Memories Of Fukuoka 후쿠오카의 추억

{Throwback to the first week of June 2013}

**repost from instagram @lovestorieswithtaenggu, added with more details and photos from the trip**

Barely 3 months since schizophrenia started and while I was still in the process of recovering from its symptoms and traumas, I made the bold move to go on a holiday trip to Fukuoka with my friend, Elaine. Before the trip, I only told her I was suffering from depression so she didn’t know that I was hearing voices too at first. During the trip, the voices caused a lot of distractions to me; my mind was in a mess. Often, it was hard for me to concentrate on what Elaine was saying to me. It frustrated her a little when she found herself having to repeat herself many times before I finally got what she was trying to say, especially under the circumstance where she didn’t know what I was actually going through in my mind. Everywhere I went, voices kept saying “태연, 태연, 태연… (Taeyeon, Taeyeon, Taeyeon…)” I felt as if I was constantly travelling in and out between the real physical world and my own inner world. I was kind of unaware of where we were heading to the whole time; I simply blindly followed Elaine around. Until now, I can’t exactly remember most places we went to and what we did during that trip.

But there was one place that left the deepest impression in me. It was this garden that we visited. We took a ferry to an island whose name I couldn’t remember before getting to this garden. It was really peaceful there. Weather was cool and nice – it was still spring then. And pretty flowers and butterflies everywhere! I was walking around the garden alone and the only person I was thinking of was Taenggu. When I saw pretty flowers, I thought of her. When I saw butterflies, I thought of her too (fans will know, if you think of butterfly, you would think of Taenggu too). Especially when I saw butterflies flying in pairs, I would think, “Oh, that’s a butterfly couple!” And then, I would imagine Taenggu and I were probably a butterfly couple in our past lifetime too, flying everywhere together freely. I began to feel happiness. I felt peace in my heart finally after a long time. It was as if her soul was with me at that time.

The following photos are downloaded from my Facebook photo album so they are not in good resolution. 😛

The butterfly couple which got me dreaming about Taenggu and I as a couple too
There’s another couple!

(Not mentioned on my instagram) There were actually 2 other vivid pieces of memories I remembered from my Fukuoka trip, besides this visit to the garden. First of all, it was actually Elaine’s idea to go Fukuoka for a holiday because she wanted to fulfil her wish of watching her favourite singer, Daesung from BIGBANG, live at his Japan concert. She was a great fan of his Japanese songs. He was on his solo Japan arena concert tour and happened to be making a stop in Fukuoka at that time. She asked me to go with her so I decided to accompany her on this trip while taking a break from school term at the same time. So it turned out to be my very first experience of watching a concert overseas too. Even though I hadn’t listened to any of Daesung’s japanese songs before prior to his concert in Fukuoka (and I was actually also very unfamiliar with BIGBANG as a group), I enjoyed it very much and noticed how the concert culture in Japan was so different from Singapore. But I have to say, I wasn’t actually in a right state of mind while watching the concert. I had some weird thoughts in my head. I felt as if Daesung was being influenced and controlled by the voices in my head. Whatever love songs he sang on stage, I thought he was actually singing out my love for Taenggu. Yeah, again, Taenggu hadn’t left my mind even at someone else’s concert (lol). I thought he actually knew me. He knew I was there among the audience. You know, that mind singer who sang for SNSD… I thought he might even know a thing or two about me too. Oh well, it was kind of absurd when I think about it now. And the funny thing was, halfway through the concert, Elaine was chased out of the concert hall because she got caught filming or taking photos with her camera by the security guard. So I ended up watching the entire concert alone without Elaine, even though she was the one who wanted to watch and listen to Daesung so much and I wasn’t even a fan back then. Haha.

The second thing I remembered was a trip to a big shopping mall in Fukuoka on the last day or second last day of our trip. I forgot what the name of the mall was but it was quite big and pretty. It has some man-made lakes or ponds or what is it actually called… A water passageway? Fountain? Anyway, I remembered walking into a Disney accessories store at the mall. I knew Taenggu likes Disney stuff. I saw a series of mickey mouse crystal necklaces which came in different colours for different horoscopes. Instantly, I thought it would be something that Taenggu might like. At the spur of the moment, I bought a Pisces one (in pink) for Taenggu and a Scorpio one (in purple) for myself. It was the first gesture I had ever made in getting a couple item for Taenggu as if we were in a relationship. Later on, I also took a picture of them and posted it on instagram.

A post shared by Celeste Koh (@invariantceleste) on

So what happened to these necklaces after the trip? Later on in the same month, Girls’ Generation and 2NE1 were invited to perform at the Asia Style Collection 2013 Fashion Show held at Singapore Expo on 22 June. I got myself a single ticket to the show (I think my mum paid for it). Couldn’t find anyone to go with me too. Before I left my house for the show that day, I brought along Taenggu’s pink mickey mouse necklace with me, pinning hopes on a probable chance that I might get to meet her personally and pass it to her. But I gotta say, my hopes weren’t high back then. I was still in a doubtful attitude towards this whole magical mind-singing and schizophrenia saga which I had gone through. Did it really happen or was it just a hallucination? Nonetheless, I still held on to a small hope (like 10 percent maybe?) that a miracle might happen that night. Needless to say, that night after the show, I went home with the same necklace still in my bag – there wasn’t a chance to meet her personally at all, nor were there anyone who came to look for me. But as a fan, I was at least happy that I finally got to watch their “I Got A Boy” performance live.

My instagram post after the show that night:

After that, my sister saw my pink mickey mouse necklace lying in the house and said she liked it. So she borrowed it from me and wore it out on a few occasions. Thereafter, she misplaced it somewhere in the house and it was never seen and found anywhere ever since. But I still kept my own purple one safely in a jewellery box.

Recently, after 4 years, I took it out again to reminisce it after Taenggu posted her travel videos of her private holiday trip to Fukuoka in June this year (will talk about it in a separate post LOVE SIGN FROM TAENGGU: HER PRIVATE TRIP TO FUKUOKA). My necklace is old and rusty now, but it held so much memories to me.

My scorpio purple crystal mickey mouse necklace that is old and rusty now

My other dear friend, mentioned in the post LOVE SIGN FROM TAENGGU: “SMILE” BY LEVEN KALI / CONNECTING WITH A VALUABLE FRIEND, after knowing about my story and what happened to me in 2013, went to take a look at some of my photos on Facebook taken during that year and reflected to me that I indeed didn’t look well at that time.

Elaine and I watching the sunset at a tower in Fukuoka in 2013

Yeah, I think I really looked kinda pale and tired back then because of the disturbing voices in my head, but I was still trying to stay strong! For myself, for Taenggu, for my future…

Thankfully, after I came back from this trip to Fukuoka, the voices became much gentler and nicer and they slowly faded away as time went by. I’m glad I have pulled through till this day! 🙂

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