with their hit song NU ABO, which I quite enjoyed (especially the chorus) but isn’t one of my favorite songs of theirs. The NANANANANANA was awesome to shout along with though.
Ring Ding Dong − SHINee
This is pretty much the one SHINee song I really enjoy, so I made a video of it for your viewing pleasure. Also notice all the high pitched screaming from all the fans xD
Sorry Sorry – Super Junior
돈돈 (Don’t Don) – Super Junior
And then it was finally time for SuJu’s Sorry Sorry, so there was a lot of shouting along involved! My love for Sorry Sorry might come from SNSD’s frequent covers of it, but it’s still an awesome song in its own right. I filmed this bit of Don’t Don because that was the first time the flying harness was used (I think) and I was like OMGWTFJUSTHAPPENED.
Gangsta Boy – f(x)
I don’t really like this song a lot, but I did get some good pictures of f(x) in weird poses.
Hello – SHINee
Ready Or Not – SHINee
A.Mi.Go. − SHINee
I took some pictures to show the stage and the sheer amount of people crammed into the venue during this SHINee performance. I also tried to catch one of them flying up in that harness, but unfortunately my camera wasn’t being very cooperative.
훗 (Hoot) – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
Then when Soshi suddenly came walking on in golden glitter outfits, you knew what time it was: HOOT TIME BABY!
Oh! – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
When they moved to the stages closer to our seats, I decided that’d be a good moment to try and film a full song without spazzing out and throwing around the camera like a retard, and I think it worked out pretty well.
Honestly, I’m also REALLY glad you can’t hear my shouting over the music.
Nessum Dorma − Onew
I didn’t take any pictures of Onew’s performance of this opera-esque song, but this was the one song that I was certain of it was performed completely live and it sounded friggin’ awesome. I didn’t know SHINee had such a great talent hidden in between them.
Dance Battle − SNSD, SHINee, SuJu, f(x)
Then we were treated to a Michael Jackson inspired dance battle with a bunch of artists, but to be honest when Yuri came on in that outfit, it was hard to focus on anything else.
The Way You Are/Mirotic – 동방신기 TVXQ! DBSK
Maximum – 동방신기 TVXQ! DBSK
이것만은 알고가 – 동방신기 TVXQ! DBSK
왜 (Keep Your Head Down) – 동방신기 TVXQ! DBSK
It’s almost like they’d forgotten TVXQ! was there, but luckily we were reminded of it by them flying all over the stage stylishly while wearing some badass outfits.
As I said, I’m not a big TVXQ! fan, but Keep Your Head Down is a really great song.
미인아 (BONAMANA) – Super Junior
A Man In Love (갈증) – Super Junior
Then it was SuJu time again, and Cleo was practically dislodging my arm when this one guy (I’m not sure who it is, Shiwon?) ripped off his shirt and posed all HULK-like.
I ain’t even Jelly.
(Yes I am)
We were nearing the end of the show, and all the artists were given the chance to throw out
their most popular songs to make the audience go crazy one more time.
피노키오 (Danger) – f(x)
F(x)’s danger was a great hit, especially with the extremely addictive chorus that was a blast to sing along.
Lucifer – SHINee
Lucifer is another SHINee song I can kind of enjoy, but here it’s mostly due to the chorus. They made me enjoy it a lot more by strapping on some Wolverine-like claws that SHONE FUCKING LASERS AS THEY FLEW ACROSS THE STAGE though.
Gee – SNSD Girls’ Generation 소녀시대
Of course we all knew what So Nyuh Shi Dae’s trump card was, but that didn’t make me any less euphoric when the golden ‘Uhuh..listen
boy, my first
love story’ broke through the
speakers. I decided not to film more than this little clip because I wanted to enjoy the song to the fullest.
U – Super Junior
Rising Sun (순수) – 동방신기 TVXQ! DBSK
This is gonna look disrespectful towards SuJu and TVXQ! but I didn’t take any pictures or video of their last songs. Sorry fangirls, but please enjoy the other pictures!
Sorry Sorry Ending – SM Town
빛 (HOPE) – SM Town
For the last songs, all the artists came up on stage in the SMTown Live t-shirts to sing SuJu’s Sorry Sorry once more and H.O.T.’s Hope, underlining the global family kpop fans from all over the world form together.
At the end of the concert, the representatives of all the groups spoke a few words, guided by Leetuk (I think?) and some of them didn’t seem to want to leave the stage. Especially SNSD’s Sooyoung and Taeyeon were clearly enjoying themselves and were obviously very thankful to all the European Sones and other kpop fans that came to SMTown Live. F(x)’s Amber picked up a Spanish flag to take some pictures with it and a SHINee member also posed with it for the fans. Multiple of the SNSD girls were wearing Soshified foam hands, so great job you guys! Also I don’t know who gave Sooyoung that awesome hat, but you sir are a boss!
All the fans were really disappointed when the concert was officially finished, and some girls on the row behind us actually cried, but I was just happy that I was able to be present at such a historic concert and to be able to enjoy it from a good seat.
[These picture would’ve been better but there were three giant French guys telling us to fuck off outside.]
We hung around with Cleo’s friends for a while after the show, contemplating buying some of the bootleg items being sold outside Le Zénith but ultimately deciding against it since they were pretty overpriced and we had some diner at a restaurant across the street before heading off to bed early so we could catch up some sleep.
Day 3 − Sightseeing
We finally got a good night’s rest (we slept from midnight to ten thirty) and feeling refreshed we were all ready to take on a full day of sightseeing.
For me, it felt really special to be able to just go to Paris for a random weekend since I haven’t been on a real vacation in maybe 8 years, so I was very excited.
We left our suitcases at the hotel and went to look for a place to eat.
It took a while to find a place that wasn’t super overpriced, but after a hour we just decided to go for the first brasserie we saw that served soup and we got French Onion soup.
I friggin’ love French Onion soup, but to be honest the soup I’ve had in Holland was better than this. It was kind of bland and didn’t have a lot of taste to it. It was also way too expensive, but at least the place we got it from had a toilet, unlike half of the places in the street (which sucks pretty hard if you really need to go). Also, it had cute tablecloths.
We didn’t really properly start sightseeing until 14:30 because we failed about with the subway a little bit, but when we got our bearings we were ready to do some serious koreeaboo tourism! Here’s us at the entrance to the Louvre:
[Okay, just admit it, how many of you thought the Louvre was just those pyramids?]
Of course we also had to take pictures with the famous pyramids, in front of which the event had taken place without which we wouldn’t even have been there this weekend. I’m speaking of course about this flash mob that made SM Entertainment change their minds and add an extra date to the concert, bumping Shakira from Le Zénith to another avenue in order to accommodate for the French kpop fans and their own wallet.
I’m going to skip a few of the pictures, but I’ve obviously got to post the best ones and the most lulztourists ones. I quite liked these:
At the fountain in front of the giant pencil in front of the Arc de Triomphe, some kids were playing with boats. The entire square behind it was really impressive. Something that me and Cleo noticed was how it’s almost as if Paris was designed to just have one long walk from every tourism attraction to the next as everything is basically within walking range of eachother. From the giant pencil we easily walked over to the Tour Eiffel.
After having some crxeapes, of course!
The Eiffel Tower is..well..kind of a let down, to be honest. Well, it was when viewed from afar. And it will be if you don’t walk up to it from the right side. By sheer luck we happened to stumble upon the correct way to walk up to it, and this way it does seem very impressive. If, however, you were to walk up to it from the ‘street side’, it’s just a hunk of steel in the middle of a roundabout.
This picture was one of Cleo’s brilliant photo ideas.
We’re still undecided about whether it was actually a good idea or just stupid.
I really wanted to have a shot of me ‘raping’ the Tower like Krauzer in Detroit Metal City, but luck was not on my side as the only way to properly rape the Eiffel Tower would be to pay €8 to walk up the stairs to the first floor and rape something there and I thought that would be a pretty retarded idea (who the hell pays to walk stairs?).
Walking away from the Eiffel Tower to the Trocadéro (where walking stairs was FREE OF CHARGE) we saw some famous Dutch guy interviewing some chick about a new game show for Dutch television. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember what his name was as he only looked vaguely familiar in the first place, and we didn’t take a picture of him, so we will never know who he was exactly. While we were eavesdropping on the interview from the stairs above though, two girls asked us to take a picture of them, and we did, so we could finally trap someone who wouldn’t steal our camera to take a picture of us!
On top of the Trocadéro some Syrians were..well I’m not sure what they were doing. Protesting? I think there was like one camera present, but wouldn’t there be better places to protest? And maybe, you know, come with more people next time?
By then, we had pretty much seen everything we wanted to see and it was around six ‘o clock, so we headed over to the Rue de Therése where, according to Cleo’s friend, an awesome Korean restaurant was located.
When we got there however, we had another nice LOLFRANCE moment, because everything was randomly closed until 7 PM. Why? I dunno. Siësta motherfuckers, do you do it?
It’s not as bad in Paris, but when I was visiting Solange in Labarrere (a small town) it was crazy. People just close their shops two or three times a day whenever they feel like it so you’re just out of luck if you’re looking to buy something / get something done.
In the mean time we browsed around the district a bit and it turned out there were lots of Japanese, Chinese and Korean shops and restaurants there. We went into a Korean market (an ACTUAL Korean market, with REAL KOREANS instead of Chinese people pretending to be Korean) and lo and behold what did I find there? SNSD Vita 500 drinks at €0,81 per bottle!
I paid €3,50 a piece for mine (Sunny and Sica, of course) and I was under the impression that they all sold out really quickly, so I was surprised to find these here. If only the owner of the store had been at Le Zénith the day before, she could’ve sold them for €5 a piece if she wanted to. But now I had the chance to upgrade my little collection to four bottles, adding Yuri and Seohyun to the set.
We also swung by La Fayette, which is a famous shopping district, but since it was Sunday, all the shops were closed.
[My feet are not amused!]
By the time we got back, the Korean place had opened though, and the food was amazing!
It was served in like ten minutes after ordering (although it did take a while before someone took our order) and it was totally delicious. I had some Hite beer (yes, yes, come on with the Shite jokes, I’ve only been home for a few hours and I’ve already heard them all) and Daeji Bulgogi which was MEAT with MEAT. My favorite kind of food. Cleo had some bimbap and some ginger tea that she didn’t like so I had to drink most of it =p
After that, we caught the subway back to the hotel to grab our suitcases (which hadn’t been stolen by the way, holy shit! I always assume at least SOMETHING must go wrong whenever you do something like this, but apart from the shittyness of the bustrip to Paris nothing had really gone mayorly wrong. I guess I still had some outstanding credit in that department) and made our way to the international bus station where we boarded the bus for the way back to Breda.
The trip back was actually pretty good, as the bus was a lot less shitty (although there was no toilet, enjoy ur broken bladder!) and there were not so many people going back so we had room to just dunk our seats back and lie down properly. Cleo told me afterwards that our driver (who was French, unlike the one who drove us there) drove like a friggin’ maniac, but to be honest I didn’t really care as I was sleeping most of the way and he got us back to the Netherlands in record time. I already dropped off Cleo and drove myself home before we were even scheduled to arrive at Breda!
Some Koreans wanted to take pictures with my car:
And of course no Interweb blog post would be complete without a picture of a massive haul at the end. Are you ready?
From left to right, top to bottom:
Seohyun Vita500 bottle, Korean Apple Juice, Yuri Vita500 bottle, bottle of Soju (that I am now drinking for the first time by the way. It doesn’t taste like it has a lot of alcohol in it, but it sure packs a good punch), SM Town Tumbler, Jessica Fan, SM Town Bath Towel, Korean Cuisine book (from the Visit Korea stand), another (smaller) SMTown towel, SNSD photo set, my ticket and goodie bag pickup ticket, the two cds I bought and two pictures from the photoset.
Here’s a close-up of the ticket and the photoset:
And now it’s back to boring old work tomorrow ;_;
The worst thing is that no one there will give a cr
ap about what I did this weekend so this is all the spazzing I’ll be able to do anytime soon. Booh!
Well, anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading all of this, and if you only came for the pictures of the concert, you can download them here:
Winrar of all the pictures I took.
Winrar of the fancams I took.