Shilla Fan Meet with TVXQ’s Max

By Lilla Sheil

How do you being to describe an once in a lifetime experience that fills you with so much joy and fulfillment? It’s beyond words, but I have to try because I don’t want to be the only one that feels overwhelmed with the moment in time when I got to meet Choikang Changmin, listen to him sing, and see him play games with his fans, all in a period of a few hours that passed by way too quickly.

My decision to attend the Shilla Duty Free, TVXQ’s Max Fan Meet was spontaneous but it came at a good time for me, since I was recovering from my third round of cancer, and mending from the surgery I had in September. I knew this would be a different type of medicine for me, seeing Max would be a remedy for my heart and soul. And so it was!

I fell in love with Shim Changmin as a little young, lanky, awkward teen when I saw the Balloons Music Video so many years ago. His long hair, his broad smile, his mismatched eyes, and his voice… it all converted me from a JPOP into a KPOP fan, and more specifically, into a TVXQ! fan for life.

Fast forward ten years, and now he’s a grown man who has honed his vocals with such texture and richness, and an unbelievable range; the awkward boy has shed his cocoon and metamorphosized into a lyrical master, adding a
seductive ebb and flow of dance which once he wrestled with, now he has fully blossomed into a powerful entertainer who captivates and enraptures!

I arrived in Seoul late on October 23rd, the day before the fan meeting, and after only three hours of restless sleep due to anticipation and anxiousness, I had missed the fan reception at the Shilla Hotel but was able to meet up with a dear fellow fan from Singapore at Incheon Airport, and we headed out to Myeongdong together.

We both checked into the Sejong Hotel, and then were blessed to meet up with two dear Japanese BigEast friends I have known for a few years. We headed into the heart of Myeongdong shopping district in search of the Adidas Stan Smith polka dot shoes that Changmin recently wore to the airport. (Yes the four of us now have a pair of the coveted sneakers)!

We shared a late night Korean meal that ended at midnight (Myeongdong is still very much alive late into the wee hours of the morning)! Before we knew it, it was time to wake up and prepare to be down in the lobby at the designated 9:30AM meeting time. We actually went down a bit early to get breakfast and bread at Paris Bagette since we knew it would be a long day!

The bus took us directly to the Wapop Children’s Park, and after alighting the bus, we walked for about 20 minutes to the venue theater. We stood in line to register for the event, showing our passports and then stood in a completely separate line to draw our seat location (tickets). Everyone one of us 1200 attendees had a prayer on our lips to get good seats, and in actuality, there wasn’t a bad seat in the venue!

While standing in line, I spotted “Papa Bear” the gentle but protective TVXQ bodyguard, who is always with them, even in LA. I’ve met him several times, and he was a very big help to me on the TVXQ Anniversary Train. He speaks English and helped me quite a bit. So I asked him if he remembered me and he said yes. I gifted him a small token of a WE ARE T magnet and chocolates.

After the seat drawing lottery, we were free to sign a message wall for Changmin as well as record a video message to him. I introduced myself to him via the video message, telling him that I wish him luck on his enlistment, and that I will wait for him, and that I love him. The photographer was actually shocked that my friend Su came all the way from Singapore, and that I came from LA.

Once we had gone around the venue and were satisfied that we had taken enough photos, we headed out to Gangnam for the TypeB Fan Event. It was located deep inside a subway train station and it was in a nice cafe, that she had decorated into a gallery. Beautiful photos of Changmin decorated the walls, and she had set up a projector playing videos of concerts performances, focusing on Changmin.

TypeB Gallery:














TypeB is a very nice, sweet girl who works very hard for Changmin fans. She has attended all of his events and shares HQ photos and videos on her fansite. Unfortunately I cannot speak or read/write Korean so I can’t register or participate in the fan site, but I support her hard work. I was able to give her a letter that I wrote to Changmin, and also share two other letters from an Indonesian and Australian fan that I printed out. TypeB will ensure they get to Changmin since we were unable to share letters at the fan meet.

After our visit at TypeB’s event, my friends and I headed back to the venue, stopping at a convenience store for some rice balls and snacks since we wouldn’t have time for a full lunch, as the event started at 3:00pm. TypeB continued to show her kindness with us, and helped us find our way back via subway train to the venue.

The big event was upon us, as 1,200 excited participants found our seats, and watched several TVXQ music videos, including Keep Your Head Down, Catch Me, Spellbound, and Something. There was an extended stage and a brilliant red background.

We noticed that our seats each had a paddled taped to the seat, one side was an X and the other side was O, representing X = no and 0 = yes, so it was evident we would do a Q&A game session. I was nervous because I understand very little Japanese, but luckily I am able to divine a bit here and there. An announcement broadcasted over the sound system, “Remember Changmin with your eyes… No photos allowed!”

We were then treated to behind the scenes, never before seen videos of Shilla photo shoots, of Yunho and Changmin and it was endearing to see the bromance between the two partners! It was great to see Yunho and Changmin side by side again!

The lights went down and Changmin took the stage, as the lights came on, the music for Heaven’s Day immediately started, and flanked with back up dancers, Changmin stunned us all, dressed completely in black, with a formal black dinner jacket, decorated with rhinestones. We cheered and sighed as he seduced us all with his fluid body waves and soulful, sexy voice.

I melted, watching Choikang Changmin perform Heaven’s Day is truly HEAVEN on earth!

Next the MC came out, and spoke perfect Japanese, he appears to be Korean but spoke fluent Japanese. He asked us to give a warm welcome to Changmin, and for Changmin to introduce himself to us, as if we needed it. Changmin spoke in Korean and the entire entire audience kept saying “EHHHHHH” because they are well aware that he can speak fluent Japanese too! But Changmin explained that there was a translator there, and if he didn’t speak Japanese, she wouldn’t have a job! He then said, “Sarangheyo” to us!

As the MC began, teased Changmin about speaking Korean with a foreign accent, and Changmin responded, “I was in Europe, LA and Hong Kong for the past 2 months. Since I’ve just returned to Korea, my Korean is weak.” The MC then asked, “Shall we speak English?” (In perfect English) And Changmin responded, “Let’s speak Korean.”

We then launched into a game of Q&A.

First question: Was Changmin recruited into SM? (y/n) The answer was yes, he was recruited while he was playing a game of badminton.

Second question: “Do you think Changmin can bounce a birdie (shuttlecock) more than 10 times consecutively with his badminton racket?” Those who think he can do it, raise the ‘O’, and raise the ‘X’ if you don’t think so. Changmin said, “All those seated here are my fans but why there are so many people raising the ‘X’. It’s almost half raising ‘X’!” When he asked this, he had a naughty expression and started tapping his racket. I raised the O, and it was correct because Changmin proceeded to hit the birdie over ten times and we all cheered. Those that had guessed “no” (X) were told to be seated.

Third question: “Does Changmin like basketball?” The correct answer was no, and I managed to get that right as well, he told us he likes baseball and soccer, but only as a spectator, because he doesn’t want to get hurt.

Fourth question: We were then asked if we thought he could manage to successfully shoot ten baskets within 30 seconds. (y/n) I guessed yes, and he began his challenge! Although he missed a few, he made his goal of all ten! So that was four correct guesses on my behalf so far, more than half the audience was seated for guessing incorrectly.

Fifth question: “What Changmin left handed or ambidextrous when he was a child? (y/n) This is the one that I finally failed on, the answer was no, but I guessed yes. Changmin then shared a story of how he hadiwanted to force himself to be ambidextrous as a child because he had heard that left handed children are smarter. But he couldn’t do it, and thus, he is solely right handed.

Sixth question: For the last question, they gave Changmin a STAY photobook, and asked, “Will Changmin turn to a page of his own photo? (y/n) He randomly selected a photo, and it was this one:

After the game was done, there were only 11 standing! They got to go up on stage and personally introduce themselves to Changmin. He then would ask them to pick a number and he stripped off a hidden prize from a board, and personally handed it to them, and shook their hands!

The prizes received by the winners included an Ecobag, Changmin pillow, TVXQ cap, TVXQ oost card photo sets, TVXQ tumblers and a Changmin wall scroll, each was autographed by Changmin!

The next event got us all excited when they brought out the message board we all signed, and Changmin picked five of the messages to read. It was really stressful for him because he said he had read them all and enjoyed all of them. He was walking up and down the wall, thoroughly reading them, and each time he got closer to mine, my heart stopped!

He didn’t pick mine, but read five of the messages and it made us all laugh. The first message was written in Korean, and he said he had to correct the spelling, the translator read it in Japanese. “I can’t get married yet because of you. Please marry me!” He said, “No! Please stop!” The next one read, “Please get married soon.” His reply: “Sorry!”

We were all surprised when the MC announced that there is a video message from Changmin’s partner! And as the lights dimmed, Changmin turned around to watch as Yunho thanked Changmin for always staying by his side, even when things were difficult and rough. He told Changmin, it’s embarrassing as a man to admit this, but I miss you. The entire hall was silent and several even cried. It was so beautiful seeing Yunho up on the screen! It was prior to his enlistment as he had not yet had his head shaved.

Changmin replied that even though he’s a man, he wants to see Yunho soon too, and return to the stage as two, TVXQ!

Changmin pulled out a letter from his pocket and then told us, “Since it’s been a long time I should use this opportunity to express my gratitude to you all. I have written my letter to you in Korean because I can express my feelings better in Korean.” (The translator then translated it into in Japanese.

Letter written by Changmin was shared by TypeB on Twitter:

“Good Afternoon Everyone,

This is TVXQ’s Changmin. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen everyone, so I am glad. It was troublesome to come all the way here, right? As there were many messages from fans, I too, thought this would be a good opportunity to respond to everyone. Even though it is brief, preparing a letter like this, and reading it out loud personally is not only embarrassing but I am also trembling with nerves.

I’m just so grateful to have met you all who have constantly supported me and TVXQ! Thanks to the love given to me by everyone, I think I was able to have an enjoyable and happy performance. Also, in order to repay everyone for their support, although I am lacking, in the the future too, I will do my best so please give me your support. I always work hard for everyone. I want to be the Changmin who is always presenting something fresh and new.

As it is now Autumn, as the seasons change, please pay attention to your health. To everyone here I pray that you will always be happy. Today will be an unforgettable time. In the future as well, please support TVXQ a lot.

Thank you very much!

Choikang Changmin”

trans cr: snxy (minor grammar corrections by me)


After his letter he sang a beautiful rendition of “How Are You?” from the 6th album. As we were told there would only be two songs, I thought it was ending, but it turned out Changmin had prepared some special gifts for us all, including a third song!

He sang “Everlasting” which is the Korean version of “Toki wo Tomete.” Changmin actually wrote the lyrics to Everlasting and said that song is very dear to him.

After the third song, we watch video messages from several fans play on the big screen and Changmin watched too. A loud pop surprised us all, as streamers fell down from the ceiling, but I was so stunned from the beautiful performance that I didn’t manage to get a streamer! But here is what it looked like, autographed by Changmin:

Music played and we saw messages posted up on the screen about a Shilla Event in 2016, and we were treated to never before seen photos of Changmin and Yunho during some of their photo shoots, including the bed and pool photos!

As we all stood up and prepared to leave, the MC asked us to be seated, that there was a final surprise for us! He called the attendees once section at a time to go up on stage, but we had no idea what was happening. He merely said there would be surprise for us, and after about five minutes of the first section going back stage, we watched in shock as the big screens revealed Changmin bowing and nodding and giving his farewell one by one to each and every fan!

It was such a humbling and once in a life time opportunity! Each fan was acknowledged by Changmin and made eye contact with him. I ended up being in the very last section that was to go up. Ladies were fussing with their make up as we all anticipated the change of a lifetime, and waited our turn.

As I approached the stage area, I said a silent prayer of gratitude that I was able to attend and participate in such a grand day! Before I knew it, it was my turn. I first saw Papa Bear, standing at the front of a walled off section, and I thanked him for taking such great care of Yunho and Changmin, and shook his hand again. Then it was my turn!

I turned to the corner, and was handed a Shilla bag with a sunflower in it, wrapped in cellophane. The sunflower holds a special meaning of “Eternal Love” and “Always Waiting.”

Changmin stood in front of a train prop, and next to him was his manager, Jooyoung. I smiled brightly at Changmin, and said to him, “Hi Changmin, it’s great to see you again. Thank you for working hard, and take of yourself when you enlist! I love you!” He smiled at me, and recognized me and said, “Oh LA!” I laughed and smiled broadly back to him and bowed. As I headed out, I thanked Jooyoung too.

Then as I left the building, the area was flanked with fans waiting to see Changmin leave. All 1200 fans were crowded around the area, and Changmin stealthily got into a white small SUV with tinted windows. He drove off and we all waved. Thus ended the moment in time which will be forever embedded in my heart and mind.

 

오늘 어린이대공원에 들어간 해바라기 #천송이 아니죠 #1200송이 😁 #noyeve ! . . ❤️

 

A photo posted by Noyeve (@noyeve7) on

Heaven’s Day (written by Changmin)

In my dark room, there’s only the sound of breathing that just can’t be hidden
The heart fluttering feeling can’t be hidden either
It feels a bit awkward, I’m already stiff

Your softly batting eyelashes tickles me
I want to block the light from the windows and fill you up

It’ll be engraved in our hearts, heaven’s day
Be my chou-cream yeah scream yeah
So you can’t leave me
Please take my breath away
Right now, we’re yeah, scream, yeah

I hate the clock hands for not stopping
Our hands are entwined with no space left
There might not be enough air here
Keep going on and on

Your dazzling, unruly, tangled hair makes it hard for me to hold it in
A kiss sweeter than chocolate, a scene that I’ll never forget

It’ll be engraved in our hearts, heaven’s day
Be my chou-cream yeah scream yeah
So you can’t leave me
Please take my breath away
Right now, we’re yeah, scream, yeah

Ah I’m standing next to you, burn like a fire
If I say I’m already filled up with you, I’m a liar
The night overflows with our own tap
I’m your man, I’m still thirsty for you
Your body calls out to me, I’m stubborn, it has to be you
Make love love make it right make
Even after tonight, be mine
Hoping for a spellbound magic

It’ll be engraved in our hearts, heaven’s day
Be my chou-cream yeah scream yeah
So you can’t leave me
Please take my breath away
Right now, we’re yeah, scream, yeah

cr: @popgasa

Everlasting (Toki Wo Tomete lyrics by Changmin)

Calmly without any words
Towards the top of the city which has fallen asleep
One, two tiny fragments slip and rain down

The days which slip by and which I’ve become accustomed to
The trivial things in everyday life
The tears subconsciously well up

In the moonlight which arises in the deep of the night
Although I can’t see the shadows of the both of us which darken
and overlap into one

Even if the time goes by
I’m still believing that this love has not ended

Following the memories, returning to those times
If I am able to see the you who falls asleep at my side
How happy would that be

Gathering the scattered stars one by one
Underneath the sky in the deep of the night
I’m drawing out the constellation which resembles you

Amidst the small steps we are taking carefully
When we hear only the sounds of the snow shattering quietly

The you who gazed at me with your warm smile
Was so precious
I was not even able to meet your eyes

Amidst the snowflakes which dance lightly while raining down
While comforting my heart which was awkward and unsettled for no reason

Without any sound and secretly at some point in time
You and I melted into a white expanse

Following the memories, even if just for one day
If I am able to see the you who falls asleep at my side
How happy would that be

Gathering the scattered stars one by one
Underneath the sky in the deep of the night
I’m drawing out the constellation which resembles you

Following the memories, even if just for one day
If I am able to see the you who falls asleep at my side
How happy would that be

Gathering the scattered stars one by one
Underneath the sky in the deep of the night
I’m drawing out the constellation of an eternity

cr: @mug_ping

How Are You?

I’m sorry, it was so hard back then
I’m sorry, I was so young back then
I’m sorry, I didn’t like you being different from me
I might have run away from you but

When I wake up alone in the morning, I look for your message
I draw your face in the strange sky outside the window
Your voice that first whispered love to me, your lips that spoke of our end
I can’t erase any of it – how about you?

I love you – words that weren’t so hard back then
I love you – now I’m afraid to say it
I love you – will I ever be able to tell you again?
Honestly, I can’t find any courage so I just live each day with bitter smiles but

When I wake up alone in the morning, I look for your message
I draw your face in the strange sky outside the window
Your voice that first whispered love to me, your lips that spoke of our end
I can’t erase any of it – how about you?

I keep breaking down, I keep getting weaker
Take me out from being trapped in these thick memories

Just like the beginning when I wasn’t tainted by reality, when I didn’t know how to calculate
I want to go back to the times when I approached you with just my heart alone
I’m still hurting at the growing memories, how about you?

@kpoplyrics_net

Any translation errors in the event are mine, as I was trying my best to understand my seat mate, via my little Japanese, and her hand gestures, and after the event a dear Japanese friend of mine translated for me!

 Category: News

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