(The Philippine flag and other nations' flying with the summer breeze at the entrance of Incheon International Airport)
Summer time in Korea is always about vacation. And last July 4, I joined thousands of locals (other international passengers) in flying out of the Incheon International Airport for a break. It's always a good habit to get to the airport hours before one's flight to avoid the rush. Earlier that day, I already checked in online for my flight so I could queue up at the express lane and wouldn't worry about spending much time surrendering my luggage; I just needed to make time for the security check and Immigration.
("Flying To The Future' sculpture at
Incheon International Airport)
And being someone who's always on the look-out for a good shot, I knew that these girls weren't running to catch a flight. They were after a celebrity catching a flight! Ha-ha-ha!
(I would have wanted to do the 'x'-marks-the-spot
thing on EXO.)
(No one wants to cross the street)
As I continued to push my trolley to enter the building, a few more teenage girls ran past me. While most of them were dashing towards another gate, there was one chubby girl with a light-blue hair (yes, I think it was blue!), had a big camera, and was walking slowly while catching her breath. I asked her who was she running after; she just ignored me. I guess she was so focused on her objective and didn't want to be distracted.
And from where I was standing, I could see what the running was all about: from the far side of the entrance were a few boys (one I think had a blonde hair) waiting to cross the street and from the other side were a lot of girls waiting for those boys to cross the street! I had to take a picture. The scene looked funny: the group of boys stood at one side waiting to cross, while the girls with cameras eagerly awaiting for those boys to cross over, but definitely not wanting to get closer to their idols by stepping into lane, lest they want to be run over by an airport limousine bus that just dropped off passengers, charging them KRW15,000 each. Ha-ha-ha!
The scene screamed (pun intended!) k-pop boy band and their devoted fans!
(Fans and paparazzi)
(Fans running after EXO)
I just took a couple of photos of them and then headed to my check-in counter. But when I entered the building, the chaos inside was more like a k-pop concert crowd...without the singing and dancing! Even though I was a good distance away from that chaos, I could hear the raised voices of the security guards. And as I was passing by an information desk, I had to ask the Korean lady at the counter what was the commotion all about. She just said two syllables: eks-oh.
Oh. It's EXO! Finally, I found out who's actually causing these girls to run around the airport.
(Fans dispersing. EXO must have gotten inside already.)
So, if you were one of those girls chasing after EXO (not sure if it was EXO-K or EXO-M?) that evening I am sure you were able to catch a glimpse of your favorite boy-band, or even have their photo. But I wondered: did you have to drive down to Incheon, or did you take train or the airport bus, too? If these fans were from Seoul, the drive or a ride to Incheon International Airport is about an hour, and the bus costs about KRW15,000 (that's what I paid), and the subway costs about KRW 3,300. And that's just one-way. But I guess, being fans, these girls couldn't care less about the cost or the classes they skipped at school. All they wanted was to see their favorite boy band in person, take their photos and wish them bon voyage on their flight out of the country. After all, concert tickets would cost more, and the seat would have been a kilometer away from the stage. Here at Incheon, it's almost free and your idol is just a scream away.
When I was done entrusting my luggage to the nice Korean lady at the counter, everything seemed to have quieted down. EXO must have already entered the security check gate as their fans started to disperse.
From then on, everything seemed normal again. Just passengers, luggage and plane tickets.
(Fans going up the food courts to get a
last glimpse of EXO)