Day 119: Gangnam Style!

Today came in equal amounts of good and bad. We tired ourselves out from the get go really, and as I lie in bed writing this, I struggle to keep my eyes open. It’s 12:30am and by the time I finish, it’ll probably be somewhere in the region of 1:15am.

• As you might recall, I complained that I’d be getting only 5 hours sleep. Well, that happened. When Anna’s alarm rang at 7am, I refused to get out of bed. I dragged my tired butt to the showers around half past, then the 3 of us went for breakfast downstairs.

• We rushed it down, then went to the bus stop to catch a ride to a government hosted Chinese New Year gig. It was there that we met one of Anna’s friends, a girl she had met previously on her travels. She’d also be joining us for the day ahead.

This little pocket rocket was named Megan Keane. She stood around 3ft 2inches, and was from Birmingham, yet sounded more like she was from London. She had shoulder length blonde hair, the eyes of a mole, and glasses stronger than telescopes. When it came time for a night out, she transformed completely. After putting in her contacts, and getting dressed up, she looked like a completely different person. I’m still baffled as to how she did that. Munchkin Meg had been travelling for 1 day less than Sarah and I, and had plenty of anecdotes to tell. From both her travels and home life. She fit right in, and soon became a valued member of our team.

• It was no big deal, the gig was ONLY going to have Psy as it’s main star. For those who don’t know him (mum and nan), he is the man behind the worldwide phenomenon song “Gangnam Style”.

• We caught the bus within 10 minutes of our arrival. When we reached the gig there were already hundreds of people awaiting the man himself.

We got our free tickets, and found a spot right at the front. The field was empty, and rightly so, as the time was only 8:00am. The bad news was, Psy wouldn’t be arriving until 12:30pm. This meant for the next 4 hours we’d have to sit in the sun’s ever increasing heat.

An interesting thing happened within the first 15 minutes. As we sat on the grass we were approached by a photographer and a lady with a paper pad. They were journalists for a local newspaper. We were interviewed and had our pictures taken, then promised that it would be in the paper the next day. We’ll soon see about that.

• It was perfectly fine to begin with, as the sun climbed the sky, but as we neared midday it became unbearable. Mix that with the thousands of people’s body heat, and it made for a very sweaty event.

• The build up to Psy’s arrival, to keep the people happy, involved lots of Asian themed dances. One had a dragon, another had groups of people, and one saw a group of young girls performing a traditional dance. There was an annoying woman with her microphone throughout the concert. She was spouting off in Malaysian, but it was evident hat her job was to psych the crowd. With her favourite line being “satue Malaysia”. She said it around 20 times.

The prime minister came on stage at one point as well. He gave a good 40 minute speech about what he’d like to do for the Malaysians. He promised a monorail, new roads and better housing by 2020. He also wanted a united Malaysia, saying they were all one. If that’s the case, what had they been up until then. His speech was very motivating, but I couldn’t help thinking “it’s all politics”. It’s one thing to talk a good game, but let’s see it put into action. I could have stood there and promised them all that. It’s always the same. I wish them the best of luck over the next 7 years, let’s just hope he is true to his word.

• It took 4 attempts to introduce Psy, before he eventually decided to show his face. Each time, either the annoying woman, or the equally annoying DJ psyched up the crowd, only for us to be disappointed when nothing happened. Obviously the main man wasn’t ready.

• When he came out, the crowd went mental. It’s no wonder, after all he was the first man ever to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. It is amazing when you think that he only has 1 main song, yet has lived off it for close to a year now.

Psy had just been on a 20 hour flight from Brazil. He was very nice when he came out, thanking us for waiting for him, and apologising because we had to endure the heat all day. Then he got to work on doing his one song. The whole crowd around me went crazy, and began pushing forward. At times, I had people resting their hands on my shoulders so they could steady their cameras, and record him all the more.

It was a real hot box by the time he finished his first song. He was kind enough to do an encore – even if it was the same song. He had pyrotechnics on stage, which didn’t help the whole heat situation. I got plenty of photos and videos of the man, after his two plays of the same song he disappeared. All that money for just 2 songs. It was definitely worth getting up early for, just to say we’d seen Psy, if nothing else.

• After the concert we headed back toward town, however it took a good 30 minutes to leave the park. For some reason, a giant gate seemed to be as wide as a doorway. At least that’s the way it felt, judging by the rate we were moving. Everyone pushing and shoving in an attempt to leave first. I had my bum touched more times than I’d like to remember during that exit battle.

• We let a few buses pass because they were shoulder to shoulder with people. Eventually an “empty-ish” one stopped and we climbed aboard with our new friends we made.

• Before the concert started I made friends with another Canadian guy who happened to be staying at our hostel. His name was Collin. He was a massive ball of energy, even first thing in the morning. He got the most burned out of everyone that day. There were also two girls. They were on the bus with us that morning. They were from Canada as well (I swear that’s the only people we meet these days) and their names were Kayla and Chelsea. They were quite young to be travelling alone, Kayla for example was only 19. This was probably why they found my tattoos so appealing. What with me being such an older, bad boy style icon for example (that’s sarcasm once again for those not getting it). Altogether there were 8 of us. Seeing as we were all sacks of sweat, we wanted a/c, BADLY!

• We got off at the bus station, and after getting lost in the mini mall, we were directed to freedom. It was then back into another mall to eat some food and have some refreshing drinks. By the end of the meal we were quite cold, it had gone from one extreme to the other. It was at dinner that I confessed my sin to Anna. The previous night in our hostel room, she had turned the a/c up to 25•C+. Not liking this, when herself and Sarah went to sleep, Mr Sneaky Sneaky here turned it down to 22. She burst out laughing upon hearing this, then proceeded to punch me for making her shiver all night.

• After food our group returned to the hostel and remained there for several hours.

• At around 8:00pm we went for food – again. We went back to a 24 hour restaurant in the Little India part of town. We said goodbye to both Collin and Mike when they left for Kuala Lumpur. Then it was just me with 4 girls, what a stud.

• I withdrew some cash, then Anna, Christine and Megan headed off into the night. Leaving Sarah and I to return to the hostel. We watched some tv shows and Skyped her family before going to bed. Anna returned just before, and the cheeky thing took the a/c remote hostage for the night. Well here goes nothing, it’s 1:16am, and I am about to attempt to sleep in a 24•C room.

P.S
I’m already sweating!

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