They waited for hours just to catch a glimpse of their idols for a few seconds.
But for these fans of South Korean girl band Girls’ Generation, it was hardly a big deal.
They were willing to go to great lengths even if it meant just a slight chance that they could lock eyes with their pretty pop idols.
Freelance guitar coach Adeline Wee had arrived at Ngee Ann City at noon yesterday hoping to catch Hyoyeon, Seohyun and Yuri.
The pop stars were in town to grace the official opening party of the new Charles & Keith boutique at the mall and to attend its Fall 2013 fashion showcase that took place in an outdoor tent later.
Said Miss Wee, 21: “I’m willing to wait 10 hours even, or more. I live and breathe Girls’ Generation.”
So how much of a fan is she?
“Let’s just say that the amount I spent on them is enough to buy me a car,” Miss Wee said, refusing to give details.
She had flown to Taiwan and Seoul two years ago to watch them live in concert but did not reveal her other Girls’ Generation-related expenditure.
The fan also admitted to posting on fan sites from “every five minutes to every hour”.
Another fan, 20-year-old Nanyang Technological University undergraduate Niew Yan Ling, wouldn’t let a broken bone get in her way, despite the discomfort.
Said Miss Niew, who fractured her leg during a sports orientation camp: “It’s very uncomfortable waiting for four hours balancing on just one foot. But it’s worth it.”
She also had plans to trail the stars after the event but “was afraid she might not be able to catch up”.
Like Miss Wee and Miss Niew, some 500 other fans had to bear with the long wait behind cordoned off areas outside the store at Basement 2 of the shopping complex before the three members of the nine-member K-pop band finally arrived around 8pm.
Immediately, deafening screams filled the air, as fans starting jostling and calling for their attention, but the girls barely made eye contact before they entered the store briefly to mingle.
And just as suddenly as they came in, they were whisked off to join other big names present, like local stars Fann Wong and Zoe Tay as well as hunky Korean-American actor Daniel Henney at the tent outside Ngee Ann City for the fashion show.
Fans who had waited at the store followed, dashing outdoors to the tent area to – you guessed it – wait again for the girls to make an appearance after the showcase.
They joined the fans who had also been waiting outside a cordon at the tent since the early part of the day.
But that encounter also lasted for only a few seconds before their idols were again whisked away for good by security.
Fans were considered lucky if they got so much as a wave from the girls.
Some, like 16-year-old St. Margaret’s Secondary School student Uma Srinivasan had arrived at the store at 3pm, and despite skipping lunch and dinner, did not get a chance to see the band members.
This reporter saw her slumped on the floor, disappointment all over her face.
“I didn’t even get to see their faces. There were so many people and I was blocked. I wished it had lasted longer,” she said.
She also went up to the tent area to try to catch a glimpse of her idols, but again failed because of the crowds.
Meanwhile at the fashion event-turned-fan meet, Tay and Wong were more generous with their time.
Tay, 45, and Wong, 42, took time to share their baby plans – or the lack of them.
In an interview with The New Paper in January, Tay revealed she was toying with the idea of Baby No. 4 – hopefully a girl, a first for her.
But when asked about this at the event, she sang a different tune. “No, I’m not (trying)... I’ve stopped. I’d love to have more kids but age is catching up and my husband advised me against it for the sake of my health. It’s also already a handful taking care of three boys,” said the mother of sons aged two, five and seven.
Wong, on the other hand, is letting nature takes its course.
And “no, no, no, no no”, she is not pregnant, she assured this reporter. At least, not yet.
“I love children and I want many since I come from a big family but this is something I can’t plan. (Chris) wants daughters, he loves little girls... we’ll see,” said Wong, who has been married to fellow actor Christopher Lee for four years.
The article related to these pictures was first published in The New Paper on August 24, 2013.