On the Seventh Day of Anime: Sunburn (Anime Expo 2014, Part 1 of 2)

I could talk about my first time at Anime Expo for hours, but the one thing that I really remember from that entire event was the horrendous wait I had to experience in the preregistration line. I’ll spare you the details about how the huge fuckup happened, but it meant that I had to sit in line for six hours since noon before it even started moving. In that amount of time, under a clear, hot, and typical Los Angeles day, I developed sunburn on the back of my neck by the next morning. While I had taken measures in the past to prevent sunburn in daily life, I’ve never really had to experience what it felt like to actually have sunburn. Suffice to say, it was annoying. I screwed up by not bringing sunblock.

It seems like such a rookie mistake to make, too, getting sunburn from being in line for too long under the sun. Well, in my case, I was just conditioned to think the lineup would happen indoors. My only other convention experience was Fanimecon in San Jose and that was in the same year, and their line was entirely indoors. But that’s hardly an excuse. Besides, no amount of preparation was going to take away my attitude towards sunblock. I can’t actually remember the last time I got sunburn, and for all those years working at a summer camp in the mountains and generally being outside more often than you think I thought that I was just that good about not getting sunburn. Spend too much of your life dodging bullets and you’ll feel as if you’re impervious to bullets. Well, getting sunburn is hardly the critical injury that you’d expect to be compared to a gunshot wound, but the feeling exists in both cases: I thought I was invincible.

But this is merely a mistake to be rectified the next time I go to an anime convention, and despite my years of learning how to prepare while in the Boy Scouts, it seems that I still have a lot to learn about the correct way to experience an anime convention. I made the mistake of going to too many fan panels at Fanimecon, and in this case I may have actually not spent enough time at panels I was interested in (even though the learning Japanese with hentai panel was about as hilarious and awkward as you think it is). And, in this case, not bringing sunblock threatened to ruin my mood for the rest of the week. Nevertheless, I had to deal with my first sunburn in years for the entire duration of the con. Placing my badge around my neck certainly exacerbated the issue, too, with the rope rubbing against the back of my neck and irritating me for the entire duration. Sleeping became a huge issue as well because soft hotel pillows instantly became scratchy decorative cushions as far as my neck was concerned. I would not want to go through that again.

Addendum

  • I had two ideas for this piece that had to get scrapped because I was taking too long as it is.
  • Just means that I have a lot to work on when it comes to both timeliness and quality of writing.
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One comment

  1. If it makes you feel any better, when my boyfriend and I went to AX this year, it was his first time too – and we’d got in line at 9am! We were in the line for 4-5 hours too. T_T

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