Day two began with a morning breakfast. I was so fascinated with French cuisines, they do not eat rice unlike us Indonesians (well, obviously, duh). I tried so many foods for breakfast (Indonesian habit: trying out everything) I am not really used with their flavor of cheese, though. The hams were nice. Eggs? I didn’t see any difference. I also tried their creamy chocolate yoghurt (I don’t know the exact name, actually, but the texture is similar even though yoghurt is a bit sour) and it was nice.
At the hotel, we actually met another delegate from another country for the IChO!
We unpacked and then ordered some taxi to drive us to the real destination: Hotel CISP Kellermann! After arriving at the hotel, our electronics were taken and we separated with our mentors (goodbye phone 😥)
We won’t see our phone for five days! And so the torturing started. Good thing I brought a camera so I could still catch the memories.
21st July actually was still the arrival date, so the official schedule was nothing unless greeting teams who had just arrived. We were introduced to our rooms and instructed to put our luggage there. Since I was the only girl for the Indonesian delegate, I would be placed with another girl from another country. I was curious and a bit anxious, who would I be in a room with? Can I get along with that person?
I finally arrived at my room. I saw my roommate’s luggage: Korean name. She must be from Korea! But I hadn’t seen her yet. Maybe I would in a few moments. I decided to give the boys a visit. Good thing that their room is not very far from mine.
The rooms vary – there could be a room for two until eight people. The boys were in a room for three people. Firstly, Bayu was in a room with two delegates from France, while Winston and Danang were in a room with a delegate from France. Afterwards, they decided to switch rooms to not be awkward for the next ten days. Smart choice!
The boys’ room were actually very nice, there were two double beds along with a bed on top. Oh yeah, on the first day we got a calculator, along with a tote bag with the IChO logo printed on it. Inside the bag there were some little souvenirs, pH indicator (mine’s still perfectly new) and a book written by Oliver Sacks: Uncle Tungsten. Right after we got the calculator, we hurried and learned how to operate the thing – it was because there’s a difference between our calculator and the calculator given: we usually use the Casio, meanwhile they gave us Texas Instruments. Unlike other students, we stayed in our room and studied the calculator well. (Dasar makhluk-makhluk ambeez)
Every country was assigned a guide, a person who is responsible to watch and guide four of us while we were quarantined without our mentors. Our guide’s name was Hanifianti Nurrahmah. She is also Indonesian but is currently studying in France.
When I went back to my room, I was VERY surprised. I finally met my roommate and he is a BOY! I hurried to my guide and asked her to contact the committee and tell them that I want to switch rooms. And after that, the Korean boy left my room. I was quite curious, who would be my new roommate? And she was Mudita Goyal from India.
The committee provided the participants with some board games, as well as some light sports games, such as badminton, frisbee, and volleyball. We were so bored that we went downstairs and took something to play. We played frisbee and badminton. The daytime in Paris is way longer than the nighttime, so at 9 pm the sky is still bright.
After enjoying some badminton, we went to the restaurant and ate some dinner. The restaurant was like a canteen, taking trays and picking foods that we want to eat. There were an appetizer, main dish, and dessert. We Indonesians skipped appetizer, obviously haha! The main dish varied day by day, there were mashed potato, French fries, cuscus, rice (the structure was different tho, I miss Indonesian rice) for the carbohydrates. For the mineral water, there were pitchers made of metal so that we don’t have to go back and forth to the dispenser just for a glass of water.
Another interesting thing was, there were no toilets in the girls’ room. There were only showers, so we had to use the public toilet on every floor. Meanwhile, I checked the boys’ room, and there WAS a toilet! So not fair. Good thing that the tap water is drinkable, so we can refill our drinking bottle at any time.
The second day was a blast, I was still adapting to situations there but experiencing it was so much fun.
(to be continued in Part 3)