Day 34

Jul. 5th, 2008 08:51 pm
beboots: (Default)
[personal profile] beboots
Day 34

Okay, so my luck seems to be flip-flopping all over the place. First of all, I got a really good deal on the train tickets to take Yan and I to Paris from Lille, online, for like half the price of what it is to buy them right there, on the day. And they were first class, not second class. 

...Then, Yan lost hers. And we only found out like fifteen minutes before our train left. D: She bought another one (she couldn't do much else), but I had to leave her to catch the train by myself, because it was a close thing. So there I sat, in the first class, wondering for the entire hour whether or not Yan had made it onto the train and what I would do if she hadn't. 

Luckily, she made it. :3 We had an almost tearful reunion on the platform. Then, we got a little bit lost looking for the place we had booked to stay the night.

First sign that the hostel may not be as conveniently close as you thought it was: when the first taxi driver you approach to take you there refused because it was "trop loin" (too far). D: Well, he actually relented and took us when Yan and I began looking lost and tearful. Also? It's not a good sign when the experienced Parisian taxi driver has to dust off his GPS to find us our hostel. D: 

Still, we made it. A bit late: I had planned to arrive at 10:30 or so, dump our stuff, then head over to the Japan Expo for 11:00 or so. Instead, we didn't arrive at the hostel until past noon, and then getting our train tickets and taking the train down to the Parc Des Expositions took like over an hour as well. D: It was really bad. Apparently, what looks to me (with my inexperienced eye) on the map like a distance of about 10 to 15 minutes (driving) translates into over an hour (and four transfers) of train. We have to do a loop to get there from our hostel, because there isn't a direct train heading in that direction. D: 

Anyway, other than the really stupid location, things are actually rather nice here. This hostel isn't technically a hostel: it's actually an apartment that you can rent out for however long you want. It's quite nice inside the rooms. They even have a mini-kitchen (including a stove, fridge, kettle, toaster, mircowave...), a TV (and DVD player), free wireless internet (hence, this post), etc.,etc. Except that it doesn't have a bed. Well, it has a fold-out couch, which is acceptable for three days. Plus, when I get the deposit back, this place is like 1/5th of what a hotel would cost per night. And there's a really nice chinese restaurant next door. I just ate there. It was delicious. OMNOMNOM.

Now why don't I talk about the Japan Expo? :D I went the first day with Yan (I was alone today because she flew back to Canada this morning), which was uber awesome funtime. Since we were so late (we arrived at nearly 2 o'clock), there were no lines whatsoever to buy our tickets (I got a three day pass). Then, I just had to pop into the vestiary to change into my outfit, and whabam! Instant awesomeness! :D 

The place is massive, by the way. The whole thing is one dealers room, with food stalls and speaker areas all around. This room is probably about fifteen times the size of the dealer's room at the Animethon at Grant MacEwan. No joke. And everything there is so awesome! :D They have a lot more original artists (they have like five artists alleys) than we do in Canada (I took advantage of this and bought some locally-made French doujinshi.)

Also, they have lots of hardcore cosplayers. And a lot of gothic lolitas hanging around. And a lot of lolital clothing stalls. I haven't given into temptation and looked at them in detail yet, because I honestly don't have enough space in my suitcase to fit anything that I buy there. But I still have one day, so I may yet succum to temptation... D:

Also, famous people. Apparently, Miyavi (a j-rocker) is hanging about the lolita stalls, but I haven't been able to get close. I did catch the last half of Takeshi Obata's lecture/ Question & Answer session today, though, but no autographs for me. ;_; (remember, he's the artist who drew Hikaru no Go, from which the character I dress up as comes from) I only caught the second half because it was right at 11 am and the entry crowds are crazy, even for people who already have passes. Seriously. I should have caught on yesterday when I saw all of the fencing arranged in loops in the front... 

But I did catch the lecture that the author of Hellsing gave! (That was for you, Ashley). I also got some good photos of the mangaka, and a video of him sketching a picture of Alucard. Badass.

I've also met many awesome people! Most of them were French, although I did run into a group of German cosplayers who were awesome, and a group of people from Britain (we've exchanged facebooks). :3 I hope to see them again tomorrow. I haven't run into Ashley's Alexandre yet, but it's a big festival, and again, there is tomorrow. 

Also, people like my costume! :D I acquired a fan that actually fits with the character design (before, I was using a bright purple one, not the white one like Sai has in canon). I have a nice pose, which involves the fan, and I have gotten many compliments and people asking me for photographs. On the first day, Yan and I kept count (31 photo requests between when we arrived at 2:15 or so until we left at 6:15). Today, I lost count at 15 or so, but there was at least thrice that ammount. A couple of times, a single person asks to take a photo, then when I pose, everyone in the area takes out their camera as well. D: I'm not swarmed as much as the epic Sakura (with feathers) or that angel guy (with the epic wings) or that blue elf-chick (with the overall epic-ness) (the photographs of these people shall be uploaded next week, probably, for your viewing pleasure), but I still feel awesome. :3 It's interesting to walk around, then hear someone poke their friend and go "hein, t'as vu Sai? Vite, regardes, Sai!" ("hey, did you see Sai? Quick, look, Sai!") One guy thought I was from Onmyouji, which is a believable mistake, since Sai and Abe no Seimei are from the same era and social class, and wear similar outfits. Most people recognize me, though (or, at least, the people who ask for photographs). It helps that there's a lot of Hikago merchandise around because of Takeshi Obata's attendence of the festival. :3 

I've stopped by the go tables (where people are being taught how to play go) a few times, and smiled at people there. (For the uninitiated, my character, Sai, is a ghost that "lives" for go, and is the most awesome go player EVAR). Tomorrow, I'll ask to be taught how to play. :3 I wonder if I shall get many photographs taken of me playing go... 

So I suppose that this post is enough for now! I shall add more details (and pictures) later on. See you guys soon!

Date: 2008-07-05 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beboots.livejournal.com
(Okay, so apparently I got lost in the middle of my sentence up there... I meant that we got lost looking for the taxis, and went up and down several unneccessary flights of stairs in the train station with our heavy luggage)

Date: 2008-07-05 09:19 pm (UTC)
kuiskata: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata
Paris sounds fun! :) I look forward to pics when you get back! :D

Sai~! :) (I want to learn how to play go now, and is it ever hard! XD)

Date: 2008-07-06 06:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beboots.livejournal.com
I want to learn how to play go as well... So I'll have to ask today. :3 And if I learn, I could teach you the basics, too. Perhaps in costume. XD

Date: 2008-07-06 05:23 pm (UTC)
kuiskata: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata
XD If we both learn, we should try and play go together sometime.

I found this site, which offers computer go, and has links to a tutorial. (It's so hard trying to google "go" because it so often gets mixed up with the verb "go"...)

Date: 2008-07-06 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beboots.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to do a go tutorial today. ;_; Instead, I hung out with an awesome group of British cosplayers. Not only did they speak English, but they were uber-awesome people as well. :3 We took photos of ourselves in the "Beatles crossing the street" pose, among other things. :3 It was sweet.

I did hang around the go tables for a bit, and I have photographs of myself next to a free-standing Hikaru poster. Also, some of the go players took photographs of me.

If you're searching for the game on google, try "igo". It's often called that as well.

Date: 2008-07-07 03:12 am (UTC)
kuiskata: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata
Sounds like it was much fun. :)

Hmm, I noticed that they tend to call it "igo." (I started watching the Hikago anime, because I'm just that obsessed. XD)

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