Every once in a while, amid the accounts of sasaeng fans penning letters to their idols in blood and hard stans attacking their oppas on the red carpet, you hear a story that makes you realise the K-scene is not entirely made up of deranged beings.
Like most of these stories, this one begins with an obsession with a Korean drama: The 2004 series Full House. But unlike the others, it ends with a love letter penned in something much less menacing: Delicate swirls of gochujang mayonnaise and soft wisps of beef bulgogi.
Ninez Ramlan, 28, spent her teenage years as many other teen K-fans do — obsessively watching her favourite shows. “I don’t want to admit that I’m a fangirl but I am!” she admits with a squeal. “I got hooked when I was 14 and started listening to Korean songs before progressing into full Korean fangirl mode. It became my lifelong dream to step onto South Korean soil.”