I stayed the night before the con at Shiro Samurai's apartment with him and Sacchan. During that night we became cocoon worms
I can tell you, my body revenged it in the Friday morning
After an hour or so Marcus (who was the 4th member of our squad this time and who had completely forgotten that we were leaving in the Friday morning) was also ready to leave and we begun to drive to Skellefteå.
I managed to sleep most of the time but at some point I really woke up when I heard someone shouting. Turned out that it was Sacchan and when I looked out of the window I could completely understand why - the weather was awful, it was snowing heavily and no one was able to see properly... I feel you, Sacchan.
We had also been clever enough to leave all the winter clothing at home (when I say home I actually mean Southern Finland so yeah, talk about 500+ kilometers...). Didn't feel like the winner when I saw the weather.
Anyway, after a few hours of driving we arrived to Skellefteå. It was quite funny to try to find the campus area where the con took place this year.
"Just tell me when you see a campus sign!"
"...we just drove past it..."
In the end we found our way to the parking lot. I decided to stay outside since the others were working as volunteers at the con and I... Well, would have done the same had I not been so unsure if I was even going there or not. In the end I didn't apply to be a volunteer and because I wasn't working at the con I wasn't quite allowed to stay inside when they did some last minute organizing etc.
(All pictures © Shiro Samurai.)
After an hour of waiting or so I went to stand in the line and got my ticket, yay! <3
When the others were working I spent my time sitting on the nearby sofa and just watching people walk by.
At six o'clock in the evening (Swedish time, mind you) we formed our squad again and went to eat at Max. We decided to take a walk there and fuck, it was cold! Sacchan and I also wondered if we should go to walk in the river but for some reason we never did that
After eating Shiro Samurai - who was very kind when he let me borrow all the stuff needed for this costume - helped me to put on the casual!Japan cosplay from Hetalia. I had worn kimono never before and you should have seen me... "HOW DO I EVEN!?" :DD Also the make-up gods weren't on my side which is, unfortunately, very noticeable.
I also wanted some proof pictures that I actually had a cosplay on and Shiro Samurai kindly took the pics.
Note; I know that for example my Italy lenses would have been okay for this cosplay but I didn't take them with me when I left south to north. I had also ordered lenses for Japan but well, I was too late - they didn't arrive in time.
But now, those pics~
Series: Hetalia: Axis Powers
Photographer & photo edit: Shiro Samurai
(I also know that my labret is a quite a bit inappropriate but I had no choice but to wear it. At least I managed to cover my tattoos with the sleeves...)
I was able to wear the wig for only 1,5 hours or something like that and during that whole time I felt intense headache approaching me (actually I think that it was because of the wig cap but well, I have quite long hair nowadays so I can't wear short wigs without it).
So for the rest of the evening I just sat there with Shiro Samurai and Sacchan (who actually had a shift next to the entrance door - they checked that people who entered had wristbands - but nah) just speaking random shit and making very bad puns. I think that at this point Marcus already had his kazoo and sometimes he entertained us with playing some melodies with it. And the infamous moose mating call. xD
At 1 o'clock in the morning Shiro Samurai and Sacchan's shift ended. Each one of us was quite tired at that point and we decided to go to the dorms.
Which wasn't as easy as we imagined it would be - there was no map. For quite a long while we were just driving around the campus are and playing a game "Follow Marcus" - yep, Marcus was running around the only E-shaped building in the are (we were told that the dorms were in an E-shaped building) and checking if any door was open.
In the end they told us that the dorms weren't at the campus area at all...
|My exact face at that point. I'm one of those people who get irritated when tired... :D (Meme found on Google.)|
We also had to walk around the whole dorm building (some school, I don't remember its name) to get to the door of the dorms. It wasn't that easy since there was snow everywhere and we had quite much stuff to carry with us... x__x
I had been wondering for the whole day about me sleeping in another classroom than the others; you see, Sacchan, Shiro Samurai and Marcus (who didn't come to the dorms with us since he had a shift at the convention place) were volunteers while I was just some random attending the con. The volunteers had a classroom for them and the random people had four other classrooms. After all there was no need to worry; the volunteered workers at the dorms let me sleep in the same classroom than my friends! <3
I must say that we fell asleep fairly fast, probably because we hadn't slept during the night before the con. In the middle of the night I woke up though, I was literally shaking because it was so damn cold. Yes, I haven't gotten used to the "sleep in the dorms, on the floor" thing yet. It wasn't actually that bad, excluding the fact that the floor was quite cold.
We woke up when we heard the alarm clock decided to tell us that it was alive - yet we didn't manage to actually wake up, we just opened our eyes for a couple of seconds and fell asleep again. In the end we had to wake up when one of the volunteers came to the room clapping her hands and telling us that we had something like half an hour to dress up, take everything we would need during the day with us and leave the dorms since they were closed during the day. We were also informed that our stuff would be moved to another classroom for the next night.
So there was no other chance than to wake up and get ready. Somehow we (us three and Vicktor who had appeared to the classroom during the night) managed to go to the car with our eyes still half-closed. Perhaps that's why it took us quite a long time to find the route to the campus... xD
|This and the two pictures above are from the entrance hall.|
|Signs showing where the activities/rooms/etc. are. Guess if I understood something... :D|
|The room where people sang "karaoke" - except that there was no actual karaoke, just music playing in the bacground and people singing along.|
I had decided to cosplay Ayame Sohma on Saturday and I had also sent an application to the cosplay competition. I hadn't received an answer - or that's what I thought - and a couple of hours I just ran around the place trying to find someone who would know if my application had been accepted or not. Finally I found a guy who told me that they had sent me an answer (yup, my network had just been shitting on me, damn roaming prices etc.) which was yes. He also told me about the timetable - luckily I still had time to put on my cosplay.
First I only did the make-up since I wanted to go and see the martial arts display; it was actually the first reason that got me interested in going to Skecon. I only had time to watch the kendo part though since I had to go put on my cosplay (with the help of Sacchan since Ayame isn't that easy to put on). Anyway, the part I saw of the display was very interesting!
But, like I said, I just put on my cosplay and walked back to Campushallen where the stage was - I was supposed to be at the backstage an hour before the actual competition. During that time I checked the stage lights etc.; I decided to go with green and white lights this time since red one would have been hideous and my cosplay would have disappeared in blue light.
Perhaps the biggest difference compared to Finnish competitions was that we didn't get those number badges which tell us when it's time to go to the stage.
Anyway there was clear host so even I knew when it was my time to go to the stage - and I don't speak Swedish almost at all.
I didn't place in the competition but, to be honest, I wasn't waiting for that to happen. I just wanted to experience a competition outside of Finland - and let's be honest, it's been a long time since I had enjoyed competing so much!
Sacchan had been watching the competition and told me that it went well anyways; I was so happy to hear that since I was still quite nervous. I hadn't competed in over a year and I was a bit nervous but luckily it didn't show on the stage.
Soon Sacchan, Shiro Samurai, Marcus, Vicktor and I decided to go to eat something... At Max, of course (I'm really addicted to those burgers now, damn it). :DD
When we came back to the campus area Shiro Samurai decided to put on his cosplay so I decided to hang out with Sacchan and Marcus. We were just singing some random songs and listened to Marcus playing the kazoo. xD
At some point (when Shiro Samurai had already put on his cosplay and the squad was whole again) I begun to feel extremely anxious and I decided to take my medicine. The medicine I have isn't for the psyche though; it decreases the physical symptoms of a panic attack, for example the high pulse and shaking.
We were just casually hanging out in the gaming room... And there Shiro Samurai took a "I actually had a cosplay on" proof pic of me.
|Ft. the obligatory Mountain Dew.|
For three hours we sat at the entrance again, I watched them play MonHun and talked with Marcus too. At some point Mikael came to us with two other cosplayers - they were very funny, that amount of laughing! :D
When their shift ended we went back to the gaming room. I didn't want to play anything - I'm a gamer too but I've always been more of a PC gamer than a console gamer.
|The stairs leading to the gaming room,|
|The gaming room itself.|
|Yup, we are true artists... xD|
Our stuff had been moved to a classroom where there were other people sleeping too. We had to be careful to not to make too much rustling - we didn't want to wake anyone up. Falling asleep was quite difficult but somehow I managed to do that. I woke up in the middle of the night again; yes, it was still cold.
We woke up, changed into casual gear, collected our stuff and went to the car. We got all the stuff in the car and were ready to drive to the campus area...
But the car disagreed with us. It didn't start at all.
Luckily there was a man with a child who promised to take us to the campus are so Sacchan and Shiro Samurai wouldn't be late (they had a shift in the morning).
At the convention place they told some other volunteers about our car problems. Instantly people begun to look for cables etc. - it was a battery malfunction so everybody thought that it would just have to be charged.
Had that been the case everything would have been quite much easier. Especially for Sacchan...
We decided that I would stay with Shiro Samurai at the entrance and Sacchan would go with the others to the car. It took some time but when they came back we got some bad news; the car would start if the cables were attached to it but otherwise there was no hope with it. The only way was to buy a new battery.
And that's what they did.
Well, at some point we were able to leave Skellefteå and get some gasoline from a nearby gas station. We continued our trip towards the north when suddenly the car informed us again about a battery malfunction.
And we were driving along E4 - one just can't stop dead in the tracks there. The only option was to stop in a place where people would actually see us and not crash into us and put on the hazard flasher. Sacchan was in total panic, Shiro Samurai looked like he could also start panicking and Marcus and I were just sitting there like "...shit".
Quite soon Marcus asked me should he call for help and I told him to do so. It turned out that people to whom he spoke couldn't help us so our only option was to wait and inform Sacchan's parents about what had happened.
After 45 minutes or so a car stopped and a middle-aged couple came to help us. With their help we got into Byske... And that's where we stayed for the next few, long hours. In the beginning we were sitting in the car but it got very cold very fast and I decided to go to check how long the shop next to us would be open. Turned out that if we only got permission we could wait there and not freeze in the car.
Marcus spoke to the workers and they gave us permission to stay there and wait for Sacchan's parents to arrive. Another option was the local mechanic whom Marcus had contacted but the guy wasn't in the town at that moment.
Every now and then I went to check if the car was unharmed - luckily it was. I also needed the fresh air
After a few hours Sacchan's mother appeared to the shop and let's just say that I was quite happy to see her. I gave the driving instructions to Sacchan's father towards the car (they didn't know where it was) and once we got to it Sacchan's father decided to give the problem a closer look.
And suddenly he managed to start the car.
You should have seen my and Sacchan's faces at that point... But when we begun to drive (Shiro Samurai, Marcus and Sacchan's parents were in another car and drove in front of us) the battery malfunction light was there again. In a crossroad the car decided to die.
At that point I explained everything that had happened with the car during that day to Sacchan's father. He decided to change the whole battery - it was quite obvious at that point that the battery charger was broken.
With the new battery we were finally able to continue driving to the north. At first the driving conditions were absolutely hideous and Sacchan and I decided to take different tasks; I kept my eye on the road and told her where she should drive and she concentrated on following her parents' car and driving.
96 kilometers before our destination the car informed us - once again - about a battery malfunction but we decided to keep on driving. Now the luck was on our side and we got to our destination (where the car instantly died)! I was freezing at that point, I couldn't feel my feet anymore and I think that I looked like a cartoon character with my teeth clacking together etc. xD Anyway the trip went well and I and Sacchan had fun together - oh the jokes xD
This was my first Skecon but by no means the last one - I really enjoyed this con experience and I will definitely attend it in the future (perhaps as a volunteer too). I had fun and basically everything went smoothly at the con. So yeah, I definitely do not regret attending Skecon! :)