Sunday, July 22, 2007

Launch of Harry Potter 7

A moment of history in the world, this monkey sought to capture the last time a person can experience the wait and launch of Harry Potter. Originally posted on Metroblogging, I was met with trolls and decided to remove the post. Later I decided to post it here for posterity. Photos have already been uploaded on flickr.

From 10pm to 7.01am on 21st July 2007, I was blogging LIVE from the Harry Potter Launch at Borders Wheelock Place

As of 4pm @ 20 July 2007, there were already 5 girls queueing! Operation Hedwig has started!

10.00pm: arrived at Borders! We are #14 in line. Got a friend to come down around 4pm to "chope" a place for us then my colleague came down to take over her. Haha shift work :) After that I arrived after work and me and the coworker are going to do the all-nighter!

10.27pm: came back from a quick dinner upstairs at Sakae sushi and found out that there is a queue outside that snakes around Patterson Road. Only a lucky few got the "interior" seats. We are one of them! Yay! Apparently somebody cried because she couldn't get the interior. Eek. TODAY reporter was around trying to get interviews but I will be more updated than them so get your latest here!

Some info from my "informants" about the few fans who got the first in line - They were apparently here at 7am! The official queue only began at 7pm. Oh dear. That'll go down in Harry Potter history I guess. Nobody can beat it since there won't be any other books!

The groups who were early are apparently fans of Harry Potter, manga and yaoi. My friends who befriended them thought I would get right along with them! Maybe it won't be such a long night after all. :)

Interestingly, most of the people queueing are girls! And what more, one of the girls in the first 10 in line was the first person in the last book's launch! This year somebody else topped her. Oh well. One time is enough I suppose.

A few groups of reporters have been coming around to interview the girls "first" in line. Photographers have also been going around. But here's the first look for you!

11.23pm: An American Harry Potter came and entertained us after a "stint studying in the US after Hogwarts". He showed us the disarming trick and the levitation trick with "volunteers" from the front of the queue. It was quite the ruckus. He quickly made off with his asian girlfriend after the end of the tricks. LoL how convenient. Is that Cho in the flesh or just a replacement? :P Photos to follow but I do not have my card reader with me right now to download photos from my DSLR camera.

Duelling between American Harry and the first witch in line.

12.14am: Borders officially closed 15minutes ago and we have been moved from our earlier "cozy corner" and now we snake around the inside of Wheelock Place around the circle of the main atrium. So far, nobody needs to move out of the Interior yet but there are almost 80 people here.

Veterans of Potter launches reports that previous years saw much better organization and a much larger crowd. We even met a girl who has made the entire costume according to the specifications on the Potter website. A true fan to wear a full london winter gear in the middle of monsoon summer in Singapore. Now she is being tucked to bed and assured that we will wake her up at 4.30am to don her costume! *phew* Hardcore.

Another group of girls are busy playing Harry Potter uno while the first two girls in the queue are busy studying for their O Levels?!

The people who were originally first but then now they're the first "seconds" in line :P

12.38am: There are now many sleeping bags and sleeping bodies found around the Interior. People with guitars and groups of loud chatting people have contrastingly taken over Wheelock Place. I cannot decide to sleep, read the Harry Potter 6 I brought along or just bask in anticipation. Meanwhile battery is seeping away with a power point just metres away from us. We'll see.

1.15am: Was charging my laptop but got found out by security guard for tapping into their electricity and got unplugged. Too bad. We'll just have to conserve then. Talked to the two girls in front. They're secondary four girls studying for their prelims next week! Everybody else in the front of the line is asleep. Afterall they have been here since 9am!

2.12am: An enterprising man just came around distributing flyers for a "survival kit" of sandwich and drinks for $3. I feel almost tempted. Others are coming back with McDonalds since it's opened 24 hours but since I am a strict non-supporter of fast food, the survival kit sounds most enticing. But for now, I am going to nap and continue reading Harry Potter 6. Energy level is still high here but a tad dowsed with a number of people napping. Meanwhile, much activity inside the Borders bookstore as boxes of books are unloaded and staff getting ready for the big launch.

2.53am: The man selling the survival kit came back with the food on a book shelving trolley, peddling his wares to the people queueing. They may actually be from borders since they just pushed the whole trolley back into the store. At the same time, we were informed by the security guard that no photographs are allowed unless we are from the press! *outrage* What happen to citizen journalism? Bah. Anyways, the crowd has finally been told to move out of the Interior and an outside line has resumed with Borders Staff finally stepping out to do some crowd control. We also encountered veteran queue-cutter. Apparently these 2 girls who were trying to just sit beside us and mix in did the same thing last year! Then they tried further down the line but to no avail. Hopefully they've finally got their own rightful place at the end of the line. Meanwhile, this monkey is going back to sleep.

4.45am: The enterprising men turned out to be Borders Bistro. They just came up with the new menu - continental breakfast! The other half of my team hedwig returned and charmed the cosplay kids with big equipments. The line has now snaked out all the way to the end near Orchard Blvd. Unfortunately it also looks like it's going to rain soon. Luckily at 5.00am, we would be able to go in and start queueing with the festivities to begin. You will then be able to buy the book exactly at 7.01am. No more blogging for now but twitter updates all the way!

5.38am: We are now inside Borders queueing RIGHT IN FRONT of the cashier! We are #10, 11 and 12 in line! Some cheerleaders who were not quite effective just came over and tried to do something but then hagrid and the dementors just walked into the building!! It's kinda cute when "Hagrid" turned out to be the friend of the girl queueing behind us. *grin* She also asked the dementors if they wanted to kiss her. haha

6.00am: the quizzes are on right now and there is madness amongst the fans here. There are dances and kisses with the dementors and eager fans ready to rush out at the next question. Borders vouchers are given out. There is also a cameraman here - wonder if it's from the TV stations.

6.35am: the finalists of Hogwarts Next Top Model just got selected - Bellatrix, Moody, Luna, Snape and Mrs Longbottom. Cho Chang who were with us at the front of the line unfortunately was not selected. But the finalists are REALLY good. They have awesome costumes and excellent acting.

6.40am: the winner is Bellatrix!

7.00am: Countdown of the book began. 5-4-3-2-1!

7.01am: We got the book! It was nicely presented in a special orange Bloomsbury Harry Potter paper bag. Inside also contains a very nice Ty Beanie Hedwig owl!

After thought: On the bag is a sign which I thought was a rather wannabe esoteric sign. But it was only after reading the book that I realized the sign is actually an illustration of a very important element in the book. In fact, while reading the book I had difficult visualizing the sign but now it all clicked together.

7.15am: Queueing up for balloons that say "I got my Harry Potter at Borders".

7.45am: Home sweet home and the reading begins!


Pedro Morgado said...

Please, don’t let J. K. Rowling kill Harry Potter. :)

Jessica said...

We also encountered veteran queue-cutter. Apparently these 2 girls who were trying to just sit beside us and mix in did the same thing last year! Then they tried further down the line but to no avail. one of them wearing a Harry Potter Robe and initially sat in front of the Border's Entrance? They were speaking loudly in accent too.

Anyway, I notice that you took some photos of my friends who were first few in the line. Mind if I save them and pass them to the friends too? The one I'm saying are the 2 girls first in line (Adela "Hufflepuff" and Nicole "Gryffindor") and the one 6th in line (Nichol the "Cho Chang" with Scarf).

Will put them under your Album's Name Folder and also include your post on the event apart from the usual Acknowledgement. -__^

Thanks! ^__^