Monday, December 24, 2012

Borneo British Parliamentary Championship BBPC

The Borneo British Parliamentary Championship (BBPC) was organised by the UNIMAS Debating Society which I was a part of. This was our first time hosting an international debate competition, and its turnout was quite good. Though many teams around the world registered and only some came to check in, I would say the event was still a success. Many teams backed out, for some reasons that we guessed, was because our championship was right after SDO, which was Singapore's Debate Open. Many teams do not go for championships one right after the other, unless they are really hard core debaters. However, it was great to see some teams and adjudicators turning up right after SDO, it shows how committed they are towards debating. Another reason why the turnout was small is because many people from other countries are not familiar with Kuching but Kuala Lumpur instead. It was perhaps the stereotypical idea that Kuching is a small town and not worth going. But to my surprised, the chief adj, Aji Abu from Singapore, fell in love with Kuching and wished he could stay longer by taking a week off from work. Too bad that it was too late for him to apply leave. Other adjudicators like Ajay Kumar from India stayed another day to visit Orang Utans and take a short sight see around Kuching.

Well here's my part of the story. I was in charge of transportation in the event. All I had to do was to make sure everyone gets to the competition safely. On Friday the 14th, me and a few others from UDS were waiting for Dinesh to get the cars and head off to the airport to pick up a team that was flying in at 3.40pm. I was shocked at 2pm when I received a phone call from Christ University, India saying that they have already arrived and are waiting at the airport. We quickly rushed to the airport in 2 cars as we only had Kancil's, which is a very small car.

 One of the cars ran out of fuel right outside the petrol station

On that day itself, I drove for about 12hours with sufficient rest. I left the university at 2pm and arrived back at 2am. No, it wasn't labor abuse or anything close to it. I enjoyed it as I really love to drive. It felt so much better as the car was rented with UDS funds and its petrol was all covered by them too. The funny part was the car itself. It only had 4 gears! I was surprised. While driving it on the highway for the first time, I was shifting the gears from 3rd to 4th, 4th to *ehh*.. I thought the gear was jammed or something. I finally had a stop at a round about and when I looked at the gear label carefully, it really had only 4 gears! It was really shocking, but the more shocking part was that the car could actually go up to 110km/h on that 4 gears, well that was according to its speedometer. It could be inaccurate.

Kuching International Airport

12 hours of driving was fun. I met a lot of people from different countries, had a good 30 minute chat with them before dropping them off at the "hotel" which was Sarakraf Pavilion, a homestay bungalow.

The next morning, I headed to Faculty of Social Sciences where the competition was being held. Using the 2 kancil's, we transported about 10 tables and 60 chairs. We took a few rounds and each round, we could take 5 tables or 10 chairs. It sounds unbelievable to transport 10 chairs in a Kancil but a good thing about Perodua is that they design their rear seats to fold so that there will be more trunk space.

After that many rounds, I headed off to the airport to take away McDonalds for one of the adjudicators. She didn't have a proper meal on the day before and she's vegetarian so she wanted the McEgg and hash browns. It wasn't actually my job to do that but I just did it as a favor.

I didn't have much to do by 3pm so I decided to head back to my room, have a nap and get ready for a Christmas dinner that night. A blog post of that night will be updated soon.

Intense planning

On Sunday, I was on standby at the competition. Some teams and adjudicators had earlier flights, so I had to send them to the airport. Besides that, there was an unusual morning. The chief adjudicator stayed back at the hotel that morning because he wasn't feeling well. I was told to pick him and another luggage up from the hotel. As I was sending him to the university, I had a good chat with him. His name was Aji Abu and he is a test engineer at Aston Martin Singapore. I was like, wow! He has the privilege to drive those supercars and tune them. His job is to basically set the car to the Singapore road requirements, perhaps in terms of safety or environment protection, but its still a cool job.

Fang with Aji Abu

The final debate!

I was also able to catch the final debate, which was intense. The motion was that THBT suicide is a legitimate tool of protest against the state. Unimas had one team in the finals which was represented by Albert, UDS president and Dinesh. After all the arguments, their team came in 3rd. 

Nasi Goreng Bryani Ayam Penyet

After the results were out, we had dinner at Station 12, which was a Malay restaurant by the street outside of the Pink Mosque. They had great food there. I had Nasi Goreng Bryani Ayam Penyet which was spicy, but delicious. I also tried the nasi goreng sotong penyet which was wonderful. Sotong is cuttlefish and it wasn't rubbery. The squid felt as if it could just melt in your mouth. The tom yam soup was also tasty, so im generalizing that restaurant as one of the best around Kuching. 

It was a long, wonderful and tiring weekend. I went back to the university with good news that presentation was postponed to another day and I had no class in the morning on the next day. Great news and great sleep. :)

Take care :)

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