On January 21st-22nd, Faculty of Political Science of Thammasat University held their 6th annual Bangkok International Student Conference (BISC). I attended that conference and here’s my journey.
Jan 20th, 2019
Sunday - Arrival
I arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 5.15 pm. 20 minutes before the scheduled time. Head directly to immigration filled with many other non-Thai foreigners from all around the world. After immigration, I took my checked baggage and bought a SIM card so that I’d be able to use my phone here in Thailand. I was surprised at how the price differs enormously between the DMK airport and BKK airport.
The last time I went to Bangkok on November, I arrived at DMK airport and an unlimited internet package for 5 days was only around 170 THB. But now, I arrived in BKK (Suvarnabhumi Airport) and paid 299 THB for an 8 days unlimited internet package. Surprise surprise. Almost twice the price!
Then, I head directly to grab myself a Grab. I thank Grab’s decision to translate everything to English, even though most of the time the translation is — a lot — off from how it supposed to be. But when you’re in a foreign country, it’s the most helpful feature.
I went to the assigned hostel provided by the committee of BISC, The Secret Service Bed and Breakfast hostel. It’s a nice small hostel. The worst part? The stairs. Me, being the worst packer there is, had to bring the huge luggage to the 2nd floor. The good part? Rooftop Café and live music! How good is that? The best part? It’s a 5 minutes walk away to the legendary Khao San Road. Where you can find cheap souvenirs and street foods, and weird things that Thailand can possibly offer.
After I checked in and dropped my luggages in a room with 2 bunk beds (for 4 people), I went out to find food with Devara. A girl whom I’ve known through Facebook and we’ve talked quite a lot already. We walked through Khao San Road and finally, Devara made up her mind. She opted for — wait for it — McDonald’s.
After our short trip of adventure with Devara, we went back to our room and slept. I was feverish ever since the 17th.
Jan 21st, 2019
Monday - Day 1
I woke up at 5.30am when Devara’s alarm rang and woke everyone. Took a shower, makeup, then breakfast.
The breakfast provided by the hostel is decent enough. I had toasts and strawberry jam. There, we met many more new friends from many parts of the world (even though most attendees were Indonesians). The committee also gave us McDonald’s chicken burger for breakfast. Then we went to Thammasat University.
When me, Devara, Annie, and Hana arrived at Thammasat University, the taxi driver dropped us on the other side of the campus. So we had to walk and did our own little campus tour while we were actually lost and trying to find our way to the venue. But as what I always say, “When you travel, there’s no such thing as being lost, it’s all adventure”. Then finally, after asking around and giggling away our navigation problem, we finally found the way to the Faculty of Political Science, where they told us to register.
After everyone registered, the first thing that we did was a short activity for us to get to know everyone. Then, we had a short campus tour. Then, we had lunch. Thammasat University caters special foods for those who listed their name if they have any allergies or dietary restriction.
So they gave me halal food. Then after fun lunch, we went to our panel sessions where the delegates present their paper. I went to the “Democracy and Economic Development” panel. Then I went to the “Social Media and Voter’s Education” panel. We finished the day quite early. We finished at 5.30pm.
Devara and the other wanted to walk back, I chose to take the taxi as I was still feverish.
I went there and worked on some things, then dinner at the rooftop café, then Netflix, then I went to sleep at 8pm. Now we’re heading to Day 2.
Jan 22nd, 2019
Tuesday - Day 2
I woke up at 5.30am again. Took a shower, makeup, then brought our luggages to the lobby to checkout. We couldn’t have our breakfast there, because we didn’t have the time. Instead, we got our McDonald’s chicken burger at the venue, where all the committees looked more stressed than the day before.
After I checked the venue, I understood why. They invited some presses for the second day panel, the dean was there, and the panelists were 6 young representatives from 6 parties, that will ‘hopefully’ have their election this year (2019).
The session was broadcasted live too. It was very interesting to get a glimpse of Thailand’s politics.
Then after all that, we had lunch by the riverside.
After that, we had a workshop-discussion-debate kinda thing. Then we watched one depressing movie about Mr. Moore who was teaching representative democracy. Then after everything ended, we went to the Gala Dinner.
The gala dinner was held beautifully outdoor by the riverside. There were three bands performing and one group of Thai-style cheerleader. We also had a gift-exchange time where people got to exchange gifts and souvenirs they had from their home country.
The series of events were closed by taking tons of group photos of the delegates, observers, and committees. I went to Royal Rattanakosin Hotel right after that because I felt sick.
And that, was the end of Day 2 and BISC 2019. I hope to see them all again next year.
Jan 23rd, 2019
Wednesday - Departure
I woke up at 7.30am, ate breakfast, prepped up, checked out, and went to DMK airport to catch my 3pm flight.
I’m writing this on my laptop, on my way back to Jakarta, Indonesia.