Kawaii City: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck
Once upon a time on the fateful day of August 16th, 1994, I was born a Hello Kitty fan. It’s in my blood to admire Sanrio, and it is conceptually tethered to my soul. From the Sanrio store leaving Arundel Mills Mall in my middle school years, to my freak out in Honolulu at seeing a Sanrio store for the first time again in almost a decade. It was only on the fateful day of March 23rd, 2019 that I encountered the Hello Kitty Café Truck. Let me tell you about this whirlwind of Hello Kitty, Virginia, allergies, and all things DC Kawaii Style.
Putting it on record, I was awake at 4 am. I could not sleep the night before, I guess I was just antsy before getting there? If you ask me why I would not know. I genuinely could not wait to get there. In my mind, I had set up my Hello Kitty Kei, and I just felt something magical was going to happen. We get to the metro, taking the green line all the way to blue or maybe it was yellow line. Whatever metro line took Maryland to Virginia. It was a BOP. I felt like I was on the metro line for years, but it was just enough time to get my cute stickers on my face and put my hello kitty enamel pin on Aquarius. When we arrived, it was about 9:10 AM. I debated whether I should throw on the cat ears or just let my outfit exist as is.
The cold air hit. Why don’t I ever wear real pants? My legs bristled at the drafty winds, but we walked to the mall to find the truck. We turn that corner. LOW and BEHOLD there’s a line already? I look at the time it's only 9:15 am. The truck doesn’t open till 10:00 am. I look at the line of huddled cold Hello Kitty fans. I see people with blankets and chairs. I’m so startled…Am I both overdressed and underdressed? What in the world?! I spot some lovely Lolita’s and kids sprinting over the fakest grass I have ever seen. We walk up to the end of the line, and the wait begins.
10:30 is Golden:
Yes, it wasn’t till 10:30 that we made it to the truck. In between the time of arrival and the evil wind tunnel that just about blew my wig and me to OZ it was a long, tedious wait. My excitement was steady even with the cold and winds. I was able to hold the line and met with some community members from DC Kawaii Style which was great because then we Penguin huddled against the cold. The saving grace for this natural phenomenon. While in the line, I thought about what I was going to get. I planned exclusively for the bow and plushie. I knew those essential items were a vital part of my experience. It was later at the Columbia truck I completed my collector experience. We had to use a ticket to get a shirt. The lovely lady complimented my shirt and gave me an extra button which I am so grateful for. I see some DIY crafts in the future. As soon as items were in hand, we dashed for the mall. My hands were as red as my outfit, and my eyes felt like ice. Now was the time for DC Kawaii Style!
Mall Kawaii Gang:
This wasn’t an official DC Kawaii Style event, but we made it a fun venture. We had our mini photoshoots and had fun exploring the grandiose mall. We stopped at some Kawaii spots and group favorites. We visited Barnes and Noble, which delighted my inner bookworm. Later we visited a pop shop for Sugarfina which had alcoholic candies that delighted my personal adult privileges. I loved that we had lunch together and talked about the history of fashion and it where it went wrong for men. Have you heard of BEAU BRUMMELL? The man who changed the path of style away from the Hunger Games District 1 lifestyle we were meant to have?! I could not believe my ears! One man ruined that fashion future and helped set the course for toxic masculinity in fashion. Yes, we talked about this over lunch. I was delighted. Our day ended with a sweet departure and delight for Harajuku weekend. Aquarius and I roamed a little before going to movies and having one more photoshoot at the Hello Kitty café truck.
As a Hello Kitty fan, this was both a tiring but fantastic experience. I miss the hype of going into the Sanrio store, and this adventure rekindled that feeling. Virginia was unbelievably cold, and I did feel like a lot of strangers wanted pictures. I was curious about the Hello Kitty treats and whether or not I would be able to eat them. It was only later that I realized the answer to that question was “No.” I liked that the truck was themed and that these items were in its own way limited edition. It also just made it super expensive. Do I financially regret it? Just a twinge but I do hope that in the future I can go to the café and speak my mind about listing nutritional information on their edible treats!