Thursday, July 12, 2007



It's my first ever international tournament and it happened to be held in Malaysia by the debating society of Universiti institute Teknologi Mara (UiTM), whom I always have good impression about their capability in organizing tournaments, really. Participants came from pan-australasia region, to name a few -- China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, California, Bangladash, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. There were more than 100 teams and 90 adjudicators took part in this tournament and we stayed in Holiday Villa Subang Resort, a 5-star hotel, from 2nd July till 9th July 2007.

On 2th July, the registration day, we arrived around 12 noon at the hotel. After filling in some forms required by the organizing committee, we hanged around to wait for checking in at 2pm as we were told. Sadly to say, ever since the first task was -delayed-. We waited 30 min and another 30 min and maybe another 1 before we got to check in to our rooms. And we WERE the lucky ones because there were people who needed to wait for even longer than us to get their rooms. At first, we got only 1 triple room for 5 people, 3 males and 2 females. Of course, I was quite surprise, how could UiTM not understand it's not a very "Malaysian" thing to mix boys and girls in a same room although we understand every word of "to cut cost". Hence, we tried to ask the committee again about this, see if there's any extra room. To cut things short, we managed to get another room, which was meant for us at the first place, just a little mixed up at the counter. Still, we undrestand very well at how things can happen at the very first day of tournament. Besides, I believe it's the hotel's problem in managing this, not the committee, because it's very usual for customers to check out around 11 am or 12 noon and hotel has around 2 hours to do housekeeping before another customer check in. Puh-lease, it's a 5-STAR hotel ok? You have 300+ customers to check in that day didn't mean that you also have 300+ customers to check out on that day per se.

After checking in, we rested in our own rooms, while waiting for the pool party at 8pm. I was pranked by Sek Kuan and Jerry who called from their room to mine and pretended to be someone else on the phone. First call was from Sek Kuan. I was already fast asleep when the phone next to me rang. I picked it up without realising he's on the line. I must have been too blurred to recognize his voice. He said someone complaint that we're too noisy in my room and asked us (salwa and I stayed together) to slow down our volume. I was shocked. "Huh..?" At the same time, I saw the TV was on, so I thought Salwa must've turned the volume a little too high when I was asleep. I knew she was watching TV before I fell asleep. Then he went on to ask us why we were there. That's a stupid question, how could a manager or receptionist ask about our private stuff like this? But yea, I was blurr enough to answer him: "debat." I know, I'm the kind of person who's easy to be tricked and naive enough to answer these question honestly. Finally, he reminded me again not to be too noisy and -for my information- there's an old man staying next door. The sense of humour just hit me and I suddenly had the feeling that it's them who made the call! But I wasn't sure, so just remained "yes, yes." and fought down the effort to laugh becuase who knows it'll be real that an old man next door was troubled by our "noisiness" by right the TV volume wasn't that high anyway and I was fast asleep.

After i hanged up, I resumed my sleep. I wasn't very please with their act because I must not be disturbed whenever I'm asleep. Sometimes if I can fall asleep again, then it'd be fine, but when I can't, that means I'm going to have headache for the rest of the night and my attention can be deviated away easily. Soon enough, Jerry called. I've guessed it got to be him when the phone rang the second time and yea, this time I could recognize his voice. But I didn't spoil it. He pretended as someone from UiTM reminding us to be punctual for the pool party tonight. I just answered "OK" with my very sleepy tone and hanged up. And wondered if Jun Hoe'd join in their prank, which is no prank to me. I was seriously disturbed by that time and I started to feel the throbbing in my head. No. Jun Hoe didn't do this, as I expected. He is mature enough I guess. During the pool party only he told me I was pranked twice.

Around 8pm, only I reluctantly dragged myself up to change. I was eager to meet other participants, at first. I was really looking foward to socialise with them. But due to disturbed sleep, I wasn't in the mood anymore. Yet I still tried to enjoy the party. It was my first ever pool party too, and everyone was gay(happy) there, I knew keeping a straight face would do me no good. Honestly, I quite enjoyed the party too, talked to several people, exchanged names with new people and shook hand with some charming guys :-) Jerry complemented that I did a fairly good job as PR for UKM team, ha. We stayed at the party until 11pm + before we decided to call it a night after we have prep talk in my room.

On 3rd July, we had briefing for debaters and adjudicators, and also a test for adjudicators. The test was quite OK for me. After the test, we went back and Jerry attended the AIDA meeting as UKM representative. At night, we attended the official opening ceremony for this tournament and watched the puppet shadow show (wayang kulit) for the first time. The music and culture were there, but because they wanted to use English in the show, I found it quite annoying because one couldn't really appreciate the usual language they use, Bahasa Malaysia. Jun Hoe agreed that they could have use BM in the show and at the same time, add the subtitle on the screen. But, well, maybe even the UiTM didn't know what plot they wanted to play.

On 4th July, the third day, only the debating rounds started. It wasn't a pleasant day, because after the first round, we waited for very long before Hafiedz came in to tell us that there was a "bug" in the tab system and hence they had to do all the tab manually. Great. Manually. Finally, the second round, and then the third round, which started at 9pm if not mistaken. The team had 2-1 after the 3 rounds. As for me, I think I was climbing up the ladder slowly for the first day. For the first round, my name wasn't there on the tab, hence they put me as a traineee with Hafiedz so he can evaluate me personally, I guessed. Sek Kuan was a panelist during the first round. Hafeidz, the Chief Adjudicator (CA), of course will be placed in a room where good debate could be expected. I was really pressurred during my first round because it wasn't an easy round and yet if I didn't do good, i'd be placed in boring room for the next round, or worse, remained as a trainee. I couldn't believe my eyes when I couldn't find my name on the tab during the first round, I really couldn't believe they'd put me as a trainee because as the DCA discussed the adjudicator test with us, I was relieved because I did answer them correctly according to their answers. But never mind, I think God place me as a trainee during the first round was to humble myself before I thought I am wise in my own eyes. For both the second and third round, however, I was a Chair with panelists! And also in better room with better speakers. I was contended.

On 5th July, we only had 2 rounds of debate, thank God! The "manual" tab system was really driving everyone mad with long waiting hours. Between the rounds, there was a women's forum. Pretty boring to me. Sometimes I think women asked for too much though..It's good we fight for equal rights to education and voting and be respected in previously decades, but affirmative action for 1/3 of top debating teams from a particular institution must be female and "lack of experience" must not be used as an excuse to be excepted from any punishment was not a thing I agree, when you take into consideration of insufficient funding from your institution and result from the tournament is a must when return, then that's different story from fighting for equal rights. This day I didn't really enjoy my adjudication. The first room was good, I didn't even mind to be a panelist to be in that room. But the second room was quite disappointing, slightly below average, and I was a panelist in that room. I wonder how did my Chair grade me in previous round. That night, we attended a semi-formal dinner with women's debate session. I didn't really enjoy the dinner because the dinner was served late ( I hate late dinner ) and..someone wasn't there. The team had 2-1, total 3-2.

On 6th July, final 3 rounds with the final two rounds as silent rounds. These two silent round contributed partly to our disaster which I'll explain here later. The team was 4-2 before the silent round. As for the silent rounds, they think they did fairly well, with slightly more confident in the last (8th) round. As for me, I was still a panelist for the first round of the day, some more in a thrashing round! I really wonder what's the problem with them! However, I was placed as a Chair with panelist in an average room for the second round because the original Chair for the room wasn't around during the adjudicator role call. Fine. But for the 8th round, I was placed as a SINGLE CHAIR! Now it didn't matter which room I was in, as long as this spell " Only me can make the decision for this room! " I hope so, ha. And the team was glad for me. Jun Hoe actually tapped my back like a proud father, ha! That night, we have our Break Night Dinner at Sunway Lagoon. The place setting was superb, but I didn't really enjoy it because I always hate late dinner. I am not exagerating when I say our dinner was served late. Or you prefer to call it morning? because I had my dinner at 12 mid night, with tea served around 7pm + . I was so tired after the 3 rounds and long waiting hours in between that I could just skip dinner and doze off on bed before I forced myself to shower and change for the dinner. As the result announced, we noticed that we didn't break for both debater and adjudicator categories. Suppose they got 4-4 and missed the break. I was too tired and numbed to feel the sadness. But I knew both Salwa and Jun Hoe were very sad ( of course! ), Jerry wasn't there for the dinner. He's sick. They started to talk about the two silent rounds. They were pretty sure they should have won the 8th round and make them 5-3 to be eligible to break into semi for English as Second Language (ESL) category. Hence they decided to consult their adjudicator for that round before referring the adjudication core.

On 7th July, Jerry and I attended the AIDA council meeting together. Again, its's a boring meeting, though I get to talk to a chraming guy from Monash University from Australia name Victor who studies music and now taking trumpet as his instrument. Interesting. We also voted for the institution who bid to organise Australs the next year. Ate Neo University from Philipine won the bid over Monash University. Surely Victor was sad. I tried to talk to Tim ( one of our DCA from Monash) about the result of the breaking teams but he said it's not the right time to talk about it yet for we were still in the meeting. That night we had beach party (at night? yea..) served with satay. It's quite a relaxing day though, with humour round to entertain us and later kicking water towards each other at the man-made beach. I miss the feeling of beach under my sole like during my childhood but I still can't buy the idea of man-made beach. Only a part of the beach is with sand you see. But overall, I did enjoy my night. Because someone was there to laugh at our secret joke about this dispropotionate handsome guy with me. Still, the urgency to meet the related adjudicator hasn't hit us.

On 8th July, as planned, we had our main stream octo final before ESL semi and later, main strean quarter final. We managed to meet the adjuds for their silent rounds before the ESL started and got the adj core especially hafeidz panic. They knew something had gone wrong yet none of them wanted to stop the round before the conflict was solved. The adjud for the 8th round told us very firmly that she gave the win to us, hence making us undoubtly 5-3, yet Lucia (anoher DCA) told us that after going through the score sheets, we were proven 4-4. Later as they went through it again, they realised that it's the chair for the 3rd round wrote the wrong winnig team in her score sheet although she gave the correct score for both teams in that very round. Hafiedz had kicked the chair out from breaking into semi due to this mistake of hers, but nothing can compensate back our chance of standing a chance for the ESL. Hafiedz even blamed that it was US who were too late in telling him this mistake. EXCUSE ME? Who got their tab system entered by bug at the first palce? Who didn't check the score sheet before entering the scores at the first place? Who was too PROUD to acknowledge his own mistake to stop the ESL semi final from proceeding when by right he KNEW there was a conflict at hand and by making things on hold can actually cover your mistake better since no harm done? It's even heartaching to see the undeserve team to enter the final round, which they did. I really regreted as Hafeidz said that we were too late to discover this mistake for I did mention to Tim about discussing the result of the breaking teams with him. I should've insisted on this issue after the meeting. I was too eager to head back our rooms after the meeting. God knows why. I told Jun Hoe honestly about this. I really felt strongly for the team for this conflict. Sad when they announced that they didn't break, panic when we sensed the mistake was not a simple mistake, frustrated when at the end, there's nothing we could do as the ESL had started.It's my first time to cry in a guy's arms like this. Thanks Jun Hoe. It should in stead be me comforting you guys for this. I wasn't even the one debating. Well, hafeidz also promised to write a letter of acknowledgement of our -supposedly- break and announce the new ranking, if not public apology. Don't try to deny, Hafiedz, you have 4 witnesses who heard this. It's still acceptable if you say this things just slipped your mind, -if- you are humble enough.

He did none even until the prize giving ceremony, which was the last formal function of this tournament. Jun Hoe asked us to look for Hafeidz for his "announcement on new ranking" before he got away. I was the one who went to ask for "public apology", which of course he has no balls, oops, I mean no guts, to acknowledge it. He then said that if we want public apology or anything, we could've told him earlier so that he can arrange it into the schedule for the night. Moron. A wise person who's done a mistake should know how to apologise or at least, to handle this without us telling or reminding him that he -needs- to do such thing, and not sweeping it under the carpet. Let's just forgive him for not being clever enough to know how to spell "wise", our Chief Adjudicator from UiTM.

After that, Hafeidz demanded to talk to Jun Hoe. He accused Jun Hoe for letting us to "humiliate" him in front of others. EXCUSE ME again! I bet no one notice what had happened around him when Salwa and I walked up to him before the crowd scattered. They were either too joyful or frustrated for the result of grand final or too busy discussing with each other about the debate itself than paying this CA who made them wait for hours between rounds any attention. Jun Hoe was very angry as Hafiedz walked away after saying such nasty things to him. It was my first time to see him in such anger, because he used the word F*** for the first time ever in front of us. I was very upset as I saw him like this. I wished I could share the burden on his shoulder and take away the anger in his heart. I kept praying "Lord, please, not on Jun Hoe, he's the nicest guy I ever seen, please don't do this to him..May You calm his heart and lift the burden on his shoulder, let me carry them instead, Lord, let me share his burden.." Soon enough, we got a message from Ai Huey, telling us that Hafeidz sent her a message telling us off as being rude to him " to ask for public apology from him" ( yea, it's rude when you know that someone's too proud to apology) and he will write a letter to our UKM deputy vice cansellor to complain about this. Good, now no more letter of acknowledgement but letter of complain. Thanks, Cher Linn. I felt so stupid.

After everything considered cooled down, Alia decided for us to have a coffee at starbuck when Salwa and Jun Hoe decided to look for AIDA council's new president to settle this matter. By the time they were back in Statbuck, everyone was quite settled and sane. They'll talk to En.Haikal or whoever admin the next day. Alia and Fea left to take Alia's car from her house to fectch us back before we held our last prep talk. I kept scolding myself (in my heart) for being stupid ever since I was in Starbuck. And I threw this out during our last prep-talk. I felt so bad, to be stupid and get the entire UKM english debating team pay for this cost (wait till they get the letter) plus, to see someone being so worn out after this issue is heartaching.

After this, Alia sent me back KTSN before sending them back hotel and hence the end of my first time ever international debate tournament experience.

I believe there is a purpose behind all these commotion. I have gained quite a lot by merely adjudicating, not to mention *ahem* the times I met with charming guys across the region. Also, the time we spent together as UKM contingent, small yet close. I cherish every moment as a psrt of journey in life. This tournament has made me grown up whether I like it or not, to look at the ugly sides of human beings, at how they can treat everyone nice in front and treat some badly secretly. Also to see how a team can reach final when by right they were not even deserve to break into semifinal at the first place. Learnt to deal with people who love smoking and drinking so much and bear with them. Learnt to look at my own feelings and experience how emotions can roar. Learnt to confess to my true self that this time, I really fall hard into someone and at how I can taste the sweetness when he was just merely present there and appreciated him so much that he need not do anyhthing purposely to draw me to him. I shall write no more, even though I never expect he'd read my blog anyway.

"Why do I need to look around, when the special someone is just sittng next to me?" was the sentence pop up in my mind when he ask me if I've noticed any cute guys during the tournament. Yes, that's the reason why I kept telling him about the disproportionate guy whom he claimed to be "quite good looking". Checking out a guy is a very superficial thing. I however, wish to know him more, and that's it. No need cute guys. He is cute enough for me, with his baby face, yet mature enough with the way he stood up for us and took up the responsibility to lead the team, and reliable enough to know we are safe whenever he's around.


juz call me wen... said...

Hi... this is the first time i visited your blog. Nice writing there, and undoubtedly very revealing. :) I think, with my strong intuition, i know who your crush is... haha.

Anyway, i wish you good luck! Bygones are bygones, no matter how painful they may be. You may say GOD has his purpose, and every challenges bears within itself a good lesson to learn. So, this is a process.

There is no right or wrong in life, but it is important to remember, everything you do, makes an impact on the outcome. Somebody once told me, if you don't believe in yourself, how do I believe in you?


cher linn said...

*grin*that's the reason why i dare to tell you about my blog -- because you will always keep my secret for me. and it's always great to share things with you :-)

khai hong said...

wow...for once, ur blog is rather abandoned. suddenly it was filled with a lengthy post ! haha..

anyway, some people say "you don't fall, you don't grow"

cheers !!

cher linn said...

hi khai hong

thanks for dropping by :-)
ya, i heard of that saying too*grin*

see you around