EL-CID 2011

This is the reason I have been away for a week. Now don’t think I’ll be going to talk about some knight called Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar or something, no. It’s an abbreviation of the “Enige Leidse Commissie Introductie Dagen”, roughly translated as “The one and only commission for the introductory days of Leiden”. As I’m going to start university in about a month, I have to be prepared with whom I’ll be paired up with. And to get to know the city I’ll be living in. This event took on for 5 days, so be prepared for a wall of text instead of tweet spam. Not to forget the hilarious images. Maybe.

I’ll be away for the next 5 days again, now for a camp with first years Japanologists followed by the anime convention AbunaiCon, so you’ll have to bear with this post for the week~


But the day before the event was also very hectic. It was going to be my first day in my new room in Leiden. As you can see in the image above, I’ve decorated my room full of posters. I do think there’s still room for more, so I’m seriously thinking about subscribing to the Japanese magazine called Megami Magazine. Lots of wallpapers every month…So I’d get around 100 posters in one year time for only ~120 euros, for me it sounds pretty reasonable.

After meeting up with the roommates that live in the rooms next to me, I started wondering what I could do before I had to go to sleep. I went for .hack/Sign, you can see the opening above. The dotHack universe is quite difficult to explain without playing every game in the right order, but the first anime you should watch is apparently Sign. It’s about some guy called Tsubasa, who is unable to log out of an MMORPG. So I guess the setting is that this game is directly connected to the terminal, such as your brain. There are many secrets within the server they’re playing on as well. It’s very interesting to see how they’re splicing the borders between reality and fantasy. It, however, stays quite an old anime, so the style might be an off for lots of people.


And so it began. Well, after staying in line for more than an hour. After getting a simple bracelet to prove my participation, we were to gather at the city centre for event, funnily called Love at First Sight. Groups were divided in 2 studies, I was in group #25 with Japanologists and Law students. Let’s just say they don’t mix very well. It didn’t take long (1 day) for us to look for the Japanologists in other groups. They appeared to be in groups #24 to group #27. But for today we were still nice kids following our mentors, and waving towards the sky camera as seen in the picture above. Our group is in the far bottom right corner, you can’t miss it.

Then there was this event called Crazy 88, maybe people who watch MTV know what it means. Basically, do crazy stuff right? But we went on a boat for a cruise first, followed by the mentors’ decision to drop this event. The only thing we could do was think about the best way to earn lots of points: Give a beggar some money to jump into the city-canals, let him kiss a seagull and give him a hug while he’s dressed as a policeman. That would earn up to 1000 points, but sadly it stayed a mere fantasy.

The opening and the debate at the church wasn’t too interesting, but you get to learn how the student unions work and communicate. We also had dinner at such a union, albeit a small one called Ichthus. If you remember religion, that’s another name for Jesus Christ. A preach before enjoying Indonesian cuisine…Not my style. I did lose my wallet this day so I was kinda stressed out.
Every evening we get the chance to go to such unions for a tour and this time I went to Duivelsei (Devil’s Egg), the union for playing games. After a small tour we played Werewolves for over 2 hours, but it sure was fun. Definitely going back another time.


Still no sign of a wallet somewhere. Oh well, I should keep my mind busy with the events so I’ll cheer up again. There’s the option to eat breakfast at students but I passed on that because I already have my own room of course. I should learn how to live on my own by now! Afterwards there are more activities, all in the theme of water attractions as it was the perfect weather for it. We went for another boat trip, since those are really great in Leiden, and we visited some more of the larger unions. In the end, I really don’t like crowdy places…but some events were really cool.

Then we got to the First Date at College, just a trolling name for an introduction at college and studying communities. Such communities fully focus on helping with your study, so when we met up with our community “Tanuki” we went to the SieboldHuis. Simply said, a Japanese museum. We were sold. This is the part where I met up with the other Japanologists like the people in the picture above. Really cool people, and everyone has other parts of the Japan they love.

Aside the boring bars everyone goes to, there was something else that was pretty nice this evening. It was called the Fatal Attraction, with a focus on how to make love…Right. Men and women being sold at an auction, that sounds quite wrong too. But there was one cabaret whose style was neologism. I really like such irony inside stories. Then again, I am very grammar focused so it really sparks my interest.


Arguably the best day of the week. Still no word of my wallet though, but I never give up hope. No internet, no time to check, so I went towards the sporting centre to…do nothing. Rather, my mentors told everyone to meet up at 11 o’clock at the entrance, but the only one there was obviously me. So I watched some yoga and taido, as I’m more interested in the eastern activities. The lunchboxes are awful but it’s free loot!

Next up is the afternoon where we went to some park where yet again the unions are promoting themselves, hoping for some new members. It was really nice getting to know all the Japanologists and their hobbies. For example, one is willing to learn Japanese because of the extreme impact of Japanese music like J-rock.

Doesn’t sound that exciting until the end. After a nice bite of Domino’s Pizza, all Japanologists went to the Duivelsei. Yeah again, because now they organized an “Asian Night” event for the night, and everyone was sold. Dance Dance Revolution, Japanese Karaoke. The perfect place for us. There was only this song that got stuck in everyone’s head~

I like smaller communities, so I immediately decided to sign and join this group. I still have no regrets to it. I also found some older years Japanologists and sharing anime experiences like that is never boring.


Now that my goals are all set, the only thing I can do is have fun now! I had a slight chance to get online and then I noticed I got an email from someone on the Internet saying she found my wallet! Good news, but I don’t think I’ll be having it in my hands any time soon; the mail system sucks in the Netherlands. That aside, the bad weather came at the wrong moment. At first there were a lot of workshops in the theme of Art in a theatre:

But I fail at drawing, so we switched turns to go to the botanic garden, but sadly the storm leaves us in rain and ponchos. We decided that doing workshops in the rain is just a waste of time so before we know it, we were in front of closed doors because the High Tea event at some union began quite late. It’s funny that somehow we Japanologists met each other again here without us knowing. Japan must have some relation to tea and cake. K-ON?

After having yet another visit at Duivelei because we had dinner there, we sought for other clubs that had karaoke evenings. Unfortunately, mostly you hear English crappy singing so we couldn’t really appreciate it. Yesterday’s karaoke stayed the best. So we decided for another go at some group called Catena and they had a foam party. THAT WAS AWESOME. Seldom did I have so much fun with friends! Sadly I don’t have pictures of that though.


And even the last day we just couldn’t forget about that one organization for gaming and Japanese events, Duivelsei. The days starts with a delicious brunch with lots of champagne and chocolate, omnomnom. Listening to another awesome cabaret but this time he was talking about the Flemish Revolution in the future. With songs and weird argumentation he was actually quite convincing that the Dutch kids are being brainwashed as we speak. In the end, I thought with honest feelings…Cool story, bro.

There were lots of things to on street, such as watching girls doing awesome gymnastics (and no, not just to watch at the suits they wore), a magician who did awesome tricks without his cover being blown, a saxophone quartet playing lovely songs to cool down the hype. And Vifit organized a bungee-run…behold, the wild person inside of me:

The awesome week ended in a delicious but cheap barbeque, but everyone was satisfied after 5 days of awesomeness. However, the fun won’t stop here. Next week a camp and a convention, another camp afterwards. And then! The (probably) boring days of university!

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August 2011



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