Tokio Hotel in Tokyo – Embassy

December 13, 2010.
Oh god.

I really need to say this – always take chances. It has never let me down. I didn’t really believe the lookalike contest would get me into the showcase, and I didn’t really believe going to stand in front of an embassy in the rain would accomplish anything either. But you have to try things anyway, and more often than not, life rewards you.

I had arrived in Tokyo early on December 12th, after almost 24 straight hours of travel, and headed straight to my hotel. It was such a strange feeling of familiarity – memories were washing over me from my time in the city three years ago. I could feel the thoughts of my seventeen year old self in my surroundings, how I felt then, how I couldn’t imagine myself and my life now, like I could almost reach out and touch that other person.

After checking in, I explored the city a little, visited the venue, and then returned to my hotel. A sequence of events then began to fall into place, the dominoes of my long-guarded dreams striking in perfect timing.

Things proceeded as follows:

1. The wonderful @Mari64Mari shares the time and address of the embassy reception with me.

2. I think to myself, why not go? Maybe they’ll sign as they go in, maybe not, either way you might as well not waste the chance.

3. I head over and walk up to the gate.

4. The guard asks if I’m here for Tokio Hotel. I affirm. He asks for my passport.

At this point I should explain that one of my handful of useful skills is the ability to look like I belong in places I really don’t. I learned this to my chagrin at another TH show – upon walking up to the House of Blues store in Orlando with bags over my shoulder and inquiring where the venue entrance was, the woman led me over and was hastily unlocking the doors for me when I idiotically informed her I was just a fan. She goes, Oh! I thought you worked for the band! Facepalm supreme.

Since then I have tried to just roll with these things when they happen, although it’s always nervewracking. I was very careful not to claim anything or lie about anything. I just stood there, tried to look disinterested, and let things sort themselves out.

5. Upon handing him my passport, he goes to try to find my name on his access list. He can’t find it. He goes, oh let me check the other list. I’m just standing there chilling. He finds the other list. Other people are arriving and going in. All of a sudden they find my name on some list and apologize for the wait. This is news to me. In we go.

6. I meet other Japanese fans and see other Japanese contestants from the lookalike contest. Maybe I’m magically in the right place after all. A German journalist comes and interviews fans, asking questions that tend to presume fans only care about the band’s looks.

7. We’re herded into the main room where the press conference/reception is about to take place. We take seats.

8. The band shows up. My heart stops and the Japanese fans start squealing adorably. In case we haven’t noticed, that’s a BANDOLIER slung around Bill’s torso, and he looks beyond stunning. His face is almost painful to look at, it’s so beautiful.

9. The band answer questions from fans and press, pose with the ambassador, then go into the room next door for private interviews. We mill out into the foyer. Natalie appears and then disappears (let’s just be real, that woman is GORGEOUS, seriously.) We mill for quite some time. Bill’s bodyguard comes out, crosses the room, and comes back. I catch his eye as he passes, and sidle over towards the closed doors where he’s standing. I ask him quietly, “Sag mal, sind sie sehr glücklich darüber – dass sie endlich hier sind?” (Say, are they really happy, that they’re finally here?) He smiles and says something like “Natürlich, ja…” (Naturally, yes.)

10. I idle around on the edge of the crowd nearest the bodyguard. He’s talking to a German embassy guy in a suit who I’d talked to earlier. All of a sudden the two notice that I’m holding my passport and a sharpie, and suit guy is like, “Dein Pass?!?” I say, “Ich dachte, wenn sie mal rauskommen…” (I thought, if they come out…) The two immediately try to dissuade me, they’re like “Nein, kriegste ganz viel Ärger…” (No, you’ll have a lot of problems…) “Mit den Behörden?” (With the authorities?) “Ja, beim Flughafen…” (Yes, at the airport…) We chat a little more and I retreat again. No risk, no reward. Them signing my passport would be a perfect symbol of all the travel and life experiences I’ve had because of them. If the airports don’t like it I’ll get a new passport.

11. I wander to the other side of the room and spot the German journalist who came off as prejudiced earlier. I catch his eye and ask, “Na, wie ist Ihr Interview gelaufen?” (Well, how’d your interview go?) And that was the starting point for an amazing chat that revealed he’d been startled and impressed by how “zugänglich” (accessible), polite and nice the boys were, then we talked about his career, my studies and where I was from, how the music had changed my life, how they were still stuck with this teenie band image in Germany, but had grown into adults, how it’s always mind-boggling to have to juggle languages (for him as a German journalist to do an interview in English with Japanese politicians, or for me as a native English speaker to switch on and off between German and Japanese), and various other things. He ends up being so incredibly nice and cool, and has obviously changed his mind somewhat about the band. One of the high points of the experience. We swap contact info, shake hands, and I go back to the fans.

12. They bring the fans back into the press conference room, the band enters, and it becomes clear this is going to be, essentially, a full-fledged meet and greet. We line up and arrange ourselves. The band starts signing. They’re taking more time than they sometimes do, Bill asking questions to clarify what people want signed, remarking on hand-made T-shirts, etc. I’m trying to do these mental exercises for relaxation and composure that I learned from a friend into naturopathic medicine. Then he’s in front of me and I just go for it, like he’s not the center of my universe, my idol, the person I worship more than anything and barely trust myself to exist in front of. “Weißt du, eure Musik hat mein Leben verändert – jetzt studiere ich Deutsch in Berlin, wegen euch. Ihr seid wirklich großartig…” (You know, your (plural) music changed my life – I’m studying German in Berlin now, because of you guys. You’re really amazing…” He looks me in the eyes – “Oh, vielen Dank!” Brief but amazing. The one thing – you can’t fully absorb his glory and act normal at the same time. I was going for acting normal, which means, his unspeakably beautiful eyes were locked with mine, but my brain’s processing power was tied up keeping my heart going and my mouth speaking in a foreign language, and couldn’t really just melt on the spot and stare and appreciate them like instinct dictates.

13. They gather us into groups and start doing group pictures with the band. They take three. As we’re leaving, many fans are shaking Bill’s hand, and I think about it, but I’m kinda like (a) at this point he doesn’t have a choice, he’s doing it for everyone who asks, and out of respect, let’s not, and (b) I can’t go and fulfill all my TH-related dreams in one day, otherwise I’ll be really depressed and have to go climb Everest or something, so let’s stack “handshake” on the list of things to maybe happen in the future. I settle on smiling and saying “bis Mittwoch!” (till Wednesday!) as I leave, and he says “Bis dann!” (till then!) back.

14. I mill with fans and freak out together. They see my tattoo, recognize me from the contest, and get excited and take some pictures of it. We chat in broken Japanese and broken English. Eventually we leave the embassy and there are a group of European fans outside the gate, including two girls I know through Facebook. I chat with them a bit, then take a taxi back. To top everything off, the taxi driver gets incredibly lost, despite the fact that I’ve handed him the hotel’s address in Japanese and a map to the place, and decides upon finally arriving to make the taxi ride free.

I am totally exuberant but drained. So much emotion, so much, I am speechless. I cannot believe I finally was able to say those words to him. I don’t even know, it’s going to take time to absorb.

Signed passport, on the page about the cause of freedom being the cause of humankind, the birthright of humanity. I thought it was fitting. ❤

For videos of the press conference, check out my vids here and here or an HD edited version here.

2 Responses to “Tokio Hotel in Tokyo – Embassy”
  1. *___* I had NO idea, V! We really need to catch up, and while I want to be jealous that Bill looked you in the eyes (and said “bis dann” xD), I can’t be. Because it was your dream, and just… guhhh *__* I’m so happy for you. I stole your picture of Bill by the way lol He’s just too gorgeous. Even with that nose piercing of his. Ha!


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