Many of my friends and family members are really curious on what exactly I am busying about in COP21. Why am I always on-the-run? Why did I sometimes skip my meals? What exactly is happening within COP21? All the 5W1H questions goes on and on and on. I bet many of you out there are curious about what I did too, so I thought of sharing it in a daily routine form. Enjoy!
After overcoming the jet-lag in a few days, I finally managed to feel alive. Normally, all negotiations meetings and side events in both Blue and Green Zone stared at 9am, and it took 45 minutes to reach Le Bourget on time, including the traffic; that explains why my breakfast is always on-the-run (especially in cases when overslept). Speed walking while transferring through the busy metro is a norm in Paris every morning. You will hear a lot of “pardon” (sorry in French) or “excuse moi” (excuse me) in metro. And there I went, taking the final RER-B train from Gare Du Nord station to Le Bourget station.
Accredited personnels to COP21 were all provided a free access transport card within COP21 period for all public transportation. That sped up our travelling a lot. A shuttle bus from the Le Bourget metro station to the COP21 venue was available and the average shuttle bus travelling period was about 15 minutes but If you were here during peak hour, good luck and have fun 😛
The most tiring part was when everyone squeezed into the bus and the bus tightly packed with human flesh of all sizes and flavors was stuck in a severe traffic congestion. ughhhhhhhhhhh! The marination of homo sapiens at its finest. (COP21 Hack#1: use the shuttle bus during non-peak hour)
Last stop before OFFICIALLY entering COP21 was the infamous security check. SECURITY SCAN is a pain in the a** seriously. It was all done by their very own UN securities. We were asked to separate our electronic devices (that’s okay); winter coats (that’s okay too) but the most, MOST ANNOYING PART was the liquid part. They wanna checked through all the liquid that was to be brought in, yes even H2O WATER. You would be asked to drink a sip of your water to show that it is really water.
Oh well, this tighten security was expected after the attack, so deal with it. Then, you can finally proceed to the legendary COP21 venue!! Welcome! Bievenue! (You gotta scan your name tag’s barcode for facial verification before entering, that’s the final step actually)
Oh by the way, Carrefour is kind enough to distribute free apples to all COP21 visitors/participants at the entrance every morning (COP21 Hack#2: arrive early to grab the free apples).
The breeze welcomes you after the final barcode scan; coming up with Climate Action Network (CAN) volunteers distributing ECO newsletter to you (COP21 Hack#3: you can get soft copy of the newsletter too, save paper and save space in your baggage); then tadaaa- that’s where the different routine came in.
In my first week, I mostly followed the nerd tract- negotiations. So my immediate destination was always Hall 6 (where all the meeting rooms were). I would pre-checked the meetings/plenaries I plan to attend, which I could do it on the big screen CCTV (They call it the climate change TV?, not sure though) for latest schedule. Then I would spent almost my whole day just in Hall 6, except meal time. Not even kidding. Meetings were normally back-to-back, each took approximately 2 hours. Walking from Hall 6 to the restaurants/cafeteria took me 10 minutes to and fro; so sometimes I just ‘tapao’. Occasionally, meetings ended way into the night so my first week here was literally like, camping in Hall 6. Oh wait, I did went to another hall where the plenary was. The setting of the plenary hall was, oh so grand! With very efficient translators who translated INSTANTLY in all UN languages. Fun fact: I actually tried to switch to Chinese translation channel (it’s adjustable if you are wearing headphones) and found out the translators were translating in emotionless way compare to the English translators.
Overall, my daily routine in Week 1 was quite hectic because I was just drowning myself into the negotiations- flying here and there trying not to miss any of the meetings worth attending. Finally I couldn’t tahan any more, I fell sick :/ (COP21 hack # 4: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND GET ENOUGH REST) I guess I should slow down a bit next week.
Written by: Emily
Edited by: Wanji