I landed at 10am at Honolulu airport. Picked up my luggage and called a taxi and went straight to my hostel. I was told they were gonna check me in at my room at 3pm onwards. So I, after having a 22 hour flight (without shower and all, ewwww) tidied myself up as best as I can by shaving and washing my face and headed straight to the first SCANDAL event: the expo at Waikiki Beach Marriot hotel 2nd
floor. Now it is about 11am-12pm. I met my very first SH members just outside the expo room in Jade and Erick themselves, who were setting up the banner. More members started coming and we introduced ourselves. I then remembered that I had to give my fan letter to Jade and went back to my hostel to retrieve it. So I return to the hotel after like 20 mins and went into the expo, which was really starting to get under way. There I meant all the wonderful SH members and we all introduced ourselves. Jade and Erick were behind a “booth” with the awesome banner spread out for all fans (Japanese and SH alike) to sign / write messages. I then went to the registration booth for the tour where a kind Japanese woman who spoke both English and Japanese registered me and signed me off on her attendance list (there were SO many names! As many Japanese fans as SH members!) Then she gave me my Ekiden / SCANDAL bag which contained the Priority Pass & a yellow Ekiden t-shirt (both of which were required to enter the music festival first), a schedule of the fan meeting tour, and some coupons at Hawaii stores. I then went back to our little SH meeting area and attempted to pay and get my SH purple t shirt, but sadly Erick told me he ran out of small size somehow! Oh well. So then the expo officially went under at around 2pm and we had two Japanese girls demonstrate some warm-up exercises for the race tomorrow morning. They were so funny as they too had trouble imitating the exercises shown to them by a Japanese man coordinating the event. We were encouraged to participate in the exercises! After that, the four artists started coming on the stage for introductions much to the delight of everyone in the expo room. Of course, we gave SCANDAL some raucous cheers! Each band introduced themselves and then left the stage. This was my first time seeing SCANDAL in person, it was so awesome. So afterwards very young Japanese girls (7-10 years old) started coming on the stage clad in Hawaii gear (flower necklace, straw skirts, barefoot) and started dancing in Hawaiian style to Japanese tunes. It was so cute. We hung out some more at the expo room and I managed to grab two white blow-up sticks which would prove to be CRUCIAL later on. So now it’s like 3:30pm and after I exchanged as many numbers as possible through Line messaging system, where we managed to make a group chat. So everyone went their separate ways temporarily to prepare for the next event: the banner making event with SCANDAL. Since it’s after 3pm, I finally get to go back to my hostel and check in to my room. You guys all heard of hostels, right, where you can meeting amazing people from around the world? UNFORTUNATELY, I absolutely got the wrong end of the stick. I go into my room and I am greeted by this gloomy looking Japanese guy who looks like he is disappointed because he now has to share a room with someone when he had it all to himself before. Wow what a complete downer. I quickly settled myself and headed back out. At like 4:30pm all the SH members met up again outside the expo room where we waited for the SCANDAL girl coordinator to take us to the secret SCANDAL banner making secret location. 5pm approaches (and some members made it just in the nick of time) and the coordinator(s) take our attendance and we start heading out. The Japanese fans were escorted to the location before us though, oh well. So we all walk to the location as a group, which happened to be about a 5-8 minute walk or so away from the hotel. We get to an open grassy area with some tents where a banner is laid out. All the fans Japanese and SH alike started signing the banner, which they told us were to be for the race itself, to cheer them on. We spot some Hawaiian girl who apparently was part of the Fan Meeting Tour. I asked if she was Hawaii fan but apparently she wasn’t…? (she would later go with us to the meeting place) Ah well. Then SCANDAL arrived later in a van and came out, much to everyone’s delight. We cleared out of the tent and they went into it to write their own messages on the banner. Afterwards everyone got together for a group picture, one without SCANDAL and with them. As SCANDAL was leaving, the SH members started chanting happy birthday song to Tomomi, who was very much taken aback and happily told us “Arigato”. SCANDAL leaves, taking the banner with them, and we leave the grassy area shortly afterwards. SH members then start planning our official meet-up location and time. We agreed upon Tsukiji, a sushi buffet at 7:30pm. Since it was like 6:40pm at that point I decided to just go straight to the restaurant with a few other SH members. So then we took the bus and arrived at our location where we and other members all met up. We had a great time! The sushi and other Japanese food were simpy great, but I only could finish two plates worth…I ate so much seafood that it started feeling like slime to me, hahaha. Unfortunately when it was time to pay our bills the waiter would only allow us to take one check or four checks. This made this VERY complicated as some people could only pay with credit while others paid with cash. After about 30 mins, much thanks to Hubert who tried his best to handle all the cash and cooperation with the waiter, we finally sorted it ou and left the restaurant. But damn if I wasn’t taken aback by the $50 dinner bill (for myself) haha. It’s about 10pm now. We walk through the mall (in which the restaurant is situated) and we stop by the Gump restaurant where SCANDAL took a pic at, and we took pics of the “landmark” ourselves. Then we head to an open area in the mall and started getting hyped for the days to come. Erick started distributing t-shirts to everyone (yeah…still didn’t get mine haha. Erick sends his condolences to me!) and Jade started collecting fan letters. But wait! Jade used my brown folder in which I put my fan letter in, as the main folder for ALL fan letters! This little detail made me a little happy, lol. So then we hang around a bit more and people started talking and forming teams for the race in the morning. Some members made their famous nicknames here: The Flying Dutchman (Pieter), The Human Torch (Frederick), etc. We start leaving at around 11:00pm and headed our separate ways. I left with a small group of members and we waited for our return bus. It took a realllly long time for our Number 19 bus to finally come, and we started getting paranoid about how to get back to our residences, lmao. But it finally came – and we all went back to our rooms safely. What a first day!!! I took my first shower in like 36 hours, lmfao. Felt sooo good. And I set my alarm at 5:30am in order to catch the start of the Ekiden race where SCANDAL themselves would be present to cheer on the runners. I sleep like a baby…
My body automatically wakes me up at like 4:40am. I took my time in getting ready and head out at like 5:15am to the start line. As I arrive approach the place of interest, the race begins to start!! I quickly go into the crowd, and see other SH members. They told me I just missed SCANDAL cheering on the runners!!! OMG WTF!!! Missed by a god damn minute! What bad luck -_-. The SH members then show me the incredible candid pictures they were able to take of the band, and wow was I amazed…and very jealous. So then what SH members were there (some of us couldn’t wake up this early haha) congregated to an open field where we redirected some of our stray runners (lol) to the appropriate buses. What was left of us then made plans to head to iHOP for breakfast. This was my first time going there, and I had heard great things about it, lol. We separate temporarily, while my group headed straight to iHOP. There we reserved about 3 tables for the other SH members to come. I find an awesome deal on the special menu for $7 for special pancakes, a huge hash brown, and eggs. As we are all ordering I manage to get a hold of iHOP’s wifi and proceed to check out our forum updates. What do you know! You guys managed to snag the “Your song” PV and I downloaded it using the iHOP wifi because I didn’t want to kill my data lol. Thank you SH members who could not attend but were still able to keep us updated in stuff like this! So I share the downloaded “Your Song” PV with all the other SH members in iHOP while we are eating, and we all loved it! Also it is during this time that Eddie showed us the incredibly candid picture of the girls that he took (and I missed -___-) during the morning starting race. I immediately ask for the pictures and set the most kawaii picture of Rina as my current SH profile pic, hehe. So we finish iHOP and pay for our meal…ONLY TO FIND OUT MY ORANGE JUICE COST ME $5??? WHY? Oh well…the service was great anyways: there was one incident where the waitress misunderstood my request for whipped cream on my pancake order, and instead actually brought a whole new order of pancakes, with whipped cream on top. I informed her of the misunderstanding and she took it off the bill. Thank you, iHOP waitress! So then we head back out and go our separate ways again. Me and some other members tag along with Erick and Jade who want to get some beach supplies from various storage places around Waikiki, Honolulu. We grab the supplies and it was great that we were able to help because Jade unfortunately sprained her ankle somehow…So then we go our separate ways again and planned to meet up at the beach to “camp” at the entrance of the Ekiden live concert place. Now it is around 8am and I hang out at a SH members hotel (Geoff and Glenn) while I recharged my phone and stuff. So we headed out to the beach after like an hour (Geoff stayed behind and tried to catch a nap because he woke up at like 4am and got like 3.5 hours of sleep, poor guy haha) and got there at like 9am where Erick and Jade has already begun setting up the campsite. On my way there I met some of our very own runners who finished their legs of the race and who looked very much depleted, and they told me where to find the campsite. So I helped complete the campsite and we just start chilling at the beach in the very, very sunny and hot weather. We told all the members where we were and they started coming in one by one as time passed. It’s like 10am when the last of our runners rejoined us and told us how their race went. The Flying Dutchman and Human Torch made some incredible memories at the race, as expected. But then one of our members told us how he met SCANDAL cheering for them at the finish line! Much jealousy ensued. Then we left our campsite while some people stayed behind (Jade and others) and went to the open area with tents of food and water for the finished runners. We congratulated all of our runners and then headed back to our campsite to chill until the festival started. We had much trouble with the wind flipping our umbrellas over and the constantly moving sun affecting our shade area. We also met a cool Japanese woman, Nami, and her husband, Takahiro, both of whom were SCANDAL fans. We chitchatted a lot about SCANDAL of course and she also spoke English fairly well so I asked if she could translate some Rina tweets for me, and she did lol. So then officials came to us and started informing us to move back because…SCANDAL (and two other bands, MK and Monkey Majic I think it was?) WAS COMING IN EARLY TO REHEARSE!!! We simply moved our campsite a couple of feet, and then OUT COMES SCANDAL!!! Right now it’s about 11am. Not all of the members were here now, some of them were sleeping…what a shame =(. So then at this point I went past the concert stage to where the outdoor bathrooms were, because you know, I had to pee. Just as I begun to walk to the bathroom and leave the campsite, SH members began yelling and pointing to a white van that was pulling up just nearby the stage. I managed to come up to the van, and OUT COMES SCANDAL!!! I didn’t want to bother them as they were climbing up to the stage…But man, at this point I think my luck began turning around. So I went to my business and came back to our campsite. We were kept at the absolute outer fence of the concert venue while SCANDAL went up to the stage and started testing all the instruments and practicing. Man, you don’t know just how HIGH Tomomi’s voice is until you actually hear her test the mic! When she said “HEEEEYO” it was soooo freaking loud I was actually taken aback by her voice, haha. Then the girls started practicing bits and pieces of songs such as Doll. We then got to hear a full rendition of Runners’ High!!! We were so happy at this point and then the girls were satisfied with their practice and started leaving the stage, but not before giving us a friendly goodbye!! We stuck around for the other bands but for the most part we retreated to our campsite. Skip forward to 3:30pm and then we begin lining up for the Priority Pass entry to the festival. The festival was scheduled to start at 4pm. At this point I begin blowing up my two white sticks and proceed to have a little swordfight with The Flying Dutchman, lol. So then the officials told us to line up at 3:45pm and we and the Japanese fans do so as best we could, but it was more like 3 lines lol. At about 3:50pm we were let into the concert standing area and everyone rushed to the front to get up and center view of the stage. I managed to get the 3rd
row, but I was right in front of where Haruna (and Rina!) would stand, so I was pleased. 4pm rolled around while we waited in great anticipation, and in the process was scorched time and time again by the very hot Honolulu sun. The two MCs, one local and one Japanese, began a very boring introduction while we kept waiting anxiously. So then the first band finally comes on stage, MK(?) and they perform two songs and we cheered them on. But their last song, they dedicated it to SCANDAL – Shunkan Sentimental cover! This was very good and all us hardcore SCANDAL fans cheered them on. The lead singer was very good – they were only 18,18,17,14 years old! (Lead singer & electric guitarist = female, support singer & bass = female, support singer & rhythm guitar = female, drums = male). Then we move onto the runners’ award ceremony, which was quite forgetful as they introduce “categories” of runner awards such as old, all female, all male, fastest overall. They also sent out a Hawaiian beauty who went by the name of Jessica. She was part Japanese and was honestly really really beautiful, wow. She spoke fluent Japanese and presented many awards to the runners. We get back to the bands: next up is Monkey Magic, an all male pop rock group. They played many okay songs, the lyrics of which was a play between English and Japanese. Two of their members were Caucasian, and the other two were Japanese. They finished their act of about 4 songs and we had to wait quitttte a while in absolute agony because of the heat and standing around (my back killed at this point) for them to setup the stage for SCANDAL. But by the time SCANDAL finally came up (much to the roar of all us fans) all my pain disappeared. As soon as SCANDAL got on, the sun was setting, awesome!!! No more heat!!! Haruna started things off with a MC in entirely Japanese. Then they started playing Satisfaction. We went crazy, and me with my two sticks was probably very noticeable haha. Then came Taiyo Egaku Story. More craze. I had to reblow one of my sticks because it had a leak at this point, haha. At this point there was a pause between songs. It was really dark at this time so lights had to be turned on. THE PARTY WAS GETTING STARTED! I started a SCANDAL, SCANDAL, SCANDAL! chant and people picked up my chant!!! I was so happy at this. Then came the rest of the set list. We HEYed HEYed HEYed at every chance we got when we were able to and a lot of people yelled each of the members’ names to try to get their attention. Haruna looked sooo happy and lively throughout the concert! Rina was smiling as always in the back. It was very hard for me to see Tomomi and Mami, unfortunately…At the end of the setlist, fans tried to say ENCORE! But were immediately stopped by the coordinators. I agreed, since there WAS another band coming up, a popular all male Japanese rock group, the name of which I forgot. So SCANDAL leaves, not before Haruna thanks everyone with a parting message. At this point a lot of SCANDAL fans began to leave because honestly we spent absolutely every little bit of our energy for that precious outdoor SCANDAL live, which was simply ROCKING! I stayed though, and I can honestly say that last Japanese rock band was a great live band, as they kept trying to get the audience involved. However this was not to the greatest effect as many of us were completely spent from SCANDAL, and I’d say honestly I only half-assed my enthusiasm for them, haha…Honestly in my opinion, SCANDAL should have been last so we could TRULY ask them for an encore!! Alas, this was not the case. So the concert ends and I leave with the other Mark, who was nearly wasted, and we go back to his hotel to stop and then go get something to eat. We ended up going to a Korean place after much deliberation. During this time (it’s about 10pm) we learn that Geoff and the others caught SCANDAL looking at the concert venue immediately after their performance was over and taking pics of the crowd themselves!!! So it’s 11pm now and I start to head back to my place. It begins pouring…wow seriously. I get drenched and then I learned that Rina also might have got drenched as she tweeted the unreliable weather of Honolulu, hahaha. I knock out at like 12:30am.
I got a very nice spanking good night’s sleep as I wake up at 8am. I get ready for the last day as I message the SH chat group if anyone was still up after last night’s craze. Geoff messaged me and told me he and some other guys were going to a breakfast place nearby, but this was when I was still in the bathroom…So I missed them, got sad, went back to my place and grabbed my two of my safety granola bars as breakfast and devoured them. I later met up with Geoff and members at like 9:30am at their place. We were planning to go hang out at the zoo and museum with other members. We had plenty of time to kill until 4:30pm, when our private tour with SCANDAL started. So we head to the zoo and explored. We saw interesting animals such as various birds, komodo dragon, giraffes, zebras, lemurs (Zubumafoo, anyone? Nostalgia attack!), alligators, tigers, red butted monkeys, stray peacocks walking on the roads, etc. We also saw this one particular white bird that looked like a toddler goose that was SIMPLY EVERYWHERE IN ALMOST EVERY EXHIBIT WE WENT TO! We made up an explanation for this rogue bird that seemed to appear everywhere as the dude who was gonna prison break all the animals free lmao. We then leave the zoo (after being attacked thoroughly with mosquitoes throughout) and head to the aquarium to meet up with other members. We had a great time and looked at various sea creatures such as sharks, giant trevalls, jellyfish, old fossil-like fish, sea turtles, seals, etc. At the end we visited the souvenir shop where some of us picked out gifts for SCANDAL. So now it’s like 12pm and then we split up; my group decided to go back to the breakfast place Geoff went to in the morning and to my surprise, everything was so cheap!!! I was finally sick of paying over $20 for a meal and finally got a nice burger and soda drink for only $5! I’m definitely returning to this little shop every day for a meal for the rest of my Hawaii trip (I’m leaving on Friday, June 6th
hehe). This little cafe was run by a nice Hawaiian young woman, who tended the store all by herself. I guess that’s how she manages to keep prices so low! Anyway, we ate and left the place, and it’s now like 3:00. We all go back to our rooms to prepare for the final SCANDAL tour. I go back to my hostel and prepared what I can. I brought along a bottle and straw in hopes of calling out Tomomi and reenacting what she did in AM2 convention in 2011 where she dropped the straw in a bottle, hahaha. I also brought my limited edition STANDARD album t-shirt to wear to the tour. I head out to the pick-up place at Marriott where only like two other fans were waiting. This is now 3:30pm. We wait until like 4:10pm as a little more members started showing up. Soon a tour lady showed up and to our complete surprise, told us we could write down questions on a piece of paper for SCANDAL to answer later!!! We had a really hard time of thinking of what to write, but I finally did write this down: “What was your most memorable moment of last night’s concert?” So then all the SH members showed up to the pick-up place and we learned that they already transported the Japanese fans. We get on the shuttle bus and the tour lady collect our questions and hands out envelopes which contained our seating positions in the secret meeting place. We get on the bus and have an absolutely raucous time as we hype up the impending meeting more and more and take many whacky photos only a bus full of fans would do! Near the end of the bus trip Erick and Jade informs me that they have something for me, and lo and behold, it’s the purple SH shirt! As I’ve said a couple of times, I didn’t really mind because I had a backup plan in my STANDARD t-shirt, but it was a good feeling. I remarked how the heck did they make it so fast and they just said “magic”. I then joked it must be a hand-me-down and everyone “oooo”ed. Lol sorry guys. We finally arrive at the secret destination and one of the Japanese coordinators come in and she tells us that because of the recent incident with the AKB48 member getting cut, to please be aware that our bags will get checked. We were happy to oblige and were relieved that nothing else was restricted because of paranoia. So we start going out of the bus into the meeting place, which had a very Japanese looking entrance with walkways over waters and lilies and all that. At the end was a modest sized warehouse room. But before that! IT WAS SCANDAL WAITING FOR US AT THE DOOR READY TO “LEI-WELCOME” US!!! We filed in a single line and we handshook and conversed briefly with each member individually, and then at the end either Rina or a Japanese coordinator put on the Hawaii flower necklace on our necks. As it neared my turn I took out my “Tomomi joke in a bottle” and tried to get her attention by yelling her name, but she was too busy with fans…Yep there went my chance to pull that off. Maybe another day in the distant future…Anyway I made sure my palms were not sweaty as it got to my turn and then finally shook Haruna’s, Tomomi’s, and Mami’s soft hands (we said “Aloha!” to each other). Tomomi pointed at my shirt after she shook my hand and yelled “Ah, STANDARD!” to which I gave her two thumbs up. Mami noticed too and said something along the lines of “Suge!” Mission accomplished. Then I get to my favorite member Rina and she puts on my necklace on me, smiled and I said to her “Arigato” with a big cheesy smile and she returned “Arigato” to me with a big beautiful smile. Yep. I died a little. I went in and took my seating position, which was about the 2nd
row of table on the right, nearest where Mami would be. The members finally get on stage much to our delight and they welcome us and we cheer them every time. Tomomi, Haruna, Rina, Mami was their position on the stage, from left to right. Then we began to get our dinner / buffet as they called us to line up table by table. Our tables were mainly separated by Japanese and SH members by the way. So we eat our very Chinesey/semi-Japanese/American food. I personally got some fried rice, Chinese cooked fish, sweet and sour pork, fruity cake, tofu, and beef. It was quite good and filling, and free! So as we are eating, the translator lady turns out to be a Japanese interviewer and had done an interview with SCANDAL a few days ago. She lets us listen to the interview (mostly in Japanese) which she tells us she will air sometime next week. Thankfully good guy Geoff who sat beside me knew quite a bit of Japanese and translated most of the stuff for me. This was not the case for the translator lady, as she only translated stuff when she felt like it for the rest of the night. Very frustrating. So a little while later, SCANDAL comes back out…IN VERY KAWAII HAWAIIAN DRESSES!!! Wow they were so beautiful. Unfortunately Tomomi looked a bit out of sorts as she was coughing, looked to be quite sick. Poor girl. Everyone else was beaming and looking magnificent like angels. So then the translator lady pulls out five question cards only (only four of which will end up being answered) and questions the girls. The questions were, in no particular order because I forgot: “Which would you marry(?)” – asked by a Japanese girl fan. “When would you expect to go on a world tour?” – asked by one of SH. “What do you like more, beach or cold mountain?” asked by Japanese guy fan. I forgot the last question…maybe I’ll remember later, or you can check other members’ posts, very sorry…Anyway, the members’ answers were, in respective order: “We don’t really know who we want to marry yet, we like to focus on the band at the moment!” “Rina: we expect to go on world tour very soon! ;)Maybe even October!
’ “Haruna, Tomomi, Rina all said beach, Mami said cold mountain. Mami explains that she likes the spiritual side of cold mountains. Haruna loves summer. Tomomi and Rina’s answers I didn’t really get because of the damn translator lady.” After questions, we began to play a really amazing game. So the coordinators would ask the girls a Hawaiian word and the girls had to guess the meaning of the word. The room was separated into four teams, each for each member. I was part of team Haruna!...even though my favorite was Rina, haha I was so torn but yes I tried my best for Haruna! So then the coordinators would show us the fans the answer to the word but we can’t shout it out to the girls and could only act out the meaning to them for hints. The game begins. I cant really remember everything, sorry, but here is some of the words I remember: ocean, house, spouting water, fire. The last word that I cant remember, but I do remember that for that one Tomomi immediately knew the answer to somehow! For the house word, team Rina got very clever and made a house figure around Jeido who stood there to represent a person in the house. Rina got that easily…In the ocean word, it was very intense but I kept yelling Haruna’s name and she looked at me several times until I finally whipped out the dinner napkin and sailed it on my arm to mimic a ship in the ocean, and she finally got the message from me and yelled out ‘UMI!!!” I was so happy! Alas, the last question was spouting water and was worth 100 pts apparently, so whoever got this right won. It was very intense as people kept picking up their glasses of water, with various hilarious “spouting” gestures, but team Tomomi finally got it. Team Tomomi included Jade and Erick, the two prime people responsible for this amazing trip. The team members each got the interview lady’s small banner of her station, EACH BANNER SIGNED BY THE GIRLS PERSONALLY! Anyway I feel like Jade and Erick deserved such a prize after all their hard work. Congrats! So after the game is over, Haru commented how fun it was to see our efforts in acting out the word meanings from the stage, and they had such a blast! She was smiling so much. Moving on, we straight to the main event…THE ACOUSTIC LIVE! All the members get guitars that aren’t their own, and Rina gets a box that she sits on. They start off with Uchiagehanabi, much to my delight, as I don’t think they’ve performed this song live before and because I love this cute song. The song goes really slow and the vocals are really pronounced. The acoustic version of the song really brought out the nostalgia in the song and the “gazing at the night sky with fireworks” feeling. In the original song there is a “pause” in the middle – here Rina masterfully uses her drumming box to break that silence. The way she drummed her was really akin to the way tribes would do around a campfire. And it was exactly how the live felt at that mount: like we all around a campfire just singing along to the sparkly night sky. My favorite member is Rina so of course I noticed little things about her throughout this like her keeping her head down for much of the song hitting that box away – it looked she too was really into it. We finish the song up and then they start playing Hikare. The song had a really steady rhythm and almost put me in a trance. Felt kinda surreal at that point. The song finishes, and then Haruna announces that this is the last song, much to the “aww”s of the fans. She starts, and it’s Departure! Something’s different this time though. It’s only Haruna strumming her guitar and singing beautifully and slowly, while the other 3 just sit them solemnly. It was truly a farewell from our beloved band to us. At about the halfway point of the song, the song restarts with the other 3 chiming in. The song felt really heartfelt and a little bit sad. When it finished and as we were clapping, my feelings were shared: I spotted Rina teary eyed and wiped at her eyes here and there. So next came the SECOND big event of the night: the personal photo session right in the middle of the girls. I thought to myself though, taking a picture with Rina as she just finished watering her eyes? A bit cruel haha. Anyway we lined up to the stage by table and each person (a few couples here and there) went up to the stage and posed right smack dab in there with the girls. It was the ultimate personal photo and I started getting nervous. Of course we cheered when our members got up there. Some people tried to do some whacky poses and some had their poses toned down a bit. So then it’s my turn and I walk gingerly up the stage. I waved at the members like an idiot and smiled like an idiot and they returned both gestures without looking like idiots. So I stand in the middle and cheese hard. I could feel Rina’s shoulder touching mine; I was in SCANDAL HEAVEN. As soon as I got my photo I took my leave, but I gave the worst bow in history to the girls who waved me bye. So I head back to the bus and just take in everything that’s happened. The rest of the SH members go up as well and we collectively spaz out. To further escalate things one of the coordinators go into our bus and gives each of us a leather SCANDAL bag. So yeah, things can’t get any better than this, right? Right? So on our way back to the hotel we forced Erick to give a speech. He delivered it well enough. Just kidding, you were great. Lale and Neil also chimed in and showed appreciation to the people responsible for making this all happen, and we clapped multiple times. So we all plan to head to the Marriott bar right after this to meet up with the Japanese fans to have one more last laugh. We all go our separate ways back to prepare, and I head back to my hostel. After I fixed myself up as best as I could from the time frame of 8:45pm-9pm, I head back to the Marriott hotel. I enter a hallway and at the end of it I see four young Japanese girls. As we get closer to each other I squint and say to myself: “Is that SCANDAL? It can’t be right? IT CAN’T BE RIGHT?” Without thinking my arms fly up and started waving at them enthusiastically the whole time as we closed in on each other. They notice me after a few seconds of arm waving and then started waving back to me too. We exchange good byes to each other and then Tomomi say “Good night” to me at the end. My mind was blank at this point as I kept walking forward, but then five seconds later a lot of SH members ran after the girls. They returned shortly after as they told me that they were kept from the band by officials. So we head up to the bar up on the 3rd
floor where we met up with others. The Japanese fans and the rest of the SH members came a while later after I kept humble bragging my ass off. We started getting to know each other and then reorganized the chairs so we would be more of a group. I was situated in a table full of Japanese fans, which included a newly wed couple on their honeymoon. No worries, it was high time to put my 3 weeks of Japanese to work. Many ordered beer; I ordered some brandy like a fool. It burned me greatly and I had trouble finishing my shot that I had to eventually get some sprite to help cool down. We talked the night away about SCANDAL and I shared the awesome photos taken by Eddie to the Japanese fans who too were amazed by the personal and quality pictures taken. We exchanged Line / Gmail contacts so they too could enjoy the pictures. I made an effort to introduce them to our site which was quite successful as many of them were interested. As most of us were under the influence by now, we started taking many drunk pictures and filling the bar with HARUNA, TOMOMI, MAMI, RINA chants. Soon people started leaving. I stayed for a while longer but soon left before a group of others comprised of both SH and Japanese fans (who I would later learn would hang out with what was left of the night). I descend the stairs down to the courtyard when I spot near the bottom of the stairs, Haruna’s face. Guess my unfortunate luck has turned into incredible luck in such a short time. The band was entering the ABC shop presumably to shop. I pass by them and wave and say bye and they look up and did the same. They must be getting pretty tired of that lone guy who keeps running into them, I bet. I walked out of that hotel like I was walking on air…Until next time? SCANDAL, pls.