January 25th, 2013
02:51 PM GMT
Editor's note: CNN is at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Follow CNN's coverage here.
(CNN) Here in Davos Richard Quest frequently uses the term "DV." I am a DV, apparently, and so are a few of my CNN colleagues working here at the WEF. A DV is a "Davos Virgin" - someone experiencing their first taste of this often crazy place. Richard is definitely not a DV. Incredibly, John Defterios has been to Davos 22 times.
Reporting from here is a challenge. To begin with, there are the security checks. Entering or exiting the halls means going through airport-style security, and there are watchful eyes all over the building ensuring that no one transgresses the strict rules. Then there are the VIPs' own entourages. Out of nowhere a flock of suited people will glide past, usually with a president or prime minister safely cocooned at its center. Woe betides those who don't quickly jump out of the way.
The second challenge is eating. At Davos the color of your badge denotes whether or not you can partake in the spreads of food that suddenly appear in the main hall and elsewhere. I have a purple badge. Among other things, this means I may not taste these morsels. As there is nowhere to buy food in the conference, we must instead go off-site to buy the very expensive food on offer. As one of my colleagues put it: "They call it 'resilient dynamism,' I call it a 20 dollar pizza."
But actually a purple badge isn't so bad. An anchor from another network showed me her yellow badge. "It means we're basically cockroaches," she said. Like many journalists covering the event, she must travel back and forth from the media center to the conference hall in the snow.
At CNN we don't have to brave the cold quite so much, but there's a different kind of resilience needed to work in what we affectionately call "The Bunker." The Bunker is quite literally a bunker. It's a bomb shelter underneath the hall, with concrete walls and giant steel doors. There is no natural light, and it's very warm. Not only that, but there are up to 20 people working here at any time, touching elbows as they tap away on their laptops.
Meanwhile, up on the roof, camera crew and engineers toil away at our live position, as guests and their entourages are brought up and down the icy stairs by our producers.
But in spite of the conditions, there is fun to be had. You never know who you might bump into wandering along, and walking from an interview with Ehud Barak, bumping into Jacob Zuma and then the head of the WTO is perfectly possible in the space of a few minutes.
Richard calls these encounters "DMs" - Davos Moments. Davos may be grueling, but these DMs make working here a fascinating experience.
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