July 31, 2015

Närcon 2015 – Nice outside, quite rotten inside

Hello everyone!

I have recovered enough from Närcon to start scribbling together a con report about it.
If you didn't know Närcon is a big 4-day event (from Thursday to Sunday) held in Linköping, southern Sweden, every year during the last full week of July. This year it was on 23-26th July. Närcon is more like a festival than a typical anime convention.

As most of you probably know, there's been a lot of negative talk about this year's Närcon all over the social media sites and a fair share of it is true – many attendants have had really bad experiences and understandably so. If you are interested in the less-than-good experiences of others I'd recommend you to check out this blog post here: https://andrearitsu.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/narcon-2015-how-do-you-even-recover-from-this/
This person takes up a lot of awful things that happened and have valid points for why Närcon internally crashed so badly this year. I also agree with them and I saw a lot of the things they mentioned too, like those poor seizure warning signs etc. There's also links to even more experience posts if you scroll to the end of that linked post!

I have very mixed feelings about Närcon Sommar 2015 (lit. Närcon Summer) myself and I will try to explain why so along the length of this post while I simultaneously talk about my con experience in general, aka what I did there etc.

Note though that all opinions in this post regarding Närcon are my own experiences and/or thoughts of things that I've heard/read elsewhere; I am not saying that everything is 100% true or that Närcon is more evil than Sauron himself. Neither is my word any ultimate truth or anything of the sort, aka your opinions might vary – I'm just one human out of thousands who attended Närcon. Some things I mention will be speculations.
The point is not to bash or give Närcon a bad reputation or image; I just think that as an attendant of their events (and of any events in general, especially ones that I pay for and thus expect a certain quality from) I have the right to tell others about my experiences, no matter if good or bad.
I really wish Närcon well and that they will improve for the better and think twice about what they prioritize but yeah, this year things didn't really go as they should have for many... and I think we all need to voice our opinions to make a change. 

Ready to follow with on my Närcon journey? Let's goooooo! ~
(protip: this is a kilometer post so you better prepare your favorite drink!)

This is a map of the whole Campus Valla university area that
Närcon was held in. It's really big.
My journey to Närcon started already on Tuesday morning; this is because I live high up in northern Sweden and the traveling to Linköping takes a full day.
I had earlier on Facebook managed to get in contact with a group of congoers in Umeå, who planned to hire a minibus and drive it all the way down to Närcon. This was a very economic and pleasant ride for me and it also gave me a chance to meet some new faces and make friends!
Yep, in case you didn't know I actually left alone for Närcon – no one of my close-living friends, whom I normally go to cons with, could/wanted to attend Närcon.
So yeah, on Tuesday I jumped into the Umeå bus on the morning and around 7 hours later I had arrived at Umeå's hospital, where Vicktor and I had decided to meet. I had to leave one day earlier than the minibus departure (which was on Wednesday morning) because of sucky bus times; there was no bus that left from my town early enough to arrive in Umeå before 9 in the morning – the earliest bus would arrive around 12:00 and that was a bus that started its journey around 4 or so in the night/morning!! This means that I totally våldgästade Vicktor spent the night at Vicktor's place. He was completely chill with it (even though we were strangers to each other before this) because he was one of the minibus riders as well.
The Tuesday night went by doing some chit-chat with Vicktor and watching him trying to last minute finish his cosplay for the con. The apartment showed obvious signs of the "holy shit the con is next week and my cosplay isn't done!" frenzied sewing rush having occurred – fabric scraps, loose threads and empty lemonade bottles were all over the living room and random cosplay pieces were lying around in the corners. On the living room table was a sewing machine and yes, this costumer mess made me feel perfectly at home lol.
I got to sleep on the couch in the living room, which was a surprisingly comfy couch to sleep in, by the way.

This is where I slept.
(enjoy the cellphone quality)
Wednesday morning was... stressful as fuck. I realized too late that I had woken up way too late. I barely had time to dress and start eating my toast before Vicktor told me "we have to leave like, RIGHT NOW". I took all my OVER NINETHOUSAAAAND bags and we headed out in a rush.
I need to say that I really regret not having taken a normal suitcase, instead I had one of those sport bag type of carrying bags that have a shoulder strap as well as handles. The reason I had not taken my usual blue suitcase was because of luggage restrictions for the minibus – after all we were 9 people in it and everyone's stuff had to fit inside. I had thought that the sport bag, well, bag, would take less space and in case of serious space shortage it would allow for more "squishing" and thus extra space to be made than what a rigid suitcase would.
While we were heading out for the bus stop Vicktor speed-walked in front of me, just to check if the bus was coming. Thank heavens he did because as soon as we got in sight of the bus stop we saw the damn bus stopping at the bus station! I was far away from the bus and had to run like mad, with all my bags and pouches weighing on me way too much for sprints, to get to it in time. It was a horrible stress panic moment and I think I died a bit.
If anyone wonders I had 7 bags on me in total: tent bag, big sport bag with all my cosplay stuff, shoulder bag, sleeping bag, camera bag, a plastic bag with cosplay shoes and my sword carrying pouch. Oh, and my Turtles pillow hanging from my shoulder bag so that's actually 8. Guess if running with all that stuff on me and with shitty stamina (thanks to a lung disease years ago that crippled it and I haven't been able to really get it back to normal standards) was nice... ._.
We made it to the bus and we jumped off at Vasaplan in centrum. From there we walked to Umeå bus station where Evelina would arrive with the minibus at nine in the morning. Because we had some time to pass before our ride would arrive Vicktor went to get a sandwich from Subway (we barely had time for breakfast earlier). I had wanted sushi but yesterday night we had checked online for the Shogun sushi bar's opening times (aka the one just next to the bus station) and it wouldn't open until 10. But when I first had walked past the sushi bar I had noticed that, for some reason, the door was open. I decided to try my luck and went inside; inside it was empty but I could hear that a radio or television was on rather loudly in the back of the kitchen part. I waited a few minutes and this Asian man appeared from where the noise was coming – I instantly recognized him being the owner/chef of the place (I've ordered from this place before)! He told me that I can order if I wanted something; omg that was so kind of him. ;A; So yeah, I totally got my much wanted take-away sushi and I felt so pleased with myself lol.
By the time I got back to the bus station the black minibus was standing there and I shook hands with Evelina, the driver. We then proceeded to put all our stuff in the back of the car (and this is when I regretted my lack of suitcase for realz – we had plenty of space left!!) and go sit inside it, while we waited for the remaining people to show up. Everyone showed up and we started our journey to the south!
During the bus trip I probably slept more than half the time! I remember falling asleep after we had left Umeå (I did see the Höga Kusten bridge though, which I really like!) and the next time I woke up we were in the popular Tönnebro resting place.
We were supposed to eat at Tönnebro but I wasn't hungry since I had eaten my sushi in the minibus. And yes, the minibus totally smelled a mix of Subway and sushi at one point – what you mean congoers were here? xD

Tönnebro resting place was seemingly called Rasta, which means
something like "take a break" in Swedish.
Too bad that I always thought of a different kind of rasta and so it was hard to take it seriously... xD

...
Ehrmmm. Yeah. xDDD

I ended up buying a bottle of chocolate drink (Pucko ffs!) and a big cinnamon bun. While I was sitting and eating my bun I saw from one of the windows that my bus crew had already assembled and were standing next to the bus – fuck me!
I threw the rest of the bun into my mouth and hurried outside, just to realize that I wasn't mister Super Late. Vicktor was later. I had carnivored the bun when I would have had time to enjoy it more, meh.

Rasta Café, hihihi.
The next time I woke up we were in Uppsala. Then in Stockholm. I don't remember sleeping that long but okay...? At Stockholm we picked up our ninth passenger and continued towards Linköping, although we got lost in Stockholm and everyone was annoyed because we kept going around in circles and not finding the right street. Evelina ragequitted so Vicktor got to drive the Stockholm part, but at least we found the guy we had to pick up and we even found our way out of Stockholm, success!

When we finally got to Linköping it was late evening. I directly went to get my con ticket from the information desk outside. While I made my way there (with all my stuff of course) Angie Cross spotted me. We had planned to camp together so she tagged along with me to the info. There I got my con band as well as the camping band which, much to my liking, also was a cool fabric band with the reverse colors of the ordinary Närcon band! Frihgin' schwiit! :'D



There were some derps with the camping tickets though. Unlike on 2013 this year every person who wanted to camp needed to have their own camping ticket, even though they were camping with someone else who provided the tent and had a ticket. On 2013 only one person in a camping company needed a camping ticket because the ticket was for the tent space itself, not related to the amount of people who would be in the same tent. So yeah, because of this change, which we were unaware of, there were some issues because Angie had no camping ticket and the only way to get one was to order and pay for it online. Luckily a guy showed up who had hotspot access on his cellphone and he kindly let her use it. Same guy also said that my Wario cap was awesome (and took a pic of it) and that he also loved Wario's own games – eff yeah more Wario fans! We totally ended up talking about good ol' Wario Land 3 to Game Boy Colour and shit. x)
Oh, and I also want to mention that for some reason only the campers got cool fabric tickets – those who were in the sleeping hall dormitories only got boring single color paper tickets. The camping tickets were paper tickets too, back in 2013.

This was the only direction sign I found and it's super vague.
More arrow signs around the path would have been great too, especially
to the camping.
Angie managed to get herself a camping ticket and we headed for the camping site. There wasn't really any clear indications or signs where the camp was so at first we ended up going in the wrong way. Having a gate leading to a farm doesn't necessarily tell everyone "hey the camp is this way!" so, yeah... Närcon, please put more signs around, especially for the camping site because it's outside the main event area; it's a bother to walk around cluelessly because the con area itself is so huge.
Oh and also, I want to say that on the next morning when I headed out from the camp I actually ended up going in the wrong direction; had I not spotted other congoers –who told me that this was the wrong way– I would have kept on walking until I arrived in Linköping centrum!! I ended up having to take a detour and ask people for the way back into the con area; it was not convenient nor fun at all.
It's not so hard to put some paper signs with arrows along the way so that nobody gets lost; even Skecon does it and it's a godsend if you're bad at orientation, like me.

Camping area entrance. The white thingy is the gate.
Oh, and when you walked to the camping area you passed by a pasture with horses and, err, you could smell the horse poop and it was... lovely. lol


At the camping area I was surprised by the amount of tents that had already been rigged up. It already looked quite full even though it was only Wednesday night and the con festival hadn't even begun yet!
Me and Angie picked out a spot close to the camping entrance gate, thinking that the closer to the exit the better. Soon enough a con volunteer came and told us that we'd better move the tent a bit further away, unless we'd not be bothered by music and loud talk in the middle of the night. The way it was worded made it seem like the pandas (aka volunteers) working at making sure only campers got into the camping area would talk loudly with each other the whole night and blast music, regardless of if campers wanted to sleep or not. Oooooookay...?
I can understand that they'd do small talk to keep each other awake (and to not be bored to death) but I still found it a bit weird because on Närcon's official site it stated at the camping section "[...] and gives you a quiet refuge to return to after hours of fun." which was like, the point in choosing the camping over the known-to-be-noisy-because-people-don't-respect-that-others-want-to-sleep sleeping hall dormitories (aka sovsal in Swedish)?
Oh well, we moved our tent some meters further away from the gate and started putting it up. Because neither of us had much experience in assembling a tent we probably looked quite clueless and so, when I saw one of the camping pandas standing close-by, I went to ask them for a helping hand. By the way, the tent is actually Sacchan's (formerly known as Sairu-chan) and it's the same green one I borrowed last time I was at Närcon, aka 2013.
We got our tent up although it didn't look all that... pro. But hey, at least it was standing!

It's totally not aligned properly but sssh, no one notices...
With the tent up I checked the bathroom and shower options of the camping area and I noticed that improvements had been done since 2013 – now there was a shower cart for men, women and one that said gender neutral. Women had a whole cart for themselves (understandably because a big chunk of congoers identify as female) and men shared one with the gender neutral; note though that even though the two shared one cart it was still split inside (two completely separate "shower rooms") so there was no way to get into the other's side without going outside and entering it from its own outside door.
But seriously, all my thumbs up for the third one because in the con scene there's a lot of people who don't identify as cis-gender and thus some are very uncomfortable being forced to use the restrooms/showers for either male or female only. I also want to mention that even though there were several carts that were separated the shower area was still not completely private. By that I mean that you had a small wall between each showering space, as well as your own shower curtain – but you didn't have any "desirable lockable shower room with space for changing privately" and neither did you have any hangers on the wall of the tiny showering space, which meant that you had to leave your clothes outside the showering spots which, in turn, meant that if others were in the cart at the same time you were showering (brushing teeth, washing hands etc in the sink) then you were forced to dress where everyone inside the same cart could see you – in other words: if you are uncomfortable being seen naked by anyone you still had to plan when to shower.
I did notice though that you could lock the cart doors from the inside, although this didn't seem to always work...?

Oh, and the floor of the showering carts was always reaaally dirty, borderline disgusting. Random grass, grease and dirt were all over the wet floor because people walked in with their outdoor shoes on. Those who showered can't possibly have enjoyed stepping into all that nasty shit with clean, freshly soaped feet – I certainly found it repulsive and had to tiptoe carefully while dressing up, trying to avoid as much of the gross stuff as humanly possible. What's the point of cleaning yourself and then getting your feet instantly dirty right after? I want to note that the actual tiny showering spaces were clean, just the general floor area of the cart was messy.
Oh, and the shower water was cold and there was no way to get it warm from what I figured. Vesi on liian kylmää.
It would have been nice had there been shower cart cleaners during the weekend... *shrugs*

The shower carts. The cart to the left had the men's door to the left and the gender
neutral to the right. The cart to the right was completely for women.
On the camping site just next to the shower facilities were also this very ghetto stand with drinkable water. It was so glorious that I couldn't help but admire it lol. It was basically some water hoses being duct taped to a wooden stand.

Look at this beauty!
There was also a generous row of what we in Sweden call "bajamaja", aka outdoor toilets. You know, those plastic-y transportable ones you see at festivals and concerts that smell like shit (literally) and all the pee and poo stays down there, visible for all the eyes to see after you've done your business in there. *thumbs up*
 
The brotherhood of the blue toilets.
After being done with the camping stuff me and Angie headed out for McDonald's, aka Donken, to get some food; it was late but there were a lot of people eating there and there was a fairly big waiting line. I normally avoid said place like the plague but it's the only food place close to the Närcon's campus area so yeah, you don't really have much choice, especially when the con itself hasn't officially opened yet so you couldn't eat at the Närcon food stands. Not like it would have made much of a difference though, Närcon served almost only junk food as well...
After having eaten a completely tasteless and disappointing fish burger Stefan called me and asked where I was. I had promised online earlier to photoshoot his cosplay on this day. I found him close to the gate leading to the camping area and I photographed his Jason Voorhees cosplay for a while. After that was done I just headed back to the camping area, crawled into my burrito sleeping bag and went to sleep. And I really mean crawled – the zipper had gotten stuck so I had no choice but to worm my way in.

Thursday

Thursday morning came and I lagged around in the tent for a while before I finally got up. I had slept really poorly because of waking up every hour because of either uncomfortable sleeping position or, more commonly, other campers being obnoxiously loud and plain annoying in the middle of the fucking night; people almost shouted to each other, completely ignoring that many others were trying to sleep. Some people really should tone down their vocal organs – you don't have to wake up everyone else just because you want to chat with your friend who's just next to you ffs. It's not so hard to whisper or talk in a lower voice or hell, if you now are in different tents just go over to the same one. ._. Some people gravely lack common sense and respect for others, ugh...
I also want to mention that they were loud enough so that I, who had earplugs, still could perfectly well make out every goshdarn word they said without even having to focus on hearing it – that's how loud it was.

Oh well, I put on my everyday gear and went to find Stefan again; we had agreed on doing a short follow-up photoshoot in daylight too. After that I just hung around the outside area, waiting for Närcon to officially open its doors at 13:37. At this point there were already a shitlot of people around and it was really overwhelming. My last Närcon experience was before they decided to expand it like crazy so yeah, this sudden wave of people all over the place was really something different – it almost felt surreal to think that this was a con in Sweden and not in some bigger country!

The outside area that was to the left when you came from the
direction of the camp gate. When you walked down this road
you got to the sleeping hall dormitories etc.
Amidst the huge flood of colorful geeks I took a few photos and, when I looked at them, I saw that my camera had put focus on a Kenshin Himura cosplayer, which made me walk straight to them. I asked if she planned to cosplay Kenshin on Saturday too and the answer was a "no, only today". This made me instantly decide to say goodbye to my previously planned cosplay order and I went to fetch my Battousai Kenshin cosplay stuff from the tent. By the time I got back to the main outside area a huge line had formed leading into C-huset, aka the main Närcon building.
I had some rather heavy bags and a big bathroom need so I went "fuck Köcon :'D" (lit. QueueCon) and ninja'd my way past the majority of the line. The line itself moved fairly smoothly, but I just couldn't be bothered and there was no one at the doors actually checking if you were trying to skip the line so I skipped it because I'm a selfish dick who hates waiting. :> huehuehue
Inside I instantly started my search for a free bathroom and luckily, because I was one of the first to enter the building, it was an easy task. I changed into cosplay but half-assed pretty much all the make-up because my face felt absolutely horrible and I was in a hurry because I had decided with the other Kenshin cosplayer a set time when we'd meet outside C-huset. I skipped the contact lenses too because my eyes felt sensitive and dry, bleh.
When I was done I hurried outside and stood there and waited for my other me to show up. Meanwhile I was playing my StreetPass games on 3DS because hoori shitto did I get spammed by Mii encounters!! :O I had to constantly check my StreetPass because the 10 person limit filled up in just 15 minutes or so every time, it was crazy! Especially when in my town I can go through the whole centrum and more without ever meeting a single Mii... #lonelygamerproblems
The other Kenshin showed up and we went to check the outdoor main area, aka walking the road down towards the sleeping halls.

Närcon's "kiosk" for your mässö sweet cravings.
GottCon translates to something along the lines of "YummyCon".
They sold soda, popcorn and normal candies (aka non-Asian) etc.
This is the area where the rave –which I'll mention later– was held.
Notice the amount of people in the background. You can also
see the fence to the left on the grassy area.
There were some merchandise stands outdoors!
Some sold plushies, figurines etc but others also carried Japanese candies and sweets.

We wanted to take a few photos together but neither had any camera friend nearby so at first we tried to take selfies. It didn't quite go well and so we proceeded to wait for the fitting prey right person to walk by so that we could terrorize them into taking pics of us ask them to take some photos of us with my camera. Soon enough we spotted a guy with a SLR camera hanging around his neck –and we both deemed that he looked like someone who knew how to hold a camera– so we went up to him and asked. It worked!

Not the best picture but at least some photo proof!
After this we just hung out with each other for the rest of the day. It was nice to get a new friend right off the bat! We bought some bubble tea (yes, there was a bubble tea shop!) and went to sit at one of the outside benches, enjoying the nice weather and the festival-y atmosphere.

OMG BUBBLE TEA!! OwO
This one was mango flavored tea with passion fruit bubbles.
It was very good!
I seriously love bubble tea and I had been drooling after it since I last had some at Helsinki's train station last year. The only bummer was that there were few flavors to choose from and there were only the ordinary teas and not the milky ones, which I personally think are better. If anyone is curious the tea flavors were strawberry, mango, green apple and green melon – if I remember right and ain't forgetting one. The bubble flavors were strawberry, mango and passion fruit. :)

The weather was lovely the whole Thursday and I was really enjoying my time. I spent the whole Thursday just chilling with the other Kenshin and we got approached and photographed quite much. It's nice to see that people recognize the good ol' classics and still love them dearly!
Oh, and someone asked me this year too if the scar on my cheek was real. xD I said I'm not such a hardcore cosplayer that I'd cut myself but he said that he'd do it and yes, he seemed completely serious about it...

Närcon had this silly competition that you had to call a number and
sound like Chewbacca and, if you were awesome enough, you had the
chance of winning a t-shirt.
I did notice already on the first day though that Närcon had issues with the information.
I had later during Thursday gone to pick up my so called "Närcon kåsa", which is basically a plastic cup that you pre-ordered online and then picked up at the convention on this one table in the main lobby of C-huset that sold Närcon merchandise. Having this kåsa gave you free drinks (tea, coffee, chocolate milk or saft/mehu/whatever-it's-in-English) in Närcon's cafeterias during the whole duration of the event. Yes, a really worthwhile purchase because it only cost 49 SEK.
While I got my kåsa without any issues –even though I picked it up maaaany hours after opening; I forgot completely about it at first– I've heard that several others who pre-ordered stuff online actually didn't get them because Närcon failed big time and sold the stuff to others who *surprise surprise* hadn't pre-ordered them. In other words – those who already had PAID IN ADVANCE for their products got left without any because Närcon fucked up and sold the stock to whoever was in front of the pick-up table first and asked to buy one. *facepalm* Yeah, they seemingly didn't reserve and put aside already pre-paid orders; which should be an obvious given at this kind of big event when stuff is likely to sell out. How can you be so unprofessional?

Okey, I sidetracked a little so let's go back to the "I noticed Närcon had information issues" now.
The thing is that after I had gotten my kåsa I really wanted to drink something. I had no idea where any of the "free drink for kåsa owners" places were so I asked one volunteer. They told me to ask another person because they didn't really know. So I asked another nearby volunteer who also implied that they didn't know and told me to ask the workers at Josbaren (one of the places were you could order special drinks). I went there and asked and they gave me some very vague directions and told me to ask the other Närcon food stands, aka they didn't really know either.
Yeah, all the volunteers basically just kept sending me back and forth because no one actually knew where I was supposed to go to get my drink. ._. At this point my mind was thinking "seriously now? I've asked several con volunteers of a very simple and probably one of the most asked questions, that should be part of a FAQ, and no one has directly told me where I can get those damn free drinks. How can it be possible that no one of the volunteers knew exactly on which ones of the multiple food stands you could use your kåsa?". OTL
It eludes me how Närcon workers don't know where you are supposed to go to use the Närcon items – isn't that one of the first things one would normally make sure so that everyone who works for the con knows to point askers in the right direction? Isn't that an important basic question that would probably be asked quite a lot because of how cons/festivals tend to stress that you should remember to drink, especially during hot summer days? I wonder if the pandas got any preparation sheet repetition of "these questions you should be able to answer" type of thing...?
I don't even know anymore.
But yeah, after a lot of circulating between all the food places I eventually found out by myself that it's the cafeteria outdoors and the cafeteria indoors in C-huset that were the only ones having the "free for kåsa" drinks.
Sure that this is a really minor thing compared to some of the bad experiences others have had, but I felt like even this falls into the "lacking and poor information" folder.

Närcon's drink list for Josbaren and Glassbaren, I assume.
I didn't end up trying any but I maybe should have. I know that the Donkey Kong
drink has been delicious on previous years.
These were plastered all over the convention!
At some point I got really hungry (I hadn't eaten anything warm since the midnight McDonald's burger) and started checking closer on what exactly all the Närcon food stands were offering and, as previously mentioned, pretty much everything could be summed up by saying fast or junk food – overpriced at that too.
There was a food stand for kebab and shish kabob (red meat or chicken) sticks, aka "grillspett" in Swedish. There was the obligatory Närcon burgers and Närkorv, which was hotdogs. There were also cup noodles, pies and pancakes in the cafeteria inside C-huset, a salad bar for all the grass-eaters as well as Närcon's own pizza bakery. The pizza bakery had their pizzas named after Pokémon characters and if any then this was, according to me, the most overpriced Närcon food stand of them all gotta rob 'em all! – one quarter slice of a pizza cost 30 SEK, which is way too much considering that if you go to any average pizzeria you get a full pizza for like 65 SEK!! All the pizzas also had at least one ingredient that I really disliked so I wouldn't have eaten there anyway...

Närcon's Pokémon themed pizza advertisement...
... and the actual pizza ingredient/price list at the pizza bakery outdoors.
I bit together and bought a Närcon burger because it was the cheapest, considering the amount of food you got. There were huuuge lines to all the food places and just looking at the lines made me lose interest in even eating to begin with because they moved so painfully slow. I went to stand in line anyway, because I was dying, and I eventually got my hamburger. Luckily I got my burger while all the ingredients still were in stock (save for the chili sauce) but it has been a common problem on earlier years that the supplies would constantly run out and new ingredients didn't arrive on time for whatever reason. The fence this year must have made it so much more of a hindrance for the food transport vehicles to reach the con because yeah, no cars got past the gates and all...
The burger was okay; it tasted like any generic home-grilled burger and not in a bad way. I was actually mentally prepared for a disappointment and then I was surprised that it was actually good because I've heard so many "the Närcon burgers suck!" comments from last year.

My freshly ordered Närcon burger. I spammed some dressings on it. x)
Regarding food options I want to mention that unless you wanted to take detours and walk extra on your already hurting feet then you were stuck with Närcon's own food places. By this I'm saying that because Närcon had rigged up a fence around the whole festival area it also effectively closed off any non-Närcon food options... or at least made it a bother to get there. The fenced area only had a couple or so gates (2 or 3, I personally only saw two) in specific spots where you had to pass by to get out of the festival area and there they of course checked that you had the con ticket.
The whole "let's fence off the whole area! :-DD" was a new thing this year and while I can understand that Närcon did it to protect the visitors from uninvited creeps etc it was still more of a pain in the butt than something appreciated. It is true though that on previous years there have been records of unwanted people (aka non-paying people) getting into the con area and harassing congoers, especially women.
While fencing off the area sure had its good intentions I still feel like I can smell the greediness reeking. I don't know if this is just rumors or not but I've heard that Närcon deliberately choose to put the fence so that the attendants couldn't get to especially Pressbyrån (aka Sweden's 7-Eleven kiosk equivalent) and McDonald's because these normally "steal" a lot of potential money from Närcon. I have no idea if it's true but I've also heard that Närcon offered to open gates for these two but only if they paid Närcon a hefty sum of money; seemingly both declined and that's no wonder. So yeah, this seems like a viable theory –true or not– for why both Pressbyrån and McDonald's got fenced off as soon as the con started – Närcon seemingly wants to "force" you to only eat and spend money on Närcon's own food so that no other big companies would minimize Närcon's profit. Greedy, much?

Just a couple more outdoor area photos.
Notice the super tall Slenderman cosplayer. Also, several people had
been clever enough to bring with them bicycles/skateboards/kickbikes to
cross the long distances faster and to slow down the unavoidable death of your feet.
The thing is that I wouldn't mind giving Närcon my money – if it was a bit more reasonably priced (not everything was overpriced but some were) and offered something a bit more proper than just junk food and junk food deluxe, that is. I can't live on burgers, kebab and cup noodles for 4 days without starting to feel really sick and yes, I will mention more about that later!
I would love it if Närcon could take in some actual restaurants to come and have outdoor stands with like sushi, wok food, Chinese/Japanese/Thai food and even any ordinary warm foods like meatballs and such. But I guess Närcon wouldn't do this, unless they get to put the Närcon stamp on it...?

Just some photos of the main candy table which was in the main lobby hall of C-huset.
They sold loads and loads of Japanese sweets including Pocky, mochi,
Caplico and a lot of other smaller candies etc.
There was so much good things to choose from!
Mochi sortiment! (one box cost 50 SEK)
But yeah, I didn't do anything special on Thursday; I mostly just hung around and checked what entertainment options there were etc, which, by the way, kinda ended in disappointment because I didn't find that there would have been a video game room with a mix of retro and newer consoles anywhere; Närcon 2013 had one. I found it weird that there seemingly wasn't a proper gaming room, even though the visitor count had gone up explosively – I mean, there were more people and less entertainment, how does that go together?
I didn't go too much into the merchandise seller rooms because it was so crammed/narrow and people kept bumping into my swords, which was a bother. I was also scared of my swords taking damage.

Just a photo of the main lobby area.
The obligatory anime boobie mouse pads... except that this time there was
a twist – one actually featured Levi's butt instead. *badamtssh*
There were also some fandom/community rooms for certain series. The one above was
the Pokémon room but there was also a room for Touhou enthusiasts (complete with the games)
and most likely a few others that I can't remember right now.
I did see though that some of the merch sellers took credit cards, which is really a good thing because it's so common that you run out of cash at cons.
Even though I'm writing all the crappy things right up front here on the the Thursday part I really, honestly, had a very nice time on Thursday in general, save mainly for the idiot campers who couldn't shut the fuck up during the first nights and kept talking/shouting loudly to one another from between the tents. They needed a high-five... to the face... with a chair. :)

Friday

If I remember right the night between Thursday and Friday was windy like hell; it was blowing so hard that I had problems sleeping because I was fearing that the whole tent would fly into outer space or something. I remember waking up in the early hours of the morning (around 3-4 maybe) because I heard a loud rapidly flapping plastic-y noise – half the cover (aka the green part) of the tent had flew up and was flapping uncontrollably in the wind, revealing half of what was inside our tent (on my side of the tent) for all the other campers to see. *thumbs up* It was rather awkward to crawl out of my sleeping bag in only sleepwear, put on my hoodie and shoes and go out and put the shit back in place. Angie seemingly didn't hear or notice it, even though I was the one with the earplugs...?
Oh, and speaking of tents and strong winds! I got to hear later on that someone's tent had literally gone flying in the camping area! Someone –not the tent's owner– had seen it, caught the tent and secured it back into the ground. Later when the tent owner had gone back to the camp they had been confused by how come their tent had suddenly, magically, moved a couple meters away from the spot they remembered it had been on previously. xD

But yeah, let's get back to Friday morning.
On the actual morning I had the whole "oh shit it's so stifling inside" sensation and crawled out of the overheating sleeping bag that was sticking to me like glue. Aamut teltassa on vistoa. I was hungry as hell but had nothing to eat –save for a crushed protein bar– so that had to do for breakfast.
Angie was done before me and left while I was deciding on what to wear for the day. I didn't feel like cosplaying so I just wore a mainly black yukata with geta shoes, a multi-colored wig and a funky eyepatch. I also wore circle lenses... or should I say one lens, because one eye was covered so I just wore a pink lens on the visible eye.

Crummy outfit selfie of the day... in the bathroom. x)
Oh, and I dressed in the tent –which was quite the challenge– because yesterday when I dressed at the con I had to store my clothes somewhere and well, the "garderob" (cloakroom) cost money. I was bummed when I went there yesterday and learned that you had to pay for every item you put in, and if you picked it up you had to pay again if you wanted to put it back into storage. Hirveetä rahastusta. I've never, ever, in any other geeky event, had to pay to store stuff in the cloakroom... except for Närcon. Still surprised? No, not really. You see, back on 2013 you only had to pay a set price once (which was an acceptable amount, like 20 SEK or such) for a "storage space" in the cloakroom and then you could put in, pick up whenever and drop off stuff as much as you wanted, during the whole event, without having to pay any extra fees per item. So yeah, this year's version felt like a really ugly way to milk out more money from all the attendants –especially cosplayers with bulky props etc– for the exact same service. Booo.

I walked to the con and put on my wig and contact lenses in a bathroom in C-huset; the camping didn't feel clean enough for me to do this kind of high hygiene demanding tasks in there.
When I had dressed I went to scout for breakfast but I was feeling a bit nauseous so the appetite wasn't really there – I had already started to feel sick because of the bad eating possibilities. I can honestly say that every day I only had one warm meal (which means that on a single day I, for example, only ate one hamburger and then drinks) and this was because I forced myself to eat at least one warm dish a day, even though it was off-putting because pretty much only unhealthy/not-so-nutritious food was available.
I get sick and tired of junk food really fast if it's the only thing I'm served, period. -.- My stomach just ends up going all over the place and then I feel nauseous and sick and that's totally what happened at Närcon. On Thursday I was still fine but Friday and forward I started to feel bad...
But yeah, my food scouting ended up with me just drinking instead and it took until late evening before Angie kinda half-forced me to go eat with her because she was hungry. We ended up eating some kebabababababa, aka just simply kebab.

Närcon's kebab and shish kabob food stand.
The whole of Friday I spent hanging with either Angie or the Kenshin cosplayer, who wasn't Kenshin but a bubble head nurse from Silent Hill instead. Friday was a much better day for me to properly check out all the con merchandise and oh my god do I need to say that there were a lot of sellers!

Some of the entrances to merchandise rooms were decorated to
look more inviting.
Posters and necklaces etc.
Some sellers sold t-shirts!
Others sold show accurate My Little Pony plush dolls.
This merchandise table was filled with MLP stuff!
A closer look on the pony plushies!
They even had Gilda the griffon and Zecora.
On the other side of the pony table was Nintendo merchandise.
I swear that when I went through all the merchandise rooms it felt like it never ended! Every seller (or almost every seller) at Närcon had their own room for their store and, because C-huset is a school building, there's a lot of maze-like narrow corridors with a shitlot of (class)rooms that often were linked to one another in the back.

This should give you an idea of how big the C-huset building was alone.
All those purple areas that read "butiker" were merchandise rooms!
Example of what the merchandise corridors looked like.
I must say that I hadn't expected there to be this much merchandise so it felt really overwhelming for me – back on 2013 there wasn't even nearly as much as now!
There were a lot of merchandise rooms that I took no photos of, which means that what you see on my blog is just a fraction of the complete selection that was available. Just so you know. ^^

Self-made kanzashi and other hair accessories!

Sad thing though was that –from what I could see– probably an estimated 70% or so were likely bootleg/unofficial products. :/ Quite many of the sellers were selling the exact same plush dolls too, like the alpacas and those sleeping cat plushies were everywhere.

Yeah, these were all over the place.
I really appreciated those unique stores though, like the lolita fashion shops that sold handmade decorations etc and the kimono shop. Yep, there was a shop (it was named Aoi or something like that) that sold vintage kimono, yukata, tabi socks, geta, daruma dolls and other Japanese items like kanzashi, chopsticks and folding fans. This shop also had modern fashion clothes inspired by kimono/traditional fabrics and such – it was different and cool!

Japanese decoration dolls!
Kimonos galore!
The "old kimono smell" was there too, it was lovely.
Yukata and montsuki kimono.
The weather was nice and I did spend quite a lot of the Friday outside. I bought some bubble tea and drank it on a bench while the sun was heating up my back – it was a nice summer feeling. :) I also met some Finnish cosplayers like Cidi, Hitsuwa and the Leikkipuisto twins Satu & Päivi. ♡ It actually felt like there were more Finns since last time I was at Närcon; I kept hearing Finnish being spoken quite often around me!

Movies!
There was also one room with only Studio Ghibli merchandise, but I have no photo of that.
Awesome Koopa (Super Mario) backpacks!
Pokémon stuff. Most likely fakes though, as is to be expected when it
comes to Pokémon merchandise; bootlegs are more common than the officially licensed ones...
A shitlot of shoulder bags and posters on the tables. I'm almost certain that
everything was bootleg though; didn't look official to me.
Lots of random stuff like t-shirts (obviously unofficial), kigurumi and
random anime character plushies.
Several sellers sold collection figurines!
It was awesome to see a wig store! (they also sold keychains, bento boxes and more)
Most of all there were these cutesy plush sellers.
There was a room with only lolita accessories – really nice!
One of the corridors that were filled with merchandise rooms.
The later half of Friday I was... quite bored. I hadn't found a video game room anywhere (there was one at least 2013) or any activities that would interest me.
I did visit the Zen Garden in the other end of the Campus outside area but, ehh, it wasn't exactly what I had expected. I had expected some nice calm forest-ish outdoor location area for cosplay photoshoots (because hey, no way would there be an actual zen garden in a Swedish university campus lol) but instead I got some grassy yard-looking area with pillows spread out on the ground, a bouncy castle and hammocks on top of a small hill – basically a chill and play area where you could goof around with your friends. It didn't feel very 'zen' at all so I didn't stay there.

The bouncy castle in Zen Garden.
Zen Garden looked a bit.. dull?
On Friday night it got really chilly and I was cold to the point of freezing... in the middle of summer. What the hell.
It was rather horrible to go back to the camp when it was all cold and dark after the day; I was freezing while I wormed my way back into my –usually overkill warm– sleeping bag and I kept turning around inside it because I just couldn't get warm enough to actually fall asleep without constantly having my mind getting stuck on "it's too cold to sleep, it's too cold to sleep, it's too cold to sleep..."
Oh, and the NCC (Nordic Cosplay Championship) cosplay competition was held so darn late on the night that I just lost all interest because sleep was so much more of a tempting choice. I mean, who is hyped to watch a cosplay competition in the middle of the night?? Certainly not me, that's when I go to sleep so that I won't look like a trainwreck the following morning.
I don't understand why anyone would put such a big and important activity/show on such an inhumanly late time? Especially when it's on an outdoor stage in the cold and dark. :S I sported a pair of heavily aching feet since long hours ago (Närcon's area is so big that I got blisters on my feet before the con even had officially started) and going to spend hours watching a cosplay competition –no matter how big and important– just didn't seem tempting at all. It all just made me think "who decided that this was a good time for the con's highlight??"
I just wanted to sleep, anything that starts so late loses my interest immediately. Maybe I'm just getting old...

Närcon had some festival-y decorations hanging in the corridor walls.
Oh, and there was a rave both in the main lobby of C-huset, as well as outdoors. It was really loud and the indoors one made the air in the surrounding area really bad to breathe in.
I saw too that there was a paper sign on one of the doors leading to the lobby, saying "seizure warning at [insert times here]". Ummm... ooooookay?
There was no more context; no info of where it would occur and on where to go to avoid it etc. I found this lack of information horrifying – I mean, if someone had been epileptic this would have been really bad news for them! It would basically make it so that those who have epileptic seizures can't be at the con during those hours. Very thoughtful...

More random main lobby hall pics. Notice the amount of people.
There was actually signs on the wall to the left that said that you
shouldn't lean against it and well, guess what everyone did?
Yeah, leaned against it. ._.
Also, the rave outdoors was outside C-huset, in a narrow part within the fenced area and in a path that you were forced to walk past to get basically anywhere, if you came from or were going to C-huset, that is. I found this really unthoughtful and annoying and the music was so goddamn loud that it made me feel even more nauseous than what I already was, jipee. Having all the rave party people effectively clogging up the area and making it hard to pass through, combined with the loud sounds and the flashing lights was pure hell for those who didn't want to rave and, especially, for those who are uncomfortable in such situations. *raises hand*
Thank you whoever was the genius who thought that putting a rave in a spot that is unavoidable was a clever idea. You deserve a medal for idiocy and thoughtlessness of others. Good job – I'll puke on you if I find you.

Saturday

Saturday came, there were raindrops on the "roof" of our tent that could be viewed from the inside.
I was feeling really nauseous on the morning; it almost felt like I'd vomit even though I hadn't eaten since the evening before. Already when I went to sleep I had felt notably sick. It had also rained lightly during the night and the sky sure looked like it would have more rain in store for us later!
Regardless of the unpromising weather I decided to risk it and cosplay Falkner. I thought that if the rain would ambush us I could always just go and change out of cosplay. So yeah, I changed into cosplay inside the tent again and then I went to C-huset's cafeteria to get some breakfast... aka crêpes. I was so hungry that I didn't even feel the hunger anymore.

This was my breakfast. The purple cup is the Närcon kåsa, which contained
saft/mehu/still-don't-know-what-it's-called-in-English.
I want to mention that my saft tasted so disgustingly sweet and strong, as if it hadn't been
mixed with water at all (which it always should be). It was plain undrinkable so I just threw it out.
On Saturday I was horribly bored for most of the day, mainly because it didn't take long after I got to C-huset before a generous downpour started. It rained so much that a good chunk of all the visitors outside made their way into the C-huset and it became a claustrophobic nightmare. I instantly felt how the air turned bad and I tried to get away from the most crowded areas.

All my thumbs and toes up for this sign! Bless it. ♡
I didn't really enjoy being in cosplay this day (special thanks goes to the rain which made the whole Närcon enter chaos mode) and already around mid-day I just wanted to go take it off, but just when I was seriously considering to go out in the pouring rain to the camping site, a man approached me. "Let me guess who you are cosplaying" he said and he guessed right. He then asked me of my cosplay choice and we did some idle chit-chat. I mentioned being really thirsty and wanting a bubble tea and guess what? He offered to go out in the rain to fetch me one! :O Omg!
He had figured that I had been kinda forced to stay inside all day because of being in costume. So yeah, this random kind stranger went out in the rain and I waited near the main lobby area for him to return; he showed up again fairly soon, thanked me for being trustable and I paid him back the 40 SEK the 500 ml of bubble tea cost.

More bubble tea! (they had different artworks on the lids, it was a nice touch!)
Note though that this is not the one the guy went to fetch for me, which
you can figure out by seeing that this pic was taken outdoors while the sun was actually shining...
At some point I also bought a cup of traditionally made matcha green tea. It was quite bitter and tasted like... grass. Yep, there was a matcha tea stand in the main lobby of C-huset.
I went back inside and walked around aimlessly until Melinda showed up; I spent the later hours of the evening and night with her. I also met Satu and Päivi outside again and we talked for pretty long about how NCC had been a complete disaster and how the Finnish representation team had been so displeased and badly treated. The kind Päivi told me how she –as last year's NCC winner and honored guest– had been running around getting blankets to the other teams because they were freezing in the backstage during the show. Yeah, the 2014 NCC winner was doing a "lowly task" because Närcon hadn't reserved any worker or whatnot to take care of the NCC competitors during the competition whom, ironically enough, they had promised on their site would be treated like flippin' royalty. If this is how royalties in Sweden are treated then the king must have things really bad................
But seriously, someone tell me why Päivi wasn't like, you know, enjoying the show in the front rows or something? Why did she have to be hidden in the backstage running some goddamn blanket errands when she was invited to the con as a guest of honor to begin with? Närcon, why?
How can you even fuck up so badly...??
1. All qualifiees get free travel, VIP sleeping quarters and entry to NärCon.
This is, for us, a no-brainer. Giving VIP treatment to all our contestants is very important, and this is the first step in ensuring that everyone who competes at the NCC feels treated like royalty!
Yep, that above I quoted directly from the official site. Big words Närcon, big words..........
It makes me mad to see how a friend of mine and the whole Finnish NCC team was treated like shit. Närcon promised they would get VIP treatment but they were all treated like zoo animals on display – the competing teams from the Nordic countries didn't even get their own sleeping quarters as they were promised. They had to sleep in the same friggin' dormitories as all the rest of the congoers. This is unacceptable; Närcon promised the best of the best treatment and failed to deliver it so badly that it's plain painful to even think about...
No NCC teams will want to return to compete in the future if Närcon holds the competition and this is the treatment that is given. Empty promises are the worst – every single contestant deserved so so so much more than this degrading experience. Be ashamed Närcon, be very ashamed.

Now back to what I did after I ended conversation with Satu & Päivi and they went their own way to change out of their amazing fashion outfits; I just had to get all of that NCC crap out of my system because it's so unacceptable.
But yeah, the last hours of Saturday I spent with Melinda and her company. At one point I got sick of cosplaying so I went to take off my cosplay, Melinda followed with me to the camping site for company but to be let inside –since she didn't have a camping ticket– she had to leave something valuable at the camp gate (cellphone, home keys etc) in exchange. She'd get her item back once she was done being inside the camping area. The thing is that she left her cellphone to the pandas staying watch there and, upon giving the cellphone one of the volunteers said, in this joking voice, something along the lines of "don't be surprised if you find selfies we've taken on your phone when you get it back :D" which was like... no. Just no.
Even if it was said as a joke it's still a really bad one. If they had actually been retarded enough to do that it would have been an invasion of someone's privacy and that's a huge NO-NO.
Worst part? It actually happened to someone else.

Dare I mention that during the whole Saturday I had not eaten anything since the crêpes on the morning? Needless to say I was once again hungry as a sabertooth tiger but it was so late that most of Närcon food stands had either closed or probably sold out of their stocks; the cafeteria only had cup noodles left and that was far from either tempting nor even remotely enough to quench my hunger.
I ended up being so desperate for food that I would eat a second time at McDonald's (at least the nuggets are good!), even though it was almost midnight. We did get one of Melinda's friends to drive us there, because he had a car. My feet hurt way too much to be able to walk around the whole shit because of the damn fence that blocked off the easy familiar way to McDonald's. We got there just before a wave of people arrived and we just took our orders with us back to the con and ate there – yes, this is the story of how I was so desperate for food that I ate 20 chicken nuggets in the middle of the night. Go me!

While eating my nuggets I watched Melinda play this cellphone game
that was basically two Tetris blocks making out, while gliding on the floor, and
you had to touch the screen to make them jump so that you'd get past
the level. It was an automatic side-scroller game and way too fun and addicting
to play when you were braindead. xD Yes, I tried it too lol.
After that I soon went to sleep and, holy fudgemuffins, did my stomach feel nasty. Thank Jesus that soon it was Sunday and I would be on my way back home...

Sunday

Ah, Sunday. You lovely last day.
I woke up because I heard that the camping place had to be empty at 12:00, if I recall right. Not so much to do except to dress and start taking down the tent and drag all your luggage to the con.
I sent a text message to Vicktor asking if there was a possibility to dump all my stuff in the minibus, he said that he had planned to do the same and that we should meet up close to the outdoors information gate. I went there and sat down, trying to spot him. We found each other soon enough and walked out to the parking lot outside the fenced area and there we waited until Evelina showed up and opened the minibus for us. Being freed from having to carry around all my stuff felt so darn good. *-*
I headed back to the con area –dressed in everyday casual clothes but with a wig– and went to check the Artist's Alley, which I had completely missed on all the previous days because it was located in the Key-huset which was on the other end of the campus area, aka far away from C-huset, where I had spent most of my time. There were some really nice stuff for sale in the Artist's Alley but I didn't end up buying anything (sorry!).
I went back inside C-huset – main reason was to charge my cellphone and my Nintendo 3DS for the journey back. I found Melinda sitting near the cafeteria on a table and so I went there and put down my camera and hand bag, which I had carried around all the days. I went to check the merchandise sellers for one last time, just in case some would have last day sales. I ended up buying these super amazing leather armguards from the Finnish Bard & Jester store; I just couldn't resist when I saw these red spiky armguards, they were so wroggin' badass that I just had to have them, despite them being expensive! (I did get a slight Sunday discount though, eff yeah!)

I found some Monster Hunter merchandise, omg! ♡
Felynes and Poogie/Piggie.
I really considered buying this glorious crossover plush of Monster Hunter
and Sengoku Basara. A felyne dressing up as Masamune Date!
After my merchandise round I returned to Melinda's table. She said that she had to leave soon after that and I got left alone after the goodbyes. :c Oh well, I figured that this was the perfect moment for me to put my self-made little recruit sign on the table and pray that it would work and I'd get gaming company!

It was time to put my glorious Khezu-themed sign into use!

Isn't it beautiful? ~
It took around 20 minutes until two hunters approached my table – I was overjoyed and excited to see that people were actually willing to play with strangers! :D I love geeks. ♡
It was funny because the guy said that he normally dislikes Khezu but that he'd make an exception for the one I had drawn on the sign. x) Personally I love Khezu, it's just so... ugly-cute that you can't help but love it haha. Se on symppis!
Soon after the first two hunters had shown themselves a third guy joined the ranks! Now we were a full hunting party and we headed out to go slay the Uguulos Ukanlos, the chin of the chins! eiku

This was our Gathering Hall, aka hunting table.
(yes, the super long-haired fellow is a bloke. So is everyone at the table
whose face isn't showing, hahah)
Even though we only had time to play a few quests before I had to leave (because the minibus company had decided on leaving earlier than what we previously agreed on) I must admit that this short time of nerdiness was by far one of the main highlights of the whole con experience for me. It was just amazingly fun to hunt with fresh new faces and get some new friends! ♡ I really enjoyed it.

The bus trip back home went just fine. We ate at a sushi restaurant before leaving Linköping and man was it good to finally get some non-junk food! It was expensive though but oh well, worth it. :') The remainder of the bus trip I lived on leftover candies; it didn't fell so good lol.
We arrived in Umeå way past midnight and I had to sleep one more night at Vicktor's. On the following morning I woke up early and left for the Umeå hospital, where I could take the bus back home to my town.
One annoying thing happened though – when I was at the hospital I went inside to check for something to eat. Yeah, I had no breakfast because I was in a hurry + empty fridge. I didn't find anything to eat but I saw that there were one of these machines on which you can take out cash from if you feed them your credit card. I had thought that I'd be a good boy and take out 200 SEK for the bus trip so that I wouldn't have to pay with a 500 SEK bill, which might induce a hidden rage in the bus driver – yes, it has happened to me that the bus driver got mad when I paid with a 500 SEK bill because I had nothing smaller and he didn't have much change left lol.
But guess what?
Yeah, my Donald Duck luck activated and the damn machine gave me the technical error message and –blop!– my credit card was never to come out of it again... and neither would the cash I ordered. I just got a recipe telling me to go to the nearest bank. This meant that I had no credit card and, because I had little money left in my wallet, I now couldn't afford to jump off during one of the numerous longer bus breaks and go fetch some quick food in one of the cities we'd pass by. I was destined to starve and live on my leftover candies for 7+ hours of bus riding... again. Fuck me! :D


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am probably forgetting to mention tons of stuff but I'm sure that so many others out there have already mentioned all the different things that didn't work out with Närcon this year and, most likely, worded it better than what I could have done. I could talk so much about this all but I'm just gonna leave it for now; remember to click that link of the experiences of others in the beginning, if you want to know more!

But seriously, there's been a lot of issues people have experienced and it's rather clear that Närcon became the clusterfuck it was because of a combination of bad planning, bad prioritizing, incompetent/unfitting and insufficient amount of volunteers as well as unprofessional and unacceptable treatment of people.
Närcon has growth pains – they seriously need to rethink what is truly more important: a massively expanding visitor count, raking in a lot of money and bragging rights of "we had these super famous guests here omgzomg we're the best con pepp pepp!1!!!1! :-DDDDDD" or a quality event with professional execution and treatment of both workers, attendants and VIP guests alike.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Even though this was far from one of my better con experiences I still want to thank everyone who kept me company and made this journey worth the expenses. Good company makes up for a less stellar event, always. Thank you! 
Närcon in itself was an okay event, especially if you just went there to enjoy it with friends and to see cosplayers etc, but as soon as one started looking behind the curtains some rather nasty stuff showed up.

I really like the campus area Närcon is in, the atmosphere, merchandise diversity and such but it's such a shame because the inner structures and arranging of the event is poor and needs an overhaul. :( I really hope that they will patch up the problems and apologize for everyone who got treated badly. (psst, I'm also hoping that they would take the grassy area behind C-huset back in use again, I loved that place and it was great for cosplay photoshoots!)


By the way! I had the most fun on Thursday and Friday mainly, Saturday sucked balls and Sunday was okay. I also want to say that the only warm foods I managed to eat during all these days were the following: hamburger - hamburger - kebab - crêpes - chicken nuggets
Yes, I was feeling ill more or less all through it and my stomach was upset even several days after Närcon. It was not pleasant. :S

Psst, unless a notable improvement or a miracle happens then I'm very likely to skip Närcon Sommar next year. I'm still considering Närcon Vinter 2016 though, we'll see...

Shiro Samurai out.

...
...
...
... or not! :'D

Bonus pic! 


MOTHER OF PIDGEOT!
WHAT IS THAT THING ON MY SHOULDER?!
For those not getting the joke – Falkner is a gym leader who specializes in Flying-type Pokémon, aka birds. The plush doll is of a Khezu, a grotesque monster in the Monster Hunter world that is classified as a Flying Wyvern. Khezus are generally considered to be ugly and hideous, although they have kinda turned into a meme because they are just somehow so ugly-cute and they sing beautifully.
So yeah, Falkner got a new "pet bird" to train. ;)

Ciao!