Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My BRATs Experience

14 March 2009 and that is the date line where my biggest experience in life begins (so far). I was lucky enough to get accepted to go to the BRATs workshop in Malacca for 4 days and 3 nights.. well, the day began by going there.. My parents sent me there in the morning after a heavy breakfast at a typical Malay restaurant. On the way, i was reading a physics book surprisingly because im not the type of person who studies but due to exams next week, i am forced to. Well of course half way there i fell asleep. but anyway i somehow woke up when i reached there. Most likely it was the exitement running through me to be in this workshop. And in 5 minutes i reached the Straits Meridian Hotel near the big Post Office of Malacca. We parked the car and headed to the Meridian Hall. There i registered and waved goodbye to my parents. As i walked in, i felt the brush of nervousness as I do not know anyone there at that time. So i randomly took a seat and sat beside a simple indian boy. His name was Greg and he was the first friend I made there. Beside him sat Calvin who somehow was my room mate. Then some of these participants attended the alternative camp so they know each other. So then Greg and Calvin were 1 of them so they asked the others to join our table and i met a few more people. After a wait of 15 minutes, We started our session with Niki Cheong and the others from The Star Newspaper. The first day was more likely a briefing to us to prepare us as journalist in different fields such as writers, photographers and multimedia(video). i was more intereste on the photography and multimedia session but i did learn from the writing session. Soon we also had a small photography competition about green. And i think i took a creepy photo of green. And I saw 1 of the best cameras in the world worth a Proton Iswara.

Soon, we went to our rooms and it wasnt that bad. It even had a sofa set and dining and kitchen. Even if it was small but satisfying. there were 3 beds and Alezender slept on the bed on the floor. We also watched a few videos to inspire those who were taking multimedia. Well i think thats about it for day 1.

Day 2 is here and i woke up about 6.00 am to go for a jog with Alezander ,my room mate. He was a triathlete kind of person so i asked him if he wants to go for a morning jog. And well for fun on the way to the pool we knocked on our friends rooms along the hallway and went for about 20+ rounds around he pool. Around 6.30 we went back to the room knocking on their rooms again and ran for life back to our room. We took a shower and made coffee too.

We then headed down wearing our white BRAT's T-shirt. We had breakfast and picked up our equipment which was a cam-corder, a microphone, a microphone flag and earphones.Then we went to the bus to go to the streets of Malacca. We got down at the clock tower and had a tour from Mrs.Josephine and Mr.Collin. Our group followed Mrs.Josephine aroun the streets such as Jalan Tukang Besi and Jalan Tokong and we also saw the Kuli's temple and saw traditional popiah skin makers which was a tradisional trait. We also went around the temple and we were showered with luck as it seems they had a festival and the temple was filled with many people. People were placing jawsticks on the altar and some girls getting their ears pierced. We also heard a story about the immortals from Mrs.Josephine. We then went through alleys to another street and we saw old buildings.

Then we headed back to the clock tower for a conclusion and a question sesion. Then we were given 45 minutes to get footages of anything.

We headed back to the hotel at about 1pm. As we arrived, we went to our rooms to change and ate lunch. We were given a short brief and played a few games and started our work on the computer. The video wasnt finished on that day and we went to bed around 1am.

On the third day, Alex wanted to wake me up. He pulled my pillow and i wanted to go with him. My head was up but my body couldnt get up. So he left without me and i woke up later on. I had breakfast and we picked up our equipments and went to the bus.

This time, Tristan Toh who was our group leader had everything planned and told me what footages to get. I was amazed that he was well prepared and knew what he wanted. We went to a restored house at lot 8 Herren street. It was a beautifully restored house. Mr.Collin brought us in and told a story about the house. It was called a shophouse where trade was going on in the front and at the back lived a family. We learned alot from history to architecture of the house. And there was also a well shared between the houses. Arounf 12pm we went back to the hotel, changed, ate and started work. It was going great and i was happy with the video. We had games too in between. Since it was the last night, we had a barbcue and we had to do a performance to entertain the Star journalists. And my group did the algorithm march by the japanese. We continued work until 2.30 and slept at 3am.

Day 3 and it was a morning rush. We were suppose to be down at 8.30am but Alex,Calvin and me woke up at 9.30! we were late for breakfast of course and went straight for the self defence session. we were not the only ones late but we were not too late. After that, we finished up our work in 15 minutes and it was shown on screen to all of us. Im real proud of the video my group made thanks to me, yee ming and Aun Qi and chris too i think. Then we had lunch and headed back home. ut i didnt go home but my uncles house because my dad was working.

The Stress (picture of Tristan Toh)

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