Nee & I were at the London Eye on the 2nd last day of our stay in London.
You're probably not interested in this photo but we've got a story to tell.
And you're probably also not interested in this next piece of information, but for the benefit of the Jacky Cheung groupie-stalkers, the date was July 16, on a Wednesday, late morning, to be exact.
This is the exact spot where I first noticed Jacky. He was standing somewhere directly beneath the black lamp post.
Sorry I didn't take a picture of the ground where he was standing on. I could have sold that to the tabloids & make lots of money.
I didn't really know it was him in the first place. I just thought that he looked familiarly like an architect or some kind of a professional artist (not of the singing & acting kind) as he spoke excellent English to a Caucasian next to him (of whom I suspect to be his friend). His two daughters were there with a nanny. The wife appeared later.
As I analysed his features, he stole a few glances at me. I wasn't sure what his glance meant, & after discussing it with Nee much later on, we thought that he was probably thinking:
1) You kinda look familiar too. Do I know you?
2) Does this Ah Beng actually know who I am? Has my superstar popularity reached as far as London?
3) Oh Sh*t. This guy got camera. Paparazzi!
We concluded that it couldn't be No. 1 cos I wasn't famous. And we had to rule No. 3 out cos my camera was peanuts. His was huge-r. So that left us with the possible No. 2.
Anyway, back to the story, so I went over to Nee.
Greg: Hey, look at that guy there. Don't you think he looks like Jacky Cheung?
Nee: Ya, I think so. Look at his nose. It's huge.
Greg: Maybe I should ask him or something but there is a limitation to the thickness of my skin.
At that moment, his wife appeared & they walked up the ramp to the river boat cruise to buy tickets. We were still debating on his identity. Nee was still assessing his nose. Then as quick as he appeared, he disappeared into the boat cruise stand. And at that point we really thought our luck ran out. It was like striking Jackpot Toto & then losing your tickets.
But heaven was with us that fateful day, cos the Heavenly King came back out, & confirming that it was him, I walked up to him in full stride & confidence.
Greg: Excuse me, I may be mistaken, but are you Jacky Cheung?
Jacky: Uhhh.......Yes, I AM!
Greg: Very nice to meet you. Can I take a picture with you?
Jacky: Uhhh........But I'm very busy, with my family.
Greg: Oh, I see. I'm sorry, but my wife's a big fan. She's there.
Jacky: Uhhh.........Okay. It's alright.
At this point, Nee was running, I mean almost flying, towards him.
Nee: We were at your concert in KL last year. I'm a big fan. We're sorry to bother you.
Jacky: It's ok.
Nee was ecstatic when I took her photo with him.
The only time that she can be so ecstatic-al is if she's in a superb European bakery shop, or if she's learning baking in Paris, or if she's just completed a major masterpiece in the kitchen.
Our conclusion was that Jacky was an excellent gentleman. He was very obliging & friendly although we have intruded into his private family outing. That was the reason why we did not push for ten more pictures with him. We apologised profusely, but he took it very calmly & politely with a smile all the time.
Thinking back, we were glad that we acted in a civil manner, and did not unleash our sua koo-ness (mountain auntie). We gave him the respect that he deserved, & we hope that he will see us as respectful Malaysian fans.
There, that's as detailed as we can get. Any more detailed & you'll fall into a deep coma.
NEE: Well since I was the STAR in that really ugly photo, I thought I should share some of my thoughts. And I was still thinking today how could I possibly look so aunty ~ unkempt and downright country bumpkin. Am still beating myself up about it. Not that I expect Jacky would find me attractive or anything remotely along that line, but to only have one photo of this starry encounter and probably will never have it again, how could I ever show my future grandkids and not expecting them to wonder why grandma ever looked so bad. But on the good side, Jacky's fans are probably so jealous that if I actually look good, I will be torn to pieces.
Anyway, like Greg says, I am glad to find that the person I listened to since my teenage years is actually a gentlemen ~courteous and obliging. None of those prima donna air or artic air coldness or rude abruptness. Based on the circumstances of our encounter, we would totally understand if he refused a picture. Many of us would not like work (entertaining fans would be be work for him) to be interfering with our holidays. I mean I would get really irritated if my workplace starts calling me up during my trip. Under such circumstances, he was warm albeit looking a little careful about the whole thing. Not wary but definitely careful as he has his family with him. Let's just say, he handled it really well. Hats off to him!
Another wonderful thing is I am really happy to see my 'idol' as a family man who would put them first. And I believe many Jacky's fans would love to know that. As we do respect the guy and his family, we would not want to describe his family or anything else besides the encounter itself here, and we did not take any secret paparazzi shots at any of them. So that photo is the one and only that we have and would be purely for a memorable keepsake.
Finally thanks to my dear hubby for having the guts to go up to him and ask. In fact, I actually told him not to bother. Thoughts of two university lecturers who tells students to be professional and calm in all circumstances acting like silly star-strucked fans is just so totally uncool. What would my students think! But I am glad Greg did it. Being almost a banana (Chinese who can't speak mandarin) like him (he has never listened to canto pop) and I am glad after the Jacky's concert last year (which i have to bribe, persuade, beg whatever you call it for him to go), he actually said after the concert in these exact words "I finally understand what canto-pop is now. It is Jacky Cheung." And I am glad-er that Jacky gave him an even better impression in person!