I wanted to write this the moment I got home. Then I got sick. Then the jetlag hit me. And by the time I had recovered, I didn't see the point anymore. But I just read Noraneko-Sparks' own Touhoucon recap, and I realized I kinda have an obligation to do this. It's been over three weeks since it ended, so I don't think I'll be able to remember every single detail, but I'm going to try, anyway.
17 September 2015, Day 0
I woke up at 2 in the morning. The day prior, I had ordered a cab to take me to the airport. It would be waiting for me at 4. I spent the hours finishing packing, getting dressed, and generally getting ready to leave for the weekend, chatting with the other Walfasers that would go to the con when I still had time to spare. I arrived early at the Leipzig airport and made my way to the gate with 3 hours to spare. Getting through airport security and receiving my boarding tickets was smoother sailing than I'd thought. An hour in flight later, I touched down at the Frankfurt airport, where I had 50 minutes until the next plane. Again, smoother sailing than I anticipated, as getting through customs was a swift affair that only involved looking at my passport and boarding ticket. The flight to Los Angeles took me about 11:30 hours, and the prospect of having to get past customs in the US was making me unbelievably nervous because, despite many reassurances from various people, I was afraid of being denied entry into the States. Even writing about it and recollecting that event makes my heart pound faster. Fortunately, all went well and so I made my way out of the arrivals area.
They had a ramp with a stone railing many people were waiting on, including FullHitPoints, who I was afraid I wouldn't be able to recognize, yet his face still stood out. I'd never gotten around to showing him a picture of me, so all he had to go by was my voice, but he did recognize me. It's quite a surreal feeling, finally meeting face-to-face with a guy you'd only been calling or texting for the last three or so years. Our ride to Anaheim was handled by a friend of his mother's, and even though it was an hour-ish long, I didn't care. Cultural exchanges were to be made and regional differences were to be pointed out!
Arriving at the hotel at last, we wasted no time checking in and heading to our room on the 11th floor - room 11-122. As we made ourselves comfortable and grabbed the Mega Drive/Genesis controllers we brought to play some Streets of Rage, we were interrupted by a Skype message from MiniWitch3 asking if anyone wanted to eat out with him. Not exactly having anything better to do (as well as being eager to meet the rest of the group), we said yes and made our way down the lobby where we didn't even know who to look for, until Ceej39 approached us. While waiting for others, Aaron and someone else (sorry, I forgot who) were playing some Soku, with the former getting his ass handed to him due to having never played that game before.
Eventually, the assembled party consisted of Aaron, Ceej, Mini, Nora, Janovasis, BleachBummer, Rodie-the-Nightblade, his girlfriend Brit, a few other guys whose names I didn't catch (I think one of them was called Joe...?), and of course myself, as we made our way to a Bubba Gump's a couple blocks down the road. Having never watched the movie Forrest Gump, Aaron and I were lost on the references, and after practically having had the entire movie spoiled in the trivia quiz part of the meal, any incentive to actually watch the movie was lost. At the restaurant, I had a little bit of a culture shock because the waiter was exceptionally outgoing, something I've never experienced by staff in Germany. One topic of conversation among our party also happened to be about my accent. While I try to sound like a native English speaker, I can't quite pull it off, and I found that it sounds really awkward if I suddenly say British things like "arse". Well, people seemed to be divided on whether I sounded like I was from Cali or New York. Go figure...
By the time we were heading back to the hotel, the sun had already set and it was beginning to get dark. Having had a long journey behind me, I was dead tired, and so was Aaron, so we went to sleep at about 8pm.
I think I'm gonna call this a journal for now. We haven't even gotten to the Touhoucon part yet and I've already written this much. Stay tuned for Part 2, which, depending on how lacking my recollection skills are, might be the last part, or there could be a Part 3 to top it off.