It's So Bangkok! #1

Saturday, December 29, 2012
Hello there, lovely people!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS! I'm so sorry for being missing for quite a long time, but... I wanna wish you all a blessed year ahead! How was your Christmas? Hope you had a very merry one! (;

And now, I'm back with the long awaited story..... yep. My Bangkok story. It's too long ago, I know! But nonetheless I'll still share the story with you since it occupies a very special place in my heart (':

As I mentioned before, I went to BANGKOK, THAILAND to attend and be a part of the first ever Asia Pacific Model United Nations (APMUN) 2012. I was in Bangkok from 19-27 September 2012. This part one will consist of my story during APMUN from 19-24 September 2012! So... let's begin with part one, shall we?

September 19th, 2012
This is the day where we took off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand. As you might remember from my Singapore story, I am a nervous flyer. However, somehow, I didn't feel so bad about this flight. :p I guess I already knew it was going to be an amazing trip worth of any flight! When we arrived, it was already night time in Bangkok. But still, I was amazed with the modernity of the airport. It was so big and felt so modern! One of my fave airport for sure.

our first hotel and its surroundings, taken from Google Maps

We rented two cabs to hit our first hotel, City Lodge located in Sukhumvit 19. Though exhausted, we could not put off exploring around the hotel! Especially cos we were pretty famished :p Thank God our hotel was located near a bunch of street snack stalls and Circle K.

pad thai stall, taken from here

So we had for ourselves hearty portions of pad-thai. It was, spicy yes, but so delicious! It consists of rice noodle, or kwetiauw as we call it in Indonesia, eggs, some greens, and (in some, including this one I ate) shrimps. This pad thai, like most foods in Thailand as we would find out later, was very cheap but so yummy.

September 20th, 2012
And before we knew it, the first day of conference of APMUN 2012 had arrived. From that day until a couple of days later, we spent our mornings getting ready for the conference. Yep, business attire and make-up were my most loyal companions for those days.
On the first day, we had a registration session and Drop-In Rules of Procedure Training in the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, which would also be our venue for the conference. We made new friends instantly since everyone was so friendly! We had especially close relationship with the locals who also attended the conference. They positioned themselves automatically as the hosts (although they weren't part of the committee) and they did amazing jobs. Yeah, I personally think that this is something everyone can learn from.
Later on, our new Thai friends helped our way to the United Nations (UN) Building for the Opening Ceremony. The opening ceremony itself was an AMAZING experience, I'm telling you. We met with so many different people from so many different countries: China, Italy, Russia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, USA, Australia, and many more!

our new Thai friends and us: Marcella (IDN), Aor / O (TH), Natsha and Destin (IDN), Praewa / Prae (TH), Nuel (IDN), Wee / V (TH), Me!, Noon (TH). Btw, did you notice we were doing it ASEAN Style? :p

And so after the opening ceremony, we had to go back to QSCC for the first session of the conference. This time, without our Thai friends. Omygod it was an unforgettable experience! It was raining, no cab would take us to the MRT station, and most tuk-tuk drivers couldn't understand English! But thank God we finally managed to get on a tuk-tuk to the MRT station. The tuk-tuk ride was so fun! We were laughing our asses off. :p

September 21st-23rd, 2012
My partner, Nuel, and I were in the General Assembly Third Conference, which mainly talks about social and humanitarian issues. In APMUN, our GA 3rd talked about child labors and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond 2015. It was extraordinary! I personally felt that I made notable improvements in this conference, compared to the one I had in Singapore. I managed to implement the advise from my previous chair in NTU MUN, Thomas, which was to 'push through' and deliver more because 'I had very good points', so yaay for me! :'D

The conference itself was different. In APMUN, we mainly had unmoderated caucuses instead of moderated ones. Therefore, our lobbying and negotiation capability were really put to the test! It was a great challenge for me, but thank God, with great cooperation with Nuel, we managed to make our voices more heard in the conference. We even became the sponsors of the draft resolutions.

Can you see me in the center? I was typing down the points coming
from other delegates at that time. :p

What also made this experience different from the previous ones I had was there were a plenary and a "crisis" in this one! Plenary is where all the committees were gathered, while "crisis" is a term for a sudden or impromptu issue delegates need to address in the middle of their regular conference. In APMUN 2012, our crisis was related to MDGs expiration. I was so grateful that I had the opportunity to speak at the podium, both during the plenary and the crisis!

In the end, the GA 3rd bunch became really close. I personally became very close with some of them, such as Sun from China, Kaushik from India, Andhika from University of Indonesia, Liliana from Italy, and of course, Prae and Fang from Thailand.

And as how it started, the conference came to a close before we knew it. We all had a closing ceremony to attend to, and... our proud delegation for our university managed to grab the award of Best Position Paper in GA 1st and Distinguished Delegation as a whole. Congrats to us!

September 24th, 2012
But, wait! APMUN had not ended yet! On 24 night we would have a delegate dance party. However, since we had no more conference sessions, we were free to explore Bangkok and do what Indonesian people do best: SHOPPING! So we went to Pratunam and Platinum, two shopping spots which are very famous in Bangkok.

Hmmm. Okay... we got lost. But we finally managed to arrive safely! Hoorraay! So we split into smaller groups and shopped all the way down. Mind you, Pratunam is some kind of a market which mainly sells VERY CHEAP clothings and souvenirs! Especially if you buy them in a large quantity (therefore it is best to shop in groups! :p). And if you are careful and persistent (like we were teehee), you can find very good stuffs with low price there!
On the other hand, Platinum is a shopping mall. Certainly, the goods there are more pricey than in Pratunam. But it's a good place to do window shopping and cool down after being a crazy shopzilla in Pratunam (they are located opposite of each other). And yeah, some people prefer to shop in Platinum because of the comfort (like some of my friends). So, it's your call!
After shopping, we rented two tuk-tuks to the station and went back to City Lodge by BTS.

When we arrived in Sukhumvit, there was still time before we had to get ready for the delegate dance party. So, some of my friends and I hit the Terminal 21, a very nice shopping mall near our hotel, to have dinner. This mall resembles Grand Indonesia in a way that they both have themes for each floor based on different countries around the world. However, I must say that I like Terminal 21 better than Grand Indonesia :p

Terminal 21, taken from Google Maps

After dinner, it was time to get ready for delegate dance party! Too bad though most of our delegation members were exhausted and opted out of the party. So, only Ayu, Natsha, Fandi and I would be going to the party at Sonic Club, which was said to be the hype club at the moment.
And we didn't regret our choice at all! It was such a fun night. We got crazy, dancing non-stop from around 11pm until around 2.30 am (making our Head of Delegation worried back in the hotel! :p). I tasted some drinks my friends bought, such as margarita from Liliana; they were quite nice and surprisingly reasonably priced.

Prae and her significant other, Noon and moi

So... yeah, all in all, APMUN 2012 had become an extraordinary experience that, I know, will always occupy a special place in my heart. (I even got teary-eyed writing about this!!!) I will never forget the lessons, the new experiences, the friendship, and the kindness I experienced during APMUN 2012. So, as my friend from India, Kaushik said, "The world is very small and we'll definitely meet again!! High hopes!!"

Until the second part! :*