And so starts my hopefully not too long (depending on how you define “long”) report of the event!
Left work on day -1 and headed straight into London to meet up with @ptom98, @RadioHexi, and @MorningTime (yeah, I know I don’t need the @’s outside of twitter, but hey ho, i’m gonna roll with it!), before getting a coach. After waiting for a while in the bar at Victoria station, ptom and Hexi eventually turned up, followed by a round of strangely coloured highly sweet alcoholic pitchers. Morningtime’s train was delayed so we headed off to the coach station, and eventually he joined us. ^_^
After we all got on the coach we cracked open the rest of the booze and enjoyed our little party bus (still disappointed we didn’t go by ferry though). Eventually got to our stop in Paris several hours later (now Thursday… “day 1″), and somehow had to find our way to the hotel. The airport staff were highly friendly (not) in pointing us to where our free shuttle was supposed to be, so after asking several people and failing we eventually had a confusing conversation with some taxi drivers who agreed to overcharge us by a significant amount (40 euros) to drive us to the hotel that was 10 minutes journey away.
Arrived at hotel, the plan was to check in, dump our bags and head straight off into Paris where the first Morning Musume signing session of the weekend was. Sadly the highly friendly (not… this is going to be a running theme btw) hotel staff said no we couldn’t check in until later, and no we couldn’t leave our bags anywhere. Thanks. -_- But luckily the rooms to the hotel all had keycodes instead of keys, and @CDevil4 saved the day and let us dump our bags in his room!
Off to get a taxi to the signing session now, the again highly helpful hotel staff told us that they couldn’t get us a taxi and to go back to the airport and get one. Eventually we did get a taxi from the hotel, and made our way through some heavy duty rush hour Paris traffic. I’ve gotta say the French seem to have no concept of road safety, and the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe felt more like the streets of Bangladesh with motorbikes almost driving over the top of car bumpers, and accidents at every turn. But anyway we eventually arrived there at 9am… somewhat later and somewhat more hungover than everyone else that had been queuing since midnight, lol.
(a very appropriate car sign for French traffic, no idea what it’s actually supposed to mean)
Got in the line, ptom and Hexi went off to get food, by the time they got back the security staff had closed the line and refused to let them back in despite protests from us, and some helpful French people that were next to us. Uh-oh! I eventually negotiated swapping me out of the line and Hexi into the line (since I’d already got autographs at AX last year, and Koha wasn’t there). To be honest we were all too far back in the line anyway to get the signing tickets, they only had 150 available and we were already 200+ people back.
Anyway, me and ptom walked off, and through the power of magic (if anyone asks, yes it was indeed magic, absolutely definitely 100% magic, nothing shifty at all ) us two got to watch the signing from close up, and MorningTime and Hexi got to get stuff signed, result! One amusing thing from watching the signing was seeing Mittsi pull funny faces at us, it started out with me and ptom just waving at her in-between her signing people’s stuff, and she’d wave back, then after about the 5th time she just started pulling faces at us every time we waved.
After that we all made our way to the convention centre by train (by *very* hot, and shoddy train… again wouldn’t have been out of place in Bangladesh). When we got there I was expecting a long queue to get in, but it was just a long walk around barriers, the queue was pretty much non-existent.
For me it was straight off to watch the Kirarin Revolution question and answer session with An Nakahara, sadly it was of course translated between French/Japanese, but I think I managed to understand enough Japanese to figure out most of what she was saying (got zero of the French, lol). At one point she was very praising about Koharu when asked about her role in the anime. And there was also an amusing point where the audience was asked whether they preferred Seiji or Hiroto (and of course it was like 85% for Hiroto, me included), she smiled. ^_^ It just felt good to be in an area surrounded by so many KiraRevo fans, i’m pretty sure you could barely cobble together 10-20 of us in the whole of England/America, let alone hold an entire event for it here!
After that I lined up for the raffle for that afternoon’s Morning Musume signing, and I ended up pulling a winning ticket! HAPPY☆彡
Grabbed some food, met up with everyone else, and through some equally shifty methods more magic, ptom also won a raffle ticket for the signing! Everyone happy!
My plan of action for this signing was to see if any of them from that breakfast remembered me. First one up, Ai-chan, she looked at me, said bonjour, I was about to say I was from England, but then she instantly said “Ah! The English Koharu fan from Anime Expo?”… followed up with “I remember” in English. Ahh so happy to be remembered, lol! Gaki, Eri, Reina next, didn’t say too much to them, just thankyou for the autographs (they all said bonjour, lol). Got to Sayu and told her she was cute (again? I forget…), she squirmed in her chair acting embarrassed and said thank you in an incredibly cute way, lol, almost like being told she’s cute powers her up or something, she loves it, lol. Next was Mittsi, told her I was English and went to AX, and she responded with “I remember you”, and same with JunJun next (though I had to mention AX, English, and Breakfast before she said she remembered), and Linlin also said she remembered pretty quickly. All in all I was very pleased with that! ^_^ I shall just imagine one of them sent a message to Koharu telling her her mad English fan was in France, lol. Ahh~~
And that’s pretty much it for the first day, we went back to the hotel, got our stuff, checked into our rooms, showered (oh lets not get started on the showers shall we… doors that don’t close, leak water everywhere, doors that have windows for easy viewing, and some sort of strange hole in the middle?!), got food, met up with @PaulElliot (I forget your twitter name >_<) and then ended up in next door’s hotel bar drinking what they had left of their beer (tap ran out after 1 pint, bottles almost out). This hotel incedentally was supposedly the hotel that Morning Musume were staying at, we didn’t see them at all though, but potentially did see some of the other Japan Expo guests walking around (or at least people that looked like other guests, lol).
Oh, and that bar had the best seats ever for a bar… giant bean bags! I think all pubs should replace their seats with giant bean bags!
…after that we all went off to sleep, Day 1 over!