o it all began. It may sound as a cliché, but the BBICC anticipation simply became overbearing the day before. Yes, the anticipation was filled with exuberance, but essentially, it was just waiting for the real thing to start.
8:40 a.m. The scheduled time for HKUST team to land. Although they were a bit late, my fellow ambassador Bogdan, who was waiting for his team from Porto, amused me with his signature sense of humour. I was constantly coming across a few things in my mind. Is there going to be a hindrance in our communication? Will I fulfill my ambassador duties in a conscientious manner? Time went by so slowly…
9:30 a.m. (this is very tentative since I wasn’t really checking the time when…) …my team arrived! I couldn’t help noticing the team advisor, Emily, first. She was smiling and radiating pure poise and gracefulness. I immediately greeted all of them and subsequently handed out the flower bouquet to Emily. Now, onto the guys… Although some of them were a bit reserved at first, we all got chatting in no time! Nonetheless, we had to split afterwards in two cars, so I got to be only in Emily’s company until we arrived at our hotel, Radisson Blu Old Mill. Little did I know – the urban eclectic architecture of New Belgrade got pretty peculiar for someone living in a metropolis that is Hong Kong!
12 a.m. By now the team has checked in and splurged on some Serbian goodies in the local supermarket, meaning this is the time they got introduced to its Majesty– Rakija! The introduction proceeded further at the cocktail. Meanwhile, we also got some pastries. I left them to have a much needed rest, realising they had a long haul flight.
6:15 p.m. It was just about cocktail time. We met at the lobby a little bit earlier and started to chat with the other teams and ambassadors. I felt that the cocktail hall has become such a talent nest in a blink of an eye, with all the sharp minds brought together in the same place. The feeling was too good to be true. The thing is it wasn’t just about business topics or competition details, no, not at all. We were all talking like we’ve known each other for ages; with no obstacles whatsoever. Now that’s the genuine beauty and charm of this one-of-a-kind experience.
10 p.m. Quiz time! Now it was about time to propel our new friendships to a whole new level. We went to an organised quiz party in a bar located in Belgrade’s hip street, Cetinjska. It was really nostalgic to compete in our rather millennial knowledge of recognising the hit songs of 2000s etc… I got to meet the other teams as well, since we were all mixed up. In the end, after the day finished, I thought how it went by so fast, but also I was very curious about the next days. How are they going to look like? Will they beat day one? We’ll see if tomorrow’s adventure day outperforms this one!