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and for the umpteenth time...
 
Monday, July 31, 2006  
The 2006 Asian Medical Students' Conference Hong Kong has come to an end, and I am finally recovering from the sleep debt I've accumulated in the past week. The theme was Tobacco- its burden on health and society; sounds so non-medical to outsiders, common-sense right? Right, if it's so easy why haven't we solved the problem already 50 years ago. This is where the Dogs and Demons concept comes in (and that's the name of a book I read this summer). Imagine we have gathered a group of people who cannot draw at all, we asked them to draw one demon and one dog; you would expect that dogs are easier to draw. WRONG. A dog is something that we see almost everyday, it is so easy to tell whether a dog is welldrawn or not; as for a demon, everybody can pretty much draw something scary and it will probably look pretty scary, demons are not something we see everyday (hoepfully lol). Totobacco is something that I see everyday, something that I have grown to be so numb about; in fact I was perhaps the only person in the Council that thinks that the conference theme was too generic. well, yes and no.
The conference has been such an utterly humble experience, that I had to learn from the obvious. we see anti-cancer treatment progressing everyday, but for anti-tobacco it's still the same o-nicotine patches since the 70s. I think for the big one thing we forgot to do during this conference was to ask people to be humble, the focus should be to learn from the obvious. like I said, if it's so easy why haven't we solved the problem already. Originally I planned to talk about this at the survival talk on the first day, but the mics didn't work and I was too frustrated standing in front of 400 strangers I just wanted to get the essential facts across. Have you ever been on stage begging people to sit down and shut up? I have. I had to start in a polite way, proceed to some neutrality, and then a bit of threat and end with some candies.
There were times I had been so grumpy I could see myself burning on stage. I could remember how rude I was to those AMDA doctors from taiwan, cuz their thumbdrive was only 128Mb and we needed a 1Gb to transfer the files they requested. I could remember how rude I was to the indonesian and malaysian RCs when I was completely fed up with sorting out their Halal issues. I still think that I was right because their delegates did not register properly so we were unable to prepare that much Halal food. I was angry because I saw them shouting at vivian when they dared not shout at me cuz im a guy, I was angry because the DW and HR people didn't even have a seat when some other people used their bags to occupy empty seats.
The reason why amsa-hk received so many complaints was that everybody had a great expectation of Hong Kong. They were all thinking Hong Kong was supposed to be the most sweatless place after Japan. They are pretty right, if they could pay, if we were allowed to charge more. A lot of the problems came from venues, especially the places we lived at: CUHK hostels. It is simply imposslbe to find a place that accomodates 450 people for a week at USD10 per night. For once we have at least tried YMCA and the hostels on Sasoon road.
I was the programme director, so i was destined to take all the hits, because everything can be under Programmes. From transport to food, from airconditioning to lectures, from VIP reception to furniture booking. I don't know what's wrong but sometimes people just think that you're stupid. "have I not thought about that? I'm human too" you guys might have seen me swearing with my lips in the middle of a sentence, or turned away from the mic and groaned.
The amount of physical exertion was something that I didn't expect. phil and me had been moving all those supplies off the building on the truck off the truck and into the building. we were the 2 out of 4 mobilizable people during the conference. we were both fed up, and i have never seen phil so frustrated before, he's a person that can take things really really well. he has the whole academic program on his shoulders, and the best i could do was to take care of absolutely everything else. i have never seen lydia and yq so stressed before either, they had to cope with all those missing and overslept people, they had to phone up all GMs one by one there's a change of plans, they were in rm235 most of the time, and that's where the spinal tracts of this conference terminate.
I owe a big thank you to so many people, apart from the PD, to whom I've already written something personal (joanna joyce ophelia phil ray). I need to thank especially DW and HR dept, angela eleanor yq lyd vivian. i need to thank PDIT for making those awesome videos non stop for 50hrs karson steward cynthia. i need to thank PR for the money(!!) and managing the ever changing VIP list athena fiona samuelsiu. and i need to thank a coupla GMs that have helped so much jj nick michael, a coupla OCs ahyip michelle coral. also need to thank eric, who has to look normal on stage when he knew everything was not OK. and to victor oscar and clara who has to be schizophrenic with her role in the conference, to dominic who has been another person out of the 4 mobilizable people in the whole conference, thank you for being with us.
i need to thank everyone who has been part of this conference, everything would have been a monkey show without you.

trapped in the maze of time..8:22 PM


 
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