Hello~~~ I know this is long overdue, but I wanted to write up a quick blog about my recent trip to TJ at an Anime convention called Japonawa ^_^ This was my 3rd time visiting this convention and I always enjoy my time there - Japonawa is an outdoor Anime event/convention run by Edgar Vera and his family, and is held in El Trompo venue, a GINORMOUS stage with a lot of people. (pic below was from 2016)
This time, I went ALONE O_O. And because of this, I can confirm that yes, it's a safe and fun trip LOL. From an American's perspective, a lot of people here judge and caution to travel to Tijuana... Of course, you always have to travel safely (ex. not taking rides from suspicious taxis, only walk where people are). Many of my friends were like, "stay safe!!" and I was like, dude Edgar and his fam always do this, it cool LOL.
So I drove to San Ysidro, parked my car, then got picked up by Hector - who i haven't seen since the last time i went there as a band - like 5,6 years ago? So it was very nice to see him again. And here's the pic of the border cuz history:
Then checked into hotel which was a couple of miles from the border. El Trompo is actually super close to the border so there's a lot of people from SD attending the event.
Right next to the hotel was a 7-11 which means.... i got to bring home snacks that i never get to have in the states!!! They even had UFO YAKISOBA like what was that doing there?!
That night, we had dinner, then returned to the hotel. I stayed up late to make sure everything for tomorrow was organized. Even called Al - who's fluent in Spanish, and we reviewed the MC scripts for the set. This time since I didnt have a translator onstage, so I wrote up the MC en espanol, which is my tertiary language = high school Spanish 4 level.
Next day we went to the venue! Dressed up as Mew Ichigo from Tokyo Mew Mew, I scouted the stage area, set up merch and wandered around the vendor booths. TBH i was so busy that I didn't get to take many photos (hence I learned a huge lesson: ALWAYS bring an assistant for future shows). I got to see Ellie Asakura again! - who i've now known for years. She and I had matching outfits, but on the day of, we had a dress malfunction that she ended up wearing the 2B outfit instead. Next time I hope to wear an outfit with her!
My set went well considering that there was no soundcheck and i didn't bring my in-ear monitors or use my own mic. I got to test my abilities with what was available at the venue and it was a good challenge! I MC'd in my broken spanish, got some laughs and I even had a taco boy perform with me during "Taco Tuesday"! You can see some clips here!
After my set, we had the cosplay contest which is the equivalent of masquerade of anime cons here in the states. I got to chat with the cosplay judges Namitsuki, Toledo Cosplay and Sheliy Midori Even with language barrier, we still managed to be on the same page when it came to judging the winners of the contest. One thing i noticed is that I'm really really bad with remembering names!! I got to see Namitsuki again but I totally got her name wrong, AND I GOT HER CONFUSED WITH ANOTHER COSPLAYER who's also from Mexico. LOL oh boy. I was embarrassed, but she was so kind about it... BLESS~~~~~
After closing the convention we all went for TACOS AND OMG I was TIRED. I passed out early that night, but man, those tacos made my life complete!
The next day we visited and walked around downtown TJ then to the beach! One of the guests from the convention was a youtuber name Alex and he was on a quest to find this specific telephone post:
Okay so you're wondering why. Look at this video!
I'm told that this is a very famous video in Mexico where this Dude hits his head on it!! From there, a lot of memes and stuff...
And OFC I had to:
ANYWAYS yea, after that we went to the beach where I got to walk around with friends Edgar, Ellie, Hector and Julio. At the beach, I got to munch on Churros, Elote and OMG more street food. It was my first time going to this beach so it was amazing. In past I would leave TJ in the AM, but this year I decided to stick around and spend quality time with the folks there. They were worried that I was too tired but in reality, by brain was trying to translate all the Spanish they were speaking that I prolly looked like I was out of it. HAHA
Around 6pm ish Hector and I headed back to the border, I picked up my car and got home safe! What a trip!
So yea! that pretty much wraps my pre-Memorial day trip to TJ. I'm forever thankful to Edgar, Ellie, Hector, Kira, Julio, y Alfredo for taking care of me when I was there and arranging everything for me. They want to bring in more American guests - I hope I can help them bring people over in the future because this convention needs more love and recognition from the states.
Anyways thank you so much for reading and I'll see you again in another blog! If you enjoyed reading this, please let me know - I'm new to blogging on an actual website so it's super new and exciting =)