[IMO 2012 Part 3] Recreation Hall

Hm for an absolutely unrelated opening text: I find out the following comment from someone, filtered in my Spam. I have a hard time deciding whether it’s spam or not -_-

“I went over this internet site and I conceive you have a lot of great info, saved to my bookmarks (:.”

IMO 2012, Post 3. In short, I find the recreation hall. Stuffs basically don’t deviate far from that thing.

We arrived at Provincial at 11 AM. We went for our room to put our baggage and stuffs, then we wandered the hotel. Of course, the first part to be searched is the restaurant in the ground floor, which apparently hid a path to the recreation hall.

As an avid gamer, I was immediately interested–highly interested actually–to the fantastic room. Sadly I had both jacket and backpack brought with me, which made me highly unable to participate in any physical game (table tennis, video game consoles), and I couldn’t find someone to play for the board games, hence I just looked around. It wasn’t as filled as the hall at the end of the IMO, but that’s later.

Lunch time. We waited patiently in the queue. It’s just polite. Who thought that it was unnecessary to queue, as will be clarified later? Sigh. We almost couldn’t find any table though; later we found out that there is an extra room for more tables, which was almost never fully filled for some reason (hence we could almost always get a table there).

After lunch, jet lag took its time again, and I fell asleep from 2 PM to 8 PM. Sigh. Apparently many of us also had the same problem, so dinner time. Nothing major.

At the end of the day, I was busy in my room searching for wi-fi that actually worked. None reached our room. I then made a mental note to only connect to wi-fi networks whose names began with “Hotel Provincial-x” where x is a letter (not a digit). Hurr. And also I slept at like 12 AM?

Opening ceremony day. I woke up at like 5 AM. Sigh, still jet lag. After bath and stuffs, we (as in me and my roommate) waited in front of the hotel’s restaurant where there will be served breakfast. We found an interesting paper titled “IMO News”, which was issued for the previous day (9 July). Hm.

Insert some usual stuffs here (breakfast and wandering). At 9 AM or something, we waited in recreation hall because we would take a walk from the recreation hall to the building. Then, I noticed the new poster placed, titled “The Amazing Properties of 2012”. Random properties of 2012, starting from rather cool math facts (“52 can be represented as the sum of distinct positive integers in exactly 2012 ways.”, “8 \times 10^{2012} - 1 is prime.”) to rather stupid items (“2012 is. Or is it not?” and “2012 may or may not be the  year in which the world ends. Or it might be independent from our axioms.”). Also, there is a contest for memorizing the digits of 2012! (which turned out to be a gigantic 5776-digit number), which is hosted on the last day of IMO before the closing day and I later participated in. The exact value of 2012! is written in the poster. Cool.

I also noticed the Taiwan team. Since I really wanted to met this person, I started to observe the team. Yeah I did. I tried my best to stay undercover (and was successful just because I didn’t find out which of those is the one), trying to figure out which one of those six is the one I’m searching for. I noticed one of the six distinctly wear a mask. Wait, this person has health issues from his blog. The one wearing the mask had a good chance. I tried to look at his name tag, and yeah, the black blur I managed to see could be matched with the name of this person.

Ignoring spying issues aside, we went to the building where the opening took place. A rather long walk, with a parade in front of the mass and people stopping by to look at us. Or to look at the parade, we don’t know. Still trying to locate the same person (and epically failed because we need to keep moving).

The opening was pretty standard. Beginning with several speeches and also a performance of the IMO hymn. Standard, right? Next up is the calling of the participating countries. So apparently they tried to follow alphabetical order but failed in many places because the mentioned countries weren’t ready to go to the stage. After that, I forgot, but not something needs mentioning anyway (otherwise I would remember it). Back to the hotel and lunch.

Should I describe the lunch? By now, I finally noticed that queuing began to be unnecessary. At dinnertime, I would finally begin to not following the queue. Also, I noticed a menu that was always available: A ham-and-cheese sandwich, some meat, and some other meat. These “meat”s varied, but they were almost always edible for me. And in the case they weren’t, I could always take the sandwich.

Let’s roll back a few hours. At breakfast, I checked my mail. I found out an e-mail from betaveros (which you should by now know that he’s the person I’m looking for), telling his room number and several other things, mostly explained in his blog (which was also linked above). To the present time, I decided to meet with him directly. I went to the fourth floor because his room number is 554; I don’t know why 400-599 are all in the fourth floor and not broken up into two floors, and I also don’t know how I could find his room given the extremely weird signs (in each junction and hence on each sign, I picked the path where 554 is contained in the range of the numbers in the path, but after some time I found out that none of the listed range contained 554). Ugh. After like five minutes searching, I finally located the evens of 540-560, and hence 554. I contemplated for a bit, before finally knocked on his door.

Hm, someone other than “the masked guy” opened the door. So I asked, “Is Brian here?” The person answered yes by some means, and walked inside. After a few seconds, this masked guy walked out, and I confirmed that he’s betaveros.

After some extremely awkward conversation, mostly because I couldn’t hear his sound behind the mask (and he also wrote that he tried hard to parse my Indonesian accent), and also an extremely awkward silence of length longer than what could be acceptable for even strangers to meet, I left, trying hard to act normal. Sigh. I would try to chat to him again, but that meant I must try to get used with sounds-behind-masks. Alright…

Back to my room, still jet lagged. Fell asleep again, although now slightly better by 3 PM to 7.30 PM. In time for dinner at 8 PM. Add more general stuffs including the uneventful dinner.

The next day is Day 1 of the actual examination, and it’s for the next post.

Wait, why am I having rather exact numbering of posts as betaveros?

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