This week, the roommates are startled to be called to the living room by the producer via the house PA system. He asks for them to gather round for an announcement: in celebration of their first 100 days together as roommates, they will split into two groups and travel abroad. One group will go to Taiwan, and the other to Osaka, and both groups are to stay with locals instead of in hotels. Nana, Se Ho, So Ra, Soo Hyun, and Chan Yeol (who will be performing with EXO), head to Taiwan, while Sung Woo, Kang Joon, Min Woo, and Ga Yeon are off to Osaka.
The Taiwan group finds accommodations through a friend of a friend of Se Ho’s. Their host’s name is Ruby, and after greeting some fans at the airport, the roommates find their way to Ruby’s apartment in Taipei. Their cab driver turns out to be familiar with Korean pop culture too, and is familiar with the roommates’ work, which they’re able to communicate with a mixture of Nana’s Chinese and Se Ho/Soo Hyun’s English. When they get to Ruby’s there are even more languages flying around as they find out that Ruby speaks Japanese, English, Chinese, and even a bit of Korean. Se Ho and Nana both speak Japanese as well, so the communication barriers they were afraid of are basically a non-issue. I found this quadruple language exchange to be the most interesting and cool part of this episode.
They enjoy Ruby’s home-cooked meal, during which Nana mentions that her management company is going to introduce her to Taiwanese singer Kong Ling Qi. Se Ho gets a bit jealous and insists that he’s going to come along too. They all agree to meet at a coffee shop. Ling Qi is a big fan of Nana’s, and he tells Nana and Se Ho that Korean pop and dramas are so popular in Taiwan. Se Ho potentially gets himself into a bit of trouble by saying that he’s had 40,000 fans show up for a fan meeting before (he hasn’t, but he’s MCed many!). Ling Qi is impressed and is eager to help him organize a fan meeting in Taiwan too. Se Ho, what have you gotten yourself into?? From the episode preview, it looks like a ton of people do turn up though, so we’ll see in the next episode.
Things get a bit hairy when Se Ho, who has been so vigilant about taking care of his roommates during the trip, drops his phone in the cab on the way to the night market. He realizes just as they’re about to dive into the delicious looking street food, and that certainly puts a damper on things. The cast and crew pull together and keep their cool. A local Roommate fan helps them get to the police station, and with the help of the footage they just shot, they are able to get a hold of the cab driver. He brings back the phone and all is well again. This incident certainly feels different from the last time there was an issue on a trip – Kang Joon’s group for the camping trip was so stressed when something went wrong, but this little blip on the Taiwan trip seems to have go much smoother all around. Se Ho is so happy that he gets his phone back, and treats everyone out to dinner to thank them for helping out. So Ra ends up splitting it with him, and in that moment I feel like we get to see a very real moment for the Roommate cast and crew.
Meanwhile, en route to Japan, the ever-earnest and lovable Kang Joon is writing down Japanese phrases on his hand and…practicing them in the airplane bathroom? I’m amazed that he fit in there with the cameraman. The roommates are greeted at the airport by some of Shin Mama’s fans, who are a very friendly group of ladies. Sung Woo greets them like old friends. Ga Yeon is more excited about meeting legendary boxer Hong Chang Soo, especially in the lead up to her professional debut.
The roommates meet Mr. Hong, who is very kind and smiley, at a barbecue restaurant and eat together, though poor Ga Yeon is still on her strict diet. She does get to try on Mr. Hong’s championship belt though. They go to Mr. Hong’s gym after the meal to see the facilities. After sitting on the sidelines to watch Mr. Hong train Min Woo and Kang Joon in the ring, Ga Yeon can’t miss the opportunity to train with Mr. Hong even though she is supposed to he resting her shoulder injury. She briefly spars with Mr. Hong, and in another standout moment of this episode, Mr. Hong teaches her a few of his best fake-out moves. They spar briefly. A silence falls over the room as these two athletes show what years of dedication and hard work have taught them in the ring. Mr. Hong is very impressed with Ga Yeon and tells her he will be rooting for her in the big match.
In the next episode of Roommate, our Taiwan and Osaka adventures continue! Check back in the next few days for my recap/reaction/review-ish post. =)
And because I have this song stuck in my head thanks to this show, have a bonus video: