Second day of METUcon Sun April 22

Woke up after my 12 hour “rest” and had an ice cream for breakfast and then we took a taxi to the convention since they were late for a game session they had signed up

Woke up after my 12 hour “rest” and had an ice cream for breakfast and then we took a taxi to the convention since they were late for a game session they had signed up for.

I found my tables again and set up my games again and talked and played the whole day again. The Warhammer retailers came and asked questions and seemed very skeptical about the prospectives of a Japanese-teaching strategy board game. But they wanted to play it and were surprisingly good at it. In fact, the blond guy with blue contacts were a few turns from terminating me, but then he pulled back for some reason and perhaps I would have made it if we’d continued. But they hadn’t time for a 4-hour game of course; they were working. But to my delight they were much more positive after playing the game than before and asked if I could translate it to Turkish. “If you order 100 copies”, I said “then it’ll be in Turkish! No problem.” In my mind I calculated that those 100 games wouldn’t show much profit. But they would pay the making of a Turkish version that would be there, ready to be printed again. And it’d be cool. It’d be the meaning of life. They bought a game from me. It was the second game I sold from this edition. In fact, it was the third game I sold in my life (I sold one from a photocopied edition to my friend Torkel two years ago.)

They asked if I could get a letter from the embassy recommending the game, which they said they might need in order to sell it to language schools. And then they took my contact info and went back to sell their Warhammer stuff.

Towards the end of the day, Tuna (the main organizer) asked me what I’d be wearing on tonight’s masquerade. “Oops …” I said ” … I’ll come as a hitchhiker”.

“Oh yes! You can get a towel and be the Hitchhiker of the Galaxy!”

“He has a towel?”

“Haven’t you read the book?!”

“Long time ago…”

“He’s got a towel with all the smells of the universe. I’ll get you one!”

I sat by my SEIGO-table, drinking tea and reading a fantasy novel I’d got for free for being an exhibitor (which is not the same as exhibitionist) till Tuna picked me up and drove me to a house that was full of Cypriots. There I got a big shish kebab and a towel with all the smells of the universe and then Tuna took me to the party. I didn’t mean to be a big lazy baby or Michael Jackson or something, but this was just the way things happened. Poor Tuna, he was stressed out. I’ve organized big events myself so I could recognize the sweat on his neck, the frowns on his forehead, the eyes that said “I really hope you like this, because I am fucking up my studies in order to make it happen”. Yes Tuna, we really really appreciate it! And those who didn’t say so just forgot to. But in their hearts they are forever happy and grateful that they got to take part in METUcon 2007, Turkey’s largest game convention (and the first international one).

The club was jam-packed with people dressed up in all kinds of costumes, many of which were very impressing. Burak was dressed up as a soldier from the Independence War 1919-23 since he didn’t find a uniform from the Gallipoli Battle. I felt a bit lonely at this Turkish costume party, where I was the only foreigner among 100-200 dressed-up Turks. I guess it must have felt like this to be that first Turkish kid in the Swedish primary school in the 1970s. I found an internet computer and sent some e-mails, which felt like an even weirder way to spend a party.

I decided that I needed to break the ice with some jokes so I went outside where it was possible to talk and told the pirate-joke Aletha told me in Japan and it made people laugh their heads off. But when I told the sheep-joke Nathan told in Japan, then they laughed so loud that the neighbours came down and threatened with the police. Sheep is the shit in Turkey, make sheep jokes and you’re home.

Eventually I realized that I hadn’t been out in town on my own, so I took my hitchhiking towel and started exploring the Ankara night. The first thing I found was a convenience store and I got inside and had a talk with the shop assistant who was eating kebab. After a while I was joined by some guys from the party I just left; they loaded up on beer and we had company for a while – we really got along. One guy with long black hair had a girlfriend that looked just like my girlfriend and that moved me somehow. When I came back to the costume party Murat told me that they had been looking all over Ankara for me, especially in “shady places”. Thank you for looking for me in shady places, is that what I seem like?

When the party closed everyone crowded the street discussing what to do, and after an hour or so the police came. I went with my long-haired friend and his girlfriendish girlfriend and a bunch of other people in taxis to a night club. We got ourselves a table and watched a cover band playing covers. I got really disappointed; I first thought that I had accidentally stumbled upon some underground Ankara rock scene, but then found me listening to Rolling Stones or whateveritwas.

After a while I felt a strong urge to explore the premises and ran into a small, bold man with big nose who spit in my face while talking. He seemed like he was really interested in board games and that excuses everyone from spitting in my face, so I just endured the lukewarm rain while I thought we were arranging a board game session. But eventually I realised that he was a pimp and that he was putting me up with one or two of his “girlfriends” and then there was no excuse for him to spit me in the face anymore. What a disgusting little fellow; when I left him he shouted at me “hey, buy me a beer, c’mon!”

When we got out of the night club there was a fight on the street involving quite a few people, among whom I recognized several from the convention. The fight wasn’t that serious, just noisy, and after a while the police came in 7 cars and calmed everyone down. We walked up some streets, down some streets and up again and eventually we came to a fencing club in which there was some kind of an after party. I don’t know why, but for some reason we found it boring there and I and my long-haired friend and his girlfriendish girlfriend with her charming white cloak and round glasses took a taxi. We bought some beer in a convenience store and as we walked home with the cans at 5 am towards the apartment my long-haired friend had borrowed from his grandmother the chanting started from the mosques: aaaayiiilaaa iiiyaaa alllaiyaaaaaa.

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