It's that time of year again~ Supanova Pop Culture Expo comes to Perth, and again I've signed up to help out as a volunteer.
I had to be at the Showgrounds by 8am, so I pretty much got just 2 hours sleep then got dropped off at the train station by my mum. It was like 7am in the morning, and I figured I had plenty of time to get there, so I stopped in the city to buy the newspaper. Unfortunately, the trains heading towards the Showgrounds were not running today due to construction on the tracks.
Normally I would've caught the train to the station right next to the Showgrounds, but I had to take the bus which went to Claremont which was a fair walk away. It was so cold in the morning, I could feel my lips and face going numb. By the time I reach the staff meeting point, it was a few minutes past 8am.
It took a while for everyone to be assigned their tasks. Unlike the previous two years where I was assigned to sit at the help/information desk, this year I was assigned to "Welcoming", which involves helping out with ticketing and handing out show bags. Although Supanova opens at 10am, there was already a long line forming outside the doors. I heard that some people ended up waiting what felt like an hour outside in the queue. Not only that, a huge line had also formed outside the only ATM in the area.
The morning was very busy, my task was to ink-stamp the hands of visitors who paid for a 1 day ticket, and attaching wristbands to those who paid for a two days (weekend) ticket. It was pretty much non-stop until another volunteer came to take over.
I finally got a chance to wander around freely, sort of. The pavillion was packed with people, slowly shuffling around. I decided I would check out the manga and anime DVDs later as the crowd around the stalls was too thick to get through. I had set myself a budget of $200 to spend at Supanova. At one stall, I saw a Nendoroid Megurine Luka, someone else had it in their hand and was examining it, and I kept hoping that they would put it down so I could snap it up. They eventually let it go and bought something else, I though "Oh yeah! You're mine!", and I grabbed it, but then… I saw the price. It costs $99. That was like half my spending money. Sadly, I decided to let it go too.
At other stalls, I saw Vocaloid mystery boxes which had a 1 in 10 chance of containing a cute little Megurine Luka figurine. But each box cost $15 and there was no way of knowing if Luka was inside until the box is opened. But then I noticed one stall where the stall owner was opening mystery boxes for another customer, so I swooped in and asked if I could get a Megurine Luka. The stall owner opened around 14 of the boxes before finding a Luka. Yay~
By then, I was getting hungry, I had thought of walking back to Claremont to buy lunch, but after standing at the front doing the ticketing, my legs were really tired. I didn't really want to join the huge line at the pavillion kiosk to buy overpriced food, so I stopped by the PAniC stall to buy Pocky, two boxes of coconut Pocky for the discounted price of $5. But after eating one box, I was still hungry, so I decided to join the line at the kiosk.
While waiting, there were some guys who were asking people to sign a petition for an R rating to be introduced to games classification. Under the current system, the 'highest' rating a game can get is M, anything that is considered 'R' material is simply refused classification, effectively banning the game for sale in Australia. Although I support the introduction of R rating for games in Australia, I didn't end up signing. Eventually I reach the front of the line and bought pizza for lunch.
After lunch, it was back to work, this time handing out showbags to people coming to Supanova. Although it was around 2pm, there were still huge lines outside the building, but by around 3pm, the lines disappeared. I finished my shift and went for one last patrol around the stores. With the crowds thinning out, I leisurely picked out some manga to buy. I got an awesome deal at the Madman stall where I purchased volumes 1 to 6 of Nausicaa for $60.
Almost completely drained of energy, I decided to begin the trek back to Claremont station, but on the way there, I saw a bus heading for the Showgrounds station, so I ran for it. The bus was packed with people heading home from Supanova. My dad picked me up from Perth station, and after arriving home. Was so tired, I wondered if I should stay home tomorrow, but I'm going to get some rest and do it all again on Sunday~