EDIT: Thanks to ExPorygon for pointing out who went to the Yuuhei Satellite concert on Day 2.
It was sometime during the 17th or 18th that what I was doing really hit me: I actually did it. I took a plane to the other side of the planet, trusting to be able to meet up with people I'd never even met before personally, in a land thousands of miles from home where nobody spoke my language (although I fortunately spoke theirs). It was expensive, and risky.
But it was so worth it.
People appearing in this without being :dev:-mentioned in the recap:
18 September 2015, Day 1
This was it. Touhoucon was officially upon us. Despite having set the alarm to go off at 8am, I woke up sometime around 5:45. Not sure if it was because we went to sleep so early or because I was just excited. Could be a combination of the two. I spent the hours until the alarm would go off in bed, texting people, especially my family at home, to let them know I made it OK. When the alarm went off, it took Aaron a good while to get up, but unlike the following mornings, I didn't actually have to prod him at all. We took a shower (not simultaneously, obviously) and got dressed before deciding what to have for lunch. In-room dining was considered, but quickly discarded when we did the math and realized that a slice of toast would cost us 8 bucks. The food court wouldn't open until 10, so the only place we could go was a restaurant called Mix, which was located within the hotel. Aaron had eggs over-easy with toast and strawberry jam, as well as bacon and potato wedges, while I got some Belgian waffles. I guess I won't have to worry about getting prostate cancer anytime soon.
Heading back to our room, we put on our costumes. The hair tubes and head bow of mine would not stay on, and Aaron couldn't feel his hat due to the wig he was wearing, so it had a habit of falling off without him noticing. And even so, the costumes were incredibly tight. Several times, I thought I would end up tearing my top apart in my attempts at putting it on or taking it off, but fortunately it's still intact. Since I wasn't wearing any pants under the skirt, I also shaved my lower legs with Aaron's electric razor to at least appear a bit more feminine (my long hair kinda helped). I would find that the air conditioning in the hotel was sub-70°F (or 18-ish°C), which had me freezing after a while, but not just in the legs.
Going down to the lobby, we met Ceej, but also got to finally meet up with ChibioChen and most importantly Spaztique, the man himself. It was almost like meeting a celebrity, with the exception that we were friends (and would be even closer friends by the end of the weekend, although the same could be said of everyone). The opening ceremony had a fairly rough start as we got moved all over the place before finally getting to sit down, and then we couldn't even take pictures. Afterwards, I ended up losing Aaron at a line he was standing at for some merch. Lost and confused, I wandered the hallway for a while, turning down an Aya cosplayer who wanted to take a picture of me (I probably would have said yes if I hadn't been frantically looking for a Walfaser). I eventually found Nora, and she commented on my way of storing things. Since I didn't have any pockets or a bag, or basically anything that's made for putting stuff into, I had to use my sleeves "like a pro Reimu", to put it in her own words. She then got me one of those red Touhoucon bags that were being handed out, and I stuck my gohei into my skirt to use as a carrying pole for the bag - that way, I still had my hands free. We were handed brochures for a voice acting panel that was going on at the con, which Nora told me Spaz went to, so while it wasn't something that I was dying to see, I figured it would be interesting enough to visit, and I kinda needed someone to attach myself to, seeing as my phone was useless without wi-fi, and the only place I had any was in my room, which I couldn't go to because I left my wallet in there, so Aaron was the only guy with a key.
At that panel, I was listening fairly intently, which made it difficult to react to Spaz's commentary, so I hardly replied to that. They did let some volunteers do a bit of voice acting, Spaz being one of them and doing a fantastic job. We left the panel early because he wanted to meet up with some people at the merch room, having handed me some money beforehand because I didn't have any US space credits, despite my protests. I mean, I was already mooching off of Aaron, who not only paid for our hotel room, but also for all of my meals. (Note to self: Make sure to secure a credit card by next year.) To make me feel even more guilty, there was a Reitaisai booth that sold the Windows Touhou games at 25 bucks each (40 for the fighters). Since Spaz only gave me 20, I had to ask him for 5 more so I could grab a game. The choice was a tough one, but I went with EoSD.
There were some gaming tournaments planned in the gaming hall for that day, one of which being PoFV, which I had signed up for. The tourney was at the same time as the Walfas panel, which I ultimately regret having missed out on, especially because of the following: The tournament was taking forever to start. Maybe it didn't even start at all, but by the end of its allotted time, it was still going on alongside the Lunatic Theater, during which I was joined by Aaron and a few other Walfasers. The games that were being Lunatic 1cc'd were PCB and DDC, and I learned a few strats from watching them. The commentary was utterly forgettable, though. Eventually, it became clear that the tournament just wasn't going to happen anytime soon, so Aaron and I left for our room, me doubting that I would have won even a single match. I had had a few practice games against other people, and save for one, they all resulted in my defeat. Great confidence builder.
Getting out of our costumes, we then went to the food court to get some dinner. Trying to order a taco at Baja Fresh was a trainwreck because I was having a very hard time understanding English with a thick Spanish accent and had to have Aaron translate for me several times. By the end of it, I just wanted to sink into the floor and eradicate my existence from this world. It also turned out that a taco is actually kinda small, so it wasn't exactly filling, either, and I probably should have ordered a few more. Even Aaron seemed to indicate as much, asking me if I was sure I only wanted one taco. The day would come to an end after a few failed Mystic Square runs, one of which involved me getting Wriggle-kicked by Mai while trying to exploit her safespot.
19 September 2015, Day 2
Half of my stay was already in the past. Despite having gone to bed at around 10pm last night, I still got up early. Maybe it was jetlag, just into the past, so it didn't hit me as hard. I decided to take a shower and get dressed while Aaron was still sleeping - I had long hair, so it would have taken its sweet time drying up. By the time I got out of the shower, his phone was beeping for the fourth time, so I grabbed my gohei and swished the paper (well, technically felt) charms in his face until he woke up. We ate breakfast at the same place again: he got what he got yesterday, I decided to try something new - the "overly-stuffed breakfast burrito" they had. I regretted that choice once I saw that they had diced ham in it. Yes, I actually dislike ham. Its color looks entirely unappetizing and its taste is much the same, so after eating roughly a third of the thing, I snagged Aaron's potato wedges instead and dipped them into his ketchup.
Still having time until the panels began, we went back to our room and played some Lotus Land Story, me trying to go for a Lunatic 1cc again, yet failing by getting a double-KO against Stage 5 Yuuka. However, we eventually had to get out because room service was trying to clean up. Taking the elevator down to the second floor, we saw Ceej working on Forbidden Scrollery in a Shellnut. Roy would join us not much later, looking very dapper and carrying a mask that made it difficult for him to see, let alone breathe. At about 11:30am, the guys were heading to the cosplay gathering while I went to the "Compositional Techniques in Touhou Music" panel. It ended about 10 minutes before the cosplay gathering, so I tried to find it, but to no avail since they moved it and I was flat-out looking in the wrong place, so I went back to our room, grabbed Aaron's laptop and opened Skype to try and reach out to someone, letting them know where I was and asking them to tell Aaron if they saw him. When he came back, he showed me all the pictures he had taken, adding "not attending the cosplay gathering" to my list of regrets I have about Touhoucon. At least the panel I went to instead of the gathering was actually interesting and informative, not that trainwreck tournament that never happened.
We had time to spare until 4:15pm, when the Gensokyo Survival Guide panel would begin, but because I derped on my 12-hour to 24-hour conversions, I thought it would start at 14:15 (aka 2:15pm), so we were plenty confused when we got the the room at that time and there was a completely different panel going on. The next two hours until it actually began were spent playing some more Mega Drive games. He kicked my ass at Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (I hadn't played Puyo Puyo in a long while), I kicked his ass at Columns III, we both kicked ass at Streets of Rage 2, but didn't manage to beat the game, unfortunately.
As we settled into our seats for the panel, we surprisingly encountered Toshirin-Akaza and the guy from TouhouSubs, who was handing out business cards. Toshi was being a goofball and clearly enjoying himself, sporting a massive toothy grin on all the pictures I took of him dancing around. The panel itself was two hours of non-stop laughter, raspy voices along with ensuing "I'm Batman" jokes that detailed the exploits of a growly wolf Tengu, a drunken fairy, a human and an oni (who had an incident in his past that we do not speak of) as they were looking for their garden gnome, annoying Keine at 3 in the morning, beating the shit out of Suika after epically failing a drinking contest, and then finally finding their gnome, which had become sentient. Rodie and Roy were doing a great job with the panel and it was definitely the highlight of the convention for me.
After it, Aaron, Toshi, ExPorygon, Cirno84 and aussieanimefreak24 went to the Yuuhei Satellite concert while Spaz, Nora, Mini, Bleach, Ceej and me went to the food trucks outside, Mini eventually leaving for the concert, as well. I was considering getting something, but decided against it because a) I didn't know what to get, b) I didn't want to sit on Spaz's wallet (despite him telling me he had the money to spare), and c) I was intending to eat with Aaron after he came back from the concert. So I just sat there with the others and took in the atmosphere. I didn't add much to the conversation - there wasn't much I could say - but listening was fine by me. We headed back inside for the R-18 panels that would follow. Having to show ID to prove that I'm over 18, I grabbed my passport because I wasn't sure that my German citizen ID was going to be accepted. The guy who was checking for ID was understandably confused when I tried handing him my passport, but another staff member came along and took a look at it, granting me entry. The first panel was "Scary Gensokyo: The Horrors of Touhou". I started falling asleep halfway through it (not because the panel was boring, but because I was running out of energy), but tried soldiering on until the end of it - with not a lot of success. When it ended, there would have been a 10-minute break until "WTF Touhou Hentai", but I excused myself and went back to my room, trying to stay awake until Aaron came back.
It was 9:15pm. Judging by the schedule table, the concert hall would have been cleared by then, but there was still nobody, so I wrote a note, telling him I had been waiting for him to come back so we could eat dinner together, but I couldn't suppress the urge to sleep any longer. As I was lying in bed, half-asleep, I heard the door open and him coming back with Toshi. I considered getting out of bed to go eat out with him, but ultimately decided to just keep sleeping, even though I hadn't eaten since breakfast.
The next morning, I saw a reply note of his propped up against the alarm clock. Yuuhei Satellite had been giving an encore and then they were allowed to take pictures.
Hoo boy, that second part turned out pretty long. When I went back to the room after unsuccessfully trying to find the cosplay gathering on Day 2, I was actually working on a dA journal recap of the events up until that point. When I tried submitting, I got an error and my progress was erased - or so I thought. Aaron suggested that I check my Sta.sh, and there it was. So up until that point of the story, I'd been using that journal draft as a reference. Then, I pulled out the schedules that I still possess to piece together the rest.
Day 3, 4, and the aftermath coming up soon...