July 7th was Tanabata （七夕） or the Evening of the Seventh, and every year Haru has a cheer leading event on this day. This year was no different. Haru and her cheer leading team gave a presentation in front a local department store in front of literally hundreds of people, and did very well.
It was a hot day, a very hot day. Temperatures were in the high 30’s (Celsius). We arrived at the department store where the event was being held about an hour and half before Haru’s event started to secure a good seat close to the stage. I managed to secure a couple of seats in the middle of seating section so I was pretty pleased.
Cheer leading wasn’t the only event of the day. There were several events, including gospel singing, square dancing, a blind boy playing a piano, etc. None of the really attracted a big crowd and most of the seats were empty when these events were going on. Naturally, I thought that Haru’s cheer leading event wouldn’t be all that popular either. Besides, who really cares about watching a bunch of kindergarten and elementary school aged kids cheer lead, aside from the parents, right? Well, I was wrong…VERY wrong.
As the blind boy did his performance (which seemed like it went on for hours at one point) most of the seats cleared out. Not because boy played poorly (as a matter of fact her as pretty well) but more because it was so hot outside, most people headed inside the store or stayed in the shade. I took this opportunity to seek a better seat closer to the stage, and I managed secure a couple of seats in the front row. Excellent, now I can get some really good shots…. so I thought.
After the blind boy finished his performance, the MC announced that the cheer leaders were next. At that moment, literally hundreds of people flocked to the spectators area like band of rats to a rotting peace of cheese . Then the MC announced that people were allowed to sit right in front of the stage, and then about 150 people basically rushed the stage and made it almost impossible for us to see anything from where we sitting. Needless to say, I was LIVID, and I wasn’t the only one. There were boos by the sitting crowd, some of who came really early like we did to secure good seats. I wasn’t having it. I didn’t sit in scorching heat for nearly two hours, just to look at the back of someones head. I grabbed my camera and literally shoved my way through the crowd who very rudely CUT IN FRONT OF US to reclaim by rightful spot up front, so that I can get a better shot. People weren’t too happy, but I really didn’t care.
We wound up having to sit on the scorching hot concrete which was burning my skin. It really hurt, but I tried to endure it as best I could until the show was over. The only thing that got me through it was the hope of getting really good pictures, and knowing that Haru was having to endure hotter temperatures sitting on a flat black mat on the stage. At least I was wearing jeans, she was wearing only a thin polyester skirt.
The entire presentation lasted about 15 minutes. I personally didn’t see any noticeable mistakes, by Haru and she did very well. All in all, I am glad I went despite the heat and the rude insensitive people and the stupid MC who allowed people cut in front of us.