After struggling to follow the negotiations, I decided to move on to explore the outside world of Hall 6 (LOL).
My routines on the second week were more exciting. I only managed to roam through a few halls throughout my entire first week. My second week’s focus was Hall 4, a very ‘happening’ hall.
Same as first week, 9.00am was the waking time of COP21. I attended side events in Hall 4, most of them were in the “silent” mode. All participants were required to put on headphones and listened to the speaker through a “silent’ microphone. So almost no voice could be heard from the outside. You only listen the presentation from the headphones.
When I have the time, I roamed around the NGO booths (spotted the Facebook booth) in Hall 4 and country’s pavilion in Hall 2 & 3 (COP21 Hack#5: freebies are hidden in many of the booths or pavilions!). Quite a number of the pavilions have their own list of events going on. Some of them even prepare refreshments, if you know what I meant *winks* (COP21 Hack#6). I was amazed by their grand decoration s- of course it depends on the country’s budget too. You can see the trend from these big countries’ pavilion like India (total win, their water feature grab a lot of attention), USA, Germany, China, Korea, French etc. Malaysia do not have a pavilion by the way, in case you are wondering.
In second week, I swore to myself to get myself proper meal everyday, so I have my lunches in Hall 4’s restaurant; or at this soup stall opposite Hall 4 that I visited like 5 times – definitely one of my favourite! Throughout the afternoon sessions, apart from side events such as forums and press conferences, I attended daily NGO meetings, witnessed several actions/mobilisations; and I guess the most exciting one would be “Fossil of The Day” which happened every day at 6.00pm in Hall 4’s climate studio! It was an initiative by CAN, to give out “award” and recognition in an entertaining way to countries whom they think performed badly and worth praising in the previous day in COP21. I have also managed to witness how a live reporting looks like from the media working space in Hall 4!
Oh, and I found a heaven in COP21- the RELAXATION ROOM & MEDITATION ROOM (COP21 Hack#7)! Thank God for sweet organizer, taking into account the need of stressful participants to rejuvenate in a designated space.
I have been going in and out between blue and green zone in my second week for different purposes. Green Zone, aka the Climate Generation Area, is around 10 minutes walk (under the freezing temperature PLUS strong wind), but luckily with friendly COP21 volunteers along the way to kinda cheer me up by greeting me with smile ;D Green Zone is opened to public, thus with tighter security check. So imagine if my daily schedule needs me to travel from blue to green then back to blue, I have to go through 3 times of security check (!!! COP21 hack #8: Plan your schedule properly to avoid unnecessary travelling and hassle).
This place is another world. Everything here was much more casual and relaxing, more youthful as well!
Loving the colours and energy here. There were mainly organisation booths here, with similar facilities as in blue zone but in a slightly smaller scale- press conference room, media space, open working space, cafeteria, and event rooms as well. I came here mostly for bilateral meetings with other countries’ youth climate coalition; then one time to perform Sumazau Dance at the Asia Indigenous People Pact booth; and another time for an interview. But sadly, it was all for work. I didn’t actually have time to look around green zone properly 🙁
In a nutshell, I think I have fully utilized my 2 weeks in COP21 to explore and experience the main places and facilities here. I would have to admit this saying that COP is a circus. Indeed! If you were to attend the next COP, hope this daily routine sharing provides you a better picture on what’s happening in COP, and act as a good start pointer to plan on your journey 🙂