Saturday, July 10, 2010

Conference: Indonesian Style

Written on July 8th, 2010

Today we attended a UNESCO conference on building back better after earthquakes. Registration goes from 8:00am to 8:30am so we arrived at around 8:15am or so. We registered and walked into a completely empty room. We chose seats and everything and proceeded to wait forever. The opening ceremony didn't start until almost 9:30am, nearly an hour late! Everyone was still drifting in, checking cell phones, on laptops, etc. They pretty much stayed on time for all the talks though. I guess the speakers all just expect to have less times than was advertised.

As with meetings, having people talking on cell phones and walking around is pretty normal for conferences. It was kind of nice to be able to walk to get tea or go to the bathroom whenever though. Most of the presentations were in Indonesian so it was kind of hard for us to follow everything.

The food was pretty good though. Snacks for meetings and conferences consists of two kinds of small pastries. One is usually more substantial, usually either a meat thing wrapped in tofu skin (kind of like something you would get a dim sum), and a sweet thing like sponge cake. There is usually also a really spicy chili somewhere in the first thing that you must be careful to find and take out if you can't handle super spiciness. For lunch we ate at the hotel's restaurant, which had food in buffet style. The food was pretty good. It even had one dish that was mostly vegetables. Getting vegetables is a big thing for us here, if you couldn't tell already.

Not sure the conference was all that helpful, even for people who understood Indonesian. I go to a lot of ASCE events in the Bay Area, not necessarily to learn the topic of the talk but to network with people. The networking is much easier when you speak the same language.

1 comment:

yalu said...

haha yeah it does seem like getting vegetables is a lot of work