I know, you’re expecting a follow up to the Tokusatsu post from yesterday, but that’s coming tomorrow. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t talk today about my amazing weekend, where I visited a new city for the first time and attended my first ever GeekOut South-West meetup, something I’ve been wanting to do for years now, but distance and resources had always been in the way. But now that I’m living in England, nothing could stop me from going.
I started my day leaving that little gorgeous town I live in around seven in the morning, making my way to London Paddington station to then board the train to Bristol Temple Meads. It was a nice trip. I always enjoy the trip in and out of London, as I enjoy watching the meadows, forests and farmlands on the way. Sometimes it’s the best part of my commute to work—the other being the Tower Hill tube station morning messages—and on Saturday I had a treat, many more sights on the way to Bristol, as the cities quickly give way to the British countryside.
I had a plan before getting to the Meetup. I would use it to test out an RPG sent to me by Shades of Vengeance. I already had players interested and everything, so on the journey there I read over the rules again. Sadly, we didn’t get to play, as I realised it wouldn’t have been a good fit for the night. The players and I would’ve had to stop playing games and sharing with other geeks to play the demo, and I think none of us were about to do that.
I’m a bit neurotic on punctuality, so I tend to get to places earlier than I should and it was the case for the meetup, where I arrived in Bristol ahead of the time we were all to meet for lunch. On the way, I saw a lot of people in tattoos and piercings and looking rather “unique,” and for a second I thought it was related to the tattoo convention happening near the train station, but then as I saw more people further away, I remembered something Timlah said to me about Bristol a long time ago and realised this was pretty much the norm, this was Bristol in a nutshell and that’s something I can dig, a lot!
After a good meal of Sushi, where we made a little competition on how much money each of us spent at YO Sushi! We counted our sins—or our plates—and declared others the dubious winners. We then made our way to the Old Market Tavern, stopping at a local Comic & Tabletop game shop, geeking out at our collective knowledge of board games. It wouldn’t be the last time that happened in the day.
The Old Market Tavern was exactly what I expected it to be, from the look of the place to the staff and patrons. It was a very relaxed and friendly environment, a very welcoming place for which the GeekOut South-West meetup is now a recurring event. There were nice drinks, delicious food and plenty of humour.
I had a blast, and met so many amazing people. I put faces to the many voices I’ve heard in the past through Steam or Skype even. Chris from GeekOut is one hell of a guy, very interesting with a lot to say and fascinating stories. Jason of VidyaVidya can look at you very seriously, completely deadpan for hours at a time, but that just hides a wonderful sense of humour, and once the giggles started, there was no turning back! And of course, there’s Ghostbunny—or Black Rabbit as she was at the meetup—whom I can only describe as amazing!
Beyond these ‘personalities’ the rest of crowd was fantastic as well, and it was great to see people in elaborate costumes for the Mad Hatter Tea Party theme Timlah came up with, even the dude in the full armour that was a bit off-theme. You gotta admire the dedication though! I spoke with so many fun people, got to know them bit by bit and by the end of the evening I was hoping to come back soon and see them again. For someone who has just moved to a new country and doesn’t really have many friends and is frankly struggling to make new ones, the GeekOut Meetup was very comforting, showing me that it is possible to meet great people.
One of the highlight of the nights was the treasure hunt Timlah prepared. I didn’t take part in it, preferring to sit back and watch others struggle and suffer, something I knew Timlah enjoyed as much as I did! So did the rest of the crowd sitting on the couches, grinning from ear to ear every time we saw the stressed looks on people’s faces!
Beyond all of that though, the GeekOut Meetup was a sample of how I see the world, how I would love for things to be in general. We were a ton of different people, with different backgrounds, sexual orientations, worldviews and gender identities and we were all getting along wonderfully. Positivity was in the air and we all took the time to make sure the cosplayers and some of the shyer members of the group felt appreciated and welcome. I think if we could make the world be how the GeekOut group is, things would be a lot better.
On the way out, Timlah asked me what I thought and of course I told him it was great, but beyond that, I told him he had something special here, something powerful and very good.
If I could sum up the experience, the crowd and the event and community in a single word, it would be, “Wonderful.”
So make sure you got to the GeekOut South-West Meetup page, join in, talk and if you can go to one of the events, then do so, I can promise you that you won’t regret it. And who knows, maybe when you go I’ll actually have an RPG to play there! Also, make sure you check out the official gallery over on GeekOut South-West