And then I went to Indonesia to collect my World TV award for the Doco/ drama I made for FBC TV called A Day At the Beach and to attend the Asia Media Summit.
What an awesome experience. You know I've always wanted to travel and more so I've always wanted to travel to Asia. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to take part in a work shop in Malaysia which was a country I've been longing to visit.
I flew into Indonesia through Sydney and then through Singapore which was awesome because I've always wanted to visit Singapore as well. I got spend twelve hours there and though it late when I got with me being very tiered (it was a total of 11 hours flying and 4 hours waiting at Sydney Airport before I got there) I was eager to explore.
The city was amazing - the first thing that struck me was how clean and fresh everything looked. Even for a city that was towering and bright there was a certain air of "zen" about the whole thing. And I use the word zen not because of some hipster connotation to it - but because it just had a great sense of balance to it.
I didn't do much shopping in Singapore though because I was saving my money for my final destination. I did however buy some very awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures that I have come to love dearly.
When I got into Manado, Indonesia I thought I knew what to expect. I had saw some pictures of it online and was looking forward to a up and coming tourist town, instead I arrived in a place that was in very early stages of development. In fact despite the tall buildings and enormous number of fast food joints - my home city Suva here in Fiji was actually more modern that it.
On my first night I met up with my CEO who was also there for the Asia Media summit and the two us decided to hit the town. We walked around for about three hours before we decided to just have dinner and head back to our hotels.
I stayed at the Swiss Bell Hotel which was about 2km away from anything interesting in Mando, it had very friendly staff and the place looked great. The food was pretty awesome as well - though a little on the expensive side for our Fijian dollars. Though the Indonesian dollar is a little on the low side of the exchange rate, they make up for it by making most things very expensive.
The next day I attended a work shop on "The Medias role during a pandemic" which was very interesting. I was very grateful that I had played the Android game Plague Inc because a lot of what I had learned from it actually came in handy. In fact I even suggested that the participants at the work shop check it out.
The work shop was a relief for me because I was suppose to do a talk as well on "How media can help raise awareness on sustainable development" - so I saw the 30 or so people in this work shop and though - I can do this.
The next day I found out that I was actually speaking in the "main convention room" to a Broadcasting crowd of about 300 to 350 people >_<
The next day was the big award day - I was asked to sit somewhere in the front so that it would be easier for me to go up to collect the award. The days events started about 9:30am and the awards were at 12:30pm.
I don't know why but I was very nervous even though I already knew that I had won.
Before they called me up they had all the judges come up and talk about what thy liked or what they saw in "A day at the Beach" and to hear all their thoughts was a surreal feeling for me. I've often talked about all the little themes and messages I've found in movies and to have people dissect something I wrote and planned was interesting. I was pleased that a few of the nods I had put in hadn't gone unnoticed. One judge had picked up on my T.S Elliot reference and a few others saw drew some really deep ideas from it.
As I collected the award I was so damn excited that I stood there speechless, though I had prepared a speech I didn't get to read it because of some kind of error on the organizers part. But they apologized after but I didn't mind.
Later that afternoon I met with my fellow panelists to discuss our talk/ presentation.
When it was time to be up on stage I soon became quit comfortable about it. As I heard the panelists talk i knew I had prepared something interesting enough. My contribution to it was more from a production standpoint. How to make programs on any kind of awareness more engaging for the viewer. Coming up with concepts, looking at budgets, considering the mulch-platofroms of new media to get the info out.
A consultant for UNEP and a man who has become a good friend of mine did a nice little blog post about my talk which you can read here. I was pleased that a lot of people enjoyed my talk saying that it was very "practical and real". Which is all I ever wanted it to be.
That night I did an interview on Radio 24 which is a Malaysian station. I talked about my award and what it was like starting off as a radio host before moving in to TV and film production. Later I got a call from a friend I mad on my trip named Chandra, who
was from India. He and another cool guy i met named Adam were keen on
hitting the night life a bit. So I though "what the heck"
We ended up going to a karaoke bar which was on the basement
level of the hotel I was staying at. i walked into the place with a live
band screaming out Nirvana's Smells like teen spirit. I was loving the
place already. I had a few drinks and stayed for a little over an hour
before I decided I'd better get some sleep. 2am in Manado was 6am Fijian
for me - and I hadn't totally adjusted to the time difference.
Thursday was the last day of the summit which was wrapped up pretty early so I spent the day with the new friends I had made and just pretty much saying good byes. Bye to Adam and Debasmita, two very awesome people I have to keep in touch with.
That night Chandra and I chit chatted over whiskey and snacks he had brought from India before I head off to bed.
I left Manado at about 1 in the afternoon and took the same route back home through Singapore and Sydney. The flight out of Manado was made interesting cause I got sit next to a very nice young lady from Capetown. Conversations always make the journey better. I hadn't bought anything else on the trip so I picked up some books in Singapore.
I was so pleased to be home after the crazy long flight. Nothing beats Fiji man...