I attended a course at the World Trade Institute. New York in 1981 From 14 September – 9 October 1981
It was within the scope of market preparation for petrochemicals, for an aromatic project that soon was to be established. This project established in Plaju South Sumatra, would produce BTX or Benzene-Toluene-Xylene. For certain reasons I intended to make a study of the Benzene international market. Therefore I tried to get the permission to participate at a two week training course on “Export Industry Development and Promotion” held by the WORLD TRADE INSTITUTE, New York. After my proposal was accepted, I registered and made my preparatory work on collecting as much as possible information on the topic locally. At that time internet was not available to everybody as it is now and therefore I was glad to be able to go to the “Mecca” of international trade and participate at this course. .
I arranged through letters even the place where I would be staying that was recommended by the institute. I had to stay at a place that was not far from the famous Fifth Avenue, I forgot the name of this Hotel.
I remember that since I would be using the Subway or the “TUBE” to commute to the institute I was informed by a secretary to be careful. Afterwards I thought about the reason why she gave me that information, maybe she was afraid that I would come to the sessions dressed up and wearing various gold and silver ornaments all over. But for me that was not the case. anyhow her advice was meant well.
It appeared that there was another female participant; a young lady from Malaysia, who was as I remember an employee of the Ministry of Trade from her country. We therefore often commuted together using the underground. The World Trade Institute was on the 56 floor of one of the twin towers and if I am not mistaken it was on the second WTC tower. Both towers were physically identical structured and consisted of 110 floors each.
At the start of the course each of us has to introduce ourselves and tell where we come from, also tell about our professional background as well as the reason why we attend the course. There were about 25 participants from all over the world. We had many instructors both male and female. One of the instructors was appointed to coach me and assisted me in collecting the appropriate resources to backup my study.
At the breaks I sometimes went to the institute’s library, or walk around and when it was a clear day, enjoy the excellent view from the “top the world” and make pictures. At lunch time I usually strolled along the most interesting shops and resto’s looking for an economic lunch. I am basically a “great adventurer” and love to explore, observe and absorb the surrounding without other people distracting me with their chit-chat. In short After a while I felt that I lived like a “real New Yorker”. I remember that once I was a bit late for a session after having my lunch outside, I rushed through the elevator up straight to the 56th floor, and in the rest room I found out that I was in the wrong tower. Afterwards at least I got my certificate:
Now I am only left with some scattered pictures of the way it was….
……. and almost exactly 20 years later……..
I was at my home in Pineleng, close to Manado(Northern Sulawesi) when I saw in the news the event of 9-11 and also the video on the international channel and I think I looked at the scenes open mouthed…. and could not believe that MY WORLD TRADE CENTER now does not exist no more…..
NEXT: WHEN it HAPPENED