Why Hyungjun lost the scholarship : Parties [Happy Together/2020.01.16]On January 18, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
(Hyungjun’s life graph) My goodness. It’s a roller coaster ride. I heard that you were the top in your department in college. – What? / – Really? I was the top in my department in college. (It’s quite a feat.) Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. – I had no idea. / – What was your major? – I majored in French. / – Really? A French major at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. It’s prestigious. – You were a good student. / – No, no. I was the delinquent of the house. But you were the top in your department. I didn’t compare to my brother. My brother attended Seoul National University. He is a professor now. I couldn’t follow his footsteps. Your achievements pale in comparison. So I became the delinquent. But you were the top. You were the top. Don’t say you were the delinquent. You are making us look bad. You are making me look really bad. There is a funny story. I got a call from the office to take back 2,136 dollars. I still remember the exact amount. I got a refund on the tuition when I became the top. So I got the money back. In 1996, it was a big sum of money. – Of course. / – I was in my first year. I briefly entertained the idea of giving it back to my father, but I ended up pocketing it. – Did you use it? / – Yes. I bought meals for my friends and went to nightclubs in Gangnam. I went to Turbo, Dangkko, and Deep House. Dangkko! Those names bring back memories. I haven’t heard those names in a long while. – Odyssey. / – Odyssey! You went to nightclubs the party people visited back then. I went to nightclubs with my friends and used all of the money in 3 or 4 months. – You did that as a first-year. / – Yes. How much money did you spend at nightclubs? I went every day – after my classes. / – Really? Then my father suddenly asked for proof of tuition fee payment – one day. / – It was a disaster. – I bet you got into trouble. / – I got the form and the note read, “Full scholarship”. – My goodness. / – I had no choice, so I told him the truth – about the full scholarship. / – What did he say? He didn’t say anything. He was happy that I got the scholarship. You were the top in your department. – That’s right. / – Money wasn’t important. He used the money he received – as scholarship. / – That’s right. I only found out after I graduated that the full scholarship was for four years. – Four years? / – Yes. I had no idea. Apparently, you get a full scholarship for four years if you are the top in your department. But I was put under academic probation since I partied too much in my first year. – You must have lost it. / – So I lost the scholarship. (He lost the four-year scholarship.) That’s unbelievable. Seriously, – you led a cool life. / – What a waste of money! Had someone told me, I would have done my best to avoid academic probation. You skipped too many lectures. – I had no idea. / – It was a full scholarship. It’s unbelievable. What a waste. – Anyway, you entered college. / – What a waste. Afterward, you debuted as TAESAJA. I was working part-time in my first year of college when I got signed by an agency. – I debuted at the age of 21. / – He had an easy life. He got signed by an agent while he was working part-time. I debuted as TAESAJA. At first, the group was received well. – The group was very popular. / – Indeed. We received a lot of love – You had many fans. / – and placed first on music shows. It was a smooth sail. Then TAESAJA faced a crisis. It happened after we released the third album. We were still working diligently, but the reaction wasn’t as heated as it used to be in terms of rankings and album sales. Then the agency began to support us less. – We weren’t as popular. / – It wasn’t like the past. In the end, the group disbanded when I was 25 years old. If you think about it, you had to retire 3 or 4 years after your debut. That’s right. – It’s very cruel. / – I know. You were still young. After we disbanded, one fact hurt me the most. You know, we had worked for five years. But we had only earned about 30,000 to 40,000 dollars each. – In five years? / – Yes. – In five years? / – Yes. – That was the total. / – Yes. But TAESAJA was so popular. The profits from the 1st and 2nd album went to the agency for their investments. I didn’t have much passion back then. You became doubtful – of the entertainment industry. / – That’s right. Then you slowly came back up. – Yes. / – You went to the US. You know, I had always wanted to go to the US. My former bandmate, Dongyun, was in the US. He had told me to visit anytime, so I saved up the small amount of money I had and went. It became the turning point of my life. – I see. / – What did it do for you? – It opened up your eyes. / – Yes. I realized that I ran forward without taking in the surroundings. That thought came to me. I didn’t simply party. So many thoughts entered my head when I lied down because I was relaxed. Then I came across a foreign couple in a campervan who had traveled from South America to LA. There are people like them. – They crossed countries. / – Yes. They said it took them over a year. I talked to them with my poor English. I am fascinated that you conversed with them. (A man from Gumi is fascinated.) He graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. – Chiyeul. / – You get fascinated too easily. So we talked for a while. Then they suddenly made a suggestion. “Why don’t you hop on and travel with us” (The couple made a suggestion.) – “for 3 or 4 days?” / – They invited you? It could have been a scam. Weren’t you worried? But I had nothing on me. – You had nothing to lose. / – I had nothing to lose. – I was really curious. / – That’s fascinating. I hopped on the campervan and traveled up for a week to Seattle. – With the couple? / – Yes. – They were strangers. / – Even if they were nice, – it must have been hard. / – In retrospect, – what could have happened / – I’d have been scared. – gives me chills. / – Seriously. – It’s suspicious. / – Did you sleep with them? Yes. We set up a tent at night and slept in sleeping bags. – I guess you connected with them. / – Yes. – I guess they liked you. / – They were traveling the world on a campervan. How old were they? – They were in their 60s. / – They had retired. Traveling with them for a week changed my life. – It was a meaningful meeting. / – Yes, – it really was. / – They are meaningful people. You traveled across the US. – He is cool. He is really cool. / – I don’t know – what Hyungjun thinks, / – It’s not easy to do that. but he suits the modern sentimentality. – He is flexing. / – Seriously. – Flex. / – Flex. I could do it because I wasn’t married. – You are so cool. / – You need the courage to do it. – That’s right. / – Even if you have money, you could end up postponing and missing the chance. Most people try to invest what they have, – not spend it on a trip. / – That’s right. Some people might think that I am irresponsible. – “Why would you waste money?” / – I am jealous of you. – No, no. / – I am jealous of you. I gain a lot from traveling. That’s right. – It improves your life. / – Yes. That’s what makes you happy. I went to Europe for 40 days. My parents and I rented a car and drove around. What? Is that a painting? – I think they are his parents. / – How pretty! I think they are his parents. (It’s a photo that was taken in Italy.) – They are my parents. / – I see. – We traveled together. / – It’s like a commercial. Right? When I travel around, I see many couples and their daughters – who travel together. / – That’s right. But I don’t see many couples and their sons – who travel together. / – Such combination is rare. I was very hesitant at first. I thought we could become distant after traveling together. When I think about it now, – I feel so proud. / – He is so cool. Now, my parents go to places like Dongmyo Market every weekend to shop – like a couple in their 20s. / – That’s amazing. – It’s really nice. / – I know. Both of your parents are cool. Seriously. – His parents influenced him. / – That’s right. I heard that they never told you to earn money or save money. – They didn’t. / – They told you to do your best. Even when I wasn’t making much money, they didn’t say things like, “How about our allowances?” “You need to earn money diligently.” Instead of scolding me, they waited for me without complaints. I am on the older side, but they never pestered me about getting married. – I live comfortably / – They believe in you. – thanks to them. / – They trust you. I think they believe in me. They are really cool. – You lead a cool life. / – It’s nice.