Youths Over Flowers in Iceland: Episode 6
girlfriday: It’s the boys’ last day in Iceland, which also happens to be the first day of a record snowstorm there. The worry is that they won’t be able to make it back to the airport in time for their flights, but they decide to set out in the afternoon when the storm is supposed to be at its lightest.
javabeans: Jung-seok assumes the position as driver, with Jung Woo playing navigator, while Haneul and Sang-chul are the “two meerkats” just hangin’ out in the back. They stop for gas fill-up, which leads to Jung-seok asking, “Excuse me, can I help me?”
girlfriday: Lol, he says it repeatedly and makes finger-guns to mime gas, and eventually they figure out that they can pay cash for a fill-up card to use at a pump (that’s a roundabout system). They head out carefully following behind the staff car, and talk turns to what they want to do on Sang-hoon’s last day. Ah, it turns out that he has to leave before the others because he’s in a musical.
javabeans: They marvel at how long they’ve worn the same set of clothing, and I am vastly relieved when Haneul says, “I know, I’ve only been washing my underwear the whole time [and wearing the same outerwear].”
girlfriday: OH THANK GOD.
javabeans: I honestly worried.
girlfriday: You know the storm must be bad when all you see around is white, and more white.
javabeans: Yeah, you can barely tell where the ground ends and the sky begins. I’m suddenly reminded of the time we were driving on a miles-long bridge into what seemed like a hurricane and it was kind of thrilling but mostly just terrifying.
girlfriday: That was so scary. I have no idea how you managed to drive through that, because I distinctly remember us saying, “We might die.”
javabeans: I won’t lie. I thought there was maybe a 1% chance we might die. When we got onto land I kind of wanted to get out and kiss it. These boys also have to stop mid-drive and regroup with the staff, who get so concerned that they can’t drive on.
girlfriday: They wait it out for a while, and then the verdict is that driving in snow is better than driving in ice (eep, why are these the only options?), so they head back out with the plan to pull over often to brush the ice off the windshield manually. After a while, they hit a windy uphill mountain road and the staff radios them to drive faster to keep from slipping. Okay, this is stressing me out.
javabeans: It sort of looks like they’re heading into a roller coaster ride, like the part in Space Mountain right before you start all the crazy high-speed whirling.
girlfriday: I don’t like this one bit. The guys look frozen from the stress too. The visibility gets so bad that the whole caravan pulls over to de-ice the cars, but when they get ready to go again, the staff van in front gets stuck.
javabeans: Aie, don’t you sort of feel like when lots of things go wrong, maybe you should stop? Like it’s a sign when everything’s getting in your way?
girlfriday: I know, though it seems like their options are so limited right now. I just want them to get to a town, somewhere, anywhere.
javabeans: On the upside, at least there are at least a half dozen strong young men available to push that sucker. It still seems Sisyphean and I kind of fear someone’s foot is going to get run over, but they do manage to shove the van forward by slow, arduous degrees
girlfriday: It’s so difficult that they have a big moment of triumph when they finally get it unstuck.
javabeans: Now hurry, run back to your car before you all get stuck too! It’s a relief when they get going and finally you start seeing street lights on the side of the road, which makes me retroactively think how nuts it was to drive on roads without any lighting.
girlfriday: Yay, civilization! You can just see the relief wash over them when they get to Reykjavik.
javabeans: I love how Jung Woo’s all, out of gratitude for their driver, “Ah, this is why they call Jo Jung-seok Jo Jung-seok…” because it’s a total compliment, and yet, I’m thinking it makes no sense in this context. Jo Jung-seok is called a good actor because he drives well in a storm? Okay.
girlfriday: Don’t you feel sympathy knots in your shoulders from all the hours of tense driving he had to do?
javabeans: Yeah, plus he had to act way calmer than he felt, I’m sure. So as not to betray the terror inside. They all interview how it felt like they’d triumphed when they saw the city lights, like they’d managed to survive the odds, and Jung Woo says he wouldn’t have been able to go if they hadn’t all been there together.
girlfriday: After the most stressful day of driving ever, they finally reach their hotel, which is the same place they stayed at the first night they were in Iceland. A helpful split-screen shows us that they’re in the same clothes at the same desk, five days later. This time they’ve upgraded to the fancy 3-bedroom apartment, since they have all that money to blow.
javabeans: I can’t believe they didn’t buy themselves more clothes. Like, one T-shirt or something. They ate hot dogs and saved rolls and didn’t even think to buy extra underwear, which blows my mind.
girlfriday: I know. And they’re STILL carrying around leftover food in the trunk of the car, and joke that it smells of rotting food now. Um, didn’t we already have this discussion about how we weren’t going to do that anymore?
javabeans: I really hope they washed their clothes before they rewore them to the press conference. On the upside, they do have a ton of money left over.
girlfriday: Dude, almost $1400 left? Can that be right?
javabeans: As much fun as it is just to have money, I have to think most of their glee is at outsmarting Na PD.
girlfriday: Sang-hoon says they’re going to spend it like water. I dunno, I’ll believe it when I see it.
javabeans: Jung-seok tells the producers they’ll eat out, and the suggestion is to eat something really fancy. Jung-seok: “We waaaant to… but we’re not really good at spending money.” I want to go over there and help them enjoy their vacation with nicer things, but with these guys, I really do think they’re as happy eating sausages and rice in their room as they are going out for fancy seafood, which is what they’ve picked for tonight.
girlfriday: My favorite part is that Haneul has gone in his pajamas. Did no one tell him about the fancy fish part?
javabeans: He hadn’t realized he’d have to take off his big jacket, ha. MY favorite part is when he explains that he’s wearing pajama bottoms… with his Blue Dragons tux jacket on top.
girlfriday: Lol, it’s a priceless combo.
javabeans: Jung Woo starts looking at the menu and then just gives up, haha. Haneul has to look through and point out that it’s written in Icelandic in front, and English in back.
girlfriday: Jung Woo is a lot like the halbaes. With better knees.
javabeans: He doesn’t know what to order, so he just suggests getting the best four things in each course. I love how they ask the waiter for the best four, don’t even listen, and agree, and Jung Woo laughs, “We seem totally nouveau riche.” He means ignorantly throwing money around, I presume.
girlfriday: It’s probably the first time he’s ever ordered without asking how much things are. Jung-seok just keeps asking, “How… how do you spend money?”
javabeans: They get a round of drinks and are so impressed that they insist that the staff order the beer too, and then get all generous and wonder, “Should we just buy it for them?” Okay, there’s no chance they’re going to spend too MUCH money, is there?
girlfriday: Please don’t end up poor because you had too much fun acting rich for a night!
javabeans: This makes me actually nervous for the Namibia boys, because you know Na PD went home and tightened all his pursestrings.
girlfriday: Oh I know.
javabeans: They’re feeling all puffed up and generous, and Sang-hoon says, “The way I see it, we’re super nice and wise and…” Jung Woo: “And dumb!” Jung-seok: “But also smart.”
girlfriday: Sang-hoon: “We have it all!” I’m just glad that they’re finally enjoying a nice fancy meal and ordering many beers and not stressing about it. They’re even joking about Round Two as they walk out and Jung-seok offers to buy the staff another round of drinks, when suddenly Sang-hoon comes up to him and cuts him off because he got the bill.
javabeans: The editing had me worried for a minute there, but honestly, 300 euros for a full course dinner for four, plus 15 beers for the staff, seems fine to me.
girlfriday: Yeah, especially considering alllll of the beers.
javabeans: This is their problem, they can get into the act of enjoying luxury, but the second they hit reality, they’re second-guessing themselves for spending all that money, even though they totally had a right to spend that money.
girlfriday: They really don’t know how to spend money. They walk back to the apartment and stop to take some pictures and play around in the snow, and then once they get inside, the first thing they do is dig up the whiskey. Sang-hoon does his final interview, and in the kitchen the boys joke that he’s probably crying… which is of course what he’s doing in the room.
javabeans: It’s extra funny because we see the flashback to earlier when he was the one saying, “Let’s not cry… All of us, don’t cry…” and then he’s scrunching up his face trying not to cry. Outside, Haneul teases Jung Woo about not crying, and Jung Woo says he tends to cry a lot anyway. Jung-seok says he does too, and Haneul chimes in as well. So basically they all cry a lot and it was a pointless exercise saying they wouldn’t.
girlfriday: As if the guy who cried over gummi bears WOULDN’T be a crybaby? What a silly thing to argue.
javabeans: They must sit there drinking and chatting for ages, because we get jump cuts showing us bits and pieces of it. Basically, they’re not saying anything interesting in particular, but the way they talk is interesting, so you don’t really have to know what they’re saying, just that they’re enjoying it. And that they’re getting drunker and drunker.
girlfriday: Jung Woo gets cartoonishly drunk, with the heavy eyelids and slurry speech. He makes Haneul rank the hyungs in terms of how well he can be perfectly honest with them (at least I think so — he’s slurring a lot).
javabeans: It makes me think Jung Woo really really wants to be Haneul’s favorite, considering that was what the “Haneul’s Choice” hidden camera was all about, trying to get Haneul to pick him over the others.
girlfriday: I know. It’s adorable. Also hilarious, because Haneul picks Jung-seok as number one. Jung Woo is second, and Sang-hoon is third.
javabeans: Uh-oh, somebody suggests Yaja Time.
girlfriday: Noooo. Don’t do it! Yaja Time always ends badly!
javabeans: For the uninitiated, Yaja Time means that for a set period of time (they choose one minute), all rules of honorifics and polite speech are thrown out the window. Basically, it gives Haneul permission to talk down to his hyungs and order them around. They’re drunk enough that this seems like a fun thing, but c’mon, nobody can play Yaja Time without taking it somewhat seriously!
girlfriday: It starts out awkwardly, with Haneul saying he can’t do it, so Jung-seok breaks the ice by talking down to Sang-hoon a little. So then suddenly Haneul starts spewing swear words for the rest of the minute, and at the end Jung-seok is all, “Do you have something against me? Why was it all directed at me?” SEE. IT NEVER GOES WELL.
javabeans: Sang-hoon is all, “How come you didn’t talk down to Jung Woo at all?” They even suggest doing another minute to make it fair, and Haneul awkwardly fidgets saying he doesn’t know how to start, and then suddenly there’s a whole long string of bleeped-out talk. We only get to hear parts of it, like, “HEY, you [bleep bleep bleeping bleep bleep]” and “How the hell is that normal? [bleep bleep bleeping bleep]”
girlfriday: That’s a lot of bleeps.
javabeans: Jung Woo interviews that Haneul is so nice and sweet that he kind of wanted to hear him say something not-so-nice, like he had to see something more. Sang-hoon prods him to say more to him, “Make it up if you have to!” Haneul goes for it: “You think I like you, don’t you?”
girlfriday: Is it just me, or does Haneul really know how to make Yaja Time leave lasting scars? The hyungs love it though, cracking up and even asking him to call them once in a while to swear at them. After a while, it’s time for Sang-hoon to shower and head to the airport, and the boys (minus Jung-seok, who’s passed out) see him off with hugs.
javabeans: I like how he kept insisting to the boys to use the rest of their money (still 900 euros), and if they had some left over, buy souvenirs. Like it’s an important test of their character that they overcome this frugality.
girlfriday: It is for them. Jung-seok starts out his morning by counting all the money and dividing it evenly among the three of them. He even suggests they throw out all the food they’ve been carrying… and then starts sorting out the things they should keep anyway. Oh my goodness, they’re going to take that all the way to Korea, aren’t they?
javabeans: I feel like their barometer is not “Should we keep this?” but “Is this technically edible, in some way, and therefore worth keeping?” It makes me think they really were all starving artists for a long while, that they can’t get out of that mentality.
girlfriday: Yeah seriously. So after splitting up their money three ways, they each head out for a day of solo traveling, to do whatever they want.
javabeans: Haneul’s plan is to have no plan, and just head where his feet go. Reykjavik is covered in a thick coat of fresh snow, and he marvels at the sight. He’s all, “In animation, this would come pouring down!” and proceeds to shake snow onto himself and make snow angels like a little kid.
girlfriday: Jung-seok takes out his trusty smartphone and heads to a noodle restaurant he really wants to try, though he’s momentarily conflicted when he passes by a different place featuring steaks. He talks it out, wondering where he should go, and his VJ points out that he’s now having to do team meetings by himself. Lol, he still holds them though!
javabeans: Because all opinions are worth hearing out! I feel like I would be the Jung-seok of my travel group.
girlfriday: Yes, you would. He thinks through everything. EVERYTHING.
javabeans: How will you know your decision is the best one if you didn’t think through all the possible alternative decisions and see them through their hypothetical conclusions?
girlfriday: That sounds exhausting.
javabeans: It’s not always. Sometimes it’s like, “Steak, yum. Fish, YUM. Noodles, okay yes noodles.” Which is essentially what Jung-seok just did, I think, and he walks into the noodle shop and asks for the best one since he can’t read the menu.
girlfriday: Pffft, Jung Woo ends up back at Hot Dog World. Why am I not surprised?
javabeans: Doesn’t he have like four hundred bucks in his pocket?
girlfriday: He does! He just really, really likes hot dogs, this guy.
javabeans: Haneul, on the other hand, heads for street food and agrees to buy his staffers waffles and cocoa, then insists they sit out on the picnic table: “I bought, so you have to follow what I say!”
girlfriday: After eating his noodles, Jung-seok announces that he thought of something he really wants to do: “Change my clothes.” So then he heads out to shop, on the day before he’s going home. Why didn’t you buy new clothes earlier??
javabeans: I’ll die laughing if they buy a guitar today too. I can’t believe they wore the same thing eight days straight without washing anything but their underpants. Sang-hoon said before leaving that he’d worn his socks four days without washing, and “I’ll believe that they don’t smell.”
girlfriday: That’s gross. I would’ve gone without hot dogs for a day to buy a cheap set of clothes to change into. Jung-seok picks out T-shirts for each of the boys and starts looking at the souvenirs, and decides to buy a can of Icelandic Air. Seriously, this is a thing? Canned air?
javabeans: Jung Woo walks along and just talks to random strangers, helping a woman push her car out of a snowpile and greeting everyone he comes across. “Hello! Hi!” He’s like a Disney movie.
girlfriday: If he had long hair, birds would braid it in the morning. The staff wonders why he goes back to the rental car place to take a photo of the nondescript building, and he explains that he’s the type to forget things as soon as he turns around, so he wants to take note of everything in case he comes back with his family.
javabeans: Haneul finds his way to Tjorn Lake, which is full of ducks and swans, and sits down to snap photos and converse with the birds. He seems fixated on getting close to one and pretends to hold his hand up like a duck bill as he squats his way closer, which makes me nervous, since aren’t swans vicious?
girlfriday: I don’t know, but Haneul looks like a crazy person right now.
javabeans: Jung-seok wonders what the others are doing right now, figuring there’s a chance they’d run into each other, and then comes to the same lake, although it’s evening by the time he’s there. They start advancing on him like they’re expecting food, which I’d find creepy, but he seems to find funny.
girlfriday: Lol, Jung-seok treats the ducks like a crowd of adoring fans, which cracks me up. “Thanks for welcoming me! I’ll see you next time! Hyung has to go now!”
javabeans: AND THEN HE STOPS AT A GUITAR SHOP.
girlfriday: Hahaha. So predictable.
javabeans: He actually seems really torn up about not having bought one earlier, all, “We have so much money left over… If only we’d bought one at the start… [Heavy sigh].” Like the one thing to make his trip more perfect would have been a guitar. So they could have minstreled their way through Iceland?
girlfriday: You know that would be Jung-seok’s dream vacation. I do love it when he plays guitar though.
javabeans: I didn’t know he did classical guitar too. He plays through a bunch of songs, but leaves empty-handed. Then it’s back home for final interviews, where they declare hot dogs their favorite food on this trip, and Na PD says, “We have to acknowledge our mistake about the allowance.” Jung Woo points at the crew: “You failed!”
girlfriday: Did Na PD actually admit to the mistake? That’s awesome. Haneul says it would’ve been really difficult for the four of them to plan a trip like this even if they tried, so for him it’s un unforgettable experience. Jung-seok says it made him think about the past a lot, and how much they’ve changed and grown since.
javabeans: It’s cute how Haneul interviews about how great it was going on a trip with his hyungs, and in the background you hear them snickering because they’re watching in the doorway.
girlfriday: Jung Woo says the most memorable thing for him was the first day when they met up, and Sang-hoon also talks about how great it was just to reconnect with old friends, and how he plans to call up his friends more often.
javabeans: That’s the end of the trip, but next week will be the last episode, where the cast meets up back in Korea… at a sausage restaurant, of course.
girlfriday: And eeeee… the Answer Me 1988 boys are next!
- Youths Over Flowers in Iceland: Episode 5
- Youths Over Flowers in Iceland: Episode 4
- Youths Over Flowers snatches up the boys of Answer Me 1988
- Youths Over Flowers in Iceland: Episode 3
- Youths Over Flowers in Iceland: Episode 2
- Youths Over Flowers in Iceland: Episode 1
- Tuxes and thumbs-up for Youths Over Flowers in Iceland