Friday, 9 July 2010

Lunch with Korean Superstar Lee Hyori!

Walking around Seoul, Jess and I decided to stop in at a tiny sandwich café for a quick lunch.

As I stepped through the doorway, I saw one other person sitting at a table, quietly sipping a glass of water as she waited for her meal to arrive. She looked up, and I immediately recognized her as the Korean Superstar (and highest paid female singer in Korea) Lee Hyori!

I nudged Jess and quietly told her who it was. Jess didn’t believe me, but being an avid K-Pop fan before moving to Korea, I didn’t have a single doubt in my mind about her identity. Jess later told me that she also knew who it was but wasn’t AS sure about it as I was. Pffffft ya right…

We sat down at the table next to her, and took a quick peek at the menu. They had so many amazing sandwiches to offer, but I really couldn’t concentrate until settling her identity once and for all.

I leaned over and asked, “Excuse me, are you a singer?” She smiled and replied, “Yes, my name is Hyori. How do you know me?” The next part is kind of a blur, but I vaguely remember mumbling something about watching her music videos before coming to Korea. She was the one who hooked me onto K-Pop, and I would’ve never imagined myself eating lunch next to her.

To be honest, I really wasn’t nervous at all speaking to her at all. Looking back, I had every reason to be nervous, but she was just really easy-going and had more questions for us than we did for her. We talked about anything and everything, as if we were old friends just catching up on news. The next thing on her agenda was the filming of a “gochujang” commercial, and we could tell that she wasn’t too excited about it. We stayed with her as long as we could, slowly sipping our coffees and relaxing in the shade of the café.

When we finished lunch, she wrote down her e-mail address on the back of our receipt, and asked us to send her a message the next time we visited Seoul. Two Canadian backpackers would stand out in one of her celebrity parties like a sore thumb, but it would still be one hell of an experience.

We left the restaurant together, and she was immediately recognized by a group of passerby’s. There was a collective gasp, and they all started whispering in excited tones, occasionally daring to say her name. Hyori just pulled down her hat to cover her eyes, and kept walking with us up the street.

Away from the crowd, she hailed a cab to bring her to work. We said our goodbyes, and headed off on our separate ways.

- Ken


  1. That is so exciting! The chances of that happening? Glad that she chatted awhile with you guys. Now you know how I felt when I met Donny Osmond!!!

  2. Can I be your best friend now?

  3. I think mom ment to say Danny Major not "Donny Osmond". Sounds like you have a great day.

  4. You wish :)