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Joo Won 주원- Welcome Back !

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2 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Hahaha... i remember that. His room is a mess. Its because 1N2D team is come to his house so sudden and also his mom didn't know that they would come. So that broadcast is showing joo won real house in his everyday life. But we know that joo won has really hectic schedule. Even because of that, he didn't have much time to sleep properly. 

 

I remember that when they first came up with the idea of stopping by JW's place, the hyungs really wanted to meet JW's mom. And then JW called ahead and found out that his mom wasn't at home - but I imagine that if she were, she might have tried to straighten up the place a bit first. 

 

The hyungs did end up feeling bad for JW because of his busy schedule, though. It was when they found out that on top of all the stuff he was already doing with filming dramas ("Level 7 Civil Servant" at the time), he was also reading a lot to try to do a better job on the quizzes. And the hyungs were scolding Bird PD, saying, "Joo Won-ie should be focusing on memorizing scripts, not trivia! See what all your quizzes are doing to him?" They were joking, of course, but it was cute how defensive they got then. :tongue: 

 

And then the hyungs wound up quizzing JW anyway. It's the one rule when it comes to maknaes: if you have a chance to tease the maknae, then you go and tease the maknae :wink: 

 

2 hours ago, moonstrike said:

I found interesting thing on internet today:

Netizen's comment back then in 2010 when baker king is still airing

 

Really interesting comments here! There are a couple I want to respond to, even if you're just quoting from another site.

 

2 hours ago, moonstrike said:

His existence, attitude, hatred is all the fault of his parents and grandma. Grandma kept insisting on having a son, and Mom wants to shut up her Grandma and earn some respect so she elopes with Manager Han. His father didn't like him from his birth either. He was raised without being loved, whereas Takgoo was raised by a loving mother. His father doesn't even understand this... he said that Majun had everything which is why he wants to help Takgoo. His father's attachment to Takgoo is quite irrational. I mean, he just banged his maid one day out of a whim! And he likes that child SO MUCH MORE than the one his wife had after banging his butler.

 

I think the sad part here is that Ma Jun's mom actually loved the Chairman - not Manager Han. She only got together with him because she'd heard the fortune teller tell her that she would only have a son if she slept with another man (which, by the way, is some of the most messed-up advice ever, but that's irrelevant), and she was that desperate for the love of her husband and her mother-in-law. So for her to find out that her husband and her mother-in-law loved Tak Gu and his mother more...that must have hurt. A lot.

 

As for Ma Jun himself...people say kids are innocent, but kids know so much more than they let on, even if they can't put it into words. I think that even before he found out the secret behind his birth, Ma Jun always suspected that something was off: you can see he's a bit creeped out by how much attention Manager Han gives him, and is also confused as to why his "dad" doesn't pay him much attention. Of course, that doesn't excuse all the mischief he gets into or his attitude problem (i.e. I do think his grandmother was right to punish him in the scene where that happens), but it just adds to what must have been a very insecure childhood.

 

But the Chairman also had some fault, too. In one sense, yes, Ma Jun had more than Tak Gu: he had money, status, he would inherit the company someday (presumably). I think that if someone were to compare Ma Jun and Tak Gu in a material sense, then Ma Jun would win, hands down. And I think that's what the Chairman sees. However, what he doesn't see is all the many ways Tak Gu was "richer" than Ma Jun was: he had friends and a loving family (just a mom at first, but still better), and he was content with his position in life. Ma Jun as a child, on the other hand, not only felt like he didn't have those things, but that the only way to get them was by doing something that he felt was beyond his capabilities: by becoming someone he was not.

 

2 hours ago, moonstrike said:

My favorite part so far was when Majun and Takgoo had to be tied up and started becoming friends... but the witch mom messed everything up.

 

Yeah, that part was great! At first, they still kept fighting, but I sensed that they were on the way to becoming friends by the end of that bit. But that didn't last, and it took them almost until the end of the drama to reconcile.

 

It's been a long time since I watched the drama, but wasn't Ma Jun mad at his mom for revealing who he was as well? It's like he wanted a life separate from being Gu Ma Jun, and felt that having Tak Gu find out the truth would mess up what little chance at a friendship they had at that point. Of course, part of this is his skewed perspective - Tak Gu would not have ostracized Ma Jun just because of their background history - but I guess there was no way Ma Jun could have known that. For his entire life, Tak Gu either did not exist, or was painted consistently as his rival (like, can you imagine what those 12 years from their childhood to adulthood was like for Ma Jun?).

 

And...back to the stuff you're saying, @moonstrike

 

2 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Which coupl3 will you choose? Personally i like all of it. Cannot choose one..

 

Dang, that's tough! I've only watched two of the dramas involved as of right now ("Nae Il's Cantabile" and "Good Doctor"), but it's hard to pick one. I think they were both sweet, in their own way. But I suppose that if I had to pick one...I'd say "Good Doctor". Both Park Si On and Cha Yoo Jin are absolute sweethearts as far as I'm concerned (they're my favourite two of JW's characters, personality-wise), but I think that I like Cha Yoon Seo just a tad more than Seol Nae Il :wink: 

 

And now, time for pics - and it's Throwback Thursday again!

 

Spoiler

 

 

This shot from the 2012 KBS Drama Awards is cute

 

 

From his musical days? I'm not entirely sure, but it was from Act One, Scene One, so....

 

 

Speaking of Ma Jun...

 

 

 

A really intense shot from "Ghost"

 

 

This is just cute: JW and cream (I remember being so creeped out by that moment in "King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu", though!)

 

 

 

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Just popping by to share this quickly: someone wrote a really sweet review of "Good Doctor" on Dramabeans. It was part of the monthly themed submissions, and in this case, the theme was "In Defense Of...". Basically, people were invited to write something positive about something they thought was underrated, or too easily reviled within the drama fandom, etc.

 

I'm...not entirely sure where this person came across criticism of "Good Doctor" to the point of wanting to defend it. Maybe it's because I loved it, and a lot of JW fans love it, so I'm just not looking in the right places? But anyway, the point is that this was just really sweet to read.

 

[In Defense Of] The human connection

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Wow ~ so many posts to catch up here!  Thank You @kittyna and @moonstrike for keeping this thread alive and @Ma OO for your awesome fan fic! 

I wanted to drop by to share the review of Good Doctor on Dramabeans but realized @kittyna has shared already :) I'm also surprised someone will want to defend it because it's considered one of the more successful dramas in terms of ratings and popularity. When I first saw the theme of the month in Dramabeans, the drama that came to my mind immediately was actually Yongpal, and probably Nae II's Cantabile. Although Yongpal had high ratings, it wasn't well received by International kdrama viewers. But I admire that writer for daring to write this drama knowing it's not mainstream. To me, Yongpal is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise repetitive and typical pool of kdramas plots. And it made me rediscovered Joo Won in 2015 and decided to be his fan for life. When I see lots of rising actors these days, I started to worry for Joo Won. I'm always happy and would love to see more articles relating to JW, because this helps him stay in the limelight. How I wished I could magically acquire good writing skills to defend his dramas that I really love too! 

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I'll properly reply to @sagaseed later (thanks for dropping by, by the way!), but for now, the new fic is finally ready. So here goes!

 

Title: In Mozart's Name

Drama: "Nae Il's Cantabile"

Characters: Cha Yoo Jin, Seol Nae Il

Premise: January in Salzburg means Mozart Week: a music festival that is held in honour of the famous composer's birthday. Cha Yoo Jin has always liked Mozart's music, but as he and Seol Nae Il prepare for their own public performance, he finds himself changing his perspective on both the music and the man who created it.

 

Note: I had said before that I want to group these sequel stories I've written for "Nae Il's Cantabile" into a set/series. Well, starting from now, that series has a name: "Seolleim in Salzburg". Yes, the title is a play on the official sequel to the Japanese version of the story, "Nodame in Paris", but it's also a nod at "Seolleim" (meaning "fluttery heart") as the nickname Nae Il picks for herself (as opposed to "Seollebal" ("fluttery feet"), which is the one Yoo Jin actually uses for her).

 

In other words, this story is meant as a continuation of "The Sound of Christmas"  and "Angel of Music, Come Down from Above"  . It also occupies the same story universe as "To My Father", so my advice is for you to read these three stories first if you haven't done so yet. Otherwise, some of the plot points in this fic will be confusing.

 

Note on language: This story, since it involves Cha Yoo Jin and Seol Nae Il interacting a lot with other people around them (including a few OCs - Original Characters), does contain some German. As a general rule of thumb: when it's just the two of them speaking with each other, it's in Korean; when they're speaking with anyone else or want to include others into their conversation, it's in German.

 

I had also mentioned once before that there are several dialects of German, and this story is my first time really engaging with that. I make reference to the "official" versions of German that are spoken in Germany and Austria, respectively, as well as a nod to how each region in Austria would also have a local dialect on top of that. So in this glossary, you can assume that the words I'm using are consistent across all the dialects I'm using, but will mark things out as "German German" or "Austrian German" if it's specific to that. (I did not try writing the local dialect, because I don't know it :tongue:)

 

Ja - Yes

Nein - No

Hallo - Hello (German German; the informal greeting)

Grüss Gott - Hello (Austrian German; the formal greeting - It literally means something along the lines of "May God bless you," but is often misheard, because of accent/dialect differences, by northern Germans - like Professor Stresemann, who's from Berlin - as a phrase meaning "Greet God!". So a common joking response from Germans, then, is "I will when I see Him" or something along those lines  :wink:)

Es tut mir leid - I'm sorry.

Was? - What?

Danke - Thank-you

Meine Damen und Herren - Ladies and Gentlemen (literally "My Ladies and Gentlemen")

 

And now, here's the fic!

 

Once again, please do not re-post any content from this story on any other website without my permission. You are welcome to share this story, but only by sharing the URL. Thanks!

 

Spoiler

In Mozart’s Name

 

What you have here is a start, but you are capable of greater things. I am still waiting for the day when you are on a stage of your own.

 

“Let me guess: it’s from Abeonim, isn’t it.”

 

Startled at the interruption, I glance up from the e-mail message on my phone, just in time to see Nae Il plunk herself down in the seat across from mine at the dining table in the back corner of our living room.

 

I hadn’t even told her I’d received an e-mail, let alone who it was from. Warily, I ask, “How did you know?”

 

She answers with a knowing smile, before pushing one of the two cups of coffee in front of her towards me. As I gratefully take a sip, she continues.

 

“Because when it’s anything to do with your father, you always make this…face.” She pulls her features into some strange mixture between a scowl and sneer to demonstrate. “Like a little child who knows he has to take his medicine, but who hates it all the same.”

 

It takes everything I’ve got not so spit out my coffee at her expression. Barely, I just manage to swallow before I rush to defend myself.

 

“Ya, Seollebal – I do not look like that!”

 

“You do, Orabang – you just don’t know it.” She leans forward in her chair, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. “Do you need proof? I can take a picture next time if you want.”

 

Shuddering at the thought, I shake my head. “Ani. I’ve already got Yoo Il Rak to deal with, without adding you to the mix.”

 

That’s what had prompted this morning’s rather rude awakening in the first place. I had known, when first Nae Il and then I had put on an impromptu piano performance in the lounge of the Hotel Imperial on New Year’s Eve a week ago, that there had been curious onlookers filming us. I had also known that chances were, sooner or later, those videos would make their way online.

 

But what I hadn’t accounted for was that Il Rak would be one of those people. Nor had I accounted for the fact that unlike the others, he would include our names in his post.

 

I suppose that even if Il Rak hadn’t done that, it would only have been a matter of time before Abeoji found out about last week’s events, what with all the other videos floating around online. And since, on a whim, I had once forwarded our contact information to him shortly after arriving here in Salzburg, I knew that I would end up receiving some sort of feedback from him, sooner or later.

 

Still, Nae Il and I had both been lucky. In this time when just about anything could become viral, only our piano playing had been thus recorded, meaning that no-one outside the four of us who had been there – Yoo Il Rak, Jung Si Won, Nae Il and I – knew about the rather embarrassing turn of events afterwards.

 

And I would much prefer it remain that way.

 

“Let me see.” Nae Il’s voice cuts through my thoughts as her hand reaches out to take the phone.

 

Silently, I surrender it to her. Then, after nodding to show me that she has seen the message, she hands it back.

 

“It’s not so bad this time. It could have been worse.”

 

“It could also have been better,” I cut in, unable to keep the bitterness from my voice.

 

“Says the guy who was worrying about stealing my spotlight that same night.”

 

Touché.

 

“Honestly, Orabang: do you even know what you want?”

 

Strangely, I find myself unable to look Nae Il in the eye at that. Instead, I glance down at the table as I think over her question.

 

Honestly, I can’t say I do.

 

On the one hand, I want to be careful to keep Nae Il the main pianist between the two of us. I’m not an idiot; I know that my own name precedes me, and has done so all my life. If there is such a thing as a celebrity child in the small, tight-knit circle that is the classical music scene, then I would certainly be one: the son of two up-and-coming concert pianists, one of which has now attained international fame. Some might call that a privilege, but I count it as a curse: Nae Il has no such advantage, and it isn’t fair for me to so easily overshadow her due to something neither of us could control.

 

Yet on the other hand, I cannot deny that there is a side of me that is striving and ambitious. I still love the rush of excitement that comes from mastering a difficult, virtuosic piece of piano music; that has never changed, despite the fact that I am now studying to become a full-fledged conductor instead. Piano has been a huge part of who I am for as long as I can remember, and I still hunger to feel that thrill.

 

I don’t know how long I stayed like that, silently lost in my own thoughts, but when I look up once again, Nae Il is staring straight at me. She had put her hair into two twin braids this morning, and is now idly fidgeting with the end of one of them.

 

“All right, Nae Il-ah – what is it?”

 

Clearly, she’s eager to say something and is just waiting for the chance.

 

“You know, Orabang, I’ve been thinking –”

 

“Evidently.”

 

“Let me finish!” She flashes me a mock-glare that still makes me shrink back sheepishly despite myself. “I’ve been thinking,” she starts again, “about what happened last week. About your performance, but also about how you reacted afterwards, especially when, just by fluke, someone brought up Abeonim and Eomeonim.”

 

She gives a knowing look at my hands. “You miss it, don’t you? Playing, that is. I could tell as much from your performance last week: you were just so…so into it.”

 

I remember that. The utter absorption as I was carried away by the music, swept up in its passionate climax, surprised that I had felt it when playing a solo work rather than in a duet.

 

But that is something that I must rein in from now on. For Nae Il’s sake if not for my own.

 

She must have seen something in my expression, though, because she suddenly reaches across the table and takes one of my hands into hers. “You’re always like this, Orabang,” she says, running her fingers across the back of my hand. “Always holding things in when you should be letting them go.

 

“So I’ve been thinking that I want to try doing things a little bit differently this year.”

 

That piques my curiosity.

 

“Do what differently?”

 

“You know how we always play the piano together, right?”

 

I nod, the images and sounds of our shared hobby of playing four-handed pieces together flashing in my mind.

 

“Well, what if, on top of that, we also played for each other separately?”

 

I raise an eyebrow at her. “Separately?”

 

Nae Il nods. “Not for school, not in front of anyone. Just you and me.”

 

“And I suppose you have some brilliant plan for how to do this,” I reply drily.

 

She beams at that as she lets go of my hand. “Of course! I wouldn’t have brought this up if I haven’t.” She takes her phone out of her pocket and starts searching through it for something.

 

“What I’m proposing is to start some sort of challenge.” She glances up at me, noting the look of surprise that flashed across my face at her pronouncement. “Not like that, Orabang!” she adds with a laugh. “I don’t mean a contest or a competition or anything like that.”

 

By this point, she must have found what she was looking for, because she holds up her phone and turns it so that I could see the image on it.

 

I lean closer to get a better look. “That’s Jung Si Won’s violin. Did you take a picture of it while we were staying with her last week?”

 

Nae Il nods. “This, Orabang, will be our first theme for the challenge.”

 

“Mwo?”

 

“Two weeks,” she adds, holding up the same number of fingers for emphasis. “For the next two weeks, we will both prepare a piece – a solo piece – inspired by this picture. Then, at the end, we will play them for each other.”

 

I blink in surprise. “Two weeks?” I ask incredulously.

 

“Is that a problem?”

 

“Not normally. But you know how busy we will be now!”

 

Nae Il and I, after all, have just resumed classes at the Mozarteum after the end of the Christmas break, and already, we are scrambling to prepare for Mozart Week: an annual festival held at the end of January in honour of the anniversary of Mozart’s birth, and the first of the major events that make up Salzburg’s musical calendar.

 

“We both have our own classes, not to mention our upcoming performance for Mozart Week. That’s all in the next two weeks, Seollebal – don’t forget that.”

 

Nae Il tilts her head coquettishly, raising an eyebrow for good measure. “So, are you saying you can’t do it?”

 

“Ani! I’m not saying I can’t do it!” I reply, carefully enunciating out each word to drive it home.

 

“So you are going to do it, then?”

 

“Ne, I will do it!”

 

It’s only then that I realize what I have just said, especially since Nae Il’s expression has now turned into a full grin as her shoulders shake with barely suppressed laughter. I feel the blood rush up to my face as it sinks in that I have fallen for the exact same trick I have used so many times to convince Nae Il to practice when she would rather be doing other things.

 

Damn, this girl’s good.

 

“All right, then,” I concede. “I’ll do this challenge of yours.” I nod at the image on her phone. “So ‘violin’ is the theme this time around? We can do that, but on one condition.” I turn to look Nae Il pointedly in the eye. “We can’t use La Campanella. Neither of us. It’s too obvious.”

 

She nods at that. “Agreed. And I have a condition of my own.

 

“I want you to show off, Orabang. For me. You know that I won’t hold back, so you had better not do that yourself. Whatever piece you pick, it had better blow me away.”

 

~~~~~

 

Nae Il proposed this new challenge to me on a Friday. But it is only now, on Monday morning, that I finally have a chance to go through my repertoire and choose a piece.

 

I suppose I could have done it sooner, but Nae Il had said that our choices should be surprises for each other. We are different in that way. She enjoys spontaneity, relishing in the thrill of not knowing what’s to come, whereas I am someone who prefers to have everything laid out in advance.

 

Still, I have nothing against surprising her if that’s what she wants. So, taking advantage of the fact that she left first thing this morning for an early class, I slip into our piano room and look through the various scores and books on the shelf to see what I can find.

 

It doesn’t take me long before one volume in particular catches my eye: the set of etudes that Liszt had composed in emulation of the work of Paganini, the famous violinist. There are six pieces in total here – and although one of them, La Campanella, is off-limits, all the rest are still fair game.

 

Sitting down at the piano bench, I flip through the pages of the book. Seeing the sheet music takes me back: back to the days when I was Professor Do’s student at Haneum. Although he and I had had our differences, we shared one key similarity: both of us were musical technicians at heart, always eager for a challenge. Etudes – pieces that were composed specifically to cultivate a musician’s technical prowess – were a favourite of Professor Do’s, and I loved them as well.

 

Nae Il, too, is learning her way through these etudes now, and the two of us have our clear preferences. She likes the third piece – La Campanella – and also the fifth – La Chasse – for the stories they tell with sound: La Campanella evokes the sound of church bells, and La Chasse, a hunter’s horn.

 

As for me, though, my favourite of these etudes is the sixth – a highly challenging theme and variations.

 

If the whole point of this challenge is to impress Nae Il and also find some satisfaction for my own hunger and thirst for excitement, then this piece will be perfect.

 

It has been a long while since I last played this etude, so I make sure to start practicing the way Professor Do had taught me: slowly, deliberately, without any changes in dynamic and expression, just focusing on solidly landing every single note. It only takes a few runs like this to reawaken the memory in my hands, and by the time I, too, have to pack up and leave for class, the piece is already starting to come together.

 

~~~~~

 

One of the biggest reasons why Nae Il and I had chosen the apartment we live in now was because it was just a few minutes’ walk away from campus.

 

The Mozarteum is located on the northern side of the Salzach River, which cuts right through Salzburg’s historic centre. In fact, it backs right out into the famous Mirabell Garden, which, as Nae Il so avidly liked to point out, was one of the filming locations for The Sound of Music. I still remember the look of consternated surprise on her face when I had finally broken it to her that few Austrians actually cared much of anything for the film and that, for the most part, we only put up with it for the sake of the tourists. Not that that had dampened her enthusiasm for long, but at least she knows better now than to gush as excitedly about the reference as she had before.

 

Yet, despite its historic location, the Mozarteum itself is a thoroughly modern building, courtesy of a massive renovation about ten years ago. In its appearance, it now reminds me more of Haneum than of anything that I could associate with my childhood here in Salzburg: all clean straight lines and floor-to-ceiling windows. And, as though in further testament to how Salzburg too has moved into the twenty-first century, the surrounding neighbourhood is a rather eclectic mix of the old and the new: traditional cafés and bakeries side-by-side with hip boutiques and ethnic restaurants and grocery stores.

 

There is even a Korean restaurant just inside the entrance of the Mozarteum’s main building. Not that Nae Il and I eat there often, but it does explain why, whenever we introduce ourselves to our classmates, usually the one thing they know about Korea is its food.

 

As I step into the main lobby, I head straight for the grand staircase that connects all three floors together. Briskly, I make my way up to where the piano rehearsal rooms are. I know that Nae Il is not in one of the three large rooms that have two grand pianos each; those have windows overlooking the lobby, and I cannot see her in any of them. That means she must be in one of the smaller rehearsal rooms clustered further inside.

 

It does not take me long to find the right room: Nae Il had written her name on the sign-in sheet taped to the door. But when I knock, there is no response.

 

Slowly, I turn the latch as quietly as I can, opening the door a crack so I can peer inside. Sure enough, there is Nae Il. She is not at the piano, but is sitting on one of the plastic chairs, elbows resting on the music stand in front of her. The headphones she is wearing and the cell phone in her hands tell me exactly why she hadn’t heard me earlier.

 

Careful not to disturb her, I slip all the way inside and close the door behind me. Then, just as quietly, I make my way towards her.

 

To any outside observer, Nae Il might look like she is taking a break from her practice, or possibly even slacking off. But I know better.  She is actually hard at work right now. Although her sight reading has improved a good deal since I had first met her, she still prefers to learn music almost entirely by ear: streaming or downloading recordings of the pieces she is learning and listening to them until she knows them well enough to be able to replicate them on the keyboard.

 

In this, Nae Il is more skilled than I am.

 

As I step closer behind her, though, I notice that this is not a piece from her repertoire. Instead, she is watching a video that I have never seen before: a pianist playing a transcription of Monti’s Czardas.

 

In an instant, it all clicks together. During our weekly video chat with our friends in Seoul this past Saturday, Nae Il had told them about the challenge we had agreed upon. That, in turn, had prompted Il Rak to share how he had first fallen for Si Won under similar circumstances: the two of them playing Czardas in a musical duel between them as the concertmasters of the S and A Orchestras respectively.

 

With Nae Il being the romantic that she is, it comes as no surprise to me now that she would choose Czardas as her piece for our challenge.

 

But I do know that she wouldn’t be happy to know that I had already found out – even if it was by accident.

 

So, still unnoticed, I slip back towards the door. This time, I stay there and knock until, finally, she looks up in response. She casually takes off the headphones and greets me with a smile, none the wiser.

 

“Orabang – you’re here early.”

 

I shake my head. “Ani. You’ve just lost track of time.” I step closer, one hand extended towards her. “Is it ready yet?”

 

She nods. “Ne. One cadenza transcription, coming right up!” Reaching for the bag laying by her feet, she pulls out a folder, which she opens to show me several pages of sheet music. As she closes it back up, I reach out to take it. However, she pulls back at the last moment, holding the music just out of my reach.

 

“Not so fast, Orabang,” she chimes in a mischievous sing-song voice. “You have to pay for it, you know.”

 

“I’m not kissing you here, if that’s what you want,” I retort. “I know it’s just the two of us here, but we’re on campus, so that still counts as being in public as far as I’m concerned.”

 

Now it’s Nae Il’s turn to shake her head. “That’s not what I’m getting at!” Then, giving me a knowing look, she adds, “After today’s rehearsal, I want to go to Fürst.”

 

Fürst is one of Salzburg’s most famous café chains, most notably due to their claim as the inventor of the Mozartkugeln: chocolate truffles with a pistachio marzipan filling, and one of Nae Il’s favourite treats since coming here. It just so happens that one of its branches is located right in our neighbourhood: across the street from the Mozarteum, we pass it often on our way to and from campus.

 

“Is this about your chocolate stash?” When Nae Il nods in reply, I can’t stop myself from rolling my eyes. “Again? You’re out already? But I thought we’d refilled your supply not…that…long…ago.” My voice trails off when she shoots me a warning look.

 

She raises an eyebrow at me. “Remember the rule, Orabang.”

 

“I know, I know: never get between Nae Il and her chocolate stash. And if Nae Il wants chocolate, I should get it for her, no questions asked.”

 

“Exactly,” she adds firmly, nodding once for emphasis. “Besides, it’s not too much to ask.” She waves the sheet music she is holding in her hand. “You know I only ask for Fürst when it’s something really special – and I think this counts as something special, don’t you?”

 

True. Usually, she is content with any chocolate she can get her hands on, even if it’s just something generic from the grocery store. So, I suppose the occasional splurge on Fürst’s famous Mozartkugeln can’t hurt.

 

With a sigh, I throw up my hands in an exasperated gesture of defeat. “All right, Nae Il-ah. You can get your chocolate; I promise.”

 

“Komapsumnida,” she replies, finally handing me the manuscript.

 

As soon as I have it, I turn to go. It is almost time for the rehearsal that I needed this music for, after all. I do, however, pause to look back once I get to the door.

 

“Will you be joining us later, Nae Il-ah? We need to rehearse our piece, too, not just the concerto.”

 

“Don’t worry, Orabang – I’ll be there.”

 

~~~~~

 

I am the first of our group to arrive at the rehearsal room we had signed out for this afternoon’s practice. That was deliberate on my part; I had booked a time slot that started half an hour before the rehearsal time we had established, as that would give me some time to practice this new cadenza on my own.

 

It’s even more important given just what exactly I am playing: a fortepiano, a predecessor of today’s modern piano, alongside a Baroque orchestra.

 

Conducting from piano, a method that was oftentimes used in orchestras of Mozart’s time, was not taught at Haneum, which lacked a historical performance program. There was something similar for traditional Korean music, but the Western classical music I learned was taught in a thoroughly modern style.

 

The Mozarteum, on the other hand, has such a historical performance program. Not only that, but it is tied to the conducting department, which strongly encourages its students to cultivate experience working with a broad range of different ensembles: both orchestral and choral.

 

Under the advice of Professor Stresemann, then, I had expressed an interest in learning to conduct from piano when I was first admitted into the program. That had led to a correspondence with Professor Goebel, who was the historical performance program’s representative in the conducting department, which led in turn to what we have now: my working together with a group of students who had formed a small Baroque orchestra of their own.

 

Because the historical performance program at the Mozarteum is for graduate students, most of the orchestra members are a bit older than me – and, were we in Korea, they would be my sunbaes. Most are also either from right here in Austria or other European countries; the one exception, besides myself, is our concertmaster, Muhammed, who, although born in Germany, is from a family of Middle Eastern immigrants.

 

And then, of course, there is Nae Il. As with the S and Rising Star orchestras at Haneum, she is not an official member; but since she has a habit of popping in on our rehearsals when she has the time, the others have come to accept her as one of the group. Nae Il has taken a particular liking to Svetlana, a flautist from Russia, even going so far as to dub her “Lana” for short – a nickname that we have all adopted since.

 

As an ensemble, we have been together since the fall, and have even put on small musicales for the rest of the student body at the Mozarteum. What we are preparing for now, however, is our first major public performance: a dinner concert at the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium. There is a regular dinner concert that is held there, hosted by the Amadeus Consort Salzburg: an ensemble of string instrumentalists and vocalists who have themselves graduated from the Mozarteum’s historic performance program. Muhammed has friends among the violinists there, and he had managed to obtain permission for us to take over for just two nights: the first Saturday and Sunday of Mozart Week.

 

It will be Nae Il and I’s first public performance since we have started our studies here in the Mozarteum. And today’s rehearsal will be our first since we have returned from the Christmas break.

 

I hope that we do not mess this up.

 

~~~~~

 

I’ve only had time to go through Nae Il’s manuscript once before Muhammed shows up – he’s early, but he usually is. He tells me that it’s because it gives him time to get everything ready for the others by the time they arrive: a good habit for a concertmaster to have. Jung Si Won had been the same.

 

As I play him the note from which to tune his violin, he leans in and looks closely at the sheet music in front of us. “That’s the cadenza, then? The one you were looking for?”

 

“Ja. I was able to get permission to use it over the holiday.”

 

Muhammed moves to take the seat next to my bench. “I still don’t know what possessed you to choose an improvised cadenza from a recording rather than one of the official ones,” he says, using the tone that he adopts when he wants to rub in the fact that he is both my sunbae at the Mozarteum and a year older than me.

 

“Don’t worry! I was going to use one of the others if this one didn’t work out – I’m not about to sacrifice the concerto for something like this.”

 

Since the Amadeus Consort is mostly a string ensemble, and our own group does not have any vocal students in our number, we have had to come up with our own programme. The one thing we have retained from the original is the famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the one piece of Mozart’s music that is so famous that it would be almost blasphemy not to include it as a nod to any tourists in the audience. Otherwise, while the regular programme focuses on Mozart’s operas, we have something else in mind: a piano concerto in which we will all take part, and then, as a chance to let Nae Il join in, a four-handed sonata, just for the two of us.

 

It is the concerto – Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor – that has been giving us trouble. Most concertos have at least one cadenza: a passage left open to the soloist – in this case, myself as the pianist – to showcase his skills as a virtuoso. While a number of composers include a suggested cadenza somewhere in the score, Mozart had not done so for this one; he was known in his time to be a master improviser, and so our group’s guess is that that’s why no record of what he had played for his cadenza survives: Mozart might simply have made one up on the spot. Not all pianists are good improvisers, though; I’m certainly not. So other composers and performers have, over the years, composed their own cadenzas to use for this concerto, and some are now so commonly replicated that they have become the performance norm: cadenzas by Beethoven or Brahms, for example.

 

But I hadn’t liked those as much. Perhaps it’s my own fault – I had sought out a recording of the concerto for Nae Il and I to listen to as soon as we had decided to include it in our programme for the concert. And, in a stroke of rather bad luck, both of us had fallen for the cadenza in that recording: one that was improvised by the pianist himself and, thus, lacked a score that we could find.

 

When I first presented my dilemma with the others, Muhammed had suggested that I just give it up. Although he, too, had listened to the recording and liked it, he said that it would be a lot of extra work trying to use this cadenza: tracking down the pianist to ask for permission to use it was the easy part; trying to then replicate it was harder.

 

But the others don’t know Nae Il as well as I do. They don’t know what she is capable of.

 

I had discovered when we first met that Nae Il learned music best by listening to it, but it had only been when the S Orchestra was preparing Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony that I realized just how extraordinary her gift was. With no guidance, no prompting, no time to even study my own full orchestral score, she had been able to replicate on piano what she had heard during our rehearsals. Later, with the Grieg concerto, it was astonishing how much she had managed to glean from just hearing me play it once.

 

So I had known all along that as long as I had permission to use this cadenza, Nae Il would be able to deliver: just from listening, she would be able to write out what the pianist was playing.

 

And it is her transcription that we are studying now.

 

Muhammed gestures to the music with his bow. “Well, since we’re here, and the music is here, and the others haven’t arrived yet, let’s hear it.”

 

So I play them out for him: the two cadenzas in this concerto, from the first and third movement respectively. The fortepiano is a smaller instrument than the piano I am used to: its sound lighter and more delicate, the notes more detached and less likely to blur into each other. Not only that, but when tuned properly, period instruments like this fortepiano or the ones used by other ensemble members were pitched slightly lower than their modern counterparts. It had taken me some weeks to fully accustom myself to the feel and sound of the fortepiano, but now that I am familiar with it, the music flows out from my hands, filling up the rehearsal room.

 

By the time I have finished, the other ensemble members are starting to trickle into the room and set up their music and instruments. Lana, still putting the last pieces of her flute together, also comes over to join us.

 

“Where did you get that, Yoo Jin?” she asks. “Did you write that?”

 

I shake my head. “Nein. Nae Il did it.”

 

“She did?” Lana steps closer to take a better look, and I shift over on the bench so she could sit down beside me. Laying her flute across her lap with one hand, she reaches up with the other to trace the melodic line on the page. “Nae Il has a good ear,” she says. “I can never imagine being able to do something like that.”

 

“Well, neither Nae Il nor I could play wind instruments to save our lives,” I quip in response. “So I guess we’re even.”

 

“Speaking of Nae Il, where is she?” Muhammed asks.

 

I turn to look at him. “She’ll be here later; she spent most of the morning working on this, and wants some more time to practice her stuff first.”

 

He nods at that, then gets up from his seat, calling for everyone to get into position. The Baroque orchestra is smaller than the ones I am used to working with, and is also set up differently. As the conductor, I still occupy the central position, but instead of arranging themselves in front of me, the others form a U-shape behind me: the wind instruments, timpani and basses in the back, then the remaining strings fanning out on either side of the fortepiano. Where I am seated, I cannot see those behind me, but they can still see me, and are also better able to hear the cues I will be playing. Besides, if all else fails, I am perfectly positioned to be able to make eye contact with Muhammed in the front: as concertmaster, he will relay my cues to the others if need be.

 

“The concerto, then: from the top,” I say once everyone has seated themselves and tuned their instruments. Then, I glance at Muhammed and give him a slight nod; in response, he raises his violin in preparation and everyone else follows suit.

 

As is the norm with a concerto, where the soloist is contrasted with the orchestra, the others actually begin without me. However, even though my solo has not yet begun, as the conductor, I, too, have started playing: quietly, subtly, I match the bass instruments’ line with my left hand, and use a combination of gestures with my right hand, eye contact and slight nods to give everyone their cues. While I cannot see the instruments behind me, they can see my hands, and that is enough.

 

The cadenzas are, once again, the tricky parts. Without Nae Il’s sheet music, the others cannot follow along completely with what I am playing. Fortunately, though, they are also not entirely lost: not only have I told them how many bars the cadenzas will be, but, as per tradition, each one ends with a long trill, thus signalling the others to get ready to join back in.

 

In this way, rehearsing the concerto goes by without incident. So absorbed had we been in our music that none of us noticed we were no longer alone until the very end.

 

“Bravo, everyone – that was awesome!”

 

Startled, I glance up to find Nae Il standing across from me at the pointed end of the fortepiano. I scramble up to greet her, stepping closer and taking her hand. That prompts a hushed appreciative murmur from the others; by now, it is common knowledge within the ensemble that the two of us are together, although I still do not like showing any more open signs of affection than this.

 

As Muhammed calls for everyone to spread out around the room to practice their parts of the concerto in their individual sections, I guide Nae Il to sit beside me at the bench to work on our four-handed piece: Mozart’s Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in C Major. As with the way we usually play four-handed at home, Nae Il takes the treble and I the bass.

 

Compared to the darker and more sombre tone of the concerto, this sonata is a jovial and playful piece: a strong reflection of Nae Il’s musical style and preferences. As we play, I can tell that she is filled with the same joy and exuberance as when we play together at home: she sways and bobs to the beat, sometimes even quietly tapping along with one foot.

 

By the time we reach the end of the sonata, I am starting to worry a little bit. Usually, when we are playing at home, Nae Il has a hard time curbing her enthusiasm at this point, and will try to take my hand or even hug me after a four-handed piece is finished. But the fortepiano’s bench is smaller than the piano bench we have at home, and I am precariously balanced as it is. If Nae Il makes a move now, there is nothing stopping me from falling off onto the floor and making a fool of myself in front of everyone.

 

Fortunately, however, Nae Il manages to control herself. When we have finished playing, she sticks to clasping her hands tightly together, lightly stamping her feet as she just barely bites back a delighted squeal. Seated at her side, I cannot help but smile warmly as I look on.

 

This is just a rehearsal. If she is so immersed in the music now, I can only imagine what she will be like during the real thing.

 

~~~~~

 

Friday night, and halfway through the time Nae Il had allotted for her challenge.

 

One week left to go until we share our pieces with each other – and then, the night after that, the concert.

 

As Nae Il does the dishes after our dinner, I set up my laptop on the coffee table in the living room. This is how we usually set it up for our weekly video chat with our friends, but this is not one of those chats. This time, I am meeting someone different.

 

I was surprised to receive an email from Professor Stresemann a few days ago, asking for an appointment. Since his schedule is erratic and unpredictable, experience has taught us both that this is the best way for us to make sure we are both free at the same time.

 

As I wait for the call to connect, I can’t help but wonder why the professor is looking for me. It’s not just his schedule but his entire being that is unpredictable, after all. I have experienced that firsthand while working as his assistant-cum-apprentice at Haneum: sometimes jovial, sometimes morose and depressed, sometimes encouraging and full of advice, sometimes just leaving me to flounder until I figure things out on my own.

 

So which will it be this time?

 

I don’t get much further than that in my thoughts, though, as the call finally goes through and the window from his computer appears on my screen.

 

“Hallo,” he says in greeting.

 

“Grüss Gott,” I reply.

 

The professor chuckles. “I will, if I see Him.”

 

I roll my eyes and shake my head slightly in response. “Honestly, Professor – that joke gets old.”

 

“And you, I see, are still as impertinent as ever.”

 

“Es tut mir leid.”

 

“Nein – no need to apologize. I like it when you’ve got some fire in you. It keeps things interesting.”

 

Most of my conversations with Professor Stresemann start on a similar vein, and neither of us mean any harm by it.

 

The pattern had actually started back at Haneum, when we finally started working together. Since the professor was clearly more fluent in German than he was in Korean, and I was raised fully bilingual in both languages, it simply made more sense after a while for us to converse in German, provided there was no-one else around.

 

But that, too, has its quirks. Professor Stresemann is German, and I am Austrian – a detail that he likes to poke fun at, particularly in terms of how it affects the way I speak: my vocabulary and accent. Then again, I have one over him as well: Austrians are more likely to understand Germans than the other way around, and if I were to switch to the local Salzburg dialect, I could easily render him entirely lost.

 

It turns out that the professor wants to speak to me about some of my more recent activities, in particular the upcoming dinner concert.

 

“Will you be there, Professor?” I ask once I have given him my full update.

 

He shakes his head. “I wish I could, but I am, once again, fully booked.” Professor Stresemann gives me a slight pout – an odd expression in a man his age, but one I have become accustomed to. “You do not know how they treat me here,” he says, referencing his management staff. “Especially Elise – she forgets that I, Franz von Stresemann, am an artiste. I need to have the freedom to go where my heart takes me; I can’t be confined to just one place like this!”

 

“And what did you think I was doing for the thirteen years before I came here?” I quip in response. “Besides,” I continue, throwing in my most disarming smile for good measure, “you signed her on as your manager precisely so she could handle all the logistics for you.”

 

Because we both know just how much of a mess the professor would make of his own affairs if left on his own.

 

“You brat; I thought you were on my side.” The words are chiding, but there is a certain warmth and fondness in Professor Stresemann’s tone that does not escape my notice.

 

We continue with such easy banter for a few more minutes before, to my astonishment, the professor brings up Nae Il’s musical challenge.

 

Immediately, my eyes narrow in suspicion. “Who told you about this?” I ask. “Was it Nae Il?”

 

“In a way. Baby told your friends in Seoul, then Lee Yoon Hoo told me.”

 

Against my better judgment, I let out a few rather choice words about Yoon Hoo then. Although I murmur an apology when the professor gives me a hard look, I can’t say I fully regret what I’d said.

 

Lee Yoon Hoo and I no longer bicker as much as we used to, and some might even say that we are friends. But why can’t he just learn to mind his own business?

 

Still, I should make at least some attempt to change the subject. So I turn my attention to his mention of Nae Il.

 

“Serious question, Professor: must you still call Nae Il ‘Baby’ all the time?”

 

“Come, come – you know I don’t mean it that way. I just mean that she is young and innocent and –”

 

“Doesn’t stop you from sounding like a creep, though,” I mutter to myself, switching fully into the local dialect for good measure.

 

“Was?” The professor furrows his brow in confusion, trying to make out what he had just heard. “What did you say?”

 

I shake my head with as innocent an expression as I can muster. “Oh, nothing. Nothing important.”

 

“He said you were a creep, Milch. Orabang’s being very naughty right now.”

 

I nearly jump right out of my seat at that. Startled, I turn to look at Nae Il as she plops down next to me on the couch, elbowing me hard in the side until I scoot over to make room for her.

 

As I move aside, I cast her a sideways glance in warning. “Ya, Seollebal,” I whisper, “what did you do that for?”

 

She just gives me a smug look, though, before launching into her own conversation with the professor. Sitting there beside her, unnoticed and unaddressed, I can’t help feeling a swell of pride at how good Nae Il’s German has become over the past year. I still remember when her attempts to say “Milch” – the nickname that she still uses for Professor Stresemann – had sounded more like “Milly” to my ears. It is not an easy word for a Korean to pronounce, but she does it perfectly now.

 

While I cannot say that she is fluent the same way I am, she is clearly holding her own; it probably also helps that the dialect of the language she learned from her online course comes closer to the professor’s than what I use.

 

It doesn’t take me long to realize, however, that Nae Il and Professor Stresemann will be going on for quite some time. Quickly, as unobtrusively as I can manage, I tell them both that I will leave them to their conversation, but that I will be in the music room should they need me. When both Nae Il and the professor have nodded their assent, I make my exit. Once I have reached my desk in the music room, I take out the scores for the pieces we will be performing at the concert and busy myself looking over them once again. The more thoroughly I know these, the better.

 

I don’t know exactly how long I stay like this, but I am soon interrupted by the sound of Nae Il knocking on the doorframe. When I glance up from the score, she jerks a thumb over her shoulder, pointing back down the hallway towards the living room.

 

“Milch wants to talk to you – alone.”

 

That is not what I had been expecting, but I still comply immediately: it wouldn’t do to keep Professor Stresemann waiting. Telling Nae Il that she could just leave the score as it is – I plan on coming back to it later – I make my way back to my earlier spot on the living room couch.

 

When I ask the professor what he wants to see me for, he tells me that Nae Il has filled him in a bit more about the challenge – in particular, how it is related to the impromptu performance in Vienna.

 

“You still have too much of Cha Dong Woo in you, boy,” he says once he has finished recounting what Nae Il had told him.

 

Instinctively, I bite my lip as I feel myself tense up. A retort springs to my mind, but Professor Stresemann continues before I can open my mouth.

 

“I do not mean it the way you are imagining. You still take everything far too seriously; you think too much when you should be feeling more.”

 

I glance down at my hands, which are spread out helplessly on my lap. “Professor….”

 

“You need to live a little. Breathe a little.” He raises an eyebrow suggestively. “Romance your woman a little.”

 

That last comment gives me something I can actually respond to.

 

“Danke. But I won’t do it your way – I will find my own.”

 

“I wouldn’t have asked for anything less. As I have told you already, you are far more interesting when there is fire and passion burning inside of you. Don’t let it die – and don’t smother it yourself.”

 

~~~~~

 

“Remind me once again, Nae Il-ah, why we have to record this.”

 

Nae Il, seated at her desk in our music room, glances up from her phone. “Don’t you remember, Orabang? When we chatted with the others last Saturday, they’d said they wanted to hear what we have chosen.”

 

“I know that – but seriously, do we have to? You said that this was just about the two of us, but since you first started this challenge, you’ve been telling everyone about it.”

 

“Not everyone.”

 

“True. But I can already count everyone in the group at Haneum and Professor Stresemann, and that’s still more than we’d started with.”

 

But no matter what I say in protest, it’s to no avail. Once Nae Il has set her mind on something, it is really hard to dissuade her. Besides, in the grand scheme of things, this really can’t hurt – it’s not the first time I’ve been recorded before, and unlike the last time, I’m actually being asked for permission in advance.

 

I glance back and forth between Nae Il and the piano. “Do you want to go first, then?”

 

She thinks it over for a moment, and then nods. As she sits down on the bench, I move to the spot she had vacated next to her phone. Once I have set everything up and pressed the button to start recording, I look over at her once again.

 

“Whenever you’re ready, Nae Il-ah.”

 

“Ne.”

 

I had known, from the time I had accidentally stumbled upon her listening to a recording of it, that she had chosen a piano arrangement of Monti’s Czardas as her piece. It is a classic piece inspired by a Hungarian Gypsy folk dance. The music starts off slow and melancholy, with long drawn-out notes in a dark minor key. But just as suddenly as the clouds have rolled in, they dissipate; the music abruptly shifts to a livelier tempo, a more rhythmic melody. The music then comes to an abrupt halt before starting up again: first slow and swaying, then growing faster and faster until it turns into a spinning, dizzying dance.

 

Although I had not been there for the event, I can picture Haneum’s two dueling violinists – Yoo Il Rak and Jung Si Won – in my mind. From Il Rak’s account, he had excelled in the more slower more introspective sections, whereas Si Won had thoroughly trounced him in the faster parts. It was, ironically, a sharp contrast to their actual personalities: Il Rak is usually sunny and bright, while Si Won, although by no means melancholic, is the more serious of the two of them. And yet, perhaps, there is more to Czardas than meets the eye and this result better matches the pair than meets the eye; the slower passages allow for more freedom of expression, as the violinist – or, in this case, the pianist – is allowed to play with the tempo as he or she sees fit, while the faster passages demand strong technical precision lest the piece spiral out of control.

 

Czardas, in Nae Il’s hands, is a perfect representation of her spirit. Music that is as free and expressive as the Gypsies who inspired it. Music that fills the soul and makes one want to get up and dance.

 

Not that I do, of course; that would disturb the recording process, after all. But as Nae Il makes her way through the piece, I lightly tap my hand against my thigh in time with her music, until I, too, am silently playing along.

 

When the piece has come to its conclusion, ending with a playful bouncing note in the bass, I just barely remember to stop the recording before clapping in applause. Nae Il, noticing my reaction, immediately scrambles up from the piano bench. Dashing closer, she leans down and wraps her arms around my shoulders in thanks.

 

On impulse, I pull her down towards me, and she falls, laughing, into my lap. Rather than getting back up, she pulls away just enough to shift into a more comfortable position: still seated, now facing forward, her back against my chest. I place my arms around her waist, taking her hands in my own, as she relaxes and leans back against me, closing her eyes in contentment as her head rests on my shoulder.

 

I personally blame the music for our rashness; the music’s frenetic tempo is infectious and its spinning, spiralling melody is ringing in my head, in perfect time with my racing pulse.

 

As with our first kiss, I dare not allow myself to move, or even think. It is, in some ways, the most physically intimate we have ever been, the closest we have ever come to trespassing the line between love and lust.

 

Nae Il must have sensed it too, because, for once, she is the first to pull away. Slowly, she unclasps my hands from around her waist and gets up. I watch as she takes a few steps away before folding her hands together over her chest, most likely feeling her own heart racing just underneath the surface.

 

Trying to ease the tension in my own chest, I cough softly as I move to sit down at the piano bench as well. I brace myself against the seat with my hands, my breaths still running ragged and hitching in my throat.

 

“Do – do you want me to get you some water, Orabang?”

 

I can’t even look Nae Il in the eye as I nod, still fighting to bring myself back under control. Moments later, a glass comes into my view as she holds it out towards me. Taking it with a silent nod of thanks, I hold it firmly in both hands as I first take a sip, and then a larger swallow.

 

When I have finally calmed enough to be able to look at her again, I can see that Nae Il has a glass of her own. We both know what it means, but neither of us makes any direct comment on the subject. Instead, she busies herself with setting up her phone to start recording me, and I feel a rush of relief at these few extra moments with which to fully come back to myself.

 

Once everything is ready and Nae Il has pressed the button, I begin my own piece: the sixth of Liszt’s collection of etudes inspired by the virtuoso violinist, Paganini.

 

In some ways, this piece starts off similarly to Czardas: it, too, begins with a swaying dance-like melody in a wistful minor key. But whereas Czardas shifts primarily between sadness and joy, darkness and light, this etude is almost frantic in its structure. A classic theme-and-variations, Liszt takes full advantage of his own technical skill as a pianist to create a piece that veers sharply between different tempos and volumes: here loud and rapid with racing chords, there soft and singing like a bird.

 

When I had first learned this piece under Professor Do’s instruction at Haneum, it had taken all my concentration to focus on its high level of technical difficulty, its value as a virtuosic piece. But this time, for the first time ever, playing this etude feels different. Is different. As the variations come one after the other without pause, their varying colours and moods reflect the tumult inside my head: struggling between my desire to shield Nae Il and my desire to claim her, a war between the side of me that is soft and gentle and the part that is bursting with pride.

 

But just when I begin to fear that I will lose control, something extraordinary happens as the etude reaches its conclusion. Once again, just as with that performance on New Year’s Eve, I feel a moment of emancipation: a deep sense of knowing that my heart and my mind and my hands have finally all clicked into place and are now working as one. The roiling emotions inside of me not holding back my music, as both Abeoji and Professor Do had once feared, but giving it a greater impetus, propelling me upwards like a phoenix taking flight.

 

And unlike that time on New Year’s Eve, or the Grieg concerto back at Haneum before that, there is no guilt. No hesitation. No feeling that my talent has arisen on the backs of others.

 

When I finish, I hold the final chord a bit longer than I should, bracing myself against the piano’s keys. Then, letting go at last, breathing hard with a mix of both exertion and exhilaration, I glance over at Nae Il.

 

One look at her face, and I know she sees it, too.

 

Nae Il has always been free. But now I am as well.

 

~~~~~

 

Although Nae Il was able to email our recordings to the others right away, it will be a while before we can find out their response.

 

Because this morning, Saturday morning, is our dress rehearsal for the dinner concert tonight, and we won’t have time for the video call this time around.

 

Nestled in the corner of a square tucked behind St. Peter’s Abbey, we have to go through the old churchyard to access the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium, our venue for tonight. The path, in reality, is cutting through a graveyard, but such a graveyard as neither Nae Il nor I have ever seen: the grounds would be filled with flowers and leafy trees in summer; but now, in the middle of winter, the stone markers stand silent and still, cleansed by a light dusting of snow.

 

Nae Il in particular is momentarily sidetracked by what appears to be a series of alcoves in the surrounding cloister that are barred from us by a wrought-iron fence. But we have no time to waste, so I firmly take hold of her hand and start to lead her away.

 

“Come on, Nae Il-ah – we can’t stay here.”

 

She digs her heels into the ground in protest, leaving both of us firmly rooted in place. “But – but Orabang! Don’t you know where this is? This is the churchyard in The Sound of Music: the one where Maria and the Captain and all the little children were hiding from the Nazis, and

 

Urgently, I gesture for her to quiet down. “Aish, Seollebal – you’re obsessed!” I turn to face her, then, gently holding onto her shoulders, I lean down slightly to look her straight in the eye.

 

“First of all: they did not film that scene here.” Before she could protest, I barrel on. “The filmmakers were inspired by this place, but they actually filmed that bit someplace else. Secondly, we don’t have much time. The others are probably waiting for us inside. Thirdly, you’d said that you and Lana plan to have a girls’ afternoon out today, right?” When she nods, I continue, “So you can ask her to come back here with you later if you want.”

 

At last, Nae Il lets me continue to guide her down the pathway towards the square on the other side of the abbey wall, although I do catch her shooting the yard one last glance of longing first. Soon we emerge into the square – the abbey’s central courtyard – and enter the first door on our left into the restaurant.

 

An arched passageway takes us into an inner courtyard, which we pass through towards a staircase that takes us to the upper floor. From there, we head down a long corridor that opens out into the room where the concert will take place: the Baroque Room.

 

It is, in a word, beautiful.

 

The Baroque Room is large and spacious, ivory-coloured walls and a soaring high ceiling painted with elegantly swirling lines in green and gold. Large stained glass windows scattered around the room let in the winter sunlight, which gleams off the crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

 

Tonight, when the sun in the windows has been replaced by darkness, and the room filled with candlelight, the effect will be stunning.

 

Sure enough, the others are already there on the far end of the room, where a raised platform serves as a stage for the regular dinner concert. As a few of the guys move towards the fortepiano standing at a back corner of the stage, I let go of Nae Il’s hand and dash forward to join them. Together, we carefully move the instrument from its usual place to the floor just in front of the platform, orienting it so that, as in our rehearsals, I will be looking straight ahead at the audience when the time comes.

 

Once the fortepiano is in place, I grab one of the chairs and sit down in front of it. Cautiously, I press on a few random keys before playing a scale all the way from one end of the keyboard to the other. From what Muhammed has told me, while this fortepiano is a regular fixture in the Baroque Room, it is seldom used. The Amadeus Consort, after all, is mostly a string ensemble, and the fortepiano, for the most part, has sat, pretty but unused, in its corner.

 

As I try out the instrument, Muhammed steps up beside me.

 

“I hope this is good enough,” he says. “Apparently, this thing hasn’t been tuned in ages; we had to bring in someone from the Mozarteum to get it in working condition again.”

 

Satisfied with the resulting sound, I nod in thanks. “Let me know who it was; I’ll make sure to pay them for their trouble.”

 

By this time, Nae Il, who had taken her time to walk the length of the room in wide-eyed wonder, has also joined us. “Is this the fortepiano, Orabang?”

 

I nod in assent.

 

She sighs and runs a hand over its side. “It’s beautiful.”

 

I glance quizzically between Nae Il and the, in my opinion, rather garishly painted instrument. “Well, it certainly looks interesting….”

 

But what does that matter now? As long as it plays well, that’s all I really care about.

 

We only have a few hours, snatched away to ourselves before the restaurant opens for its lunch service, to rehearse. It is not so much practicing the music that we need this time for, but the staging. Normally, during the regular dinner concert, the dais is enough space for the instrumentalists: a string quartet or quintet. Singers will stand at the front, in the same spot where the fortepiano is now.

 

However, we are definitely a larger group, and will need to get a bit creative to make it all work.

 

Fortunately for us, our sunbaes in the Amaedus Consort had been aware of what we needed, and had put in a word with the restaurant staff. So the tables and chairs in the dining room have, just for tonight, been placed ever so slightly closer together than usual: not enough to be uncomfortable for the guests, but enough that, together, extra space is carved out at the front of the room for us.

 

The concert will be split into three portions, each lasting between twenty minutes and half an hour. Between our performances, the various courses of the set dinner will be served, giving us about the same amount of time – twenty minutes – to set up for the next segment as the audience eats.

 

So on top of the music, we practice our seating arrangement as well. For the first segment, the Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, we will keep the fortepiano where it is, but with its lid closed so as not to obscure the audience’s view of the string quartet that will be up on the stage. The second segment, Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D-Minor, will be the most complicated. For that, I will open up the fortepiano’s lid as the others fill the dais with enough seats to accommodate all those who would normally sit behind me during rehearsal; the two string sections that would wrap forward on either side of the fortepiano will then join me on the lower level in the front. Finally, in the interval after the concerto, in preparation for Nae Il and I’s duet, all the other chairs and music stands will be cleared away, and we will turn the fortepiano sideways with its lid opened out towards the audience: the same way a modern piano would be set up.

 

All in all, the process is elaborate, but completely doable. We run through the entire sequence several times from start to finish, until everyone is confident that they could do their part in the dim evening candlelight.

 

It is only then that Muhammed calls our rehearsal to a close, just in time for us to clear out of the Baroque Room so that the wait staff could enter to set up for the lunch service.

 

Out in the corridor, Muhammed then calls our attention to a door set in the wall. “This,” he points out, knocking on the door for good measure, “is the Haydn Room, and will serve as our break/dressing room for these two nights’ performances. It will be locked between now and when we have to be here again at 6:00 tonight, so anyone who wants to leave their instruments inside can do so.”

 

Once that is done and we are gathered back out in the hallway, Muhammed glances over at me. “Yoo Jin, is there anything you want to say as well? You are our conductor, after all.”

 

Put on the spot, feeling everyone’s eyes staring at me, I find myself at a loss for words. Fortunately, though, Nae Il is not so shy, and she immediately butts in, raising a clenched fist in the air. “Fighting!”

 

When the others just stare at her wide-eyed, I hurry to explain. “It’s a Korean thing: it means ‘Good luck!’”

 

“Well, then, let’s do that,” Lana says with a shrug. “It sounds like fun!”

 

So, at my prompting, we all huddle together as closely as we can, reaching out our hands so that they more or less meet in the middle. “Now, on the count of three,” I say once everyone is ready, glancing around the circle to make eye contact with each of the musicians in turn. “One, two, three –”

 

“Fighting!”

 

~~~~~

 

It’s a good thing that Lana and Nae Il already had plans for this afternoon, because in the last few hours before the concert begins, I want some time alone. And I know exactly where I want to go.

 

I don’t know what it is that’s making me want to do this; all I know is that it just feels right somehow.

 

So, after parting ways with the two girls in the churchyard of St. Peter’s Abbey, I turn and head back the way Nae Il and I had come this morning. Back through the old historic centre of Salzburg, back across the bridge to the north side of the river.

 

But I don’t head towards home or the Mozarteum. Instead of turning left onto the main street as soon as I cross the river, I continue straight ahead for a few more blocks. I follow the road I am on as it veers to the left as well, before coming to a stop at a set of wrought iron gates set into a wall.

 

For a long moment, I simply stand there, one hand reaching out and resting on the bars. Through the gaps, I could see a small courtyard, not all that different from the one where I had just left Nae Il a while ago.

 

And no wonder, for it is yet another graveyard: St. Sebastian’s.

 

Ever since my childhood here in Salzburg, I had known of this place, but this is my first time actually coming here. When I was little, Eomma and Abeoji had just never brought me here. And while I suppose I could have come whenever I wanted to since returning to Salzburg almost a year ago, I could never actually bring myself to do so. Like taking that first step into an airport, there has always been something holding me back from this place.

 

But not anymore. Today, I have finally come here. Not because I want to, but because, for some reason I cannot explain, I feel that I have to.

 

Steeling myself for what is inside, I push on the gate. It gives easily enough, squealing on its hinges as it opens. Carefully, moving as quietly as I could, I slip through the gap and softly close the gate behind me.

 

This is a public space. I am not trespassing. And yet, somehow, silent reverence seems to be the best attitude to have right now.

 

St. Sebastian’s is not St. Peter’s. Although it appears similar – and might possibly be even truer to the scene in the film Nae Il loves so much – it is the other graveyard that has become the popular tourist attraction. Instead of clusters of visitors here and there, I find myself entirely alone.

 

But St. Sebastian’s, too, has something valuable to offer – for those who know where to look.

 

It does not take me long to find the marker I am searching for. It is, after all, the very first one in my sight: just on the left of the path that meanders through the cemetery. A large stone column rises up out of the ground, flanked by two flat stones. The central marker is dedicated to Constanze, Mozart’s wife who survived him and also founded the Mozarteum a century and a half ago. But it is the smaller stone on the right that I have come for.

 

The grave of Leopold Mozart. Mozart’s father.

 

There is no child who grew up immersed in classical music who does not know of the story of the Mozart family. How much more so for me: a child prodigy, the son of a famous concert pianist, living right here in this very city?

 

For a long moment, I stand in front of the stone marker, my head bowed and my hands calmly folded in front of me. I am not a religious person by any means, but here, in this spot, I pray.

 

I pray to the Mozarts. I pray to Leopold most of all.

 

I ask that tonight’s performance will go smoothly, that everyone’s hard work will pay off, that we would do this music and this city justice.

 

And at the end, I make a wish. A foolish wish. A child’s wish. A wish that I know will never come true, that I could never express in words. But a wish I want to make nonetheless.

 

~~~~~

 

“I look ridiculous like this, don’t I?”

 

“Nein, Orabang; I think you look fine.”

 

A sudden sharp hiss from Lana. “Hold still, Nae Il! I don’t want to burn you by mistake.” The two girls are seated in a corner of the Haydn Room, Lana just about to finish curling Nae Il’s hair.

 

The restaurant had graciously provided us with a large folding partition – usually used to section off spaces for special events – and we had placed it down the middle of the room, thus dividing the space into men’s and women’s changing areas. Now that everyone is dressed, a few of the guys have just folded up the partition and set it aside, allowing Nae Il and I our first glimpses at each other in costume.

 

And although I can see reassurance in her eyes, I find myself turning away in embarrassment.

 

I still think I look ridiculous.

 

The Amadeus Consort, in their regular dinner concerts here, performed wearing costumes made to evoke the fashions of Mozart’s time. And although we were just taking over temporarily, we all knew that the audience would expect us to follow suit: that this performance was as much about the visual effect as the music itself.

 

Fortunately, there was a costume rental shop just a block away from the Mozarteum, so we had all gone there last week to choose what we would wear. We had decided in advance to stick with warmer colours that would complement the look of the Baroque Room by candlelight: whites and ivories, golds and browns, dark blues and reds.

 

I, however, am the one exception. I am the only one wearing something bright: a coat, waistcoat and breeches in scarlet red trimmed with gold. It had been Muhammed’s idea; over my protests, he had insisted. “You, Yoo Jin, are taking on the same role that Mozart would have under these circumstances. And we all know,” he had added with a wink, “that everyone imagines Mozart wearing red.”

 

It’s true. I’ve seen the images myself all over the city: on signs and postcards, in souvenir dolls and on the wrappers of the Mozartkugeln.

 

“No way in hell do I look anything like Mozart,” I had retorted then. “And putting on a costume isn’t about to change that.” However, against Muhammed’s reasoning, I had had no excuse not to oblige. So oblige I have.

 

But I had balked at any suggestion that we go full-on with our costumes and include the white wigs. Fortunately, none of us had wanted to wear those anyway. As Muhammed had put it then, “We’ll look ridiculous enough as it is; let’s not make this any crazier than it has to be.”

 

So historically accurate we are not. Not in terms of appearance, anyway. But at least we can aim for that in our sound.

 

Just then, I feel a hand tapping me on the arm. I turn towards the touch to find Nae Il standing beside me. She had already put on her dress a while ago: a long pale gold gown with a wide skirt that came almost all the way down to her ankles. In the few minutes since I had last seen her with Lana, she had finished styling her hair: pulling back the hair in the front that could fall into her eyes, adding a braid on each side, and pinning all of that in place with a flower-shaped ornament she had made herself from some old pages of sheet music we had at home.

 

Smiling at how my eyes look over her from head to toe, Nae Il holds out a small box to me. “Would you do the honours, Orabang?”

 

I return her smile with one of my own when I recognize the box. Opening it up carefully, I take out the necklace that I had given her for Christmas. Then, as she turns around to make it easier for me, I fasten it around her neck.

 

When I am finished, she turns back around to face me. The jeweled pendant – a treble and bass clef intertwined in the shape of a heart – rests right on her collarbone, perfectly set to catch the candlelight and illuminate her face.

 

She, too, looks me up and down, a warm smile on her face.

 

“There’s something that Professor Ahn told me once. He said that when you perform a piece of music, you should imagine yourself as the composer who wrote it. So, when playing Beethoven, you become Beethoven.” She then looks me pointedly in the eye. “Or, in this case, when playing Mozart, you are Mozart.”

 

Her earnestly serious expression makes me laugh. I take her hands in mine and give them a gentle squeeze. “Komawo, Nae Il-ah. I’ll try to remember that. But what about you, then? If I’m Mozart, then who are you?”

 

“Constanze.”

 

“She was a singer.”

 

“She was also the woman Mozart loved.” She steps closer to wrap her arms around me in a hug. “And that’s what matters to me right now.”

 

For a split second, I feel myself stiffen in surprise – what if the others notice us looking like this? But Nae Il clearly doesn’t care about that, and as I feel her leaning into me, her cheek resting against my chest right above my heart, I allow myself to relax as I place my arms around her as well.

 

Of all the people in the world, only Nae Il can do this to me.

 

~~~~~

 

“Tough crowd tonight.”

 

I shoot a glance over the top of the fortepiano at Muhammed. “What makes you think that?”

 

The first segment of the concert – the string performance of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – had gone without a hitch, and the two of us were now setting up the chairs and music stands for the concerto. Most of the audience, busy eating their first course during this break, do not pay us any mind, thus allowing us a good opportunity to observe them in the dim light.

 

The transformation that the combination of both darkness and warm candlelight has brought to the Baroque Room is astounding. Although the room is still spacious and grand, and is now filled with people besides, the space feels a lot cozier and more intimate now than it had in the white light of day. Even the fortepiano, which had looked garishly bright with its blue exterior and the large pastoral scene painted on the lid, looked elegantly muted and subdued now.

 

Muhammed now jerks his head towards the audience. “One of my friends in the Amadeus Consort told me. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is easy; no matter where in the programme it appears, people will love it. It’s the rest of the music that’s the issue.”

 

I catch the fortepiano’s lid as Muhammed lifts it up, holding it there until he sets up the prop that will keep it open.

 

“Why?” I ask as we work. “It’s not like people don’t know what pieces we’re performing; we’ve had our own programmes made and everything.”

 

“I’ve heard that they’re expecting a show.”

 

“And we will give them one!” I step out around the fortepiano to his side of the instrument. “Music. Real music. Everything else is irrelevant. And if they don’t like that, that’s their problem, not ours.”

 

Muhammed chuckles, one corner of his mouth quirking up in a knowing smirk. One that immediately makes me suspicious.

 

“Just what exactly do you have planned?”

 

He only shrugs in response. “Nothing.”

 

“I don’t believe you.”

 

“And you are certainly within your rights to do so. The point is, as you said: focus on the music. Let the rest come as it will.”

 

~~~~~

 

As I seat myself on the chair in front of the keyboard, I cast a quick glance at Nae Il. She is standing between us and the audience, slightly off to one side, a microphone in her hands.

 

In our preparations for this concert, we had decided that we should begin each segment with a quick introduction of the piece we are about to play: our own version of programme notes.  Nae Il had volunteered to write them for us, and we are now taking turns as host: I had already done this for the Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Nae Il is now presenting the piano concerto, and later Muhammed will take charge for our duet.

 

It turns out that she is a natural storyteller. Nae Il’s notes do a good job at setting the scene, both for us performers and for the audience. For instance, in her comments about the concerto now, she tells it as a narrative: the streets of Salzburg on a dark and stormy night in the first movement; a quiet evening in the home of a loving family in the second movement; a celebration with fireworks illuminating the sky in the third movement.

 

Her interpretation of the music certainly works well; she did, after all, write it based on what she heard during our rehearsals.

 

But it is not my interpretation. I have my own story to tell.

 

Tension permeates the first movement of the concerto. The light treble notes of the fortepiano’s solo, which Nae Il thinks of as raindrops, to me feel like they are pulling away from the orchestra’s bass: a free-spirited youth reaching out to his limits before being reined back in again. The orchestra, in its plea to the piano, uses a variety of tactics to pull it back in: a rumbling bass from the strings like a loudly scolding father, a gentler tone from the winds like a kind and soothing mother.

 

It is this desire for freedom from constraint that I focus on as I play the cadenza of the first movement. It is short, brief, but the longest solo stretch in the entire movement: the only time that the young rebel is able to escape. But that, too, does not last long before the orchestra once again overwhelms the solo, and the fortepiano fades away into silent submission.

 

The second movement starts out peaceful: I am in agreement with Nae Il that it evokes a calm domestic scene. The opening melody is soft and soothing, almost like a lullaby. In this movement, the solo is still innocent: a young child shielded from the darkness of the world, content in his mother’s embrace. The orchestra closely echoes the solo, answering it in kind.

 

Yet as the second movement progresses, things change. The innocent child is not real; he is a memory in the mind of the same youth from the first movement. The solo looks back on his past with sadness and longing: wishing to go back to a simpler, kinder past, but no longer able to do so. His pace quickens, scales running up and down, oblivious to the orchestra’s attempts to soothe and comfort. The only respite available to the solo is in those childhood memories, and it is in returning there in blissful nostalgia that the movement ends.

 

The two forces – solo and orchestra, child and parent – come into open confrontation in the third movement. Unlike the unspoken but still palpable tension of the first movement, the third opens in a loud cacophony: a full-blown argument. But soon it cools down, both parties reining themselves in before engaging in a more ordered discussion. Call and response, give and take: the solo speaks, the orchestra responds.

 

No longer a rebellious adolescent, the youth is now a man, able and willing to present his view. The solo sections in this movement are longer, the fortepiano taking the lead at last. Nowhere is this clearer than in the cadenza: for the first time, rather than conforming to the minor key set by the orchestra, he takes control and repositions the melody into a brighter, triumphant major key.

 

Applause washes over me when the concerto comes to its close, but I barely register it even as I stand to take a bow. It is likely not noticeable to anyone out there, but the hand holding the fortepiano’s edge is clasping on more tightly than I would normally need. It is what is allowing me to still stand upright, as I feel like all the life has been drained out of me by this performance.

 

This concerto has taken a lot out of me, because it has been about me. The story I have just told with my music is my own.

 

But I must steel myself now for what is to come, because it is what comes next that matters now.

 

My duet with Nae Il.

 

Not my story – but our story.

 

~~~~~

 

I don’t hear half of what Muhammed says in his introduction to the four-handed piano sonata. Instead, my attention is entirely on Nae Il.

 

She is sitting beside me in a chair of her own on the side that is closer to the audience. And although she does a good job at maintaining an outward sense of calm, I can see that she is trembling on the inside.

 

It is always like this when she performs. Each time Nae Il plays for an audience, she has to battle against her own fright.

 

I reach over and place one hand on her knee, which catches her attention enough that she now turns her face towards me.

 

“Gwenchana?”

 

I mouth the words silently so only she knows what I am saying.

 

She replies with a slight nod, her eyes softening as she looks into mine.

 

The hand that was on her knee now moves to grasp onto one of her hands.

 

“Remember, Nae Il-ah: just focus on the music. Imagine that we are in our music room back home, arasseo?” I squeeze her hand for good measure, then say to her the same words I had used at our very first duet together: “Let’s have fun.”

 

And just like that first time so long ago, this is our cue to begin.

 

This piece, Mozart’s Piano Sonata Four Hands in C Major, is a highly enjoyable piece to play.

 

It begins with a catchy, rollicking melody that perfectly captures its composer’s carefree personality. As we make our way through that happy first movement, I cast quick sideways glances at Nae Il. The tension has melted away from her shoulders as she fully immerses herself in the music. She is no longer nervous, no longer afraid: nothing exists in her world anymore except for the two of us and the fortepiano.

 

We continuously echo each other. Sometimes, she starts a melody first in the treble, and then I pick it up in the bass before passing it back on to her. Sometimes, it is the other way around. That is the beauty of a four-handed piece: nowhere else can such complete trust between two musicians be so visible. So audible.

 

When the first movement comes to its end, Nae Il and I gain a slight respite. According to the traditional rules of concert etiquette, the audience should hold off on its applause until the very end. But this crowd must not have been aware of that, as they begin clapping immediately anyway. In that fleeting moment, taking advantage of the fact that no-one could see what she is doing, Nae Il reaches out with her left hand and “plays” her part on my thigh. Biting back a laugh at her antics, feeling the blood rush up to my face at the unexpected touch, I swat her hand away, and we barely manage to regain our composure in time for the clapping to stop so we could move on.

 

The second movement begins with a gentle swaying melody: a picture of two lovers strolling casually, hands and arms intertwined. It is calm and soothing, as both voices – treble and bass, Nae Il and I – are both at peace.

 

The middle section of the movement shows an abrupt change, though. It is a rush of excitement and passion, as both voices pick and speed. There is tension, but no conflict. The treble soars up higher and higher in a series of broken chords; the bass follows behind, always ready to catch it. This passage ends as suddenly as it begins, and the piece returns to the soft, ambling melody from before in its conclusion.

 

The third movement has a slight spring in its step. It is playful, but not fast; as with the first movement, much of the melody consists of us echoing each other in a long game of call and response. The treble and bass are together in happy coexistence as true musical partners.

 

In many ways, this third movement feels like the way Nae Il and I live our lives. While there are, of course, fleeting moments in which we feel a rush of desire and longing for each other, for the most part, we have found contentment and happiness in the small things, the little things, the everyday things.

 

Once again, as we play this final movement, I find myself casting quick sidelong glances at Nae Il, and there are several times when she just so happens to do the same. At first, when our eyes meet, she quickly looks away, shyly biting her lip as she moves to concentrate on the music instead. But over time, she grows bolder, and by the time our performance comes to an end, we are quite openly looking at each other.

 

Does the audience notice? I don’t know. I can’t even see them or sense them. As far as I am concerned, Nae Il and I are in a completely separate world from them.

 

The sound of applause brings us both back to reality. Holding hands, we get up from our seats and move to stand in the space between the fortepiano and the audience. Even as we take our bows, however, we do not let go of each other. Instead, I press slightly on Nae Il’s fingers, trying to tell her by touch what I cannot say out loud: that she has done well, and that I am proud of her. She turns to look at me with a smile, her eyes sparkling in the candlelight.

 

Just then, I pick up a strange sound in the background. A sharp jangling sound. It starts off small, somewhere out in the audience, but grows louder and louder as more people join in.

 

The sound of people tapping their glasses with their silverware.

 

I’ve seen and heard this enough to know what it is they want: a kiss.

 

But why? Nae Il and I haven’t said anything about our relationship – not to these people, anyway. And besides, do they seriously think we will just comply because they want us to?

 

Feeling myself tense up and filled with an overwhelming desire to shield her, I prod Nae Il to step back slightly behind me. My eyes dart this way and that around the room, trying to see if someone could tell me what we are supposed to do.

 

From his vantage point in the corner of the room, Muhammed must have noticed something, because he quickly but casually emerges from his spot to join us, microphone in hand. Taking note of my bewildered expression, he gives me the same mischievous smile he had shown earlier tonight.

 

“Don’t tell me you didn’t expect this, Yoo Jin,” he whispers so just the three of us could hear.

 

I keep my eyes looking straight ahead, but my words are directed at him. “Did you have anything to do with this?”

 

“Nein. Nor did I need to, People aren’t stupid, you know: they know chemistry when they see it. And you two really were quite obvious about it during the duet; you were probably just too in the zone to notice.”

 

“Should we, Orabang?” Nae Il asks, stepping forward to stand beside me again. “I know you don’t like doing these sorts of things in front of other people, but –”

 

“It’s alright,” I finally manage to get out, turning to face her and placing my hands on her arms just underneath the shoulders. “We might as well give them something to look at.”

 

Because in that moment, Professor Stresemann’s words from our chat last week come to my mind: “You need to live a little. Breathe a little. Romance your woman a little.”

 

Well, if it’s romance they want, then it’s romance they’ll get.

 

But I will decide how I want to go about doing it.

 

So while I know that the audience most likely wanted me to kiss Nae Il on the lips, I don’t. Instead, choosing the side from which my own body would shield hers from view, and bringing one hand down to the small of her back, I lean forward and give her a slow, gentle kiss on the cheek.

 

My actions cause the audience to burst into cheers and applause, but all my focus is on Nae Il. In such close proximity, I can sense the way she gasps softly in response to my touch. As though controlled by her own rush of desire, she brings her hands up and places them at the back of my neck, pulling me even closer into her embrace.

 

When we drift apart and return to our earlier positions, I can tell from the sounds around us that not everyone is satisfied. Quickly, I reach out a hand behind me towards Muhammed, frantically gesturing for him to hand me the microphone. When he finally passes it to me, I turn to face the audience. It takes me a moment to find my voice, but eventually I do.

 

“Meine Damen und Herren, my apologies. But this is the most you’re going to get from me.”

 

With that, I take Nae Il by the hand and the two of us slip out of the brightly lit performance area and disappear into the shadows. We keep going until we have left the Baroque Room altogether, slipping through the door into the corridor beyond. Once we are relatively alone, Nae Il bursts into nervous giggles.

 

“What do you think, Orabang? Wasn’t that fun?”

 

I shake my head vehemently. “Of course not. And whoever’s here tomorrow night had better not try to pull a stunt like that again!”

 

She steps closer, linking one arm in the crook of my elbow, and patting me there with her free hand. “There, there. Relax. It was just a bit of harmless fun. Besides, we already know we love each other, so what does it matter if people see that?”

 

Just then, the door to the Baroque Room cracks open, and Muhammed peers out at us from inside. “Come on, you two – get in here.”

 

“Why? What’s going on now?” I ask as we finally step back inside.

 

To my surprise, he hands each of us a glass of wine before stepping behind me and pushing me towards the tables. “You two are tonight’s stars,” he says by way of explanation, “so get out there and mingle for a bit.”

 

Nae Il takes to the idea sooner than I do, so I mostly just follow her around as she flits from table to table, shaking hands, toasting and chatting with some of the guests. We don’t visit all the tables, just the ones where people have spotted us and beckoned us closer. We receive many warm compliments on the performance, and even some well wishes for our relationship. One table had a multigenerational family – grandparents, parents, and children – and, to our amusement, the smallest child, a little toddler girl, wanted to know if Nae Il was a princess.

 

Before Nae Il can get a word in, I say yes. Given the way she looks tonight, I’m not surprised.

 

By the time we make our exit back into the hallway, Nae Il is exhausted. Hungry, too; she immediately makes a beeline for the Haydn Room, in particular the various refreshments the restaurant had provided for us throughout the evening. I let her go on ahead of me, relishing this time alone to gather myself back together. Stepping to the side so I am leaning back against the wall, I close my eyes and allow myself to finally relax. True, there were some people passing by, mostly audience members who have already finished their dessert course and are now on their way home. But for the most part, I feel as though I am all by myself in my own private bubble. And that is what matters.

 

“Yoo Jin, could you come over here for a second?”

 

What now?

 

I crack my eyes open in irritation, and spot Lana beckoning me over to the hostess’s stand by the door. I’m not looking forward to having this moment of rest interrupted, but if she needs me, then I should at least see why. It’s common courtesy, after all.

 

Once I have reached the stand, Lana gestures to the young woman attendant, who takes out an envelope from a hidden shelf and holds it out to me.

 

“A gentleman came by here just a few minutes ago – he told me to give you this.”

 

My eyes narrow in suspicion as I take the envelope from her. Sure enough, it is addressed in Korean.

 

Korean? Who could this be from? Had…had Professor Stresemann been able to make room in his busy schedule to come after all?

 

But that doesn’t make sense. First of all, if the professor had to write anything to me at all, my guess is that he would do it in German. Secondly, there is the label itself.

 

That’s not my name.

 

Although I can certainly read what it says, it takes me a moment to register just what I am seeing. Written on the envelope, where my name should go....

 

It can’t be.

 

No-one has called me this for years. And even then, only one person had ever done so.

 

My heart starts to pound in my ears. This isn’t happening. This simply is not happening.

 

But just to make sure, I sound the label out loud: “Wolfgang.”

 

That catches Lana’s interest. “Wolfgang?” she asks. “What do you mean?”

 

But I don’t answer her. Instead, I immediately turn to the hostess. “The man who gave you this – did you see where he went?”

 

She points down the hallway. “He left that way, probably not even a minute or two before you came out.” The girl peers at me in concern. “Why? Is something wrong?”

 

Numbly, I shake my head, even as I start edging away from her and Lana down the hallway myself. “Nein. Everything’s fine, danke. But if you’ll please excuse me….” And that’s all I can bring myself to say before I turn and dash towards the exit.

 

It takes me a few moments to make my way out of the restaurant: weaving my way through scattered clusters of people down the hall, down the stairs, through the corridors and covered garden downstairs. I know I must look a sight to them, but that doesn’t matter to me. Instead, the whole way, a single thought pounds in my head:

 

Could it really be him? Could my wish – my foolish child’s wish – from my vigil at St. Sebastian’s this afternoon…could it really have come true?

 

There is no one near the door of the restaurant when I finally burst out into the main square of the abbey. Quickly, my mind racing a mile a minute, I consider my options.

 

Where could he have gone? Straight ahead into another square? Or to the right through St. Peter’s?

 

I pick one at random, and make an abrupt turn to the right, dashing through the arch that Nae Il and I had come through on our way to the restaurant earlier today. As I emerge into the cemetery on the other side, I find myself stumbling to a halt at what I see.

 

There. In the distance. A man walking down the path away from me. Tall and strong, exact precision in his bearing. A confident stride, arrogant yet without swagger.

 

Abeoji.

 

What was he doing here? Had he come to Salzburg for the festival? If so, then why did he come here instead of one of the official, more prestigious concerts?

 

Had…had he actually come to see me?

 

I know how this would play out were we in a movie or a drama. I would call out to him, he would hear me and turn back, and we would have a warm and emotional reunion in which all my questions would be answered.

 

But this is not a movie. This is real life. And I find myself unable to speak at all.

 

Even as I watch Abeoji turn the corner and disappear from my sight, I cannot open my mouth to say anything. Nor can my feet move from where they are rooted to the ground.

 

Perhaps it is not that type of reunion that I want. After all, when I had made my wish this afternoon, all I had asked was that somehow Abeoji would be able to see me perform. That somehow, he would be proud of me, just like he had been when I was small: his little Wolfgang.

 

“Orabang!”

 

I hear footsteps racing behind me, and then Nae Il appears at my side. She starts asking what’s going on, but the words fade on her lips as she takes in my stance and expression. Turning to look down the pathway herself, she ducks around, peering this way and that, trying to make something out in the darkness. Coming up emptyhanded, though, she turns back to look at me.

 

“Lana told me what happened. Who was it? Was it Abeonim?”

 

I nod.

 

“Did you see him?”

 

I shake my head. “Ani. He was already gone by the time I got here.”

 

Why I choose to lie to Nae Il now is beyond me. Perhaps someday in the future, I will find it in myself to tell her the truth of what I had seen. But for now, I have to content myself with reading the note Abeoji had left.

 

As I open the envelope and the card inside, Nae Il peers over my arm to read it as well:

 

Although I do not condone that display at the end, your performance was good. You have brought real music to a place that has been starved of it for far too long.

 

Bravo, Wolfgang – bravo.

 

Author's Note (In "Hidden Content" Because of Spoilers)

 

Spoiler

As I gain confidence as a writer, I find that my stories are getting more and more complex. Take this one, for instance: when I first came up with the idea, I imagined it as two separate things - the piano challenge Nae Il gives Yoo Jin, and the Mozart dinner concert. But when I realized that the timing would actually overlap, I then had to try to find some way to stitch it all together. I hope my attempts have worked :) 

 

Once again, here is the behind-the-scenes look at this story:

 

1. A dose of reality

 

In comparison to my other two "Seolleim in Salzburg" stories, this one actually skews more towards the fantasy than the reality. Characters like Yoo Jin, Nae Il, Muhammed and Lana simply do not exist in real life - the latter two are of my own creation. Nor did the dinner concert that these students put on in the story actually take place.

 

BUT the fun part, for me, was trying to figure out how to weave fictional characters and events into a real world that, I hope, anyone could see for themselves if they went to Salzburg.

 

So what parts are real?

 

First of all, the dinner concert. What I describe here as the "regular dinner concert" at the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium by the Amadeus Consort Salzburg is real. It was at one point a nightly performance in the restaurant, but it is now only done on weekends, based on the ticket sales schedule I found. For anyone who wants to find out more, you can look here: Mozart Dinner Concert  This site is where I found information about how the evening is structured, their usual programme (although my guys do something else entirely), and even the fact that the musicians use the adjacent Haydn Room as their break room during performances.

 

The other main thing here that is real is, once again, location. 

 

Yoo Jin and Nae Il's apartment is fictional, but I did use a floorplan from a real family-sized apartment in Salzburg (a bit further out from the city centre than where I imagine they are, but that's where the fantasy comes in)

 

Grundriss.jpg

 

And here are some pictures of the other locations I used in the story, for reference purposes.

 

The lobby of the Mozarteum

 

12500847px849x653.jpg

 

A small rehearsal room inside the Mozarteum - https://plus.google.com/photos/photo/111391884995750637869/6453066365535966370 (The picture won't embed, because it's a 360-degree view)

 

The cemetery at St. Peter's 

 

3264e9d06a916529ac60a404afeae086.jpg

 

The Mozart family graves in St. Sebastian's cemetery

 

csm_sebastiansfriedhof_862d5cc362.jpg

 

The Baroque Room in the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium (day view, night view, and a close-up of the fortepiano)

 

hochzeitslocation-st-peter-stiftskulinar

 

concert1(1).jpg

 

6ba01cc23d069311ac62d2010c888a78.jpg

 

The Haydn Room in the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium

 

St_Peter_Stiftskeller_andreschoenherr_DS

 

2. The Music

 

This fic sets a bit of a record for me in that it features four pieces of music. Most, I think, I can just present you with links to listen to, but there is one piece in particular I want to comment further on.

 

(I do mention a fifth piece in the story - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - but am not including it in this explanation, because it is so recognizable. If the name doesn't ring a bell, look it up on YouTube: I guarantee you will recognize it.)

 

Piano Transcription of Czardas by Monti (Pianist: Tzvi Erez) - I imagined that this was the literal video Yoo Jin catches Nae Il watching

 

 

The sixth etude from Liszt's Grandes études de Paganini (I've already set the video to start at the right one)

 

 

Piano Sonata Four Hands in C Major by Mozart (the recording is set to start in the right place, but just listen until 24:20 in the video)

 

 

By the way, a little bit of trivia about this piece and how I'm using it: this was another four-handed piece that appeared in "Secret Love Affair", and the part where Nae Il "plays" on Yoo Jin's leg was inspired by the scene in that drama (where Yoo Ah In's character "played" his part across the back of Kim Hee Ae's character's hands).

 

EDIT - Found a video of the scene I was talking about!

 

 

 

And now for the one I really wanted to talk about:

 

Piano Concerto in D Minor by Mozart (Fortepianist: Malcom Bilson) - This is also a case where I have the characters using this literal recording (improvised cadenzas and all) in the story.

 

 

The thing I wanted to go into more detail about with this piano concerto is its story, especially how it relates to both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (whom I'm just calling "Mozart") and his father, Leopold Mozart.

 

Mozart composed this piece in 1785, and premiered it in a concert series he was hosting in Vienna. By this point in his life, he had been on bad terms with his father for several years - first for running off on his own to Vienna in the first place, and secondly for dating and marrying Constanze Weber without Leopold's consent. From what I've pieced together of different historians' accounts, Mozart and his father had kept in touch in writing all these years, but the last time they had met face to face was in 1783, when Mozart first brought Constanze to Salzburg with him as his wife - a visit which did not go over well.

 

In 1785, though, things change. Leopold Mozart goes to visit his son in Vienna, and he is actually present at the premiere of this piano concerto - a piece that he highly praised in a letter he sent home to his daughter (Mozart's older sister) in Salzburg.

 

This clip from a documentary series about Mozart's life gives us a look into what that premiere might have been like. It is also, for those who are interested, a good look at what "conducting by piano" might look like in a Baroque orchestra. You will probably also see where I drew off the narrator's interpretation of the piece in writing Yoo Jin's, but I also did try hard to really make it his own.

 

Again, I have set the video to start at the right place - and you can just watch it until the end.

 

 

3. Miscellaneous Behind the Scenes Trivia

 

There literally is a Korean restaurant inside the Mozarteum - I did not make that part up. :tongue: It's called Hibiskus, and...who knows? I may use it as a location in the future if inspiration strikes.

 

The comments Yoo Jin makes about The Sound of Music are also true. Most Austrians either are indifferent towards the film, or dislike it outright. For them, it is a highly stereotypical and inaccurate portrayal of both Austrian culture and the von Trapp family - not to mention that the whole discussion of Nazism in Austria is still painful for a lot of people. So many Austrians haven't even watched the film, and only know of the big fuss around it because of the tourists. Also, while St. Peter's is often marketed as a filming location for the cemetery scene at the end of the film, the scene was actually filmed in a Hollywood studio made to resemble the area.

 

Finally, one last thing: this story's Easter Egg. This time, it is not about the actors, but about me. I did learn classical piano for many years growing up, but hit a plateau at some of the more difficult pieces: my hands have long fingers, but, unfortunately, a narrow palm, making playing octaves for any sustained period of time physically painful, and anything beyond that close to impossible. But I still love listening to classical music, and I also remember a lot of the various bits of advice my mother (also my piano teacher) gave me, and some of that made it into this story. Most notably: the practice method that I attribute here to Professor Do, and the performance strategy (i.e. imagining yourself as the composer) that I give to Professor Ahn. My mother and I are also classical music purists and like things done "properly" - we both are more sympathetic to Yoo Jin's style than Nae Il's, for instance.

 

To access a master list of my fics and other Hallyu-related writings, you can go to the "About Me" tab on my profile page.

 

Thanks - and enjoy!

 

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Image result for joo won twitter

 

my first time posting a picture in this forum!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy right now. don't know that I finally can do this simple things in my laptop... 

I choose this dreamy picture of Joo Won. Because its so beautiful and makes me calm. 

I will be back to give proper reply to you, guys!!!:lol:

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Lucky Ahjummas!!!

http://i50.tinypic.com/2ajc3me.jpg

Hey Ahjumma, not so tight!! *arrrgghhh* Just look where you two are placing your arms.... gaaah!!!!
http://i50.tinypic.com/5nm6n9.jpg

credit:Baidu

Aish... If I could just switch myself in their place... I'll be in deeper moat place now...

-edit-
Look at Sugeun's face.. it's like he wants to run away. While our Joo Won is just smiling and giving the ahjummas lots of fan-service. he is so kind-hearted... :wub:

this is so funny... I want to switch place with that ahjumma. I think this the episode when joo won and lee su geun went to find a delicious dish for King Sung. joo won laugh so much in that episode. that is so cute.. and I like his hair here. Looks so smooth..

 

he is so tall. its like his head will touch the seilling. I remember that the PD makes Joo won, lee su geun, and the ahjumma standing in order of height so they just like a stair. (I don't know how to say it, but you know what I mean)

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Before I get to replies, a quick message to @moonstrike - I posted a new fic that went up at about the same time as your posts for today, so make sure you look back for it :wink: 

 

15 hours ago, sagaseed said:

When I first saw the theme of the month in Dramabeans, the drama that came to my mind immediately was actually Yongpal, and probably Nae II's Cantabile. Although Yongpal had high ratings, it wasn't well received by International kdrama viewers. But I admire that writer for daring to write this drama knowing it's not mainstream. To me, Yongpal is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise repetitive and typical pool of kdramas plots. And it made me rediscovered Joo Won in 2015 and decided to be his fan for life. When I see lots of rising actors these days, I started to worry for Joo Won. I'm always happy and would love to see more articles relating to JW, because this helps him stay in the limelight. How I wished I could magically acquire good writing skills to defend his dramas that I really love too! 

 

It's funny, because it had actually crossed my mind to write something for that theme, but I ultimately didn't. I was thinking back to how someone wrote an entry (for the "Alternate Endings" theme) saying they wanted a kiss in the last episode of "Nae Il's Cantabile", and I was honestly tempted to write my own post "In Defense Of" there not being a kiss. Well, that didn't happen - one, because I had a lot of things going on, and most of my creative energies went into this forum; and two, because I realized in hindsight just how insanely petty that would have been.

 

But, yeah - it's funny that you brought up that show as one you would have defended, given the chance (although I'm sure it would have been in a very different way from me)

 

Also, I don't think there's any need to worry about JW with "lots of rising actors these days". There's a bit of a generational pattern that's going on right now, where the up-and-coming stars are probably stepping into the same space that the whole 1985-1989 crowd (especially the 1987-born cluster) occupied before now going into their enlistments one after the other. By the time JW and his peers are back out, they'll be in a whole separate bracket within the Korean entertainment industry, so I see no reason to worry about competition on that front.

 

3 hours ago, moonstrike said:

my first time posting a picture in this forum!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy right now. don't know that I finally can do this simple things in my laptop... 

 

Posting pictures this way actually costs less memory/broadband/whatever it is that's being used up when you load a webpage than embedding stuff from Instagram. I've noticed, for instance, that embedded Instagram posts can take forever to load on this forum, especially when enough posts have accumulated that it's close to needing to start a new page - and that can slow Soompi down a lot.

 

That's why there's the "only three pictures maximum in the main post" rule, I think. By putting the majority of photos in "Hidden Contents", it's less time-consuming for the entire page to load overall. :wink: 

 

3 hours ago, moonstrike said:

I think this the episode when joo won and lee su geun went to find a delicious dish for King Sung. joo won laugh so much in that episode. that is so cute.. and I like his hair here. Looks so smooth..

 

Yes, the second photo is from that episode - I recognize the outfits as well :wink: 

 

And now for pics!

 

Spoiler

Such a serious face, but so cute as well!

 

 

This photo is from the premiere of "S.I.U.", I think - so definitely an older pic!

 

 

"Fatal Intuition" Behind the Scenes - "Meong" face and sitting in a bucket???

 

63a90967afd6b310434570356a00da84.jpg

 

And a few more nice-looking shots, just because.

 

 

 

0cac26b90b4ec5ffb34ad48ee3bef1c3.jpg

 

And, just to end it off, this picture of JW with Kim Young Kwang for GGIO2 - which looks to have been made into a jigsaw puzzle...?

 

 

 

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Wow.. yesterday, i have many task to do and that makes me sleep only for three hours. Sorry for not giving update. I was so tired. But now, i have enough time to sleep and visit this forum. 

 

On 1/26/2018 at 2:53 AM, kittyna said:

 

I remember that when they first came up with the idea of stopping by JW's place, the hyungs really wanted to meet JW's mom. And then JW called ahead and found out that his mom wasn't at home - but I imagine that if she were, she might have tried to straighten up the place a bit first. 

Ooo... i really want to see his mother. I already said this before but, i just want to see what kind of person she is that always joo won mention everytime he talk about his family. 

 

 

And also, this answer makes me burning because of curiosity.

Q: For your love interest, how much younger and how much older can she be?
“I have never really thought about it but for the upper end, she should be younger than my mother, and for the lower end, hmm… she should at least be an adult.”

 

Although his mother’s age is a secret, Joo Won said, “I think I’ll bring my Mother along to the next performance!” As his mother’s height is 155cm, Joo Won humorously said, “She is really cute. She’s like a baby bear (laugh) I have to protect her”, showing his deep affection.

 

 

On 1/26/2018 at 2:53 AM, kittyna said:

I think the sad part here is that Ma Jun's mom actually loved the Chairman - not Manager Han. She only got together with him because she'd heard the fortune teller tell her that she would only have a son if she slept with another man (which, by the way, is some of the most messed-up advice ever, but that's irrelevant), and she was that desperate for the love of her husband and her mother-in-law. So for her to find out that her husband and her mother-in-law loved Tak Gu and his mother more...that must have hurt. A lot.

Yeah... it must be really painful when she knew that his husband is cheating. WITH HIS MAID. Even though the chairman didn't love his wife, at least show some respect and be faithful. I was quite mad and dissapointed that the chairman did that to his wife. And that makes his wife turn evil. His wife behavior also changed because of her mother-in-law. 

 

All of this makes kids in the house feel uncomfortable. Just like Ma Jun. He never feel family atmosphere in his house and that makes him lonely. So because of that, he wants to be notice by his father. He went to Pal bong bakery and start to makes bread even though he said he hates bread but just because his father loves bread, he wants to do it. After that, he also want to make Tak gu disappear because his father is really love tak gu. In Ma Jun's head, he must feel really unfair because his father loves tak gu, person that he doesn't know its his child and kid that he just met.

 

On 1/26/2018 at 2:53 AM, kittyna said:

Ma Jun always suspected that something was off: you can see he's a bit creeped out by how much attention Manager Han gives him, and is also confused as to why his "dad" doesn't pay him much attention.

Ma jun knew that manager han is his father. He rejects all the treatment given by manager han. because he did not want to think of him as a father. he instilled in his mind that his father was the chairman. he also felt restless and angry when he knew that the manager han act friendly to him and his mother. he does not like it. 

 

On 1/26/2018 at 10:16 PM, kittyna said:

Title: In Mozart's Name

Drama: "Nae Il's Cantabile"

Characters: Cha Yoo Jin, Seol Nae Il

Premise: January in Salzburg means Mozart Week: a music festival that is held in honour of the famous composer's birthday. Cha Yoo Jin has always liked Mozart's music, but as he and Seol Nae Il prepare for their own public performance, he finds himself changing his perspective on both the music and the man who created it.

So good.... recently, i watch tomorrow cantabile. So it makes this fanfic more real for me. Because i can imagine it very clearly. You are very good writing the situation in the fanfic. Its ver beautiful sometimes.

 

On 1/27/2018 at 2:33 AM, kittyna said:

Also, I don't think there's any need to worry about JW with "lots of rising actors these days". There's a bit of a generational pattern that's going on right now, where the up-and-coming stars are probably stepping into the same space that the whole 1985-1989 crowd (especially the 1987-born cluster) occupied before now going into their enlistments one after the other. By the time JW and his peers are back out, they'll be in a whole separate bracket within the Korean entertainment industry, so I see no reason to worry about competition on that front.

Yeah, i think the new rising star just replacing the 87 actors. So when they back, they will bring new atmosphere and new style to korean industry, especially Joo won. I' so excited and waiting for his comeback. I feel that he will bring the "Joo-Daesae a.k.a Joo won's trend" again after he comeback from military. I know and I'm sure he will rise again in just one and a half year. Just give him time...

 

I often read netizen's comment that said they wait for joo won. Also i see some votes in DC galery. And the result is Joo won is the most anticipated actor after his comeback from military. YEY!!! So i don't feel any worry anymore. Netizen in korea is waiting for him, guys! They feel and know Joo won's potency and the power of joo won. H3heh..

 

On 1/27/2018 at 2:33 AM, kittyna said:

And, just to end it off, this picture of JW with Kim Young Kwang for GGIO2 - which looks to have been made into a jigsaw puzzle...?

Never seen this before! Is its ET concept? So cute. And i like joo won's outfit. Looks stylish and good when he wears it.

 

Pics!!

 

Can't resist this cuteness. Its overloading. Now, i'm curious what is the taste of chicken feet. Joo won eat that so deliciously.

 

Same background music, same menu, same cuteness, and same man but the different is, this is more funny. This video is showing joo won when he scared of bugs while he eat his favorite dish, CHICKEN.

 

Joo won's bubble but. Hahaha...

 

Scout over flower. Its like he is doing photoshoot of scout uniform. Seems legit...

 

 

So cute.. how can soldier be this cute and handsome, huh?!.. i never know that. He is like manekin. Moving and singing manekin.

 

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On 1/28/2018 at 10:03 AM, moonstrike said:

Wow.. yesterday, i have many task to do and that makes me sleep only for three hours. Sorry for not giving update. I was so tired. But now, i have enough time to sleep and visit this forum. 

 

lol - The funny thing is that I was unable to post anything yesterday, either; I was in the middle of switching to a new computer, so I could only go online with my phone, and while that works okay for general comments, you guys all know I prefer replying/sharing pics on the computer instead. It's easier that way :wink: 

 

But now we're both back, so it's all good. :D 

 

On 1/28/2018 at 10:03 AM, moonstrike said:

And also, this answer makes me burning because of curiosity.

Q: For your love interest, how much younger and how much older can she be?
“I have never really thought about it but for the upper end, she should be younger than my mother, and for the lower end, hmm… she should at least be an adult.”

 

Although his mother’s age is a secret, Joo Won said, “I think I’ll bring my Mother along to the next performance!” As his mother’s height is 155cm, Joo Won humorously said, “She is really cute. She’s like a baby bear (laugh) I have to protect her”, showing his deep affection.

 

LOL! Ya, Oppa...what sort of answer is that???  "She should be younger than my mother...and at least be an adult." Why do I feel like that's a troll/joke answer? :tongue: 

 

It is adorable, though, that his mom's so much smaller than him; I can imagine what it would look like when he hugs her or something :) 

 

On 1/28/2018 at 10:03 AM, moonstrike said:

So good.... recently, i watch tomorrow cantabile. So it makes this fanfic more real for me. Because i can imagine it very clearly. You are very good writing the situation in the fanfic. Its ver beautiful sometimes.

 

Glad you liked it!

 

I was a bit worried at first that I was giving way too much into my "classical music nerd" side - it's something that I grew up with, and so, music-wise, is the most familiar to me and the genre I am most comfortable both talking about and listening to. However, I know that that's not the case for a lot of people, so I was worried that I'd lose you guys there. In my defence, though, Cha Yoo Jin is also a big classical music nerd, so at least I can justify it by saying that he would get that far into it as well :wink: 

 

On 1/28/2018 at 10:03 AM, moonstrike said:

All of this makes kids in the house feel uncomfortable. Just like Ma Jun. He never feel family atmosphere in his house and that makes him lonely. So because of that, he wants to be notice by his father. He went to Pal bong bakery and start to makes bread even though he said he hates bread but just because his father loves bread, he wants to do it. After that, he also want to make Tak gu disappear because his father is really love tak gu. In Ma Jun's head, he must feel really unfair because his father loves tak gu, person that he doesn't know its his child and kid that he just met.

 

Yeah...all the kids were uncomfortable, for various reasons. It was really sad to see how all the adults just pulled the kids into the conflicts between them.

 

Actually, about Ma Jun going to Pal Bong Bakery...I always thought it was interesting that he used a fake name. Not only that, but his fake name - Seo Tae Jo - has the same surname as his mother. It's like he's uncomfortable going by Gu as a family name (since he knows he's really not the Chairman's son), but he doesn't want to go by his "real" family name either (i.e. Han). Choosing his mother's surname was, I suppose, the best middle ground he could come up with.

 

I also remember that it was not just Ma Jun feeling that way about Tak Gu. Even JW admitted that he felt bad for Ma Jun and found it easy to get into character by keeping that thought in mind: that if his father loved a sibling more than him, he would also be jealous.

 

On a side note: Jeon In Hwa, who played Ma Jun's mother, also said that she had to keep reminding herself while filming that her character was only being so mean to Tak Gu for Ma Jun's sake - because she actually found Tak Gu a very likeable character. :tongue: But in terms of the actors, it was clear that JW was closer to Jeon In Hwa than Yoon Si Yoon was.

 

On 1/28/2018 at 10:03 AM, moonstrike said:

Yeah, i think the new rising star just replacing the 87 actors. So when they back, they will bring new atmosphere and new style to korean industry, especially Joo won. I' so excited and waiting for his comeback. I feel that he will bring the "Joo-Daesae a.k.a Joo won's trend" again after he comeback from military. I know and I'm sure he will rise again in just one and a half year. Just give him time...

 

I often read netizen's comment that said they wait for joo won. Also i see some votes in DC galery. And the result is Joo won is the most anticipated actor after his comeback from military. YEY!!! So i don't feel any worry anymore. Netizen in korea is waiting for him, guys! They feel and know Joo won's potency and the power of joo won. H3heh..

 

That would be interesting to see. You know, I've never actually followed JW's rise or popularity in real time before; by the time I knew about him as an actor, it was already after "Yong Pal", and he was starting to fade back into the background and talk was heading towards his enlistment. So I still find the whole "Joo Won's Trend" a bit hard to imagine; I'm so used to thinking of him as a Hallyu underdog.

 

But who knows? It could be fun to see him be on top for once - I definitely think his skill as an actor merits it. :) Plus, he's not going to lose the "patriotic actor" label anytime soon, which - unlike something like the earlier "nation's little brother" - is a designation that can last for life. :wink: 

 

On 1/28/2018 at 10:03 AM, moonstrike said:

Never seen this before! Is its ET concept? So cute. And i like joo won's outfit. Looks stylish and good when he wears it.

 

One thing I've noticed about JW and Kim Young Kwang's pictures for GGIO2 is that the two of them are oftentimes dressed in similar outfits, but with different feels. JW oftentimes ends up with the more casual and laid back version of the outfit, whereas Kim Young Kwang gets a more formal office-appropriate version. That's not always the case, but it's something I've noticed from time to time.

 

And now for pics!

 

Spoiler

"Nae Il's Cantabile" Behind the Scenes

 

 

Remember this moment from 1N2D, guys?

 

 

He looks SO HAPPY to see his fans here! - From here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQG7pBfD_AJ/

 

fe52446cecd30abb7f2e4ba92f97fa45.jpg

 

Serious and broody - and so intense

 

 

This shot's cute - chubby cheeks

 

 

A collage of miscellaneous expressions

 

 

 

By the way, before I forget - @moonstrike, I finally got around to watching the bedtime VLive post. That was interesting - it was like JW was being some sort of radio host or something.

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7 hours ago, kittyna said:

LOL! Ya, Oppa...what sort of answer is that???  "She should be younger than my mother...and at least be an adult." Why do I feel like that's a troll/joke answer? :tongue: 

Hahaha... yeah, just like he said, "i have never thought about this before." That means, he just thought about that when he asked in that place and that same time. 

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

It is adorable, though, that his mom's so much smaller than him; I can imagine what it would look like when he hugs her or something :) 

Joo won's height and his mother height distance is so many. 30 centimeters! Man, that's a lot. But imagining him hug her, just like you said, its so adorable and cute. Its like he is hugging a high school student. Hahaha...

 

And its lovely that he said his mother is like baby bear. And he has to protect her. Aww... he really loves his mother.

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

I was a bit worried at first that I was giving way too much into my "classical music nerd" side - it's something that I grew up with, and so, music-wise, is the most familiar to me and the genre I am most comfortable both talking about and listening to. However, I know that that's not the case for a lot of people, so I was worried that I'd lose you guys there. In my defence, though, Cha Yoo Jin is also a big classical music nerd, so at least I can justify it by saying that he would get that far into it as well :wink: 

Its great... also this fanfics makes me go a lot of lessons and knowledge about music, especially classical music. And imagine that joo won play a role in this fic its just like he taught me himself with his story. And also the fanfic has sprinkle of friendship and romance in it. Makes it more fun to read.

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

Actually, about Ma Jun going to Pal Bong Bakery...I always thought it was interesting that he used a fake name. Not only that, but his fake name - Seo Tae Jo - has the same surname as his mother. It's like he's uncomfortable going by Gu as a family name (since he knows he's really not the Chairman's son), but he doesn't want to go by his "real" family name either (i.e. Han). Choosing his mother's surname was, I suppose, the best middle ground he could come up with.

wow .. i just noticed it when you said it. Ma jun gives a lot of thought to his fake name, isn't it?.. haha.. 

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

also remember that it was not just Ma Jun feeling that way about Tak Gu. Even JW admitted that he felt bad for Ma Jun and found it easy to get into character by keeping that thought in mind: that if his father loved a sibling more than him, he would also be jealous.

I also felt bad for his character. Imagine you are not getting your family's attention even if you have mom and dad. imagine you being alone and being used by your own family because of their egos. very sad. and do not forget that your father loves someone he has just met than yourself who has been with him for years to get his attention.

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

On a side note: Jeon In Hwa, who played Ma Jun's mother, also said that she had to keep reminding herself while filming that her character was only being so mean to Tak Gu for Ma Jun's sake - because she actually found Tak Gu a very likeable character. :tongue: But in terms of the actors, it was clear that JW was closer to Jeon In Hwa than Yoon Si Yoon was.

She shows it very clearly. That she like Joo won a.k.a ma jun more than tak gu. You know that joo won often show his killer smile and aegyo when he talks to someone. Its so hard not to love him. Joo won also love and care to jeon in hwa. I remember when he went to japan and saw the beautiful scenery, he remembered his mother and called her. it is very touching and lovely. You can tell that jeon in hwa is touched because of joo won affections. 

 

Joo won is so lovely. He remember his mother and take care of her everytime he see something beautiful. I also remember that he said he call his family 2 times a day. That's a lot for busy man like joo won. 

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

That would be interesting to see. You know, I've never actually followed JW's rise or popularity in real time before; by the time I knew about him as an actor, it was already after "Yong Pal", and he was starting to fade back into the background and talk was heading towards his enlistment. So I still find the whole "Joo Won's Trend" a bit hard to imagine; I'm so used to thinking of him as a Hallyu underdog.

I started to love it in mid 2016. but I can imagine the popularity of joo won in 2012 and 2013 and also 2015.

 

In 2010, he steals people eyes with his handsome and kang dong won look-alike face. And makes people support him in baker king even though he play as a villain. 

 

In 2011, he get baeksang award as best new actor. Baeksang is a great award. The award was followed by all television stations not just one like kbs or sbs only. but all. That makes this award as a prestigious award.

 

In 2012, I saw a lot of interviews that he did. and also entertainment show. His drama, bridal mask, is got the most successful drama in that year. That drama is still in the heart of korean people as patriotic drama. And joo won play that role. joo won also joined famous variety show in korea and earned his national maknae title. (but you know that the title of maknae does not last long because it's age-based, it's not possible you stick to maknae when you're 38 years old, right?). I almost forget that he also get award as best newcomer in kbs entertainment award. His maknae personality makes people heart melt. In that year, he also has earned the title of national actor and patriotic actor within 2 years of his debut. it was very impressive. and also he always shows up on your tv screen. so you can imagine then. joo won is also often mentioned by actors and other celebrities on tv show. He showed in win win and make the netizen know his real personality. His great and loveable personality that different from his drama character. And that makes him more admired because he showed different behaviors in drama and in his daily life.

 

he in 2013, good doctor is very hits. The drama also makes Joo won a good actor. he can play the role of an autistic person who not all actors can play it. He is also recognized by other actors as good and great actors. in that year he got 4 awards including PD award. PD award is a very prestigious award because it is not in the select by netizen but the pd in korea. so you can know that even joo won has earned a place in the hearts of pd in korea within three years. good doctor also make a new trend in korea. same as goblin drama. Many people likes joo won because of that role. People sees him as cute and pure person just like himself. he also still joined in variety 2 days 1 night. so you'll often see it on your tv. and do not forget that he also played in movies and musical in that year. and also the popularity of the bridal mask is still very strong at that time until now.

 

And in 2014, even though the drama is not doing so well, he still gets popularity awards. Yey for him!! And also good doctor and bridal mask popularity is still strong.

 

And in 2015, he get his first daesang a.k.a grand prize within 5 years. He also the YOUNGEST actor that get that prize. And i hope for the second and third. He also get the asian influence award in china representing korea. His drama, yong pal, is drama that has the highest viewer rating. He also play that drama with kim tae hee. Actress that has the title of the most beautiful actress in korea. She also said that she wants kid like joo won. He also in healing camp amd showing his real cute and wise personality. He also play in movie fatal intuition. I heard that this movie is in the first place and beat the interstellar movie in korea for weeks. Its also the most successful movie of joo won. In 2015, he also get his title again as best trend actor again. Joo won also climbed to no.8 of Top 100 star preference. He also earned the title of actor who the most wanted to be a boyfriend.

 

And also i often see older actor impressed by joo won because he has a lot of achievement with just short time. For example, do you remember when 1N2D asked the member to invite their friends. And in the part 2 video, there was counselling corner. Jeong man sik said that joo won has so many responsibilities at young age. He wonder how many goals he'll have in his 30 and 40. There are a lot achievements that joo won gets within 5 years. That's a short time for making that lot achievements. I can't mention it one by one. That will be Loooonnngggg~~~~...

 

 

And in 2016, his popularity decrease somewhat because he did not play drama that year. Maybe because he want to rest before joining army. and he also did not show up on tv. he just plays on web-movie. and in 2017, he has already undergone his military service. We are a bit late, actually... I should have known earlier. Huaahhh...

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

But who knows? It could be fun to see him be on top for once - I definitely think his skill as an actor merits it. :) Plus, he's not going to lose the "patriotic actor" label anytime soon, which - unlike something like the earlier "nation's little brother" - is a designation that can last for life. :wink: 

Just like i said, netizen and people in korea is already see joo won as patriotic actor. And its embedded in their heart. Thanks to bridal mask and all actor who reject the drama. so joo won can play it. He is so brave for choosing drama that all actor deny. And that will be his best drama ever. 

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

One thing I've noticed about JW and Kim Young Kwang's pictures for GGIO2 is that the two of them are oftentimes dressed in similar outfits, but with different feels. JW oftentimes ends up with the more casual and laid back version of the outfit, whereas Kim Young Kwang gets a more formal office-appropriate version. That's not always the case, but it's something I've noticed from time to time

The funny thing is i more realize that joo won looks short if he stands beside kim young kwang. But if he stands beside his co-star, he will looks so tall and big. 

 

Time for my Pics!!!

 

Start your day with this wonderfull man.

 

So cute.!

 

 

This is the best!

 

 

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13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Joo won's height and his mother height distance is so many. 30 centimeters! Man, that's a lot. But imagining him hug her, just like you said, its so adorable and cute. Its like he is hugging a high school student. Hahaha...

 

And its lovely that he said his mother is like baby bear. And he has to protect her. Aww... he really loves his mother.

 

I've noticed similar height differences a lot between people from JW's generation and their parents - maybe not as much as 30 centimetres, but many young people are now taller than their parents, and comparing a mother and her son is probably the most obvious way of seeing that.

 

13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Its great... also this fanfics makes me go a lot of lessons and knowledge about music, especially classical music. And imagine that joo won play a role in this fic its just like he taught me himself with his story. And also the fanfic has sprinkle of friendship and romance in it. Makes it more fun to read.

 

lol - Trust me: I already scaled back on the jargon a bit :tongue: So take this as the layman's music lesson :wink: It's also why I include recordings of the music I'm using: because there's simply no way I could describe everything with words.

 

And you know me: I always need to have some sort of relationship element in my stories, whether we are talking about friendship, family relationships, or romance. Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, there is simply no story to tell.

 

13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

wow .. i just noticed it when you said it. Ma jun gives a lot of thought to his fake name, isn't it?.. haha.

 

Don't worry. It took me a while to notice, too. I don't even know if this was a deliberate choice on the writer's part or just a coincidence. I remember that I thought of the idea when I was wondering how on earth Ma Jun came up with his fake name in the first place: I mean, there are just so many different character combinations possible...where would you start?

 

(Still not sure where the Tae Jo came from, though :wink:)

 

13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

She shows it very clearly. That she like Joo won a.k.a ma jun more than tak gu. You know that joo won often show his killer smile and aegyo when he talks to someone. Its so hard not to love him. Joo won also love and care to jeon in hwa. I remember when he went to japan and saw the beautiful scenery, he remembered his mother and called her. it is very touching and lovely. You can tell that jeon in hwa is touched because of joo won affections. 

 

Well, Jeon In Hwa also said on "Win Win" that part of the reason why she wound up closer with JW was simply because they spent more time together on set - she rarely had scenes with Yoon Si Yoon, so probably didn't get to know him as well. But, yes, I remember JW telling that story in a number of interviews.

 

13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

I started to love it in mid 2016. but I can imagine the popularity of joo won in 2012 and 2013 and also 2015.

 

Perhaps I should rephrase it: I do know how popular JW was in 2012-2013 and in 2015. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around, say, JW being as fussed over as some of the really big Hallyu stars that come to my mind. So I did know there was that time, but sometimes, looking back, it's a bit hard to realize that when he's a bit more of an underdog now.

 

13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

And in 2016, his popularity decrease somewhat because he did not play drama that year. Maybe because he want to rest before joining army. and he also did not show up on tv. he just plays on web-movie. and in 2017, he has already undergone his military service. We are a bit late, actually... I should have known earlier. Huaahhh...

 

I remember, since I did follow his news closely throughout 2016, that it was all rather chaotic. There was already talk of his enlistment in March 2016, when the news got out that he was accepted as a conscripted police officer - the same public relations team that a number of celebrities have served on - and I thought that that would be the end of it. But then he announced he was doing "My Sassy Girl", and then the whole audition process happened. My trip to Korea was...sometime between the selection of the Top 10 and the Top 3, I think? But I saw almost no mention of that process anywhere - I didn't know about VLive then, nor that that was where JW was doing most of his updates to fans. So when I went to Seoul, it was either "Descendants of the Sun" fever or news about Park Yoo Chun's scandal that was everywhere. 

 

After I came back from Seoul, sometime that summer, the announcement for the final actress was made - then revoked. And then Oh Yeon Seo took her place. Now, this whole time, the "official" story was still that JW was doing a pre-produced drama and would be enlisting in the fall of 2016. Yeah...didn't take an idiot to figure out that something was seriously off about the timing by this point. My guess is the whole mess with finding the female lead wound up pushing back production of "My Sassy Girl" a lot, so in that summer, JW suddenly announced that he was doing the webseries "Clocking Out". "My Sassy Girl" started filming for real sometime in the fall, I think. And that was about the same time that the news media finally got the scoop that JW had canceled his police enlistment WAY back at the beginning - meaning that any clues as to his schedule that had been given to Western media had been skewed the entire time :tongue: 

 

Things went back to normal after "My Sassy Girl" started filming, but everyone knew to start counting the days until JW'S enlistment - because once news got out that shooting had wrapped up, we knew his enlistment could come at any time. And it did in May, even before the show premiered.

 

But what all that means is that, yes, JW was a bit out of the public eye throughout 2016, but that's because almost all his time went towards this one project, "My Sassy Girl".

 

13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Just like i said, netizen and people in korea is already see joo won as patriotic actor. And its embedded in their heart. Thanks to bridal mask and all actor who reject the drama. so joo won can play it. He is so brave for choosing drama that all actor deny. And that will be his best drama ever. 

 

"Gaksital" might have started it, but I think his performance as a soldier now has really cemented it. Sometimes, when I see people saying that JW doesn't feel manly because they've only ever seen him on 1N2D (not counting dramas/films, since that's acting), I want to go, "You have no idea what he's like now, do you?".

 

13 hours ago, moonstrike said:

The funny thing is i more realize that joo won looks short if he stands beside kim young kwang. But if he stands beside his co-star, he will looks so tall and big. 

 

Funny you bring that up, because in my family's conversations about Hallyu, JW is the benchmark for a tall actor. Like, if I want to say that another actor is tall, I might end up saying something like, "He's the same height as JW" or "He's even taller than JW". It's actually kind of funny; I have no idea how it happened...maybe it's because of our discovery that he has to use manner legs while filming, meaning that he's taller than he looks on screen? I dunno.

 

Yeah...don't have any fic preview-type goodies this time around. Still in the planning phase of the next story I have in mind, so nothing to quote yet. So, for tonight...more pics!

 

Spoiler

JW pulls off all-white really well, doesn't he? :wink: 

 

26b39d962f3029d2b0b1770e54d01f08.jpg

 

 

 

Selca time!

 

1cd770c21d1a9c2e6240e6f46b4f4d8a.jpg

 

 

Looking cool as Cha Yoo Jin (what can I say? I love this character!)

 

a691f7333e65aa821367ec4ccb29f040.jpg

 

(Same outfit, minus the tailcoat)

 

 

(Looks like someone was playing with filters) - From here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMDkuZ8jo9S/

 

b95f75e8e16fbdd2b6e9a1b60cc3082a.jpg

 

 

(Ending it for tonight with this really cool aerial shot of the Rising Star Orchestra during its first performance - the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto)

 

66229a889930e571630c95661fca3713.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, kittyna said:

Perhaps I should rephrase it: I do know how popular JW was in 2012-2013 and in 2015. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around, say, JW being as fussed over as some of the really big Hallyu stars that come to my mind. So I did know there was that time, but sometimes, looking back, it's a bit hard to realize that when he's a bit more of an underdog now.

That's why i said we are a bit late.... i should've know him a bit more earlier.. but i'm sure he will back and make his era again. Just wait one and a half or 382 days more or if the new rule of military is true, maybe he'll be back in 365 days more.

 

3 hours ago, kittyna said:

 

I remember, since I did follow his news closely throughout 2016, that it was all rather chaotic. There was already talk of his enlistment in March 2016, when the news got out that he was accepted as a conscripted police officer - the same public relations team that a number of celebrities have served on - and I thought that that would be the end of it. But then he announced he was doing "My Sassy Girl", and then the whole audition process happened. My trip to Korea was...sometime between the selection of the Top 10 and the Top 3, I think? But I saw almost no mention of that process anywhere - I didn't know about VLive then, nor that that was where JW was doing most of his updates to fans. So when I went to Seoul, it was either "Descendants of the Sun" fever or news about Park Yoo Chun's scandal that was everywhere. 

Its quite a mess.. back then, i don't use instagram to see his update. I just read his interview and his video on youtube. So i don't know that the drama is searching for the female lead. 

 

3 hours ago, kittyna said:

Gaksital" might have started it, but I think his performance as a soldier now has really cemented it. Sometimes, when I see people saying that JW doesn't feel manly because they've only ever seen him on 1N2D (not counting dramas/films, since that's acting), I want to go, "You have no idea what he's like now, do you?".

Remember when i said the netizen commented he will be everyone hyung after he comeback. I often read soldier post in DC inside sharing that joo won is very kind and handsome.

 

In this post, the netizen share his experience meeting joo won for the first time. 

She said joo won is reaaallllyyy kind. She said joo won is saving her from the the running car behind her. 

http://m.dcinside.com/view.php?id=joowon&no=318326&page=1

 

3 hours ago, kittyna said:

Funny you bring that up, because in my family's conversations about Hallyu, JW is the benchmark for a tall actor. Like, if I want to say that another actor is tall, I might end up saying something like, "He's the same height as JW" or "He's even taller than JW". It's actually kind of funny; I have no idea how it happened...maybe it's because of our discovery that he has to use manner legs while filming, meaning that he's taller than he looks on screen? I dunno.

Haha... its interesting. Recently, me and my mother watch joo won fanmeet in thailand. The time when joo won play guitar and sing unchained melody. He sing it so well. I heard My mother mumbling "wow, he can play guitar too" that is so funny and impressive that he also makes my mother watch him because my mother is hard very difficult to be invited to watch something together.

 

Where is his face? So tiny... haha

This is so funny!

 

Rihanna takes a picture with Joowon?

 

A capture of the hit drama ‘Good Doctor’ appeared in a selfie taken by pop star Rihanna.

 She uploaded a picture on her Instagram on the 23rd. In the picture, a man is putting a bracelet on her while she is making a silly face while looking at the camera.

 There is a television screen behind the two and the screen shows a scene from hit KBS 2 Monday/Tuesday drama ‘Good Doctor’. The lead actor Joowon can be seen on the screen and drew a lot of surprise.

 Rihanna is currently in Thailand for her ‘Diamonds World Tour 2013’ and is meeting with fans.

 Netizens wrote “Does Rihanna also watch ‘Good Doctor’?”, “Did she just turn on the tv?” and “This is daebak!”

http://notyouroppasandnoonas.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/rihanna-takes-a-picture-with-joowon/

 

As i promised, i will share more link of joo won vlive.. its so funny. He keeps saying, "everyone... you can't see me right?" Because he saw that the internet is not going well and tell him to check the connection.

http://www.vlive.tv/video/3507

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8 hours ago, moonstrike said:

That's why i said we are a bit late.... i should've know him a bit more earlier.. but i'm sure he will back and make his era again. Just wait one and a half or 382 days more or if the new rule of military is true, maybe he'll be back in 365 days more.

 

Time does fly, doesn't it? When JW first started his enlistment, February 2019 felt so far away - and now it's just a year from now. Still long, but the time sneaks up on you and it doesn't end up feeling as long as I'd thought it would.

 

8 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Its quite a mess.. back then, i don't use instagram to see his update. I just read his interview and his video on youtube. So i don't know that the drama is searching for the female lead. 

 

I mostly just followed the sites that did a lot of news coverage - allkpopSoompiDramafeverDramabeans, etc. - so I knew about the audition, but not much about the process until we were almost at the end. So, I knew that JW had a say in the process, but I didn't know he was literally there the whole time, nor that he was making all these announcements on social media.

 

As for interviews/videos, I'm definitely indebted to Joo Won Cuties for that. :) 

 

8 hours ago, moonstrike said:

This is so funny!

 

Rihanna takes a picture with Joowon?

 

A capture of the hit drama ‘Good Doctor’ appeared in a selfie taken by pop star Rihanna.

 She uploaded a picture on her Instagram on the 23rd. In the picture, a man is putting a bracelet on her while she is making a silly face while looking at the camera.

 There is a television screen behind the two and the screen shows a scene from hit KBS 2 Monday/Tuesday drama ‘Good Doctor’. The lead actor Joowon can be seen on the screen and drew a lot of surprise.

 Rihanna is currently in Thailand for her ‘Diamonds World Tour 2013’ and is meeting with fans.

 Netizens wrote “Does Rihanna also watch ‘Good Doctor’?”, “Did she just turn on the tv?” and “This is daebak!”

http://notyouroppasandnoonas.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/rihanna-takes-a-picture-with-joowon/

 

Oh, yeah - I remember seeing the photo, but I didn't know the story (i.e. that Rihanna was in Thailand and that was why "Good Doctor" was playing on TV). So I was really confused for a bit, like, "Wait...they air Korean dramas on American television? Where?"

 

And thanks for the VLive video :) 

 

So now for some more pics!

 

Spoiler

 

JW's sunglasses

 

 

 

JW on a helicopter ride

 

 

Beansbins Coffee promotion, with JW as the barista - From here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BM0cgMADCtF/

 

fea4485c6575ae4224f1dc137ed69899.jpg

 

The face on the bottom left cracks me up :D  - From here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BL_Y-Z6jJ_h/

 

117881045d1249d143327269513a1033.jpg

 

JW for the December 2015 issue of Céci Magazine (It looks like he's "in character" in the top two photos, but is definitely being himself in the bottom one)

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, kittyna said:

Time does fly, doesn't it? When JW first started his enlistment, February 2019 felt so far away - and now it's just a year from now. Still long, but the time sneaks up on you and it doesn't end up feeling as long as I'd thought it would.

 

yeah... if you not counting the days. it will not feel that long. but what do I do? I always count that day. I always wait for his comeback. so it will feel very long. sometimes I mean, all the time, I always see his video or his photo in internet. sometimes I watch MV of him that his fans made from his drama like bridal mask or ojakgyo brother. I always hope he will be okay and always take care of his health because I've seen some news that there are some soldier hurt because of an accident. cant imagine that happen to him. I like this video..

 

 

 

2 hours ago, kittyna said:

mostly just followed the sites that did a lot of news coverage - allkpopSoompiDramafeverDramabeans, etc. - so I knew about the audition, but not much about the process until we were almost at the end. So, I knew that JW had a say in the process, but I didn't know he was literally there the whole time, nor that he was making all these announcements on social media.

 

As for interviews/videos, I'm definitely indebted to Joo Won Cuties for that. :) 

I sometimes visit that site. not often, actually. but I always open Instagram and DC inside gallery to see some updates. and If want to watch subbed video, I will always visit Joo Won Cuties. I love that site... from there I can see many interview and know his cute personality. or if I want to see funny comment about joo won, I will always visit this forum. al people in this forum is so funny and hilarious. if you read some of the comment, you must be know what is the mean of Moat, right?

 

2 hours ago, kittyna said:

And thanks for the VLive video :) 

your welcome! you can tell me if you already watch it. and I will post new link again!

 

time for my picture!!

 

rillakuma joo won

 

 

a fans visit café where 7 grade civil servant shoot some scenes.

 

just give this kid a food or he will cry. hahaha...

 and I just want to share this video. because its so cute there are many expression that he shows to his fans. he also hear all stories that his fans told him and react to it.... I also like his t-shirt here. orange color seems good on him

 

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5 hours ago, moonstrike said:

yeah... if you not counting the days. it will not feel that long. but what do I do? I always count that day. I always wait for his comeback. so it will feel very long. sometimes I mean, all the time, I always see his video or his photo in internet. sometimes I watch MV of him that his fans made from his drama like bridal mask or ojakgyo brother. I always hope he will be okay and always take care of his health because I've seen some news that there are some soldier hurt because of an accident. cant imagine that happen to him.

 

Yeah, sometimes I worry about accidents, too. Even though I know that I have no control over what happens there, so worrying or not worrying won't actually affect anything...but I guess that's what it means to care about someone, right?

 

5 hours ago, moonstrike said:

if you read some of the comment, you must be know what is the mean of Moat, right?

 

I...don't, actually. Since I so seldom interact with other fans online, most of what I know is stuff I've figured out on my own. But "moat" isn't one of those words. I mean, I've seen it, and I think I know what it means, but I'm not sure. So if someone could fill me in, that'l be great - thanks! :)

 

5 hours ago, moonstrike said:

your welcome! you can tell me if you already watch it. and I will post new link again!

 

I've watched it. :) It's pretty short this time, so it didn't take long. :wink: 

 

5 hours ago, moonstrike said:

a fans visit café where 7 grade civil servant shoot some scenes.

 

Aw...I remember that café (the one from the drama, not the exact one from Instagram) and the monkey as well. Both those scenes were rather embarrassing for Han Gil Ro, though :tongue: 

 

And for a few more pics!

 

Spoiler

Sweet hugs and kisses :wub:

 

 

Earlier today, I stumbled across these photos of JW and Shim Eun Kyung at a promotional event for "Nae Il's Cantabile" in Tokyo in 2015. It looks like the fans asked them to re-enact the scene from the first episode :tongue: 

 

b04e92765123cb341675c63a7d1f077a.jpg

 

c505b79becd9b21ec8aab462d36b0864.jpg

 

82df9f5baa0daf6eee0acf81e0ec1975.jpg

 

I don't remember if I've shared this one before or not, so forgive me if it's a repeat.

 

 

Okay...any claim that this is a picture of JW is a bit of a stretch. BUT, that is him next to Song Joong Ki, so it still counts.

 

 

The multi-talented JW

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, kittyna said:

Yeah, sometimes I worry about accidents, too. Even though I know that I have no control over what happens there, so worrying or not worrying won't actually affect anything...but I guess that's what it means to care about someone, right?

But i was relieved after looking that he was okay when he did an event in the military where he was the MC. He looks healthy and happy. And as always, his skin is still good and flawless even though he often go outside without umbrella or mask. There's not much skin problem. And in the video that his fans share on youtube, i feel that his skin is so smooth even though he doesn't take much skin care like he always do before joining army.

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

 

I...don't, actually. Since I so seldom interact with other fans online, most of what I know is stuff I've figured out on my own. But "moat" isn't one of those words. I mean, I've seen it, and I think I know what it means, but I'm not sure. So if someone could fill me in, that'l be great - thanks! :)

Actually, i also not sure about the meaning too. But its just funny when they talk about that. 

 

7 hours ago, kittyna said:

I've watched it. :) It's pretty short this time, so it didn't take long. :wink: 

Hihi... i think he plans to start broadcasting but sees that his internet is unstable, he finally asks his fans if you can see him. there are actually two broadcasts in the same place and at the same time. but joo won deleted the first video where he said "your connection is unstable" using english. he said it very funny and cute. He said unstable "eon-steibel" so cute!!!

 

This is so funny... Giant singing Judgement day. With joo won voice.. hahaha..

 

More picture of glasses... so handsome yet cute

 

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Just want to say really quickly that when I'd said the other day that I was switching to a new computer...that wasn't the full story. What really happened is that the computer I normally use crashed a few days ago, and I've been making do with borrowed and public computers anywhere I can until I get it fixed. I hope that will be soon, but in the meantime, if my updates get sporadic, that would be why. Thanks for the patience!

 

(I do, by the way, always keep up with what you guys are posting with my phone; I'm just not always able to write up a proper response :tongue:)

 

11 hours ago, moonstrike said:

But i was relieved after looking that he was okay when he did an event in the military where he was the MC. He looks healthy and happy. And as always, his skin is still good and flawless even though he often go outside without umbrella or mask. There's not much skin problem. And in the video that his fans share on youtube, i feel that his skin is so smooth even though he doesn't take much skin care like he always do before joining army.

 

I think that JW was really physically healthy to begin with - or, at least as healthy as the rather unhealthy lifestyle of Korean celebrities would allow. So I remember that someone once said that JW's military enlistment might be the main chance he has to get a break, which is both a relief but also rather scary.

 

As for going outside without an umbrella or mask...maybe that hat he has to wear as the assistant instructor helps a bit with sun protection? I dunno.

 

11 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Actually, i also not sure about the meaning too. But its just funny when they talk about that. 

 

I get the sense that there's some physical or sexual connotation in there, because I see people using it like, "Oh, he's making me feel moaty" or something - usually alongside some comment about how hot/attractive he is. But that's purely my guess, and I don't know it's actual meaning.

 

11 hours ago, moonstrike said:

Hihi... i think he plans to start broadcasting but sees that his internet is unstable, he finally asks his fans if you can see him. there are actually two broadcasts in the same place and at the same time. but joo won deleted the first video where he said "your connection is unstable" using english. he said it very funny and cute. He said unstable "eon-steibel" so cute!!!

 

lol - There's JW's accent for you! :D It is really cute. Even though he has a hard time using his aegyo voice when speaking English - I've noticed that his English voice sometimes sounds lower/deeper than when he speaks Korean - it's still cute and reflects his personality. There was this whole moment in "Level 7 Civil Servant" where Han Gil Ro got demoted to working at the NIS's call centre, and JW had some English lines in there, too. I can't remember which episode it was, but that part was funny.

 

And now for pics!

 

Spoiler

Speaking of JW and masks...

 

 

I really like this shot of JW as Gyun Woo in "My Sassy Girl"

 

1N2D Mukbang!

 

 

Pretty pink background....

 

 

This shot came out really nice

 

6a878b500834b4dfbfd580eed9a8b182.jpg

 

He looks really good in bright colours like this, doesn't he?

 

 

Dressing room photo - I'm not sure which event it was, though

 

 

"Saranghae!"

 

 

 

One last announcement, this time fic-related: my original plan was to squeeze in one "Gaksital" fic before my next installment for the "Seolleim in Salzburg" series, which will be for Valentine's Day (Feb. 14). With my computer acting the way it is, though...that may not happen. So I might do more with Cha Yoo Jin and Seol Nae Il first in order to keep up with the "calendar" I've set for myself.

 

BUT I will get back to the "Gaksital" stuff - don't worry! The whole series of stories where I'm retelling things from Shunji's point of view will have about three more installments, and so I'm not about to give that up anytime soon :wink: 

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4 minutes ago, kittyna said:

Just want to say really quickly that when I'd said the other day that I was switching to a new computer...that wasn't the full story. What really happened is that the computer I normally use crashed a few days ago, and I've been making do with borrowed and public computers anywhere I can until I get it fixed. I hope that will be soon, but in the meantime, if my updates get sporadic, that would be why. Thanks for the patience!

I hope it will get fixed soon! 

 

6 minutes ago, kittyna said:

I think that JW was really physically healthy to begin with - or, at least as healthy as the rather unhealthy lifestyle of Korean celebrities would allow. So I remember that someone once said that JW's military enlistment might be the main chance he has to get a break, which is both a relief but also rather scary

That's great, actually. So he can rest and take a break from the busy intertainment world. and also improve his health. as we know that joo won is very busy and also rarely sleeps. I remembered that he said that he really used his spare time to sleep. so after he finished filming, he will slept without eating. therefore he would certainly lose weight so easily. but as long as he's in the army, his sleeping and eating hours are tightly regulated. So joo won will not miss his meal and always have proper and enough sleep.

 

13 minutes ago, kittyna said:

As for going outside without an umbrella or mask...maybe that hat he has to wear as the assistant instructor helps a bit with sun protection? I dunno.

I remember he said that he always go outside wearing cap, mask, sunglasses, gloves, and long shirt so he will not get sunburn. But in the army, he can't wear that. So its impressive that his skin is still flawless without much skin care and protection.

 

And also, as i said that he can't wear any kind of clothes, so when I see him at the army festival, I feel his skin got tanned. So handsome and manly-looking. Especially when he wears his uniform.

 

22 minutes ago, kittyna said:

lol - There's JW's accent for you! :D It is really cute. Even though he has a hard time using his aegyo voice when speaking English - I've noticed that his English voice sometimes sounds lower/deeper than when he speaks Korean - it's still cute and reflects his personality. There was this whole moment in "Level 7 Civil Servant" where Han Gil Ro got demoted to working at the NIS's call centre, and JW had some English lines in there, too. I can't remember which episode it was, but that part was funny

You make me curious... i want to watch that episode. I bet he is so cute when he talking with english. I have to find it!

 

I like when he speak english. Looks so smart and adorable. 

 

Hello there!

 

His airport style.. i love it. Especially the scarf. I remember he said he likes to cover his neck with anything to make it warm. He likes warm. And in happy together, the host said his style is so funny. And the other guest said that joo won's style is style used by character who can not dress or doesn't know fashion. Its so funny. But i, personality think that his style is cute. Its not up to date but its cute and "pure". I like the fact that he likes to cover his body and dont want to expose it. He likes wearing knit or big clothes. Just like teenager style. Hahaha...

 

In this interview, you'll know his favorite style.

https://joowoncutie.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/cinemart-joo-won-2015-sweet-smile-fanmeeting/

 

 

Annyeong Shi On-ah! Joo won's meong face. And his huge eyes. And his stare too.

 

Mukbang parade. His vertical style eating. Sometimes its so funny and lovely. ADORABLE!!!

 

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On 1/30/2018 at 11:49 AM, moonstrike said:

That's great, actually. So he can rest and take a break from the busy intertainment world. and also improve his health. as we know that joo won is very busy and also rarely sleeps. I remembered that he said that he really used his spare time to sleep. so after he finished filming, he will slept without eating. therefore he would certainly lose weight so easily.

 

I also recall that he'd said once (I think it was on "Life Log"?) that he's oftentimes so busy that he'd only have one proper meal during the day - but, if that bit was from "Life Log", then we can also see how he totally makes up for it with snacks, or just eating a lot when a meal does come around :tongue: 

 

On 1/30/2018 at 11:49 AM, moonstrike said:

I remember he said that he always go outside wearing cap, mask, sunglasses, gloves, and long shirt so he will not get sunburn. But in the army, he can't wear that. So its impressive that his skin is still flawless without much skin care and protection.

 

I think the extent to which JW wears sun protection will depend on the role that he's playing. So, the time when he was literally covering himself up that much was when he was preparing for "Nae Il's Cantabile" - filming would start in the fall, but he thought that Cha Yoo Jin wasn't the sort of character who would have a tan, so he had to cover up a lot (since JW is the sort of person who actually tans really easily).

 

So, for example, you can see in roles where it wouldn't matter as much - like in "Ojakgyo Brothers" or "Gaksital" - that JW just lets nature run its course there. I think he would have done that for "Good Doctor", too (you can see that he is a bit darker as Park Si On than in some of his other roles), but the director eventually told him to stop himself from getting any tanner than he already was. That's how we wound up with that scene on 1N2D where JW was hiking with Sung Si Kyung and put on a TON of sunscreen during their break.

 

Finally, I seem to recall that JW tried to speed up the tanning process when he was filming "Fatal Intuition" - something about wanting to do it by going to a tanning salon, but then his staff telling him that that was a really stupidly dangerous idea? So they resorted to makeup/a spray tan instead? Someone help me out here, because I swear I saw that once in a translated interview, but I can't remember where....

 

On 1/30/2018 at 11:49 AM, moonstrike said:

His airport style.. i love it. Especially the scarf. I remember he said he likes to cover his neck with anything to make it warm. He likes warm.

 

Oh, yeah...he said that on the bedtime VLive broadcast, too - that he likes to wear thick pajamas and socks and wrap himself up in a blanket. You said, @moonstrike, that you and JW shared a habit of putting something between your legs when you sleep. Well, that's the thing that JW and I have in common - I've heard a lot of people say that sleeping in a cooler space is supposed to help you sleep better...but not me. I like to be really warm and bundled up :tongue: I hate when it's cold and I end up shivering for the first few minutes when I go to bed.

 

On 1/30/2018 at 11:49 AM, moonstrike said:

But i, personality think that his style is cute. Its not up to date but its cute and "pure". I like the fact that he likes to cover his body and dont want to expose it. He likes wearing knit or big clothes. Just like teenager style. Hahaha...

 

lol - I don't know just how modest "teenager style" is, though. Where I'm from, yes, teenage boys wear really loose baggy clothing...but sometimes they end up wearing such baggy pants that the pants fall down a bit and you see their boxers sticking out instead :tongue: 

 

But I do think JW has a very casual style - possibly even an athletic style, since he likes things like T-shirts and hoodies. And, of course, the big fuzzy sweaters that make him look even bigger than he already is :D 

 

I, too, like that JW is a bit more on the modest side, though. I personally find it a bit weird that male celebrities are expected to pose shirtless in photo shoots, or have the shower scenes in dramas...so I like that JW doesn't do that sort of thing often. I mean, it happens - especially when the drama calls for it - but not as much as I've seen from other Korean actors.

 

And now for pics!

 

Spoiler

"My Sassy Girl" Behind the Scenes - Getting into the zone - From here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BW9vSVKlB-v/

 

789394abcbde1a3eea8e3a24ad3aeb10.jpg

 

JW's nerdy glasses in "Yong Pal"

 

 

I know we were just saying that JW doesn't expose himself much - but it looks like his arms are an exception :wink: 

 

 

A really nice shot from "King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu"

 

95db071170113d07139ecead7a1b95db.jpg

 

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14 hours ago, kittyna said:

I also recall that he'd said once (I think it was on "Life Log"?) that he's oftentimes so busy that he'd only have one proper meal during the day - but, if that bit was from "Life Log", then we can also see how he totally makes up for it with snacks, or just eating a lot when a meal does come around :tongue: 

If he lucky, he might be get one proper meal, but if not, as you said, he might be just eating snack or drink coffee to make himself up all night. I feel sorry seeing him not eating well because of his busy schedule. Even though he just shoot one CF, i still can see that he was tired. I remember in healing camp, joo won once said that he had received IV because he was to tired when filming yong pal. I remember very well that he said he might be die soon if he continued to live like that. I'm very sorry for him. Poor Joo won... but his efforts paid when he received Daesang at young age.

 

14 hours ago, kittyna said:

Finally, I seem to recall that JW tried to speed up the tanning process when he was filming "Fatal Intuition" - something about wanting to do it by going to a tanning salon, but then his staff telling him that that was a really stupidly dangerous idea? So they resorted to makeup/a spray tan instead? Someone help me out here, because I swear I saw that once in a translated interview, but I can't remember where....

Hmmm.... i never see that kind of interview before. I just remember that joo won said in his instagram that "this is make up. Not real". Never seen anything mentioning about tanning in salon. I just remember that he said he makes the character real by talking with dialect, gaining weight, and cut his hair. But the skin tone is make up. 

 

14 hours ago, kittyna said:

Oh, yeah...he said that on the bedtime VLive broadcast, too - that he likes to wear thick pajamas and socks and wrap himself up in a blanket. You said, @moonstrike, that you and JW shared a habit of putting something between your legs when you sleep. Well, that's the thing that JW and I have in common - I've heard a lot of people say that sleeping in a cooler space is supposed to help you sleep better...but not me. I like to be really warm and bundled up :tongue: I hate when it's cold and I end up shivering for the first few minutes when I go to bed.

I remember in TAXI, the host asking him did he wear a sweater for sleep. Joo won said yes, and that was making the host amazed and surprised. Haha... love the host reaction. He didn't know that joo won is like to cover up his body.

 

14 hours ago, kittyna said:

lol - I don't know just how modest "teenager style" is, though. Where I'm from, yes, teenage boys wear really loose baggy clothing...but sometimes they end up wearing such baggy pants that the pants fall down a bit and you see their boxers sticking out instead :tongue: 

In my country, the teenager is kinda wearing something cute and polite. Especially the boys. But not the justin bieber style like you said haha... So, when I see them, i will remember that that style is kinda similiar like joo won. Haaahh... now, you make me missing him... 

 

14 hours ago, kittyna said:

But I do think JW has a very casual style - possibly even an athletic style, since he likes things like T-shirts and hoodies. And, of course, the big fuzzy sweaters that make him look even bigger than he already is :D 

He likes something comfortable and warm. And also, he seems bigger when he wear his army uniform. Especially the winter one. So its like his head and body is not balanced. (His head looks so small and his body looks big). But if he wear the full uniform that has big belt and cap, he looks manly and fit. I love that uniform.

 

Also i remember that joo won looks bigger if he wear sweater but become small again when he wear Shirt or plain t shirt. This also sometimes affects his face. He looks more chubby if he wear sweater but slimming again after wearing different clothes.

14 hours ago, kittyna said:

I, too, like that JW is a bit more on the modest side, though. I personally find it a bit weird that male celebrities are expected to pose shirtless in photo shoots, or have the shower scenes in dramas...so I like that JW doesn't do that sort of thing often. I mean, it happens - especially when the drama calls for it - but not as much as I've seen from other Korean actors.

Yeah.. joo won do that but not so exposed like other actor. He just did it without exaggeration. I've seen most actor showing their abs while showering or reaveling their abs after working out (plus sweat). But joo won is different. I remember that there's comment saying that joo won is really wanted to cover his body quickly because in that scene even though there was a scene he was swimming. After he finish swimming, joo won quickly wear his robe and also the camera just takes a picture of his back instead of the front. I think its in sweet sixteen. hahaha ... fans speculation sometimes is very funny.

 

14 hours ago, kittyna said:

I know we were just saying that JW doesn't expose himself much - but it looks like his arms are an exception :wink:

Wow... i like his arms in the past. Looks muscular. Its same like now but its just different. His arm might be like this after he finish his army. Looking for it.

 

 

Pics!

 

Love their smile...

 

This photo is really good

 

 

Shimkoong!!! I like this scene. Its like two of them is finally know their feelings to each other.

 

And as i said, because you already watch the latest post of v live I share. I will post another one now!

http://www.vlive.tv/video/17165

 

Something i like about this broadcast is: 

- Funny thing, his fans is always asking him is he tired or not everytime he do his broadcast. If his voice is not bright as always even though joo won said he wants to look more cool or if his lips is a bit pale. I like the fact that his fans is really care about him. Even though its just little thing like voice tone while he speaking.

 

- Joo won said he was in break time in that time. Its been a long time after his last break in 10 grade. Fiuuhhh... such a long time. I'm happy for him.

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