Or BISMUN 2012 for short. This was to be my 3rd BISMUN, my 9th conference and my final external conference. I spent the week before the conference convinced that I would forget something, unable to quite figure out what it was that made my suitcase so full yet it still seem unnervingly as if I had not remembered to take something important. My dad, as usual, was no help suggesting "Brain and common sense" as two things that I may have forgotten and to ensure I remembered. Regardless of pre-conference nerves, which I was not used to, I was brimming with excitement as I finally tore off my CCF kit after our BGI (Biennial General Inspection - something that finally put to bed the "biannual/biennial" debate, with the latter meaning every two years) and headed to the coach park to begin our complicated coach, train, tube and train journey to Bath.
We already knew we'd miss lobbying and a very young Habs team of delegates made their way to Strada for dinner having successfully navigated London's underground system and safely made it to Bath having only lost Ashwin twice. Strada brings back very awkward memories for me as my lack of subtleness struck once more as I may have inadvertently called two women lesbians. Anyway, with the staff locating us away from any other customers on the second floor, I was saved from myself and we ordered our food. This, for some reason, made me incredibly happy and in the lull between the main course/dessert and getting the bill I managed to be in hysterics for about 45 minutes. Nothing particularly funny was said either - I made a terrible knock knock joke which prompted Daniel to attempt one. "Knock knock" - Daniel..."Come in" - Raph. I found my comic genius simply hilarious and spent the next 45 minutes trying in vain to stop laughing out loud. Dan eventually told me the joke, but I can only remember how funny I found my "come in" comment and can't, for the life of me, remember the joke.
We finally made it to the Premier Inn, where we were very disappointed to learn that Lenny Henry was not going to be staying. I was delighted to get my first hug of the conference and amazed that this hug resulted in my complete lifting off the floor with relative ease. I have spent the last month claiming to have lost weight. This, if nothing else, is vindication of those claims! Without so much as a KFC for dessert we were ushered to bed and I was very disappointed to lose the "Rock, paper, scissors" meaning I would have to make do with the single bed. No ladies back to the room for me then. I was strangely nervous at this point. I felt like I did before my first BISMUN, actually my first external conference, and really did not know what to expect. For the first time since that first BISMUN, I feared that I wouldn't enjoy it, something I was desperate to do.
The traditional "All you can eat" breakfast buffet challenge greeted us the next morning. Having made the fundamental error of leaving the unstoppable eater James Zhao back at Habs, we did not feel as confident of putting the Premier Inn out of business and even I only managed 3 croissants, 2 crumpets, 5 pieces of toast, some fruit and a cup of tea. Undeterred by this oversight on our part we departed for the conference with the young team in high spirits, expectant of a good weekend of debate with the promise of the Chinese Buffet upon our arrival back at the hotel.
Committee, as I have always said, is a very personal experience and I do not intend to bore you with all the details of my committee. I will, however, say that I got straight back into the swing of things, really enjoy it and (dare I say it) impressed a few with my interesting sense of dress. I also had the pleasure of joining forces with Palestine to solve the Israeli-Palestine problem, giving Palestine full UN membership with Israeli approval. No mean feat! Finally, however, what any BISMUN veteran actually attends the conference for: the Saturday night Chinese Buffet. I very much go by the "All you can eat" equating to a challenge to "eat all of it" and set about destroying plate after plate of Chinese food. The other events of Saturday night are best left at the Premier Inn, but suffice to say we didn't merely go to sleep...
Sunday morning began with the traditional buffet followed by an education. Not in debating, current affairs or world politics but in women and make-up. Having made ill-advised comments regarding make-up stating "you look the same" and the like, I spent the next 15 minutes witnessing the process a girl has to go through to go from "wake up" to "looking suitable to go out". Having applied mascara twice, used two different brushes and various creams and bottles of squidgy stuff, there was little difference that I could see. I did make the mistake of telling her that, but regardless...at least I was honest?!
I shall once again gloss over the events of committee, perhaps merely stating that I was delighted with one particular POI that I made. OH! And I won Best Dressed Delegate AGAIN. 9th conference in a row. Just saying. It is lunch that I am more keen to mention. Of course I am always happy when lunch time comes around - I mean food!, but the end of lunch proved particularly enjoyable. It was requested that for the purposes of this note, the girl in question remained nameless and I shall not go back on my promise. I will mention she found herself in a "sticky situation" and see if anyone gets the pun. Anyway, one of her friends sat down and within about 10 minutes declared I was "she who shall not be named"'s type. Intrigued I asked for clarification and it appears my "slight" arrogance, middle eastern origin, tallness and humour made me "she who shall not be named"'s type. Needless to say I enjoyed this, the girl in question was clearly incredibly embarrassed and I was just flattered. I shall move past GA. Habs did very well as usual, returning with numerous awards including Best Young Delegate at the conference, an award we retain for the 2nd successive year. I am delighted to say that I managed to go the entire conference without breaking a table, something that, on personal level at least, I am very proud of!
Perhaps, as usual, I should end with a few messages:
1. MUN is a truly fantastic activity that I would encourage everyone to get involved with.
2. Take advantage of all you can eat buffets, but don't forget the biggest eater at home!
3. Hugs are the way forward.
4. Trying to get one over on someone never works (I guess only I know what I mean here)
5. Never waste an opportunity to do an MUN conference.
6. Always match your (bow) tie, socks, cufflinks and pocket square.
7. There is nothing wrong with being concerned with your dress.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you. I have had a wonderful 9 conferences and will really really miss it. Thank you to everyone I have met, to everyone I have debated with/against, to everyone who has ever given me a hug or made me smile or delivered a funny speech. I will always look back at my MUN "career" with fond memories, remembering speeches, awards, hugs and people and I am truly grateful to anyone and everyone who has made MUN as amazing as it was. I am gutted that Bath will be my last external conference but look forward to HABSMUN next week where I will bring my MUN career to a close on Home Turf ending at the conference I began at. Thank you all, I love you all and to all those I will never see again, good luck!