Yes yes we are in Jakarta!
I have received a number of messages asking why I have not put up a post regarding the P@SHA delegation’s visit to the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) in Jakarta. Hey guys we have been busy you know. We leave the hotel room at 7:15 a.m. for breakfast, work and network through the day, and don’t get done with dinner and coaching and rehearsing until very late. By this time we are all dead on our feet. Can’t even think about putting up a photo, let alone a post. However, it is a legitimate gripe by those cheering us on, so here goes.
I arrived in Jakarta on the night of November 11 from Hong Kong. It was a non-eventful flight – read a bit, watched “The Dark Knight” and dozed a little. Immigration in Jakarta took all of 30 seconds which was really a pleasant surprise after the hassle we had gone through in getting the visa. The baggage, however, was another story. Priority baggage took 25 minutes to arrive. Fortunately someone from the APICTA Secretariat was there to pick me up and whizz me off in a high-roof. It was dark already so I didn’t see much. The first impact was that the roads were wide and clean, there were no encroachments, no potholes, the traffic was smooth that night although generally traffic jams are the norm. I am visiting Jakarta after a long break so I really was surprised at how clean and developed it was – the flyovers, the toll gates, the skyscrapers. It was certainly not the Jakarta I remembered. I was very impressed.
People here are normally quite laid back and so it took them about an hour to check me into the Sultan Hotel where most of us are staying.The hotel is connected to the Jakarta Convention Centre where the APICTA event is taking place. It was midnight by the time I checked in. By the time I settled in, it was almost 2 am.
At 6 I got up, showered, changed, unpacked, had a quick bite to eat and then headed for the APICTA Exco meeting at 8:30 a.m. This was followed by the Judges’ briefing which was attended by Sultan Hamdani and myself. The other judges – Imran Zia, Nadeem Aslam Malik and Jawwad A. Farid had still not arrived so we had to pitch in for them at the briefing, and pick up their Judges’ folders. Nadeem and Imran were also made Head judges in different categories.
This was followed by the Opening Ceremony which started with a loud bang – no not fireworks, just the beating of a gong by a government dignitary from the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of the Republic of Indonesia.
This was followed by the sound of some drums which seemed to emanate from these very malnourished drummers🙂
We had a quick lunch which was very welcome indeed as I was starving by this time. The food was local and was extremely good.
Then followed the Economy Coordinators’ meeting – which was the third hat I was wearing. I went in for that briefing and was given the delegate bags for all our nominees, judges and Exco members.
The schedule and layout of the APICTA judging was discussed and we were given instructions on when and how to bring in nominees. They were to register half an hour prior to their judging slot during which time they could wait in the Waiting Area and check out their laptop connections with the Plasma screen which was a replica of the one in the judging rooms.
Ushers would then park the nominee outside the judging room 5 minutes prior to their presentation time.
We were taken for a round of the venue prior to being dismissed for the day. Actually we were given about half an hour to change and then head for the FX Tower which is supposedly “happening” place in town. The Welcome Reception was to take place there.
We had already decided that we would not be attending the reception because we had to work with our companies and ensure that they were on the right track vis-a-vis their product presentations. Talk about commitment! But more about that in the next post …
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