A few lovely people have requested that I share the story of how I started my Korean journey, and since I believe that now is the perfect time to do so (spoiler: Because Psy is back!), then that’s exactly what I’ll do! However, I feel like I should warn you. This post is going to be one of the longer ones and it wont have any relevant information, so if you don’t really care about my story, then feel free to skip this post. I’ll have a review up in a few days! Also, this post will probably contain a few fangirling moments.
So you all know Psy, right? Yeah, I suppose that’s a silly question!
Anyway, since I’m not sure where to start, then I’ll start from the beginning.
In 2012, while Gangnam Style was everywhere, I was going through the hardest time in my life. I’m not going to go in to details as this is a personal matter. I got very sick due to immense stress as well as a depression. However, when Gangnam Style was at it’s peak, I weren’t yet aware of the reasons to my sickness (I actually started laughing when the doctor told me what was going on – I mean, I was SO sick and at times I was sure that I was deadly ill. How could that possibly be caused by something so simple as stress?) but I was trying to cope as well as I could, and even though I saw the words ‘GANGNAM STYLE’ everywhere, I had no idea what it was.
In October, I went to Berlin with my fellow students, and despite the fact that I absolutely despised most of my roommates, I had a great time. There was a bar at our hotel and all of my fellow students were drunk (random fact: I have only tasted two sips of alcohol in my life) and they were all begging the staff to play Gangnam Style (FUN FACT!: All of my classmates thought that Gangnam Style was Danish.. Yep.. Because Korean and Danish sounds so similar, right?…) and in the end they succeeded.
Now. Can you all imagine my confused expression when Gangnam Style started playing, and all of my drunk classmates started dancing? I’m sure you can!
A few days later I returned to Denmark and I had to spend the first day on my own, so since my curiousness had been awakened in Berlin, I searched for Gangnam Style as the first thing in the morning and something cheesy happened. Oh god I really hate to say this, but this is how it is. While watching the music video, I saw 현아 and immediately I thought that there was something special about her. It wasn’t her beauty or sexiness – which is what people usually mention about her – but more her confidence, that caught my attention. She basically had that one thing that I truly wished for. So, why is so cheesy? If you have seen the video, then you’ll know that she only appears for a short cameo, and I truly do not know how I could feel such a strong confident vibe, in such a short amount of time. I feel like I’m talking about love at first sight or something! Nevertheless, that’s how I felt. I quickly forgot about her when the video ended and I moved on to an interview with Psy whom I had no idea who was, but in the end I felt like watching it again so I decided to do so.
This is actually where it all really started. You all know those thumbnails on YouTube videos right? I saw a picture of 현아 as well as the title ‘Gangnam Style’, and I just assumed that it was the same video as I watched before, but instead it was the version with Psy and 현아 singing together. That’s when I realized that she was a famous person, and then that’s when I tried searching for her name and was overwhelmed with videos! If you try searching yourself, you’ll see what I mean.
I watched a few music videos and felt fascinated, but believe it or not, this isn’t where I fell in love.
You know how you can get completely lost on YouTube if you keep clicking on the suggested videos on the right, and in the end you find yourself watching something completely unplanned and you’re not really sure how you even ended up watching it? Yep, that’s exactly what happened. I ended up watching ‘4Minute funny moments’ videos. (To those who doesn’t already know, 현아 is a part of the 5 member girl group ‘4Minute’, a part of the sub unit duo ‘Troublemaker’ as well as a solo artist.)
Thanks to the fan subbed videos, I fell in love with the personality of these goofy girls, and I was immediately fascinated by the culture differences and the language (and let’s not forget about all these cheesy effects in the variety shows!) and after spending the entire day as a cave woman with her laptop (Yes, cave women totally have laptops), I went to bed feeling completely relaxed, for the first time in a very long time. It didn’t take me long to realize that the reason these videos helped me this much, was simply because the lives I could see in them, where so different from the one that I lived. Watching these videos made me forget about my own life for a few hours and I felt like I had more energy to handle everything after watching them. Again, I’m sorry for all this cheesy talk!
The day after, I had to attend yet another doctors appointment (this is the day my doctor told me about my stress and depression), and I was so terrified. As I mentioned earlier, I thought I was deadly ill. Before leaving I thought that if I downloaded some of the 4Minute songs and listened to them on the bus, then I could hold on to my little fantasy world (at this point, Korea wasn’t a real country. It really seemed like my own little fantasy land, which only existed in my own head – Silly, but true. ) a little longer.
Basically that’s how it all started. I used it as my therapy and after a month or so, I realized that I would always be humming different Korean songs, and I constantly felt like watching more videos even though I was starting to feel a lot better. After another month I realized that I hadn’t listened to an English song since that first day (except for when other people played one) and it just sort of continued like that. Kpop led me to dramas, which is where I really started noticing the cultural differences (AND THE FOOD! MY GOD, LET’S NOT FORGET THE FOOD!) and then that became another interest of mine. From day one I loved the language, but I had never imagined that I would be able to self study it! ㅎㅎ 신기하네요!
I guess the rest is pretty self-explanatory. It wasn’t love at first sight. It was a complete coincidence that I found the right group at the right time. 4Minute is still my favorite group today, and they are the only group who can make me feel like a true fangirl.
Also I never imagined that this would happen back then. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened.
To finish this post of, I feel like I should share some 4Minute with you guys. If you made it this far, then thank you!
Oh, and also! Don’t underestimate stress or depressions. Take care of yourself before anyone else. ^^