Friday, December 14, 2007

Knowledge and ICT

Gosh, the last 3 days was really something. From the 11-13th, i was in klcc attending the 3rd Global Knowledge (ICT for Development) Conference, not as a participant, but as a rapporteur. Not that i really wanted to, but since my sis begged asked me to do it (as a favor), and so i did. I mean, like come one, i get to attend an international conference where the fee is USD750 for free, and i get this cute sling bag with unique gadgets inside, and on top of that, forced to pay close attention to speeches and discussions which i would've fallen asleep on, had i attended it as a participant, i mean, I'd be an idiot to pass such an opportunity, right? Unless, of course, if i got other more important things to attend to like some of u do... understood.

Well, anyway, the event was huge! It was opened by the Deputy PM (ok, paklah couldn't make it) and they got like hundreds of people from all over the world. As for the parallel sessions, some were interesting, some were oh so...arghhh! I had to cover 5 sessions, 1 was on open research publications and it was oh so relevant to me tht i felt like joining them, but alas, i was too shy to reveal my CS background and overrule my rapporteur role, despite the chairperson's encouragement to join the group, so i kept my mouth shut. Another session was also a group discussion comprising 4 groups (gilo ko apo, asyik2 aku je dpt group discussion, kalu speech je ok gak), so just imagine how crazy i was running from 1 group to another . Sure, i had a partner, but arghhh..... ok, I'll save that story for later. This session offered free alcohol and some breads which my partner and i had to refuse and it was conducted by a group of young entrepreneurs, and at the end, my partner got us each a CD of a popular hip-hop moldovan band. So that was cool. The other 2 sessions were just ok. And the last one that i'm gonna talk about was probably the worst. Not only was it lacking in the content department, it was also boring as hell, and worst, i had problems understanding the speakers' accents. Adoi, that session sure was painful , and top it up, my partner went in and out of the hall, and at one time, gone for what felt like 30 minutes to God knows where, but i suspect ciggy break 'cos he smelt like smoke the majority of the time.

So basically, we had to make reports of what transpired during the sessions. There were tons of rapporteur, but only 10 from my sis' company. And only me and fatima are Malaysians. 1 is from Djibouti (this guy's a machine, he writes fast, types even faster... crazy, oh, and speaks with an American accent, weird), another is from Cameroon, some were Bosnians, 1 is an Indonesian and the rest, i hv no idea. tht's typical of my sis's bf, trust him to build a team, and u'd get no Malaysians. Even weirder, u get all guys (except for the Indonesian lady cause it's the husband who got her on board) and no Moroccans, despite him being a Moroccan. As for our coordinators, they are Malaysians, with one being my sis's bro.

Well, anyway. We were supposed to work in pairs. Most pairs made good teams, very dedicated, very fast (btw, the reports were supposed to be submited within an hour after the session), but mine was . Okla, in his defense, my partner was a nice guy, a real people-person, friendly, funny, occasionally cute, a self-proclaimed gentleman, speaks BM well, too well sometimes that it's annoying..... but when it came to "rapporteuring" . I mean, he took too many breaks (breaks for us is almost unheard of, ok?), didn't take enough notes, didn't write the reports fast enough and was always late. On the last day, he was so late he missed our last session (that was in the morning), good thing a coordinator was available to replace him. Said there was an accident, ok la, wasn't his fault. But everybody noticed that everyone was asking me, where's V? where's V? and when i told the Cameroonian guy that he was made to cover the afternoon session, the guy went like, "oh, i guess that makes it fair". Hell yeah! I think the rest of them probably felt sorry for me too, having to make the reports alone most of the time, 'cos at one time, i overheard the Djibouti guy telling his partner, fatima just how sad he thot my condition was, but i pretended not to hear him despite sitting in front of them, profesional la konon... tp i was touched still...

But really, i envied them, heard them discussing the points, even more complimenting each other on a job well done... siout, jeless. The hubby-and-wife team was also pretty hebat too. When they couldn't get the slides, they took photos of them, kreatif ke ape? And me, buat report sorg2. Sure V was around when i was doing it, 'cos u know, it'd be super-jahat if he were to leave early kan?, but input-wise...... And worse, he liked to chat even when it was so obvious that i was working. U know, with a partner like this, i actually preferred to do it alone, but no, 'cos he was my partner, he'd be right next to me, and yakking on and on, and then, I'd be yakking and the work got disrupted. Told ya, he's a people-person, nice to talk to, but if the timing's wrong, please laaa... and at one point, i got so annoyed i actually said to him, "why don't u just sit there and look pretty, i got work to do". Macam jahat... considering that his looks an personality actually helped sometimes. U see, when i got too lazy or "too shy" to get materials, I'd send him over. If it's girl/lady/woman is involved, surely it's a piece of cake to him, heck, if it's a guy, it'd still be a piece of cake to him... and i have seen it happened .

Now, I'm sure I'd been evil too, bluntly telling him how i found him annoying and every now and then, bossing him around (hey, call me akak, u get a kaki-buli, it's a natural thing, u see), and i may seem stupid insensitive when he mentioned about one of the presenters being a Serbian and how they were... you know (dunno la, they chatted and joked with civility and that confused me), but in all honesty, i think if the circumstances were different, I'm sure i wouldn't be that evil to him, or everyone else, for that matter .

Anyway, now that the event's over, i can finally relax a lil' bit, both mind and body. Despite all of the frenzy, i actually had fun learning new things, having freshly-ground coffee every morning (sedapnyaaa, i wonder what they put in it), having free interesting food everyday, pretending to be important ("excuse me, I'm doing a report... blah blah", padahal kuli batak) and best of all, making new friends, and although i wont be seeing them again, knowing and learning little things about them made the whole 3 days worthwhile.

Oh, if u wanna read the report, they're all here. If la kan...

And below are all the pictures that our coordinator took, some were taken in the meeting rooms where the discussions/speeches were held, most were taken in the media room where we were stationed and yup, i did say "all", 'cos he (us all included) were too busy to take pictures most of the time...

and u know what, if u ask me if I'd do it again, u know what my answer will be........ "Tengok laaaa." (What? u think i don't have anything to do ka??? ceh)