As with all Hi-Touches, I had come prepared. My legs were feeling feeble as our row stepped up. My heart swelled with nervous excitement and anticipation.
Like always, the anxiety disappeared the minute I began moving towards the boys. It was like seeing old friends – you know, the kind you always miss.
My biggest fear was the SubK would rush the hi-touch participants, and this was exactly the situation that took place. The entire scene appeared hurried for no reason whatsoever. A combination of SubK staff and venue staff were monitoring the entire scene with the eyes of a hawk, rushing and yelling at fans to keep moving.
I was able to greet the first two members with the words I had planned to say to them, but majority of my memory is foggy. I don’t even remember their faces, let alone their respective reactions.
- Yugyeom; “역시 막내 on top!” (translates to “As expected, maknae on top!”)
- BamBam; “Please never stop smiling!”
- Youngjae; “퉤영재 안녕!” (“Twe Youngjae, hello!”) I had intended to say “퉤수달 안녕!”, which was a combination of his own mispronounciation of “Choi” followed by a reference to his resemblance to otters, but did not succeed.
- Jinyoung: “Your songs give me so much strength!” was the phrase I managed to spit out in a ridiculously hurried manner. The Korean equivalent I had planned was much too long and wordy to remember, so I opted to relay my message in English in hopes that both of us could understand it in the milliseconds that I was provided. Recently, Jinyoung’s English has witnessed a stunning improvement, so I was certain that he could understand me.
- JB; A staff member had shouted at me to not grab the members’ hands, causing me to blank out on the spot instead of telling him “次のアルバムを楽しみ！”, which translates to “I’m looking forward to the next album!” in Japanese. It was an incredibly awkward moment where my concentration was broken and I merely stared at JB blankly. A total of five milliseconds passed before I could regain composure and touch his hand delicately. (ARGH!!)
- Mark; Still stunned from the backlash I received while interacting with JB, I did not have the brainpower to say anything to Mark. But, in all honesty, I didn’t know what to say to Mark anyways.
- Jackson; By the time I reached Jackson, I had recovered and was able to say, “唔好咁搏, 要休息呀!” (which translates to “Don’t stress out, (you) need to rest!” in Cantonese). Some attendees had reported Jackson looking uninterested and tired, but I was convinced that he had looked straight at me and acknowledged my words. Whether he will remember these words or not is a different story.
As we departed the area, staff members rushed us outside of the venue yet again without break.
All of a sudden, I found myself, lightstick and fanboard still in hand, being dragged into the vacuum of eager attendees.
Orders were taken in a swift, no-nonsense manner: the cashier attendants were welcoming but not quite friendly in a genuine sense. Her tendencies were not rushed, though, despite the infinitely expanding crowd behind me.
Yet, this realization hits me every time like a forgotten bouncy ball. Frankly, it’s odd since the United States is, statistically, categorized a sugar-laden nation. Regardless, it was refreshing and actually appropriate given the heavy flavours of the burger. There wasn’t much ice either, but this may have been because it melted quickly.
The burger was a bit more protein than my body is accustomed to, but it was delicious nonetheless.
Unlike the Toronto show, the show commenced closer to 8:15 PM than the schedule 8:00 PM. It should be noted that the New York show did extend until 10:50 PM, eight minutes longer than at the ACC.
Benefits of GA seated were bountiful: it nixed the need to queue hours in advance and allowed ticketholders to disperse themselves about the perimeter of the stage as desired.
In sharp contrast to Toronto, I had an amazing view for FACE and majority of Jinyoung’s parts and ments. A solid view for King was established, until the flagmen began marching alongside them anyway.
- Clothing embellishments, and how different members sported similar outfits with minor tweaks to reflect individuality (For example, Yugyeom’s blazer featured his beloved dandelion outline)
- Choreography arrangements and key movements (Beggin On My Knees was a thousand times more enticing when viewed up close!)
- Small gestures and eye contact made by the members
During the ending ments, some of the standing attendees could spot the text on the monitor. Those who had prepared written English translations of their speeches utilized the monitor as prompts; these included the native Koreans: Youngjae, Yugyeom, and JB.
HIS ENGLISH SIMPLY FLOWED OUT. It was BEAUTIFUL.
I fell to a restless slumber (as I always do on foreign mattresses) as soon as media files finished copying.