Of France, Momoclo, Idoling!!! and all that jazz...

The tales of my travails and travels in France are once again dreary, long-winded, full of moaning and boredom and melancholy, thus likely incredibly boring to read. Therefore, it falls to me to present a somewhat abridged version of the events that have occured over the past few days. Abridged, of course, meaning below 6000 words, instead of the usual festering miasma of verbal diarrhoea that I viscerally ejaculate into being that often approaches the size of the small novel.

Nevertheless, I shall once again begin in that altogether familiar temporal location, to wit, the beginning.

Not three months since I'd last suffered France at the hands of Buono, it was announced that my current favourite group of the now, Momoiro Clover Z, would also be making the arduous journey to France, for that unholy coagulation of French weeaboo: Japan Expo.

It was also announced later that Idoling!!! would be there too, in a somewhat diminished form, but my knowledge of Idoling!!! is remaining steady at a level of just above zero.

But anyway, imagine my shock. Having only just recovered (both mentally and financially) from Buono, I would now have to return to the place that has probably now re-overtaken Venezia as my least favourite place in the world: Paris.

As I tried in vain to find a worthy party to aid me in my quests, I hit dead-end upon dead-end. My fellow Northern!wota (Gina, Mark, Orob, Pete, Andy and Lara) all either had no interest in Momoclo or were otherwise occupied. Dean had fucked off to Japan, where his girlfriend was now taking up more time than idols (shock horror). My bandmate Chris had spent all his money on studio equipment, my college mate was too busy gardening for money, and my only interested friend from down south never got back to me (the cunt).

I began to look further afield. Henkka expressed his hesitation at going for a group he liked but wasn't approaching professorial knowledge about. Luckily, in Ole I found my partner-in-crime. Those Norwegians are lucky rich buggers. Less than a week before departure we found our third musketeer: Watanabe, everyone's favourite "has an unhealthy interest in foreign wota" wota.

Our party now complete, we began our quest.

Watanabe had arrived on Wednesday, whereas the room I'd booked was only from Thursday until Monday. Therefore, he spent the night on the floor with two other Japanese wota, one an A~rin fan, the other a dentist (and Shiori wota).

Anyway, thus, my journey began...

Day One - Thursday

I awoke at 4am to sunlight streaming through my window. After two weeks of heavy rain and self-defenestrating windows, it was enough to convince me that I really didn't want to go to Paris. Then I remembered Momoclo, and with that motivation I dragged my ass out of bed and from there to the train station.

British Rail being British, my train that was due to arrive at 5:28 turned up at 5:51, yet still reached the airport at 6:30 (despite not being due there until 6:35). Yay speeding.

Manchester Airport Terminal 1 is shit. Makes Heathrow Terminal 5 look like a masterpiece of execution. There are more shops than there are boarding gates, and none of the shops are worth a shit. There was even a branch of the worst brand in existence, "Superdry". Peddling meaningless kanji on tshirts to unsuspecting trendies since 2004.

After waiting in excruciating boredom for forty days and forty nightstwo hours, my gate was announced. I few with Jet2, another shitty budget airline. I figured that, like Ryanair, it would be a free-for-all for position to get to your seat.

I was wrong.

After waiting for thirty minutes at the gate (by this time, the flight was already late), the bastards called for "only rows 14-26". Shortly thereafter, someone at the bar next to the boarding gate decided to yell rather loudly, "I'M IN THE ZONE! RIGHT NOW I AM IN THE ZONE!!!"

A wholesome panic ensued, in which a child farted and adults exchanged mirthful glances. The guy was led away by an M16 touting copper, but I'm given to wonder what might have been had the same thing happened in the USA. No doubt a full evacuation, a siege by SWAT then Navy S.E.A.L.S and the Marines, then a headshot by a sniper, just because some drunk fool got in the zone.

Anyway, back to the tale.

I eventually boarded, only for the flight to be delayed for another thirty minutes due to the pilot waiting for the "right paperwork". Amateurs.

The flight was a typical flight, and, much like the train, despite being rather delayed we arrived much on time. Or so I thought, until the plane came to a stop in a car park, and we had to wait for every passenger to board a bus to take us the extremely long distance of 50 metres to the terminal. Could have fucking walked.

It turns out that Terminal 3 of Charles de Gaulle airport is the redheaded stepsister of the other two terminals. Having had ample opportunity to explore both other terminals whilst terminally bored, I can only say that Terminal 1 is the stylish yet slightly impractical one; Terminal 2 is the bookish, logical and overly thought out one (also fat and ugly), whereas T3 is the impoverished, malnourished afterthought.

Anyway, I have once again ambled down a tangential path, thus I shall return to the main story. After taking the bus back to the terminal and waiting forever in the "queue" (because face it, the French idea of queuing is nothing of the sort) for immigration (Tories, fucking sign Schengen already, bitches). After that arrived at the lounge and met up with Ole for the first time since Hangry & Angry in 2010. Just to rub it in, he informed me that every bus and plane he'd taken had been early. Bloody Norwegian efficiency.

Still, by this time it was gone 11am and I'd hoped to be at the Expo for 12 as I'd been told that 12 was the time the draws for the signing started. Thus we quickly made our way to the train station and grabbed a RER to the Parc des Expositions. I also gave Ole some yellow glowsticks for Shiori.

We arrived and the place was packed. I had no idea how long it'd take to get through, so I rushed through the 4-day pass "queue" (I learned the French way quickly) and headed off for the signing point at full speed, losing Ole along the way. However, when I reached the stand all the tickets were gone, and the time was about 12:10. So much for that info. I texted Ole to hotfoot it back to Hall 5 to get to the Main Hall for the live, as it was going to start in a short time.

After pushing past more people than I ever wanted to have physical contact with in my entire life, I made it to the Main Hall just as it was about to start. Just in time, it turned out, as the lights went down as I was searching for a seat. All the good ones were gone, so I sat on the edges whilst the overture (JP version) was played. Then they burst out from their paper boxes and started Wani to Shampoo.

"Fuck this", I thought, and moved over to the middle by the stage promenade/protrusion/thing, whereupon Ole finally caught up with me. We cracked open our glowsticks and started wotagei'ing in the walkway with some Japanese Kanako wota, much to the chagrin of a certain Japan Expo staff member who was to become my mortal enemy of the weekend. She shall be known henceforth as just, "The Bitch". We carried on wotagei'ing for Otome Sensou, even though we didn't know the proper way yet (the song's only been out a week and a bit...), then the bitch came and pushed us towards the seats (none of which was ours). Once she'd fucked off again we were back in the walkway for DNA Rhapsody, before finishing it off with the most epic wotagei ever in Chai Maxx.

The bitch returned to try to push us back to our seats, but that shit turned more like a moshpit with Chai Maxx's vigourous (to say the least) wotagei vs one tall, anorexic bitch. After that experience she pretty much gave the fuck up. Unfortunately, that was the last song. Four songs for half an hour, with maybe thirty seconds of MC time.

Highlights of the first concert were: Their epic backwards kanji writing skillz on their paper prisons (MCZ参上), the ninja-through-paper entrance, the crazy longness of Otome Sensou and the epic wotagei of Chai Maxx. In another case of French uselessness, the concert started five minutes late and finished five minutes early.

After the concert, we planned to head straight to the signing for some paparazzi goodness, but we were waylaid by (shock horror) the actual media, who wanted to interview us for something or other. They reacted with shock and horror themselves when we told them that we were from the UK and Norway and were there for Momoclo, not anime. They asked us some illogical questions like "Why are you a fan?", "Do you like other idols?", "What about Kpop?", and "Are there any idols in your country?"

I tried to answer as best I could in Japanese, and annoyed the translator when I TL'd a few questions for Ole before she could. Unfortunately my curse struck again. When I hear French, I get better at it, but my Japanese suffers (and vice versa). They seem incapable of coexisting in my head. Luckily, my Japanese ability is now so far ahead of my French ability (that's not to say I'm awesome at Japanese, just that I'm shit at French) that any French-induced Japanese-amnesia is minimal and shortlived.

Anyway, if anyone finds that interview anywhere, link me.

After the interview, we jogged on to the signing area and started speaking to some more Japanese Kanako wota. They were awesome and gave us a copy of Mirai Bowl each. The gift-giving nature of Japanese wota knows no bounds. It seemed to me like Kanako had the best representation of fans in Paris (both Japanese and non-Japanese wota). Shiori was second (mostly Japanese wota), Momoka was third (mostly non-Japanese wota), with Reni and A~rin about equal but bringing up the rear. Reni's wota were fucking louder in the concerts though. A~rin also got her spotlight moment, which I will detail shortly.

The signing began, some delays again being present. Reni made a false entrance and got called back, before reappearing a minute later, followed by the others.

At the signing, they signed things (amazingly enough)... When they weren't signing they waved a lot.

Momoka was incredibly cute (at least, moreso than usual. I guess reality is still slightly better resolution than HDTV...) as she couldn't reach across the table to sign things. Eventually she took to just placing her entire upper body on the tabletop, just to reach the other side. Nearly moe~d me to death.

At one point BluCherri decided to give them a gift despite not having a signing ticket. They let her into the area, but wouldn't let her hand over the gift personally. The bitch also made her return, holding up a large "NO PHOTO, NO VIDEO" sign. To spite her I took some ninja snaps. Unfortunately, as you can see, they weren't very good. Needed some very creative use of cropping and Lightroom to get even that much out of them.

As the signing drew to a close, Momoka (being the first in line thus the first to finish) accidently broke the stage up by tripping over it. ドジっ子燃え~

They then spent a while talking to the managers before they attempted to do an unamplified French self-introduction. After a few false starts and a few "Can't hear you" complaints, it got going quite well... Until Kanako. She failed so hard it was hilarious, which prompted yells of encouragement (by myself included... wonder if that makes me a traitor to Momoka?) After that (or maybe before, my temporal analysis is weak), a blonde Finnish girl (wait, why say "blonde Finnish girl"? Isn't that like 90% of them?) was let into the signing area, also bearing gifts. She gave A~rin a gift and got a hug. She cried. Then the rest of Momoclo wanted a hug, so instead she gave A~rin another. Momoclo fell over. Was lulz. Seemingly it was Chuxnon from H!O. Well done, oh girl who was bestowed with A~rin's hugs. Still, she was interesting. And didn't know Henkka. I thought all Finnish people knew each other. Like, all 50 of them. Was disappoint.

After these crazy scenes, Momoclo disappeared to do what Momoclo do, so I collared Amy (BluCherri) and Ole found Watanabe, so now as a group of four we went to lunch. It was fucking expensive. €10 for a baguette, muffin and a coke. Turns out though that that was actually quite cheap for the Expo, ended up spending more on food these past few days than I would in like three weeks in Huddersfield.

After lunch we went in search of the Japan Culture/S.A.S store which had all the idol goods in it. Unfortunately, all the Momoclo tshirts had sold out. I've a feeling the French wota with premium tickets bought like ten each. Either that, or they were wearing the same tshirts for four days running...

There were lots of Momoclo CDs, DVDs and magazines, though they were all horribly marked up. €106 for the Saitama Super Arena Christmas Concert? Fuck off.

There was also a selection of Idoling!!! magazines, thus confirming their participation, and nearly every photobook release of current AKB/SKE members, plus a few group ones. Oddly, Mayuyu's either sold out really quickly or they couldn't get it through customs. With Mayuyu either is a distinct possibility.

Post-browsing and not buying anything, we stumbled upon a nice piece of art...

We posed with it a bit, leading to the only picture of me of the entire weekend (again), courtesy of Ole's phone:

There's fat and ugly, then there's me. Glad that was the only picture I was in. Anyway...

After these events, we headed over to "lineup" for the evening live. The line was about four metres wide, defined by barricades. Thus, French "queuing". Ole started blasting old Momoclo concerts from his laptop, and got some of the Japanese wota in our general vicinity wotagei'ing. Watanabe disappeared for a while, then came back, then disappeared again to conclude some of his Krack deals.

Then the whole queue decided to stand up (up until this point it was sitting down, or, in my case, laying down), then eventually we were let in, about two hours early. As it turns out, the queue we were in was for Tanaka Kohei and Iwao Junko. Still, we made the most of it. I doubt Junko had ever been wotagei'd like that before.

I don't think they expected as many people to turn up as actually did. Unfortunately, their setlist consisted of a few good songs at the start, then a load of slow lounge jazz numbers at the end, which bored the fuck out of the crowd. Hard to wotagei to something in 7/4 at 90bpm, after all. After Kohei closed it off and went away, we started getting pumped again. Loads of oshi chants for the girls increased the tension until the lights went down and the music began.

  1. La Marseillaise
  2. overture
  3. Contradiction
  4. Pinky Jones
  5. D'no Junjou
  6. Lost Child
  7. Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou - "Mugen no Ai" 
  8. Roudou Sanka
  9. Chai Maxx!
  10. Momoclo no Nippon Banzai 
To say the wotagei was loud would be doing it an injustice. It was really fucking loud. From Ole's hyperspeed MIX in Pinky Jones to the Chai Maxx epicness, it was amazingly atmospheric. I think I now know and truly understand what Dean means when he says a song is good for wotagei. Watching on DVD never quite picks up the whole atmosphere that being there surrounded by oshi chants and MIX and the mesmerising dance of glowsticks.

The performance itself was energetic, high-tempo and full of win. Hearing Mouretsu live was amazing, even without Marty Friedman and the 100-piece choir. Actually, considering everyone sang along with the end choir-only bit, maybe we were the 100-piece choir. Or 2000-piece choir.

Nippon Banzai was as delightfully mental as ever, Lost Child was interesting (especially as Ole didn't know it and was looking quite lost trying to copy the wotagei), Roudou Sanka certainly had some interesting political overtones for a country that just elected its first Socialist President since Mitterand's last term finished in 1995, and D'no Junjou had some epic bits. The MC had some fail French, and some A~rin fail as she mixed up Shiori's intro when it was Momoka's turn, but was a good level of audience participation, especially when the crowd started to sing Happy Birthday after Kanako's self-intro.

All in all, was a fabulous expreience. Frankly, I now want and need moar Momoclo. It wasn't as epic as the Christmas SSA concert, but I wasn't there and I was for this, thus the epicness was much more personal and win.

After the concert we tried to get an encore but were cockblocked by some different bitch.

Amy had struck up a good partnership with some of the Japanese Kanako wota in the crowd, after having tested each other's shouting strength as to who could shout "Kanako↑↑↑" the loudest, so post-live she hung out with them. Ole, Watanabe and I hung about waiting for the guys whose floor Watanabe had crashed on. They finally extricated themselves from their group and led us back to their hotel, which was pretty small. They seemed surprised that there was no fridge in their room. They must me used to slightly more upscale classes of hotel than me.

After a while explaining to them how I got into Momoclo (a longwinded tale through Sakina and Power-Age through to the Momoka in now even further degenerated Japanese), they asked me to write some birthday messages for Kanako, Shiori and A~rin. I tried writing all in Japanese, but they suggested I write something in English so they thought "Ah, a foreigner" instead of "man this guy can't write kanji, that derpy fool."

They also asked who my oshi was, which was amusing considering my tshirt and trousers were green and I'd just explained about Power-Age and Momoka. Guess they were tired too. Either that or my explanation was pretty messed up. The dentist also gave me his business card, so if I'm ever in Japan and need a filling I know who to call.

After taking our leave we headed to a bar, and got some crap beer. Ole and Watanabe had some Stella (shit) and Hoegaarden (even worse), whilst I had Leffe (bad but tolerable).

The bar had no food though, so we decided to go check in at the hotel, then go to the airport for food. However, the taxis wanted €20 to go the 2km to the hotel.

"Fuck that," we thought, and caught a train to the airport for €4 instead. Eventually we found a decent looking restaurant called Hippopotamus and ate there. Two courses and a drink for €17.90... in Paris that's a bargain. Watanabe and Ole had the starter and the main, I had the main and dessert. For some reason, they figured the best looking starter was raw beef carpaccio and parmesan. For real food, Ole had half a chicken, I had a steak that was still bleeding (medium rare, in French, seemingly means blue), and Watanabe had a very dead steak (medium meaning "torched with a flamethrower"). My pudding was an awesome crème brûlée. Also, the maître d’ surprised me by not being a cunt. All told, good eatings.

After this we caught a free shuttle from the airport to our hotel, Première Classe. It was anything but. The triple room was two small beds and one bunkbed bridging them both. Barely enough room to walk past the beds, no kettle, shitty TV, certainly no fridge, and the smallest bathroom I've ever seen. Maybe 3ft at its largest diametre, this had a toilet, sink and shower in that tiny space. Also, the wireless only worked in the hotel lobby, whereupon scenes of hordes of internet-addicted weeaboo camped in the lobby manifested at any given time of the day.

With that ascertained, we slept.

Day Two - Friday

After staying in bed most of the morning and recovering in some form from the incredibly long day before, we eventually rose, showered, and headed out for the Expo once again, this time to see the so called "Surprise Event" (which everyone with access to the internet outside of the Japan Expo site knew was a Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary special... not that anyone could figure out why Momoclo would be there). We were sort of hungry (Ole was always hungry though, so yea), so we popped into a little café Watanabe spotted on the walk up to the Parc des Expositions. After walking in the door we were rather shocked. The prices were ridiculously low. Under €1 for a drink, €2 for a whole pizza, etc. Enthused, we tried to figure out the system and got food, and went over to pay. Imagine our shock when we all spent over €10. It seems that it was a workman's café, and we were not only charged a €3 fee for admission, but also €3.21 for not being workers.

Nothing's simple in France, eh.

Our slightly more expensive than we had planned lunch over with, we completed our journey to the expo. Once again I rushed through the four day queue, leaving Watanabe and Ole to battle through the ticket-purchasing queue. This time, however, I waited for them.

We made our way straight to the live house, as that was where the interesting stuff was supposed to happen, and found ourselves being entertained (if that's the word) by some weird Japanese guy with a SNES on his head playing video game music. His name was Professor Sakamoto. Unsure what to make of him, we tolerated him until he left, and then waited once again in anticipation of Momoclo.

Suddenly, something started blaring. Took me a while to realise it was Moonlight Densetsu, that ever odd Sailor Moon theme song, accompanied by said opening animation on the screens.

What followed was a farce. Nolife's favourite Japanese crazy lady Suzuka and a translator of indeterminable gender came onto the stage and talked some bullshit for a while. Then they invited out Momoclo, who were dressed in Sailor Moon cosplay and performed Moonlight Densetsu, to a wholly bemused reaction from the crowd. Then they made some announcements, such as the new Sailor Moon anime being released next year, worldwide at the same time, and Momoclo are doing the theme tune.

Then followed quick self-intros, then the worst satellite link up ever. The lag was terrible, the hermaphrodite kept translating over the Japanese host, everyone kept interrupting each other, and it was generally a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Then the Japanese host introduced some guests, including one of the original Sailor Moon seiyuu. What happened next was of no interest whatsoever, just some random banter, so I'll skip to the good part.

The video link ended, the transvestite and Suzuka departed the stage, and we had another minilive on our hands.

Otome Sensou was once again amazingly fun (and long), and having learned the lessons from the day before, myself and Ole were capable of doing the wotagei (even though Ole had no glowsticks left). We then experienced the greatest enthusiasm of wotagei ever in Kono Uta. Never before have I heard "Urya Oi!" that was louder than the entire PA system. Especially as I was one of only about three people doing the urya bit. Not bad I'd say.

Anyway, we once again spent several minutes calling for an encore, before the other bitch came back and cockblocked us again. I was full of a raging torrent of adrenaline, so I just yelled "うるせぇ!" at her, and continued shouting for an encore. Got some funny looks, but was worth seeing the shocked look on her face.

After determining that our chances of seeing anymore Momoclo that weekend was minimal, we went back outside and recuperated for a while. Watanabe being Watanabe, he'd made preparations to hit on foreign wota chicks with gifts, so he had loaded Ole's bag with copies of Roudou Sanka and HMV posters. He gave them to Amy (who blushed a lot and didn't know how to react), Chuxnon (who was also pretty shocked) and three French girls. After that I got a few pictures...

Ole, Watanabe, Chuxnon and Amy
That French Reni wota in the background looks pissed off.

After this, we headed back into the expo. Not long afterwards, we managed to abandon Amy somewhere and couldn't find her again. Then Watanabe decided to leave and go do his own thing for a while before telling us to meet him at the exit at 5pm so we could go into Paris to try to ambush Momoclo.

The following few hours were boring as fuck as me and Ole traversed the Expo with no goals, no general idea of what we were doing, and no money really. So we wandered.

After grabbing a quick sit down, we realised it was nearly 5pm so we headed to the exit to meet Watanabe, who wasn't there. We tried phoning him, to no avail. Eventually we came to the conclusion that he meant the train station exit, and found him there. Off we headed to Paris.

The RER was, to say the least, packed. Breathing was difficult, and, expecting the worst, we got off at Gare du Nord and went to ask for directions on the quickest way to the Eiffel Tower and other touristy spots to ambush Momoclo.

Map furnished, we headed back out and got on the most packed RER ever. Ole couldn't get on in time, and Watanabe and I spent the next ten minutes trying in vain to not accidently grope, molest or otherwise indecently assault anyone, such was the proximity of other passengers. After fighting our way out of the train at Notre Dame, we waited on the platform for Ole. Two trains later, he arrived, also having been in much the same situation.

At Notre Dame we decided that discretion was the better part of valour, thus decided to forgo the RER C line to Eiffel Tower in favour of walking.

In Watanabe's words, "It's only 4 stops."

First we decided to take a look at the Notre Dame, where a bunch of Japanese people seemed to be getting married in a nice wedding dress and trainers.

After finding no hint of Momoclo and discovering the place was now closed to tourists, we began to walk towards the Eiffel Tower. It was rather longer than I daresay Watanabe had expected. Somewhere in the vicinity of 5km. In the meantime, we stopped off in nearly every convenience store to get beer, Smirnoff and other alcohol than was rather cheaper in this area of Paris than it was elsewhere, and after an hour looking in restaurant windows to find somewhere that did a kind of French soup Watanabe desired, we eventually just ate in a cheapish Chinese in Invalides.

Our distractions now all gone, and a journey that should have taken no more than an hour now having taken nearly three, we headed to the Eiffel Tower. It was smaller than I remembered it, though having said that, I last saw it like nine years ago. However, as my first trip to France that wasn't in mid-winter, it was a nice change to be rather too warm as the sun began to set...

As we arrived at the tower we saw that two of the lifts were out of commission, thus we threaded our way through some massive queues (oddly, at the Eiffel Tower people were queuing properly. I guess that's because French people have no need to go up, so they don't queue, thus the tourists' slightly better queuing sense takes control). After once again seeing no hint of Momoclo, we headed out over to the Trocadéro, to get some better pictures.

By this point night was falling and we deemed our chances of finding Momoclo slim, so we headed into the Métro to go to the bar of bars, Café Oz in Moulin Rouge.

Upon arriving, we checked the cocktail menu, only to find that the cumshot was no more. I mourned. As it was, I spilled some French guy's beer (he'd left it on the steel rail on the back of the door and I swung into it. What the fuck did he expect?) but he wasn't best pleased. We grabbed some beers and then headed back out before he could stab me.

After a quick burger and the most delicious milkshake ever in Quick, France's rather good burger chain, we jumped back on the Metro to begin our arduous journey back to the hotel.

Unfortunately, La Chapelle, the Métro station linked to Gare du Nord on line 2, was out of order, so we found ourselves walking from Barbès-Rochechouart to Gare du Nord. At nearly midnight, in a rather dodgy area. Ultimately, we bought some more cheap beer in a convenience store, got to Gare du Nord in one piece (luckily my sense of direction is still strong), and headed back up towards the hotel on the RER. However, disaster struck again. After 10pm on weekdays, the RER line B stopped at La Courneuve Aubervilliers, leaving us to catch a bus to the airport and from there another bus back to the hotel. As such, by the time we got back to the hotel it was nearly 1:30, and then we didn't sleep until 2:30. Pretty bad considering we needed to be up for 7am so Ole could catch his flight back, which I had to show him the way for...

Day Three - Saturday

The day dawned bright and early, and with it, Ole and I. Watanabe decided he didn't want to come, and would spend another day exploring Paris on his own. After a few train rides and boredom we reached Porte Maillot, whereby we found Ole's bus to Paris' most useless airport, Beauvais, was going to be another hour.

That ascertained, we headed into the Palais des Congrès to find Matsuri, the coolest little extortion racket Japanese restaurant ever. It was closed. As I was to find out later, had we come back merely minutes later it would have been open. Luck, eh. Eventually we ate some other place in the Palais, and then Ole headed off for his bus, and I headed back to the Expo, cameraless and alone.

To say Saturday was boring is an understatement. It was dreary, tedious and generally not worth the time. The French wota told me that Momoclo were leaving from the airport at 7pm, so I believed them, but when I found them later they retracted that and said actually, they'd departed the previous evening for London. Useful.

As it were, I decided to go check out the Kyary/Idoling thing. Saw Amy, who was looking for other people and was incapable of finding them. After some of the worst queuing/letting in/getting kicked out/getting shifted in a different queue/getting given tickets for a raffle later, chaired by the bitch herself, Amy and I got in right at the back of the lot, with probably another 2000 people behind us who didn't make it in. Kyary must be more popular than I thought.

Anyway, some random banter later, Idoling did a mini-live, of which the only song I barely recognised was Mamore, so it was a bit of a waste of time. The raffle ended up with some bizarre prizes, including one person faking winning a trip to Fukuoka before getting booed off the stage before a real person won it.

After this, I headed back into the general chaos of the expo, became bored, decided to check out Kyary's live, and left after one song, so shit it was.

Walked back to the hotel and crashed at 6:30. Watanabe eventually got back at 5:30am, after having missed the last bus.

Day Four - Sunday

Another gruelling day of nothing in particular. I went to the Hippopotamus across from the hotel for some food, ended up trying the raw-beef and chicken combi Ole had tried on Thursday night. Wasn't bad, though my chicken was about a third of the size of the one Ole had. Watanabe again headed out to Paris, I again tried the Expo to no avail, eventually bought two items at cut price at the end of the day when everyone was trying to get rid of stock, and then tried to get drunk so I could take advantage of the free hug girls, who were legion. Unfortunately I failed on both counts, so I returned to the hotel again, without eating again since the breakfast, and waited for Watanabe's return. He caught the last bus properly, and we watched some terribly dubbed films before sleeping.

Day Five - Monday

Watanabe left early in the morning, I hung around in the hotel until 11am so I could sleep more (and my flight was at 18:55 so no need to get up), then headed out. I debated going to Paris, but my funds were depleted from the extortionate food, and so I headed for the airport. I spent a while kicking around the various terminals, grabbed some food, then headed back to Roissypole station and sat there doing nothing for two hours. After becoming bored, I headed back to the terminals to attempt to find a notebook with which to write down most of this blogpost, which ended up with me finding one, paying a ridiculous amount for it, then just sitting in the departure lounge of Terminal 3 for two hours writing, then going through security, then spending another two hours writing. My wrist became fucked, but I pretty much wrote the whole of the Thursday portion of this blog then.

The flight back was boring, the train back was boring, Huddersfield was slightly flooded, my house had not been broken into, and I was satisfied.

Anyway, next time any idols decide to go to France, I will thoroughly evaluate my options first. The first two days, with good company, good idols, and money, were pretty win. The next three days were pretty shit and I should have done what Ole did and leave on saturday. Nevertheless, Momoclo were awesome.

Maybe now I should just start saving up again in earnest for a Japan trip that will likely take me years to save for, but can but try...

Anyway, until next time,
Krv (the walking persona of waxing lyrical)

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