“Friendly Driver” Spotlights International K-Pop Fans’ Experiences

On January 31, two girls from Australia appeared on tvN’s variety show “Friendly Driver” and reflected their experiences as K-pop fans. “Friendly Driver” MCs acted as chauffeurs and guides as they helped the fans find popular spots.

Ann and Trina, who are big fans of BTS, flew 11 hours just to come to Korea. They joked about the flight time, saying, “Our biorhythms adjust to BTS’ schedule. We always check their schedules on our cell phones. We’re already adjusted to Seoul time.” The two of them are such devoted fans that they learn Korean to understand BTS’s music. They said that as they get to know more about BTS, they get to reflect more about themselves as well.

The two of them were taken to places that were connected to BTS, like the restaurant they usually go to and the LINE store where their merchandise is sold. Once they went into the restaurant, they admired the BTS photos adorned on the walls. They were able to sit at BTS’s table and order their favorite food as well. At the LINE store they attempted to buy BTS merchandise, but unfortunately, items were sold out. Instead of being too disappointed, they decided to come again the next day, awing Kim Young Chul who called them true fans.

Trina, who has been married for three years stated, “My husband and I never fought about my activities as an ARMY. He doesn’t even think of RM as a rival. My mom once asked my husband if he worried about me, and he said that he’s happy if I’m happy. Ever since I liked BTS, I’ve been happy, and it’s like we went back to our dating days, so he’s satisfied.”

Ann shared, “As Trina and I lived repetitive lives as office workers, we lost all the fun and challenges in life. My colleagues at work think I’m always serious. However, outside of work, I always scream ‘Jimin!’ I think to be a fan means you gain independence.”

They also gave advice to other K-pop fans and said, “You can only be happy if you enjoy yourselves without thinking about other people’s opinions. I wish [the fans] can realize the precious happiness they feel when they’re doing what they want. That’s why we want to tell people that you must be happy.”

Can you empathize with their lives as K-pop fans?

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