Back in last year’s UNITE Asia Tour, I was honoured to have the chance of attending her concert in Guangzhou. That trip was filled with wonderful memories that I still think about it today. Back then I was a guest writer for Ani-Culture before I officially joined in December 2011. May’n had conquered Asia with her dazzling tour performance last year which fans remembered deeply in their hearts and still talk about it today.
May’n UNITE Tour Guangzhou : http://ani-culture.net/2011/06/special-write-up-mayn-unite-tour-guangzhou/
2012 is a brand new start for May’n (部長) who started her “Rock Your Beat Concert World Tour”. This time she shall conquer not just Asia, but the world. Sharing together with the world her love for music, joy, happiness that she will bring to them. And this is also a brand new start for me in 2012 with more beautiful memories awaiting to be created in this journey.
PS: It’s gonna be a long read, so folks, please do bear with me! (But filled with pictures so you won’t feel that bored)
Here I began the start of my Journey… The plan was to meet up with Sin You, my comrade in Kuala Lumpur, before flying off to Hangzhou. My day started off like a normal routine on 05 July 2012. Dragged myself to work in the morning which followed by heading down to my lessons in the night for my part-time studies. After the lessons, that was when the adrenaline started pumping. The start of my journey began here, although I felt dead beat after all the events that were going on since morning. But the desire to once again see May’n (部長) kept me going. My folks were kind enough to give me a lift to the airport. Upon reaching, I checked in my luggage, got my air ticket, said goodbye to my folks and from there I was on the run by myself.
Strapped into my seat, braced for take off and off I go to meet Sin You in Kuala Lumpur. The flight was scheduled to be an hour long but it arrived earlier then expected. (Well, better off being early then being late. Right?) Upon arriving, I gave Sin You a call to find out where he was, making sure that we were at the right place and at the right airport. ‘Cause in Kuala Lumpur, there are two airports and they are quite near to each other.
So there we were setting up for the night and the long wait till the morning for about 8 hours. How were we going to kill time here?! Well, I brought my books along so I studied all night while Sin You watched videos on his laptop. For the entire day both of us had been on a tight schedule so we hadn’t been asleep for more then 22 hours. Time passed by quickly and the next thing we knew it’s morning (06 July 2012) already.
Checked in our luggages, got our air tickets and then headed for a quick breakfast. Finally we could have some time to settle down to have a sip of coffee and a good meal before we start the day off. Also at this time I got news of tama-tan was heading to Hong Kong without my knowledge. Finding it out at the very last minute didn’t gave me a chance to meet up with him. He was heading for a Dollfie event which you can refer to via the link below. HK: Dollism Plus 7 – A Global Dollfie Event – http://ani-culture.net/2012/07/hk-dollism-plus-7-a-global-dollfie-event/
Now it’s my turn to enter the gate while excited at the same time with Sin You, but feeling the tiredness that we were starting to show on our faces.
Thinking that finally we could grab some sleep aboard the plane. At the same time I could feel the excitement going on in him. He was chanting “This is it! This is it We are on our way to see May’n (部長) finally!”
So there we go once again in the air a step closer to see May’n (部長)! The flight was 8 hours, so besides spending the time ZzZ, we met a beautiful girl who was seating beside us.
8 hours was a long flight so we started chatting with her. Found out she was a local mainland Chinese there, and recommended places we should visit and local delicacies we should have there. The flight wasn’t that boring after all.
Finally after the long flight, we saw land and knew that we were nearing our destination. Excitement started to show from both of us, I was sure that in our minds we were thinking, ‘Why can’t we just land right now!’ And then the plane started to descend.
Spent about 20 minutes on the arrival immigration clearing our passports and collecting our luggages on the belt… All the while we were together with the girl we met on the plane chatting all the way. She was giving us some tips as foreigners in the country on how can we get to our next destination from here. We exchanged our emails so we can keep in contact in the future. Then we left on our own ways. (Of course I had a picture with her Hehehe !)
Next Stop to Hangzhou Train Station! 杭州火车站！城站！ (Pictures taken along the way)
Enter the city and you can see people all around the place. Everyone seems to be very busy rushing off somewhere. Suddenly, the bus came to a complete stop in the middle of the road!! And we were told to get off as we had arrived at our destination 城站 ! In my mind I was shouting out loud ” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Come on ! We are in the middle of the road this can’t be right Dude!” It turned out to be true that we had to alight there. In a rush, we got off the bus and heaved our luggages while cars all around us were honking and trying to get past us. We rushed over to the pathway with our luggages where we could finally take a breathe from that horror. (Phew! That Was Crazy!)
And the weather could be described using one word, HOT, and to think back, in Singapore it was also hot with temperatures of about 34 degrees. Stepping out of the bus the first thing that greeted me was the heat on my face and I started to sweat even just for a few steps. The bus was supposed to drop us off at the station instead. While trying to figure out where we were then when a stranger came to us asking if we know the directions to the Hangzhou Train Station! 杭州火车站. We told her we are also heading over the same place, so she went around asking for directions and told us to tag along with her. A mom with two kids and two luggages trying to get to her destination was tough, hence we offered to help her along the way.
The train station was located two streets away. Looking at the terrible traffic conditions, we guided the family safety across the roads. With Sin You at the front to open a path for them and stopping the traffic and me making sure the little ones keep up not and not getting left behind. I am sure you guys will be thinking,”Hey you should help the little girl with the luggage!” I did offered but she declined. Her Mom was telling us she enjoyed pulling it around.(Cold Laugh) The pathways weren’t in good condition as you could see holes in it and cracks, at times her luggage got stuck and I had to lift it.
Finally, after a long walk we caught a glimpse of some words which started appearing. ‘Tickets’?! Oh !! We must be near there already!! Push ON! When we arrived at the train station, the Mom and the kids were catching a train, so we parted ways. Good Bye Little Ones! Gave a call to our contacts that would be picking us up there and they said they would be arriving soon. So we waited and Sin You went for a smoke… 2 hours past quickly and we were going “ARGH ! Where the hell are they ?!”
Gave another call to them and it turned out both sides were waiting at the wrong place. Sin You told me to keep a look out for a guy who is standing 1.90m (6ft) tall. Speaking to myself,”That’s real tall man.” There in the crowd we could easily spot him heading towards us. He really stood out in the crowd with such height. After all that misunderstanding, we finally meet up, greeted 青叔 & 小H. (That’s their nicknames online) Off we go on the taxi heading to the hotel which had been arranged by them.
Arrived at the hotel, checked in, got the room keys, first thing to get rid off were the large luggages we’d been dragging all around the place that had been weighing us down. Settling down in the room and seeing the warm bed made me feel sleepy. 青叔 came knocking on the door informing us we would be heading for dinner @ 6pm, while we get some rest as he finds the rest of the members. We were excited that we could finally grab some real food! Hopefully, some local delicacies.
Dinner time soon came, so together with the rest of the members, we set off. In the group were fans from around China and also the people I met in Guangzhou last year in the UNITE Tour. After a year, we finally met up again and started chatting with them happily as we head down the street. The streets were filled with local delicacies like BBQ, desserts and bugs?! With 青叔 as our guide, he was introduced the culture of the street, the local delights and soon we arrived at a local restaurant for our dinner.
Dinner Time! Yeah! Enter the restaurant and the service staff would start greeting you “Welcome 欢迎光欢”. The atmosphere in the restaurant was not bad, the design and the lighting were all just nice.
We settled down onto our seats, while 青叔 called out for the menus, did a headcount and started ordering a variety of local delicacies. While waiting for the food to be served, there was an awkward moment. As some of us were meeting for the first time, we had an Ice-Breaking session, introducing each other. Soon everyone were all laughing and chatting with one another. Food was soon served and everyone were on a food rampage because everyone was hungry after all the traveling.
After a sumptuous dinner, 青叔 offered to show us around the city of Hangzhou. So with him as a guide once again we were introduced to the night life in Hangzhou, the culture of the city and the activities that were going on all around us.
The architectural designs of the shophouses were classical. They are very well preserved and something that I don’t get to see back here in Singapore. So it was an eye opener for me being in the city for the first time. Like this shophouse over here which used to be an Opium House in the past, now it’s selling the present ‘Opium’ today, that is cigarettes.
The streets were filled with interesting activities going on, keeping you on your toes. There were street performances like singing, stunts and also like this one over here. A glassmaker creating exquisite works such as animals.
During my visit in this store, I learned that traditional fans like this played a big part in the culture of Hangzhou. Back in the streets everyone had a fan in their hands and there was a reason for it, the weather was HOT!
At the same time we got to visit a maze-like museum that was holding an open event for the public. This one, I must say it is quite amazing and big!
After our visit to the museum, we came to a night market that leads down to park. I was surprised that there were so many people in the park at such late hours! There were also street vendors selling toys that I used to play during my childhood. That really caught me, while hesitating to buy the toys, I got dragged away by Sin You. We had to wait for the rest to catch up so we took a rest over at the park.
Time to head back to the hotel with everyone. Well what’s the best way to end this beautiful night? Like our beloved May’n (部長) who loves food, so having a supper would be a great idea to end the night. Heading back to the food street that was full of pushcarts and provided different varieties of food. Looking at them just keeps your mouth watering. As we were heading down on a food trail, something unusual was on sale as ‘food’ and a dare was challenged on me.
Delicious looking ‘bugs’ were served as a local delicacies! YES!! and I mean BUGS!! Scorpions, Caterpillars, Cockroaches, Worms.. and lots more. They didn’t looked that scary compared to what we saw on TV. The hosts must be exaggerating. The girls in the group didn’t seemed to enjoy it as much as the guys. They were having it like snacks and it seemed delicious. I was telling myself that I had came a long way to get here and I should not chicken out on this.
So I bought a stick, and there it goes into my mouth. To my surprise, it tasted.. hmm….just like chicken… and it’s pretty good. So I had more of it….it wasn’t that bad after all. Continuing on, we had 臭豆腐 (Smelly Tofu), it smells bad but it’s delicious once it melts in your mouth. Not everyone could stand the smell of it so some of the guys were avoiding it. With that, I headed back to the hotel, ending day one of my journey in Hangzhou with good food, crazy journey from the beginning and new friends made on that day.
Part 2 : Welcoming May’n (部長) at the airport !!
(Please stay tuned!)