So I wanna write a blog post about my trip to Japan Expo 2011 in Paris but i’m so lazy. I”m stealing Ptoms blog and altering it a bit :p
My plans for this years for Japan Expo were pretty much non existent until Friday morning (i tried to book a flight on thursday for £188 but by the time i found my passport it went up to £433) I kept bugging ptom, cos i’m annoying like that. The cost of flying and the train was just too much for a day trip at such short notice and I wasn’t wasn’t overly keen on getting the coach over, so that left us with one option…. a mental option but we decided to drive… (well ptom drove the whole way and i feel bad, maybe next i’m i’ll drive a bit :p)
So, after work i came home and sorted out the last min preparations. I ended up going to sleep at about 8pm. I woke up at about 11pm and got a text from ptom saying he had left his house. This gave us plenty of time to catch our 3.20am ferry but boy was a wrong!!!! Ptom got stuck in MENTAL traffic, a 1 hour journey turned into 3 hours. So, an hour before we were meant to be getting on the ferry and 15 minutes before we were supposed to be checking in, ptom pulled up outside my flat. The amusing thing was that neither of us were too concerned, I jumped in and we headed off to Dover.
We got to Dover at about 4am and tried to decide what we were going to do about our missed ferry, first we pulled into the euro tunnel to see if we could make up for lost time and grab the next train over, but that was going to set us back £140 (one way), slightly more than the £30 (return) ticket we’d bought for the ferry. So, off we drove to the ferry. We wandered around a bit trying to see if we could find any information points that were open, but all we could find was a slightly drunk man who reaked of booze BUT he was helpful! He pointed us in the right direction and off we went. Pulling up at the check-in area for the ferry I rolled down my window, and asked the man at the kiosk how much it was going to cost us to buy a last min ferry ticket for the next available trip (thinking it would be at about 6am i wasn’t holding up much hope) he looked a little confused and said “Mr Thomas… You already had a ferry booked”. At the point ptom and i looked at each other really confused ourselves. In response to this I was like “Yeah but that was for the 3.20am ferry” to which he replied “No problem sir just go on through and get the next ferry” … I can’t thank P&O Ferries enough for their pyschic members of staff and their helpfullness!!
We got on the 5am ferry and arrived at Calais as 7.30am French time, this left us with 3 hours to get to paris. I can’t believe how empty the roads where but then again who would want to pay €20.40 to get to Paris on a toll road….. oh yes… us :). 2 and a half hours later, we pulled into Japan Expo’s car park and headed towards the entrance! For some really strange reason my phone did not work (even know it worked the last time in Paris) and ptom’s phones battery was in the red, we had no way to communicate with anyone. After queuing for not more than half an hour we finally made it into the expo hall and wait straight to the Dream Morning Musume stall to try winning us some tickets for signing.
This was initially met with some disappointment. We first came across the Dream Morning Musume booth and asked where the raffle was taking place for the signing. We was met by a sad looking face from the woman behind the counter telling us that “all the tickets had been given out at 10” ;_; I almost burst into tears i was so tired and upset.
So, with less spring in our step we headed to the h.NAOTO booth to check out the hANGRY&ANGRY merchandise and to see about the their signing later that day. Here we were told that they weren’t doing a signing on the Saturday… which the schedule on the leaflets handed out showed… 🙁
The stall had some new merchandise and I have to say the new set of photos look AMAZING! There was also a large selection of clothes. The clothes were far too expensive for me, i really wanted a hoody but it was like €81… i mean WTF… in the end i bought the new hANGRY&ANGRY photos.
With us both now on a slight downer we aimlessly wandered around for a bit, until we came across the queues for the signing sessions where we soon found out that the tickets HADN’T already been given out, so in we both rushed. A quick look around showed some recognisable faces, the “tallest Japanese man in the world” and all the other Japanese hANGRY&ANGRY fans that have shown up for all the other appearances were a few people in front, we waved said our hello’s. Mika-chan then came running up and gave me a hug and some Yossy photos, i was so happy. She looked at ptom and said “Yossy fan?” and gave some to him too 🙂
On our first attempt was crap, neither of us won. The Japanese hadn’t either, but had come up with the cunning plan to keep buying tickets to the event until they did, now that’s dedication! (They did this until all 5 of them had tickets and even tried to get KueKun one too but ran out of money) We opted for the more sneaky tactic of licking our tickets and rubbing out the marks that said we’d already queued and jumping back in. By the time we’d got to the front CDevil had turned up and tried to give me his ticket, i thought i would look a bit dodgy having a guys name and me rock up and i was successful and licking off the mark :p so he gave it to ptom. We took our second attempts at getting a ticket. I failed again but as for ptom, he I got lucky and pulled out a yellow ticket with a smiley face!
Ptom and CDevil were sooooooooooooo nice and gave me the winning ticket, i was so happy, i can’t thank you enough, the only condition was that i had to give CDevil Rika’s autograph… which was absolutely fine with me as i was only after Yossy. I feel soooo bad i couldn’t get anything signed for ptom too.
The signing started, ptom and CDevil had positioned themselves infront of the railing and had a pretty good spot to fanboy over the girls. Kuekan (who we bumped into a bit earlier) as well as all the Japanese fans and myself all got in line ready to get their items signed. And then the girls came out, Yossie in jeans and a tshirt (she looked stunning with her long dyed blond hair) followed by Rika in a pair of really short jean shorts!
Before the signing i asked Mika-Chan to write something for me to give to Yossy and Rika to see if i could get the items personalise and i was so lucky. From Rika i asked he “This is for my friend Edmund, please can you sign it for him” She looked up at me and said “Edmondo” and giggled slightly. Apparently at this point CDevil had a moment of excitement :p
For me Mika-chan wrote the note “Hello, My name is Sarah. This is one of my favourite pictures of you as you look so cool. Please can you sign this To Sarah.” She then wrote “Next month is my birthday, please can you write a birthday message” Yossy looked at me and said “Otanjoubi omedetou (お誕生日おめでとう)” to which i replied “Hontoni Arigatou Gozaimasu” and she smiled.
After the signing ptom and i went for a walk to find some food behind the stages where we happened to stumble across lesbo lane. i swear every single lesbian couple were making out behind that stage it was so funny. We walked back again and managed to bump into Yossie and Rika (we wasn’t attempting to stalk them…. honest ;p) as they headed outside to their car, ptom got a little wave from Rika and i got a little smile from Yossy!!
Next up was the “Dream Morning Musume Conference & projection”. We ended up going to the conference before so we could get the best seats behind the Japanese fans but OMG it was the most boring this ever and over ran like crazy. Yossy and Rika had turned up and we could see them in the background. Every now and again i was this really quick flash or blonde and i thought what the hell was that. After looking hard enough i noticed it was Yossy. She had found a little scooter and was just playing with it behind the screen. it was so cute.
The Dream Morning Musume conference itself was was… a bit… um… disapointing. Don’t get me wrong by the end of it I loved it, but as I sat through it I did wonder WTF was going on. It started with a DVD of Dream Morning Musume performing a couple of songs. I know the title said that it was a projection, but come on! I can watch a DVD at home, the girls came out gave a little talk with the annoying “No Life” woman. We then watched another few songs, luckily this time who ever was in charge of the PC had the common sense to fullscreen it this time!! After this Rika and Yossie came back out and sung a performance of Ai wa Katsu the charity single released by Up Front Works.
This trip was so amazing just to see Yossy and Rika as themselves out of their hANGRY&ANGRY alter egos.
Once the event had finished we had an hour to spare, we said our goodbyes and went to grab some air. We ended up spying on Yossy and Rika for a bit as their mini bus was delayed. We then headed back to Calais at a leisurely pace. It was nice just having a chat and chilling. ptom must have been knackered, i know i was. By the time we got to Calais i swear i was going mental. I was talking about my phobias of eating stringy food and the wording i used was just hilarious. I don’t like eating stringy cheese as i’m scared it’s going to get wrapped around my throat, i mean WTF is that haha.
We got out 11.15pm ferry home and drove back home.
It was truly an amazing day, the mix of the unexpectedness of it and getting to see the girls was great, the more I get to see the Yossie the more I love her!