Saturday, June 28, 2014

Idol Matsuri & Me, Part 1

Idol Matsuri was USA’s first convention dedicated to Japanese pop music idol singers, held on June 20 to 22, 2014 in Silverdale, Washington.  Back on December 12, 2013, I was the first to blog about this convention.  At the time I wasn’t sure if I was even going, but the fates were in my favor this time and I actually attended!  This was my first plane trip and the first time I traveled outside of my home state.  I was very nervous, especially since I was traveling alone.  I learned the hard way that plane travel wasn’t something I liked due to the landings which caused me some minor motion sickness problems.   (Thankfully it wasn’t too bad on the return trip home, so maybe I got used to it by then.)  The waiting at the airports was also pretty bad, mostly due to the delays.  But the experiences I had in Washington seeing Aither and others perform, talking to fans of idols like myself and picking up some cool idol merchandise is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!  Let me tell you all about it!

After landing at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport Thursday evening I waited for a “airporter” (a bus) and sat on a bench.  I didn’t talk to the other people on the bench with me, but I probably should have. It turns out I was sitting next to Allyson a.k.a. Serenyty of the Happy Disco blog!  She and I sat in seats across from each other on the bus but we never spoke until after we got to the Silverdale Beach Hotel.  This is why I need to speak up and talk to people more; however, I am a naturally shy person.  After I rested in my room for a few minutes I decided to check out the hotel.  I wandered around and came to a room that was used for all the main events of the convention.  I opened the door to see Allyson as well as Bethany Walker, the President of Idol Matsuri, and Steve Summers, who writes for Selective Hearing.  Bethany looked at me and said my name.   Then she added, “Your hair looks darker in your photos.”  LOL  I shook Steve’s hand and told him I liked his TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE shirt.  Bethany talked to me and showed me what all was going to happen in the rooms and directed me towards a grocery store so I could get something to eat.

Around this time Bethany told me the news about Aither arriving at the hotel later this evening!   She also mentioned that Megumi couldn’t come for an undisclosed reason.  Apparently Bethany announced this on Facebook while I was sleeping.  (I turned off my computer early to get some sleep for an early morning wake up to catch my plane.)  I was disappointed to hear this, but at least the other four members were coming.  I waited patiently in the lobby of the hotel along with Bethany and the three members of the American J-Pop cover group Beri! New Day.  When Aither, their staff and wota arrived, everybody, including me, were all excited!  I met my Japanese friend and Aither’s liaison Chibineko (his preferred name, as he doesn’t want his real name used), which was really cool.  The members of Aither, Konno Yuuka, Tsujimura Airi, Misaki and Sakura, were all so pretty in person!  I simply couldn’t believe I was standing in their presence!  This moment was too good to be true, but it was actually happening!  I introduced myself to Aither in poor Japanese so Sophia of Beri! New Day helped translate what I wanted to say.  I told Aither that I was the first person to write about them in English in my blog.  They said, “Thank you very much!” in English!   As if all of this wasn’t surreal enough, one of Aither’s wota, whose “wota name”, I learned, is Zero, looked at me, pointed and shouted my name!  I had no idea I was famous.  LOL  (Throughout the convention when I would see Zero we would “high five” each other.)  I was hoping to get permission to take of photo of Aither as they came into the hotel or perhaps posing with their luggage, but no one gave me permission to do this.  (I took other photos which I will share when I get the film developed.)  

Eventually Aither and their staff went to their rooms and I went to mine.  It had been a long day for me, and I didn’t have much to eat, nor had I much sleep.  Tomorrow was when all the real excitement would begin!  

To be continued....