"Have the best time of your life!!" texted a friend in all capital letters, as I sent her a snap of myself traveling to GOT7's Jakarta fan meeting venue on the rainy Saturday afternoon of February 18, 2017. "What? Best time of my life?", I thought to myself. "It's not like I'm graduating or it's my sweet seventeen; this is just a ridiculous overstatement". On any other Saturday, I would have sent her snaps of piling work and a sleep-deprived version of myself. She knew better.
Nope, I am not in denial in trying to say I was nonchalant meeting the idols I have loved for years. In fact, my heart went somersaulting just by the fact that I will personally witness the physical embodiment of the people I have been watching in 1080p through a computer screen. However, I left the idea of having the "best time of my life" to dry in the backburner. Waiting, as always, was a lot of work before entering the fan meeting hall. Although I tried to keep myself busy by chatting with a friend I went with and fellow iGOT7s waiting in line, mostly to prevent myself from thinking of weird possible chances like fainting before the hi-touch event or injuring myself. My heart could not stop telling me that what was waiting ahead of me would be a memorable one.
When I entered the fan meeting hall, I did not know if it was tears or sweat or both that ran streaming down my cheeks. If You Do blasting through speakers and fangirls religiously chanting the song made me feel like the experience was surreal. When I'm frustrated, I listen to If You Do and I bet you do as well. That was the first moment when I associated If You Do with anticipation and happiness. Never in my life did I feel that way about my source of comfort in stressful moments. Thanks to the reconstructive nature of memory, however, I could not recall the full waiting process inside the fan meeting hall. As I settled down, all I could remember were tracks from Flight Log: Turbulence on loop, resonating across all corners of the hall, accompanied by fan chants, mini-jamming sessions, the audience's chatter of joy, and one period of time when the other fangirls sitting nearby the entrance door gaps were hysterically shouting every minute or so. Until this point, I do not know if it was really a glimpse of GOT7 members passing seen through the small entrance door gaps or a group of fangirls merely creating a "Hype up, people!" atmosphere. Regardless, the energy and hype of fellow iGOT7s radiated through and gave my tired self an energy surge.
Finally, the spotlight turned itself to what we had been waiting for days, weeks, and even months: seven gorgeous male idols presenting themselves to a sea of fangirls and fanboys hysterically shouting their names. "I love you!", greetings, or random phrases were simultaneously being shouted; I could not even comprehend. The boys garnered even more enthusiasm from the audience when they performed Let Me, officially starting the fan meeting while creating an impulse of hysteria every time the phrase, "Let me hold your hand," left their lips. After the boys settled down for a quick question and answer session with the MCs, they showcased their impressive Bahasa Indonesia greeting skills: Yugyeom's "Aku cinta kalian" ("I love you guys."), Bambam's "Kamu unyu banget" ("You are cute"), Youngjae's "Kalian keren banget" ("You guys are so cool"), Mark's "Apa kalian kangen kami?" ("Do you guys miss us?"), JB's "Kalian cantik sekali" ("You guys are so beautiful"), Jinyoung's "Kami senang ada di Indonesia" ("We are happy to be in Indonesia"), and Jackson's iconic "Kkaulah segalanya" ("You are my everything"). Although some might argue that simple language acquisition in greeting phrases is necessary for idols to appease their audience, GOT7's Indonesian greeting was not merely greeting phrases: it reached the level of conversational phrases; they are not easy phrases to say either. In fact, Youngjae had to turn back and forth to the translator and asked her how to say, in my understanding, "It's because of iGOT7s...." in Indonesian. Having a foreigner speaking in my language feels like home, and it comforted me in ways I could not even imagine.
GOT7 never fails to impress, and this fan meeting is one of those instances. The fan meeting carried on with stamina-bursting and youthful performances of tracks from Flight Log: Turbulence, such as Boom x3, Hard Carry and Skyway, Flight Log: Departure's Fly and the legendary, If You Do presented alternately with games done together with lucky iGOT7s and fan message board. In those rare chances, the audience could witness GOT7's chameleon-like characteristic: quickly switching from sexy and charming to adorable brothers in no time. It was during the fan message board when the Jakarta fan meeting got labeled, "Youngjae's night" due to his rather unlucky rock-paper-scissor encounter that forced him into a peppero kiss with Mark and JB's sensual, which garnered jealous responses from the audience in every section, Titanic pose with him. Bambam also finally understood the meaning of Indonesia's infamous Om Telolet Om (bizarre modified honk sounds), much to the audience's amusement.
Home Run's encore stage got the audience chanting, "We want more" after the stage. The lights dimmed only to have GOT7 members return, subsequently to give their ending thoughts about the fan meeting where GOT7 reminisced their visit to Jakarta last 2015, at coincidentally the same venue, all throughout their speeches. What caught my attention most was Jackson and Bambam's ending speech. Jackson, being the loving person he always is, reminded Indonesian iGOT7s to stay healthy while saying something along the lines of, "Girls, I know it's hot in Jakarta but no short pants [and] no short skirts", which gained laughter at just how considerate he was. We all need our own personal Jackson, right? Bambam, on the other hand, highlighted iGOT7 Indonesia's apology for several unorganised fans on GOT7's Jakarta arrival by saying that we should not be sorry, as he argued that the boys took it as a sign of love and enthusiasm, but just keep in mind not to repeat such actions and, "Be good girls". While GOT7 members were tricked into preparing for a "final performance", a video made by iGOT7 Union Indonesia expressing iGOT7 Indonesia's gratitude and anticipation towards this fanmeeting flashed up on screen, leaving a few moments of the final goodbye to the boys for those without hi-touch privilege.
In the next 5 minutes or so, GOT7 members returned in a simpler attired version of themselves; most changing to black t-shirts or casual attires. As we lined up for the hi-touch, I was practically hyperventilating at the fact that I was going to go on stage to hi-five GOT7 members. My friend and I, out of plain curiosity and to break what weirdly felt like silence, decided to pick a random member to call and observe his reaction. That member was Yugyeom; we tried shouting his name out and received a wave accompanied with the signature warm smile of his. That moment turned me into a younger version of myself. The hi-touch moment itself cannot be described by words, although I wish that there were more words that could be expressed compared to short phrases. I was especially happy to be able to say "Kob khun ka", "Thank you" in Thai, to Bambam and shot a small "Thanks" to Mark, as a spontaneous response towards their efforts trying to learn rather complex and warm Indonesian phrases.
After the fan meeting, it was time for me to return to what I call reality and routine: Saturdays filled with piling work and a sleep-deprived me. This fan meeting left me grateful that there are individuals who are passionate about taking on the exhausting job as idols, having to appease all sorts of fans, and at the same time performing for hours only to gain criticisms for a single mistake. As with every event, there are definitely things I want to try the next time if this kind of experience is up for a repeat. And indeed, my friend was right; I had the best time of my life, and I will never trade this for any other experience.