Ok, that's quite deep for a start of a post, but that sums up my trip to Kuantan.
1. I'm going back to the place it all began, as it was my birthplace.
2. I'm going to be a Special Guest at an event as my cosplayer ego, my first official one, where I can interact with fans.
3. What better way to celebrate my birthday with the first two items?
4. I get to finally see and be at a beach!
So, the morning before the day of the event, we were flown in from KLIA to Kuantan Airport where we were greeted by our escorts and Kin. I'll say that the flight was probably the fastest, as we took off with a steep and landed in a matter of 20 minutes. Godspeed, Mr.Pilot, godspeed indeed.
(Yes, a pun was intended.)
After loading our luggage in to the car-boot, our escorts Derrick and Sally took us sightseeing. We went to several places like a Buddhist Temple, where we paid our respects and strolled the lake garden, and the maternity clinic I was born in. I must be a very weird guest, dashing out of a car just to take a picture of a clinic, haha. We also visited a small zoo, where we fed bread to the huge fishes of the habitat. Most of the places we visited were eateries, and probably the reason why my face was a tad bit puffier during the event. Our escorts fed us too well.
We had the proper and popular East Coast delicacy, Keropok Lekor. For those who don't know what is it, it's basically like a fish sausage. The ones I usually have back from where I'm from is usually way too thick and rubbery, so having the original crisp and flavorful one was definitely a highlight.
Later, we had lunch at a place selling Yong Tau Foo, in which the bean curd/fish paste was served in curry or dark sauce. It was an interesting idea, seeing how the dish is commonly sold with regular stock soup. How was the taste like, you ask? Well, you know what the say about change. Change is good.
Did our food journey stop there? Nope. Just across the street was a 100Yen shop we pop by before our food was served, and I spotted the Takoyaki stall outside. Couldn't help but to run back to get a serving of crab meat Takoyaki (because I never liked having octopus), and proceeded to scald my mouth a little as I was a tad bit impatient with it. Nonetheless, they were tasty.
We were then shown to a store selling imported food products, and I finally found my Binggrae flavoured milk drinks. I had to convince my mother to purchase all the flavours as we might not have the chance again. As she was a fan of it too, it was an easy feat.
Soon after, we proceeded to visit Teluk Cempedak. I was waiting for that moment for as long as I could remember as I have never been to a beach (according to my memory), and wouldn't it be odd for a person born in a place famous for its beaches to not have been to one? Right after the car was parked, I went off to the beach alone, sliding down the shortcut path and running towards the ocean. I dashed across the sandy beach, digging my feet into the sand as I stopped. I walked up and down, and was a little disappointed there was no footprints in the sand. I felt kind of cheated by all the fictional materials I read before, depicting the beach. That did not stop me from running along the waters, and nobody was looking or judging this random definitely-not-dressed-for-the-beach girl for doing do, several times. I noticed groups of children collecting seashells, so I stopped and did the same too. If you know me in real life, you may know I have a thing for miniature things, so finding tiny little seashells was like a fun hunt. I only kept a few, and gave the rest to a child who was searching for shells after. After, as in after I dropped my phone into the water.
Yes. I did. I watched as my screensaver of Yato blacked out into oblivion. I quickly took it out and wiped the areas I could access, before returning to my mother and our escorts. How did I feel about this? Well, believe it or not, I wasn't upset. I knew such a thing would happen, seeing how too many good things happened, and that is not a good sign for a person with the worst luck like me. Fast forward, we went back to the hotel to freshen up, and headed out for dinner, made new acquaintances, and went back at night to sleep.
In the morning of the event, we were fetched by our new escorts, Yukki and Rinki from our hotel room. I made a quick trip to the cafe in the hotel for a piece of peanut butter bun, as I had yet to have breakfast. Our driver/photographer then drove us to the location, a few shots were taken, and then we were brought to the venue. My mother and I settled at the food court, understanding that everyone who was a part of the event was still busy running to make sure things were in place. It was nice how there was a place for cosplayers to store their bags in a backstage room, as well as having mirrors just right outside for those who don't want to make a trip to the restroom to check their appearances. Just a few hours or so of waiting (we were casually chatting with acquaintances we made the night before), it was finally time to go on to stage to be introduced as a guest. Most of the time, I was off-stage, interacting with people, having photos taken, meeting some of my fans. My role as a special guest only kicked in when I was on stage to select winners for the lucky draw, have pictures taken with the winners of the lucky draw/receivers of the certificate of appreciation, participating in the game set on stage and strutting Isuzu on stage during the CosWalk session.
All in all, it was a pretty decent event. I have literally no complains at all for the event. We were taken care of well, everyone was friendly and helpful, and I got to check things off my wishlist.
Thanks again for Kuantan Coswalk 2016, to Kin Chia and the organizing committee, as well as the event volunteers. Thanks SinChiew for publishing the articles for Kuantan Coswalk 2016. Thanks everyone who showed your support and attended the event. Last but not least, thanks to our wonderful escorts for accompanying (and feeding) us.
Ara Yoake Hikaru