May 11th, 2007

In the last two days, I have been on plane, train, automobile and foot, all for too long. :-)

Honestly, I never thought that any place could surpass my own beloved NJ for having miserable, unreliable public transportation, or New York, for having uncomfortable, filthy trains. Chicago now wins.

But we did manage to get to the Oriental Insititute (and were only accosted by three annoying people on the way. One crazy, one panhandler and one proselytizer.) The train lurched along at the slowest rate I’ve ever seen a form of transportation move in my life. Took us three hours to make what should have been a one hour trip…

And when Donna and Serge arrived, we dropped by the local Mitsuwa which was nice enough. Bought some manga (I know, how retarded is that?) and some food and then came back to get badges.

Anime Centeral is 6 for 1 on asistance. The first *4* people we asked where to go (staffers with walkie-talkies) said something that sounded like this. “I don’t know, but I think you should go halfway across the world and try there.” 3 staffers started to “take” me, by walking off – even though they had no clue where to go. One said he’d find out and come get us. We watched him him get sidetracked by people saying hi to him, and then as he wandered off, completely forgetting about us. It was a stunning display of short term memory issues. :-)

Now, for my part, from the first time I asked for directions, when a person started to walk to “take” us somewhere I stopped them, and commented that the appropriate thing to do is to use the walkie-talkie and find out *where* were were going – a simple point in the right direction would have been fine.

Does it strike you as odd that NONE of these people knew where exhibitors had to go to check in? And only one, after checking with the voice on the other side of the walkie-talkie had a place for Panelists to check in. (He got the name of the room wrong, but that really wasn’t his fault, it was hard to hear with all the noise.)

So we eventually get checked in as Exhibitors and I really want to thank the folks a ACen for making that possible. (The Exhibitor’s Hall is opening even as I type, but I’m barely awake. I’ll get there in a bit…must have coffee…..)

Then we trek back to my hotel to find Panelist check in. So we followed the signs. Oh wait, no we didn’t because there are NO Signs! Anywhere. Not a single to indicate panel rooms, panel programming ops. nothing. But we found the right room and met Justin and Lynn (I think) and they were very very gracious.

So, as I suspected, the level of organization here is next to nil, but the folks are really lovely. (And the wife says, “and very helpful, even if they don’t know what they are doing.”) Now it’s time for coffee and brekkie and I’ll waddle over to set the booth up. If I have a chance to, I’ll post and tell you all about ACen. :-)

Let’s con! Yay! @_@

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2 Responses

  1. Tomoyo says:

    As a resident Chicagoan, I apologize profusely for my city’s craptastic transportation. XD When you say “uncomfortable, filthy trains”, you’re referring to CTA trains, yes? I spend 2.5 hours each day commuting on 4 different CTA train lines and the occasional CTA bus and I can sympathize with you. >_>

    If you’re going to be traveling around Chicago for a while longer, I’d recommend using CTA trains as often as you can instead of buses and Metra trains though. Despite how extremely dirty they are, they run more often and are much cheaper than Metra trains, and don’t get delayed as much as the buses.

    But anyway, I hope you enjoy your stay in Chicago. ^^

  2. On behalf of tourists, I accept your apology. :-) Our friends rented a car and yesterday we got to enjoy traffic into the Loop, which was but a pale shadow of the horror that is our traffic into the city. So, we’re even. :-)

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