I got an invitation from IGDA (International Game Developer Association) on July 11th, 2008. The invitation came by email. I was not surprised. But i was excited to come. Inside the email they told me to reserve a place before 14th of July. The party itself took place on Thursday, July 17th 2008 in La verbena, North Binjiang Da Dao, Pudong Lujiazui area, Shanghai.
So i reserved myself for the party, get myself a beautiful pink dress, put a little bit make up on, but with a natural and ladylike look. Spray my favorite parfume, and took a cab to the La verbena.
The time in my watch told me that i am super late for the party. I started to doubt whether or not i should go. But i am already inside the taxi anyway, so why not just go there and take a look at the place and have a little bit of a walk, i thought. Although i am very tired and tomorrow morning i have an 8.15am class.
The party has started a long time ago. I came in too late. They said that the party would end around 10pm. And i arrived there at 9.15pm. The cab dropped me off on the wrong entrance and i have to rush about 15 more minutes to find La verbena.
When i found it at last, the lady who is supposed to be the guest receiver, or the receptionist looked at me a little bit confused. Then i came over to her table and showed her the invitation that i printed out from my email, "Is this the IGDA party?" I asked, hoping she can speak English, at least a little to be able to understand what i mean."Yes,"she said,"Are you invited?'she looked at me with a sinister look. I just don‘t know why, but a lot of women doesn't really like me, from the first sight-- when i am not doing anything bad or even thinking of something bad or anything! And the worst part is, sometimes i don't even know the girl! If anyone can answer me why they are behaving like this, please let me know! I just don't get it!
"Yes i am invited. "I replied with a smile. "What's your name?" she asked. "Merlyn."I replied. She looks like she does not really want to let me in. She does not even want to look at the guest list of VIPs.
“What is your family name?"She asked again,"And your company name?" "TJ, and i am not working with a company. I am self employed." I said," Look at the guest list, my name should be there. And it is written there self employed."
"Put your name card there." she said,"The party will end in 30 minutes.." "Yes, i know. But i don't have a name card..I am self employed, a freelancer."I told her while thinking: I should have printed out some name cards. My dad has mentioned this a long time ago for me to print out my own name card but i always neglected it because i am so busy with my work lately.
At last she went through the guest list and since she found my name there, she tied a VIP band on my wrist and let me in. I was hoping to see delicious foods..but i was so disappointed! There was only seafood fried rice! That's it! What a 'party'! I thought.
But at least they have free flow of drinks! I ate one plate of seafood fried rice and ordered some orange juice, but they are even out of orange juice! Oh no! I don't drink alcohol! So i ordered what they have left, Apple juice.
Well, at least they still have something that is not alcohol! Then after i finished my meal, i looked around and then i started to realize that i do not know anybody inside this room!
So i went out to the balcony. It is also packed with people. And i can hear them talking about games from one end to the other. The view is great. Super great in fact.
I can see the pearl river from here. The resto is just beside the river! And i can see the dragon boat passing by. The lights of Shanghai sky towers is shining so bright and it reflected on the river. It is so beautiful!
I sipped on my apple juice and took a cigarette out and lit it. Then there is this German guy, i forgot his name. He asked me for a cigarette so i gave him one. His face looked all red. And he gave me his name card. After chatting for a while, then he told me,"Well, now you got my card, and you know how to contact me.."
I just smiled while thinking, what?? Is that how you court a lady? Do i look like a 'call girl' to you? Just came over and talked to me for 5 minutes and then expect me to call you later? Thank God if i even still remember your name!
I throw his name card into my bag. Then totally forgot about him. I continue to enjoy the view. And then i met Harald Seeley there.
He is a very charming and smart man. He is about the age of my dad.
Then we went and eat Hagendaz together. He is a nice guy. And very polite. He did not forget to send me home safely.
He asked me,"Who invited you to the party?" "IGDA.", i answered. "Yeah, but who?" He asked again. "I have no idea, i guess i was invited because i am a member of IGDA."I said, laughing. It is true, i don't know the person who invited me. Should i?
I lived just behind the Shanghai Exhibition center. The reason why my dad bought this apartment is because he always come to Shanghai to visit the exhibition, so that way it will be convenient for him to go there without having to stay in the hotel.
And i did not know that China is having the biggest game exhibition ever! The China Joy! I was so surprised when Harald told me about it yesterday!
It makes me realize how busy i am that i don't even follow the game industry news anymore.
But i did go to the exhibition. I was terrified when i see the lines! I will never be able to get in there! I thought. The lines were crazy. It is so long! Luckily Harald helped me in. So i don't have to queue at all. Phew! Thanks Harald!
I got a lot of free stuff, and i also bought myself two Katana swords. One fake one and one real one! I managed to see that the Katana seller actually is selling a real katana secretly after staying and examining the swords for quite some time in his store. He thought that i am a Japanese girl. Har har har.
I am so happy that i got myself a real katana. And the seller at last took out his best katana for me. Because he kept on giving me an ugly sword, and i protested, At last he knows that i am into swords, so he took out the best one for me. This is very typical of local Chinese seller. They always take out the ugliest first. And see whether or not the customer has any knowledge or whether or not the customer can tell the difference. If the customer cannot tell the difference, then they will just sell to you the worst quality. But actually you can always ask them to take out the best quality of products that they are selling. The truth is, they always keep 3 types of quality. A, B, and C. A is the best while C is the worst.
I also have a lot of free stuff ranging from posters to books to key rings, to fans, to card holder, and other free stuff. I got lots of them! I can give it to my students at the end of their lessons.
This can also encourage my students to study more, because i will reward them during the end of their class test.
I love China Joy exhibition! And i will surely watch for the next exhibition! Because this year i only managed to come on the last day! Too bad! I am still not satisfied!