Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Närcon vinter - con culture, noodles and freezing my ass off

This is going to be a rare occasion where I write a post in English. Because well, it was a Swedish con so it'd be boring if people that were there wouldn't be able to understand this. (Because Google sucks at translating Finnish.)

I was bored at the ship...
So, my journey began already on Thursday by getting over to Sweden by Siljaline. Because I traveled alone, nothing interesting really happened on the way.

Friday morning I found my way to Cityterminalet, because the convention bus would go from there. I must say I liked the idea of convention buses. Finland pretty much lets con-goers figure out their transportation by themselves. This was god-sent for me though, because it was very easy for me to just buy the ticket and not worry. My Swedish is really sucky after all and it would have been a bother to figure out a bunch of bus and train timetables. Only thing I found weird with the bus was that no one asked to see my bus-ticket at any point. Did they just trust con-goers to be honest people or what?
It was also nice when people just gathered to wait for the bus and a convention feeling started already there. Or well, I was tired and head-achy, so I just mostly felt like random Swedish words were bombarding my eardrums. I took a nap on the bus though and felt better when we were finally there at the con place.

Then was the time for the long line in the cold. I was reasonably lucky, because my friend Valkoinen Samurai was waiting to see me and I kinda got in the middle of the line with him and Jäätynyt Enkeli instead of going to the very end of the line. But anyway, we waited. A cultural difference, because Finnish cons very rarely have lines. We just get our tickets by mail. Then again tickets here are usually paper and not fabric like these were. I kind of like the fabric ones better but waiting in the line was definitely not a favourite way to pass time.

My cosplay for the day was Ken Ichijouji from Digimon 02. I had already put on his clothing at the ship and put makeup and wig on on the way. The wig is not my favourite one because I failed a bit when cutting it and it always needs a crap load of hair-spray to stay OK.
Basically the day went by just walking around the con building looking at cosplays and meeting people. I was mostly über awkward, because even if I understand basic Swedish, people would speak so fast and with an accent that I'd just be left looking helplessly at the guys to translate for me or stutter out a "Sorry I don't speak Swedish". What was endearing though was that pretty much everyone's reaction to my not speaking Swedish was apologizing and switching to English. Like, it's me who should be sorry for not speaking it and not you for not somehow telepathically knowing I don't. But all in all people were very nice and seemed to speak real nice English.
Also on Friday there seemed to be not that much of cosplayers. Of course there were many, but not as many as I had thought there'd be. Apparently Saturday was considered the best con-day. People also seemed more lively or something. For example running indoors and having hug me -signs wasn't really scorned upon.

Food things that I thought were great:
1) Cup noodles. You could buy noodles at the con place and they warmed water for you to cook it. Because I think cup noodles are nice and easy food for con-goers, but who the hell carries a water-boiler to cons with them. No one.
2) Microwaves. They also sold pizza, but instead of warming it for you they had just slapped microwave ovens there so that people could warm their own pizza. And I think you could have warmed your own food in those too. I guess there's a risk of someone breaking the ovens, but those seemed to do just fine in there. And less work for the staff.
Just imagine in for example Desucon that you could go to S-Market, buy food and go warm it in a microwave at the con-place. I'd do that. Life made so much easier and hopefully better fed con-goers would ensue.

Con food: Always so healthy. Or not.

I slept at a sovsal (=lattiamajoitus). It was basically at the con place so I was happy for not needing to go and get lost at Linköping. I had picked a small gym-hall out of the options. It was packed with people, but everyone seemed to be nice and quiet and just went to sleep. I guess I just feel too old for sleeping on the floor because it was cold and my back was a bit stiff and achy in the morning.

Saturday was Hakuouki-day for us. I happily put on Saitou cosplay because even if it's somewhat bothersome with no pants, a kimono that derps all the time and a pair of katana that are in the way, I love the character and his design. We had a little group of us Hakuouki cosplayers. Obviously I didn't talk much with most of them, because language problems, but rasetsu! Sannan was very nice and would speak English to me from time to time. When everyone was assembled, we went to Espresso House to sit around and drink coffee. That meant we walked a good 10 or 15 minutes in the city. (With a random kid shouting "Konnichiwa" at us at one point.) I pretty much just drank my latte and listened people talking. I actually understood somethings they said, because when I have no stress of having to respond, it was easier to just chill out and listen. There was also a good deal of taking random photos of the shinsengumi (+few others) having coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed that even though the walks in those damn straw sandals was not the nicest.

(I don't really know the nics/names for half the people here + some are not in the pics even.)

An interesting thing is that I never noticed anyone to actually check on people's con-bracelets on the door like in Finland where someone is checking them always.

We also happened to meet a random Finnish girl, Thyme, at the con who joined us for the rest of the day. I was surprised to realize that I had met her once while I was cosplaying for one of the first times in my life. We talked, and went around the con and went to take some group pictures of our Hakuouki group. We stayed at the con till around midnight and with Valkoinen Samurai I just sat around and talked and stuff for the longest time. Some people had started to just go around with a boom-box and dancing and they seemed to have a lot of fun. I was dreadfully tired though.

Sunday was ridiculously short. I still put on my Reid cosplay because it would have felt like a waste not to do that. Valkoinen Samurai gave me a small photoshoot, and all in all getting photos was all worth wearing it. (It's probably my most comfortable cosplay.)

This con day was pretty much over before it even started. The con ended 12:00 but if you had the bus ticket you could wait till 13:30 for the bus. (No one checked me if I had the ticket though, again.) Thyme gave me bus company and we talked or just half slept. (I was also getting slightly motion-sick.) We went to McDonald's at Stockholm before I had to catch the bus to Siljaline terminal and go back home.

All in all it was fun, but I admit enjoying cons at Finland more. Simply because I don't have to feel nervous whenever someone tries to speak to me. But people were nice, it was organized to be very easy and user friendly and it was ganska awesome.



    I'm adfhgsah-ing right now, just OMG THANK YOU FOR COMING. <3 <3 ;A; You are always so much fun to be with!! Hope to see you at more cons this year too.. and if you came to Närcon (summer) it would be the most epic thing ever!!

    Also I totally missed that Konnichiwa-kid. lol

    1. Thaks~<3 You are just as much fun and it was definitely worth coming just for that. <3 ;A;
      Yeah, I'll see what cons will I go to, but we'll definitely see in some of them!

      Lol, I just heard him while we were walking and pretty much just grinned at it. Smart kid though to realize we had Japanese clothing and that Konnichiwa is Japanese. xD

  2. Ymmärään kyllä sen fiiliksen kun ei osa sujuva kieltä mitä naapurimaasa puhutaan ja että siitä tulle vähän semoinen forever alone fiilis. Hyvää oli kuitenki että minä ja Valkoinen Samurai oltin sielä seurana ja pystyttin kääntämään jos sinulla tuli tarvetta.

    Joo, minä mietin myös miksi conissa ketään ei katsonu tai tarkastanu että kaikkila kävijöillä oli coni-ranneke, tosi outoa. No, toivotavasti ne parenta sen ens kerraksi. Kesä Närconi on paljon parempi kun tämä kerron sen.

    Kiva lukkea että sinulla kuitenki oli hauska conissa, ja Hakuouki raidi kaupungissa oli aivan siistiä <3

    Toivotavasti tuut joskus uudestaan Ruotsin cossamaan meidän kans!

    1. Jep, se oli vaan aina niin awkward moment sanoa, etten ymmärrä, mut oikeesti kaikki oli tosi mukavia siitä ja vaan vaihto englanniks. Ja tosiaan voin luottaa teihin siellä.<3

      Outoa kieltämättä, varsinki ku ens piti jonottaa perse jäässä niitä rannekkeita. xD

      Jep, oli tosiaa hauskaa ja ainaki joskus varmasti tuun uudestaanki.

  3. Yay~
    Oli se kyl sattumia sarjassa "ei näin käy ikinä mitävitsiä" XD Mut oli aivan mahtava tavata taas!

    Oon kyllä ihan samaa mieltä niistä rannekekontrolleista, ne oli aika olemattomat verrattuna siihen jonotusaikaan.

    Kiitos vielä tosi paljon seurasta, oisin muuten ollu varmaan aika lailla yhtä hukassa koko conin ku olin perjantain :'D
    (tai no, olihan mulla ne muutama random tyyppi, mut oli se kuitenkin kiva päästä keskustelemaan sujuvasti ja muuta)

    1. Niin oli. xD Joo, mä osaan kuvitella, ku olin itekki aina hiukan hukassa siellä sillon ku noi kaks ei ollu vielä con-paikalla jne. Mut oli tosiaan mukava tavata ja saada bussimatkalle seuraa ja kaikkea. ^_^

      Mä käsitin, et yleensä niit kyl tarkistetaan, mut ne vaan feilas siellä jotenkin.