Fan frenzy at Tokyo station and pictures of an intoxicated Leslie
As soon as we jumped onto the train, the Shinkansen left the station. Leslie was seated by the window with Mr. Tong beside him while a staff and I took the seats behind them. Mr. K and some of the other security personnel sat at the front and on the opposite side of Leslie. With Leslie safely on the train, the guards from Osaka completed their mission and left.
The first class carriage we were on was not crowded but I saw some fans also got on the train at the Osaka station. There were about 10 of them that came on our carriage; they had bought first class carriage tickets from the conductor. They have probably already planned to get on the same train to go to Tokyo with Leslie. I was very impressed with their swift action and their power of mobility! Anyway, it is wonderful to be able to shower love on someone that one really adores with a love and passion that is unconditional. Their only expectation was the anticipation of watching Leslie through his movies and concerts which provide them with dreams and happiness. I was envious of their pure passion on seeing the sparkle in their eyes.
On the other hand, as for Leslie, as soon as he sat down, he turned around and asked me Do you have any chocolates or cookies? I happened to bring some snacks in a paper bag, so I handed it to Leslie. Holding the paper bag in his hand, Leslie immediately began to eat the snacks. He was like a small animal keeping his food all to himself. Mr. Tong sitting beside Leslie took some snacks from the bag and ate them once in a while.
After a while Leslie turned around again and asked me You spent a lot of money on all these guards, didn`t you? So I answered in an exaggerated way with every intention for Mr. K to hear every word, Oh, yes! We spent so much money on your guards that our business is now in the red! Leslie also said to Mr. K, Oh, no! You should not be asking for so much money. You dont have to do much to protect me. I am not such an important person. Please give a discount. Maybe this would be enough. Leslie then held out the snack bag. We all burst into laughter. Leslie was in a good mood; maybe this was because he was free from the car with the curtain and was now in his favorite Shinkansen. He said repeatedly, Let`s go to Zettai Hodai when we arrive in Tokyo! At first I wondered what it was, later I guessed it must be `Tabe Hodai (an all-you-can-eat place). After chatting like that for a while, Leslie fell asleep.
Mr. K had been keeping an eye on the fans sitting behind us from the time the train left Osaka Station. So far the female fans had been sitting quietly in their seats but when the train had passed Nagoya Station and Leslie had fallen asleep, they started to make their way to the washroom one by one; glancing at a sleeping Leslie as they passed by our seats. Gradually other fans came to our carriage. I think they got the information from the ladies in our first carriage. They walked past and stole glances at Leslie before going to the next carriage, then came back again and then back to their carriage. Some of them were bold enough to intentionally drop something onto the floor; then pick it up slowly thus using this opportunity to take a closer look at Leslie. I admired them when I saw that they stopped at nothing to steal looks at Leslie.
Then Mr. K seemed to think it was about time for him to do something to stop them. When the next lady came along to look at Leslie, he got up suddenly and stood beside Mr. Tong while she was passing through hence obstructing her view of Leslie with his body. After that the number of fans coming to our carriage lessened.
As far as the fans were concerned, it was very natural that they wanted to glance at Leslie when they were traveling on the same train with him. Perhaps they thought, Why not? Theres nothing to lose! However for Leslie, who had just finished his work and wanted to take a nap without any disturbances, it must be hard with a never-ending throng of people walking past trying to steal glances at him. Without a doubt Leslies profession as an artiste called for him to be seen by the public, but he was also a mere mortal. It is impossible for him to live under such tense conditions 24 hours a day. Therefore I really wanted him to be free from all cares in his own private time.
Though there were some incidents on the train, the atmosphere was tranquil compared to what was about to happen in Tokyo station later but this was just the lull before a storm.
I thought our troubles were over because we did quite well in protecting Leslie at Osaka station but it was a big mistake. The information about our train was sent to the fans in Tokyo immediately and a lot of fans were eagerly awaiting Leslies arrival at Tokyo station. Our train pulled into the platform lined with fans. The situation was far beyond our imagination. I feel dizzy even now when I recall what happened at Tokyo station.
When the train slowed down and we saw the strange atmosphere, we all held our breath. The platform was full of women. They must have known the exact carriage that Leslie was in. The place where our carriage was expected to come to a halt was thronged with women. In front of them, 5 or 6 guards were trying to form a passage, but their power was not enough against so many women. When Mr. K saw the situation, his face became tense and he told the guards in the car to prepare for battle. My heart was beating rapidly as if a real war was about to start. It would be very troublesome. From the bottom of my heart I felt it was a very good decision to hire professional guards to protect Leslie after all.
As soon as the door was opened, Mr. K and the other guards protected Leslie by forming a tight circle around him before stepping onto the platform. Many fans rushed towards us with their shrill screams coming from all directions. The guards on the platform were struggling very hard but in vain. Mr. K and some guards surrounded Leslie tightly; then they made a quick dash for it like a gust of wind. They were so fast! Running right behind Leslie was Mr. Tong and we followed after him. They ran so fast, just like athletes! I could understand the tough guards running fast as they were all well-trained but to my surprise, Leslie ran just as fast as them and so did Mr. Tong as well. Above all I was so impressed with the physical strength of the women who kept running for their dear lives in their pursuit after Leslie. As he ran, Mr. K turned to us and shouted Keep it up! Follow us! However we could only hear his voice in the distance because we were too slow for them and were left behind.
Mr. Tong was running in our midst with Leslie in front of him and us behind him. Every now and then he turned around to check on us anxiously. He was caught amid the mass of fans. This big black crowd rushing through the platform must have been a fearful sight for the other people on the platform. They stepped aside with startled looks on their faces. We all had no idea what was going on or where we were heading except that we had to keep on running as fast as we could. I think only Mr. K knew what was happening and where to go.
Halfway through my run, I had difficulty in breathing and lost all my fighting spirit, so I started to walk. At that moment I recalled the marathon race during my childhood days and how I always got left behind; only to end up walking alone. There were some fans like me that were also out of breath and were left behind. They were tottering behind but still following Leslie. Perhaps they thought I was also one of them. For me the most interesting moment was when they went through the ticket barrier. A big crowd, almost all women, was suddenly rushing to exit out of the gate. The ticket barriers remained closed and some fans just threw their tickets at the station attendants standing nearby who looked on helplessly with their dumbfounded expressions.
I almost caught up with the last group of the crowd when I saw a large number of people gathered around in a circle in an open space. When I went near to them I found security guards were controlling the crowd; they were obstructing the large crowd of fans forcing them into forming a circle and in the center of the circle were 2 cars. Leslie and Mr. Tong were in one of the cars. They seemed to be waiting for us and as soon as we got in the car, both cars drove off immediately. I did not know if Leslie showed himself to the fans or waved at them but if he did; they must be very pleased that their efforts had been rewarded.
It was already dark when we arrived at the Park Hyatt Hotel. We did not choose this hotel for the first autograph event to avoid the confusion but this time we decided on this hotel according to Leslies wish because of the sound security measures. Leslie seemed relaxed in this hotel. As soon as he entered the room, his tenseness dissipated; his facial features became soft and calm. When he found a fruit basket on the table, he untied the ribbon and picked up some grapes saying Looks tasty! Then he offered some to me.
We went to an all you can eat Syabu-Syabu restaurant that Leslie had insisted on going to when he was traveling on the Shinkansen. The restaurant in Azabu was a specialized Shabu Shabu restaurant which looked like a big pub from the outside. The price was quite reasonable for such kinds of restaurants. Anyway Leslie was not one with a huge appetite even if it was an all you can eat place. For Leslie the price or the quantity did not matter; rather he seemed to find this style of dining interesting; that is you pay the same price regardless of the amount you eat. I think there is no such restaurant in Hong Kong. The system might work well in Japan where people generally do not eat a lot.
Every time a big plate of meat was served, Leslie received it with a shout of joy. Then suddenly he lowered his voice and began talking to Mr. Tong in Cantonese. I guessed from their gestures, they seemed to be debating on the price for the number of plates of meat. They did not seem to agree and kept arguing about the number of the plates. Hong Kong people who are renowned for their good sense of money seemed to be very particular regarding such things. Anyway I could not help being amused at this lovely sight.
After chatting with him for a while about many things, I suddenly noticed that Leslie had not mentioned the movie that he was planning to direct. Somehow I sensed that Leslie had intentions of avoiding the topic so I stayed off that subject as much as possible thinking that perhaps the plan had met with some difficulties. At least that was my impression but later when I thought about it carefully, I remembered that not only did he not mention about his movie directing but also all his other works such as films or singing. Now come to think of it, all he talked about was mostly private matters such as his new house and how the paparazzi were keeping a 24-hour watch around its vicinity, traveling, an interesting episode of his friends wedding ceremony, his gains and losses on the stock market and so on. On that day Leslie laughed a lot; even Mr. Tong was laughing heartily as well, which was most unusual of him. That was a very sweet memory to reminisce even now.
Even though we knew that we were going to have another tough day of a-1000-autographs event the next day, we could not stop drinking and chatting till we were totally drunk that night. Then Mr. K made arrangements to send Leslie and Mr. Tong back to their hotel while we were also taken home by cars. Before going home, we wanted to take some pictures, but no one had a camera so I had to buy an instant camera at a store. We took turns to snap many pictures of one another. The pictures were developed the next day. When I took a glance at them, I burst into laughter together with my staff upon seeing how silly we looked in the pictures! All the pictures were blurred. We were totally drunk and looked awfully stupid with our poor coordination and impaired balance. All of us could not even sit up straight on our seats; instead we leaned against each other in a sloppy manner. We looked so unkempt yet Leslie was the only one who could still maintain a certain degree of presentability. We looked at the pictures with admiration saying He is truly a star! He is still different in such a condition! Even so I decided not to show the pictures to Leslie, as I thought he would not want to see such disheveled appearances.
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