Given that it’s 4th of July weekend and I haven’t done a convention story in awhile I thought now would be a good time to do one. I wanted to tell a story that happened around this time but Anime Expo was the only convention I went to that occurred on this weekend. Luckily I have quite a few stories to tell from my experiences at this event.
This was Anime Expo 2019, day one of the event. I was already inside due to my VIP pass while everyone else in my group got stuck in the massive line outside for general admission. I’m waiting for everyone inside and decide to walk around a bit as nothing was going on that I was particularly interested in. I’m on the second floor of the convention center when all of a sudden I feel a bit off balanced and was honestly worried at first I just overheated because that was the first thing my disorientation made me think of. It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on and when I did I just sat down and waited it out because I didn’t really know what else to do (we don’t really get earthquakes here, we had one when I was a kid but hardly anyone knew it happened). Once the earthquake stopped I’m immediately messaging my wife and friends to see how they were doing. Turns out they had no idea an earthquake even happened. What I didn’t know was that the earthquake made the news and my dad saw it and put two and two together. He’s immediately calling me worried which takes a couple of attempts because my signal wasn’t great in some areas of the building. I naturally tell him everything is fine and there was nothing to worry about, but then get on Facebook to see a slew of messages from people knowing I was on the trip. It took a minute to get all that resolved. To our relief though we heard a rumor that this resolved the line issues as the Anime Expo line also made the news and the local police got onto the event for how long the line was which resolved wait times considerably for the rest of the event. (I’m not sure how much of that is true other than the fact that the lines were better.) As shocking as that was my group thought that would be the end of it, but we were wrong.
I think it was the next day but I’m not 100% sure. My wife and I are relaxing and watching TV in our hotel room when everything starts shaking. I realize immediately what’s going on where my wife thinks I’m shaking the bed to mess with her. I’m pointing at the shaking lamp at the other side of the room to show her this had nothing to do with me. Not a lot of time passes before the second earthquake subsides and this time we were honestly worried for our other two friends who were out and about during this time. They were ok but had to take the stairs back to the room as the elevator stopped working. I could only breath a sigh of relief much to my wife’s confusion as I explained we were lucky it didn’t happen 10 minutes earlier when we were at the Oue Skyspace 70 floors above around and I took a ride on the glass slide. I’ll be honest if an earthquake happened while I was on that slide I would be in hysterics and just panicking like crazy so I was really happy that the whole thing happened closer to the ground. To avoid anymore worries from people back home I made sure to keep everyone in the loop as soon as everything ended.
So honestly not the most eventful story since a lot of the people around us were pretty used to earthquakes and explained to us that it was a pretty normal thing, but to us it wound up being a pretty big deal since this was the first time any of us felt an earthquake powerful enough to shake the things around us.