did I manage to meet him in person?
By Carol Tan
concert in Fukuoka
19 July 5:24PM Fukuoka
woke up feeling an immense sense of melancholy.
appetite for breakfast despite not having dinner last night.
But fate has a strange way of dealing with things. I still
can't believe what happened this morning at the hotel lobby,
which changed my life..
As I was about to proceed up my room after breakfast, I saw someone who looked like Hugh. I wasn't sure and daren't risk identifying the wrong person. I went into the lift and as it went up, I had this uneasy feeling and told myself it's now or never so I gotta check it out at least!! I reached the 8th level and went down again. Fortunately, the guy was still there. I trailed him until 2 Japanese approached him for autographs. I then made myself visible and said Hi. I asked Hugh how the band was doing and he said they were "golfing". And fate has it my
camera was in my bag so I had a shot taken with him.
After that, I got myself acquainted with a Japanese fan called Kumi. We sat down to chat a little and she told me she's a big fan of Richie and had been to all the concerts in Japan and was scheduled to attend the following and the last one in Osaka. She had with her this huge plastic bag which contained a Hello Kitty stuffed toy for Richie's daughter, Ava Elizabeth!! Is that sweet or what? Just then, the irritating girl who sat on my left last night came over and introduced herself as Cynthia. In turn, she introduced us to 2 other Japanese fans, Tsutomu and Hiroki, who'd been at the hotel since yesterday. We had a nice little chat and exchanged contacts.
Out of nowhere, it happened… Jon came
down!! He was wearing a gray
fitted tee with sweat pants and
track shoes, and donning the same pair of shades as he did in
the promo photos for Crush. He was with 2 other guys. We all
went over and I guess he's tired or something, he had this
expression of "not again!!" written across his face.
Cynthia just kept talking and talking and talking and talking
and talking!! I didn't even get to say a simple hi or
something. Whatever Jon says, she'll have something to reply
with. Excuse me, I can speak English too, you know!! Dammit!!
I did, however, get a picture taken… And I'll never forget
I believe he went for breakfast at one of
the fast food joints after that. I was hardly settled after
that. We talked a bit more, then Cynthia had to go and the two
Japanese guys drifted off. Hugh returned and we didn't do
anything. Same thing when Jon returned. I did wave but he
either didn't see it or didn't want to response. I couldn't
bear bother them any further. Poor things. In between, I
spotted some familiar faces from the crew walking about. One
of the ladies even had all these Wendy's take-outs. And I
began once again to imagine the rest of the guys having
breakfast in bed. Which also brings me to what Hugh said.
Perhaps the guys ain't golfing after all… Besides, I don't
remember seeing golf courses around. It's My Life is playing on TV now, on the Vibe channel. The
first time I'm seeing a Bon Jovi MTV in Japan!!
20 July 11:56AM in the air
There is a strange tinge of melancholy that comes with leaving
Fukuoka. As What A Wonderful World wafts through the cabin, I
begin to have flashbacks of what happened at Hyatt and at the
Dome… My heart continually pounds as I envision the band's
faces. I had come here with a dream, a yearning of emotional
fulfillment. Thought certain things have not exactly worked
out as I wanted them to, I'm still thankful for the few
precious gifts put into my hands. I'll never forget the
wonderful experience of sharing a stage with the band, and the
unexpected encounters at the hotel lobby. Somehow, I feel the
chance meetings were to make up for the cancelled
As I write, I feel a sudden urge to cry. Maybe I already did,
not because of sorrow but of the excitement of actually having
fulfilled a long-time dream. I find that hard to contain. As
well as the fight I'd had to put up to come on this trip. So
much happened in so little time…
As of now, I'm looking at Dave and Tico's autographs. No Jon,
no Richie, no Hugh even, but I'm grateful… some things money
can't buy and passion got me these. And these are gonna be
with me forever… Thank you Jon, Richie, Tico, David and
Hugh, for teaching me to dream and to keep the faith; and to
everyone else for making this possible. To Fukuoka, it's
"Till we meet again".
Carol's second trip to Japan
to plan a staycation