As I sit here all bundled up in bed writing up this post I feel nothing but love for the gaijin gyaru community. It’s been exactly a week and I’m still recovering from a very eventful weekend where myself and my QueenE gals (Wib, Kei, Rachel and Danielle) hosted our very first international gyaru meet in the UK, “Gyaru Jubilee”. I couldn’t have been prouder of them and it’s crazy to think that a year’s worth of planning led up to this weekend. How quick it’s gone! So here’s what happened about Gyaru Jubilee (because I know you’re dying to know about the crazy gals and half-naked guys)…
Thursday Night – aka Jubilee Eve Eve
8pm: Clothes covered nearly every inch of the bed as I rushed around my bedroom trying to think of something to wear. Chewiee had just arrived and together we devised 4 outfits as well as bundling up some clothes into a bag for me to sell at the Bring and Buy. I can’t remember what time we were done but I knew it was quite late when my head hit the pillow and I was off to sleep.
Friday – The Pre-Meet
10.15am: We somehow managed to fit everything in Chewiee’s car and then off we went to McDonald’s to grab some brekkie (pancakes, yummy!) before making our merry way to Birmingham to start the day. I was getting incredibly nervous and excited about seeing everyone again.
11am (ish): Arrived at the hotel, dumped all of our things in our room, and walked straight into the city centre to pick up some last minute things.
1pm: Yay, more gaijin gyaru have arrived! We caught up with everyone over a cheeky Nandos. It was so good to see everyone again!
4pm: I sat in the taxi alongside Wib, Peg, and Danielle as we made our way to Kei’s apartment to practise our parapara routine. We got a little bit lost and it had started to rain (typical) but we managed to find Kei’s airbnb. I surprisingly smashed our QueenE routine, and felt a little bit more confident in it.
6pm: Time to make the room all nice and pretty for tomorrow! Balloons, bunting, wall decor… You name it, we had it. I was so happy with how everything turned out! A few other gals were there to help out too which really sped up the process (thank you so much!)
8pm: We’ve arrived at Aluna and managed to squeeze ourselves onto a small table in the corner as the place was already getting full. And then we waited!
8.15pm: No one else had arrived yet so I left Chewiee and Danielle to man the fort while I quickly hopped over to Zizzi with Kei to grab a bite to eat. It didn’t take long before I was back in Aluna ready to welcome our guests!
11.30pm: I stumbled back to the hotel after a successful pre-meet, my veins burning with excitement in anticipation for the main event. Time to get some beauty sleep!
Saturday – Gyaru Jubilee!
5:45am: My eyes snapped open and I groaned as I looked at the time. It wasn’t even 6am and my mind was whirring and I slowly sank into a panic. My eyes stayed glued on my phone as I frantically tried to look for some hair and makeup inspiration – anything to try and calm my nerves.
7:30am-11am: Chewiee and I headed downstairs to grab some brekkie to start the day. My panic was soon replaced with excitement and I wolfed down my food so that I could get started on doing my makeup. Thank goodness we had plenty of time to get ready! Chewiee helped take my hair to the next level and I couldn’t stop admiring her work in the mirror. Man, I really should do this more! We sneaked down a little bit early so that I could get a snap of my outfit (and some pics with Chewiee and my QueenE gals as we knew we’d be too busy afterwards!)
11am: And it was time to welcome everyone to Gyaru Jubilee! A few faces popped up and I felt my heart burst with pride as I saw that there were newbie gyaru from the UK. A few more familiar faces rolled in and soon the room was full of 50 of people from every corner of the world.
12pm: We officially welcomed the gaijin gyaru community to the international meetup, and gave out prizes as part of our raffle. A special shoutout for Rachel for doing all of the raffle bags, and to Kawaii Box and Japan Candy Box for sponsoring us with a few boxes!
2:30pm-3:15pm: I nervously stood at the front of the room with Kei on the other side of the screen for moral support. Then it was all of a blur to me, but my tongue often tripped up on itself and I could feel my face going red several times from embarrassment. Kei gave out bright pink “GGA ’19” badges that we designed to the lucky winners, and it was all over in 15 minutes. We had a half an hour break before our parapara performance, so I had a quick catchup with Ria, Wes, Rachel and Inna on our Night of Fire routine (which was a secret…)
3:15pm-3:45pm: The parapara performance was one of my highlights from Gyaru Jubilee. I had so much fun and didn’t make any mistakes, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was finally a “real gyaru”! Chris did an absolutely fantastic job of organising the performance and it ended with myself, Ria, Inna and Rachel ripping off Wes’ clothes to the sound of surprised gasps and bursts of laughter from the audience. What a way to end the show! Luckily Chewiee captured it all on my phone so I can look back and have a little giggle whenever I’m feeling down. You can watch the full performance from my girl Danielle’s vlog here.
4:30pm-7:30pm: I started to tidy up and look after everyone’s belongings as they practised the Ganguro parapara routine, with Chris as their teacher. I took this time to take a breather and gorge on chocolate digestives as I waited. I tried to have a nap, but after realising that Chewiee and I were way too wide awake we decided to video us making a fool of ourselves as we sucked up helium and spoke in silly voices. It was so much fun! (You can actually watch this video on my FB page).
7:30pm: Giddy from laughter, we headed off to Ming Moon where several people were already loading up their plates from the all-you-can-eat buffet. It wasn’t long until we were singing cheesy tunes and dancing crazy dance moves. Gosh, if only it lasted for a bit longer! I could’ve easily have spent the whole night like that, and I was so happy that everyone took part and were really enjoying themselves.
12am (I think?): With my social battery slowly running out, I sleepily made my way over to Chris’ airbnb along with a handful of other gals and Wes while the rest headed off to the nightclub. We chilled out on the sofa and had a lil’ chat, before Chewiee and I took a taxi back to our hotel at around 1am.
8am-the whole day: Aaaand Sunday. I was awake stupidly early again and the whole day was sluggish. I couldn’t be bothered to do much apart from eat cute Micky Mouse shaped pancakes in the Disney Cafe in Primark before heading home to the welcoming arms of my bed. And there I stayed for the rest of the day.
Call me biased (“you’re biased, Lizzie!”) but Gyaru Jubilee was one of the best international gyaru meets I’ve ever been to. It was so nice to see loads of new and old faces, and it gives me so much hope for the gaijin gyaru community. I can’t wait for next year!
Did you go to the International Gyaru Meet? What was your favourite part about it?