Beijing 2016 British Ball

Many balls in Beijing

The 2016 British Ball is one of the many in Beijing, each month there are several to choose from. Most are pretty expensive (over 1000 RMB per ticket) and formal.
As we had never been to a British Ball, we were happy to join the Rotary table on 22 October in the Kerry Hotel Grand Ballroom.
Rotarians were: President Daniel R., Joergen, Klaus, Eli, Helen, Russell.
Also happy to see our Belgian friend Ruben playing the violin!

A fully packed ballroom

While some balls have a hard time selling their tickets, the Beijing 2016 British Ball was sold out (750 seats I was told). Thanks to Rotarian Russell Brown for arranging our table. He was also the MC of the evening.
For me also great to meet again the UK Ambassador H.E. Barbara Woodward: we closely worked together on the preparation of the 2008 Olympics when she was posted here previously.
Food and drinks were great. Of course we did not win any prize, as usual, but it was a fun evening with many friends!

Gastronomic wine dinner in Morel’s

Why a wine dinner?

Beijing is a city full of surprises, I have been organizing a few “gastronomic wine dinners” as I happen to have a very unusual collection of old Spanish and French wines. I mean, REAL old.
We invite normally two couples, close friends, to experiment the old wines while Renaat, the chef of Morel’s restaurant, serves some of his exceptional dishes.
I have been lucky till now: I always prepare several bottles as it is likely some have turned into vinegar but that has not happened yet.

Dinner on 19 October

This time we had a “Belgium-Greece Friendship Dinner”. Our Greek diplomat is an “old friend”: we worked together on the preparation of the 2008 Olympics and we went both to Athens for a large China seminar.
See the list of wines for the gastronomic wine dinner
The Spanish red I had listed as 1950 turned out to be 1930, the date was basically gone but the picture showed it was a 3 instead of a 5. That wine was pretty good but with a lot of sediment. Though called a “Moscatel Tiebas” it was red and not sweet.
The Château Lafite-Rothschild 1949 was finally not that great anymore. The Château Gruaud Larose 1989 (Saint Julien) and the Señorio de Arganza 1964 were both great.
The surprise (not planned!) was that one of the wine years was the birth year of one at the table…

Year of the horse

We were asked our opinion about some calligraphies intended for the office of the well-known Chinese CEO. See for yourself.

The dinner menu

For the Gastronomic wine dinner a copious menu. Appetizer: small balls made with Belgian Beef Stew. Starter: Belgian endive with foie gras; cream soup of small mussels; main dish: Beef Wellington (Beef Wellington is a preparation of filet steak coated with pâté and Duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked – Wikipedia). Desert: berries cake. Followed by digestive (special reserve of Renaat).

Dr. Gernot Klotz speaking to the Beijing Rotary Club

Dr. Gernot Klotz

On Tuesday 11 October we welcomed Dr. Gernot Klotz as our speaker.
His topic: Innovations in Key Technologies and Mindset -European Union R&I Strategic Approach to “Play” at Global Level.
He is the President of Kowledge4Innovation (K4I), a non-profit, open and independent membership organization. K4I provides a platform for debate on the future of innovation in Europe by engaging multiple stakeholders from the public, private and  academic  sectors.
Dr. Klotz analyzed challenges and benefits for research and innovation in Europe. A sustainable approach to industry innovation is essential. Development and implementation of integrated bio-based value chains are a pre-condition for growing bio-based industries.

(pics by Celine – edited)

New Member Induction

President Daniel R. hosted the induction of Mr. Weiyi Jia. Weiyi was sponsored by PP. Ruby.
I was once again Sergeant-at-Arms.
We welcomed several guests, also our Rotaractor Gau from the Rotaract West Club.

Rotary in China update


Recently we welcomed new members who joined the Rotary family, Ningbo and Shanghai Hongqiao (Chinese speaking); and later we embraced more, Rotary Club of Suzhou Mandarin and Rotary Satellite Club of Dalian Shenyang.

Currently we have 20 clubs, 15 chartered and 5 provisional. For Youth clubs, we have 6 chartered and 3 Fellowships Rotaract Clubs, 11 chartered and 2 Fellowship Interact Clubs.
The total amount of Rotarians in the Mainland has now reached over 500.
A bit hard to keep track as the numbers change in a rapid pace…

Fellowship, Food & Fun at the Rotaract Yummy Box Bash

Rotaract Yummy Box Bash

On 13 October Rotaract Beijing West kicked off the recruiting season in Wudaokou!
Over 80 attended the Rotaract Yummy Box Bash, close to the Wudaokou Subway Station.
The Rotaract Beijing West crew put on a great party that had many nice pizzas, other dishes and free flow of beer.
Over 25 teams participated in the”beer pong tournament” with Team Dutch being victorious.
This event was one of many to come to provide an opportunity for new members to join in on the fun.

(Pics updated 18 Oct 16)

Rotaract Beijing West

The Club grows its presence in Wudaokou in an effort to better the community we live in. Coming up they will have plenty of opportunities for volunteering, fundraising and other development aspects of life in Beijing.
Regular weekly meetings are held at BoCoffee in Wudaokou, on Thursdays at 8pm. Join the experience ‘Fellowship through Service’ with fellow students and young professionals living and experiencing Beijing.
See the article of the Club:

Daring to try TCM concoctions

TCM versus Western medicine

As my Western doctors seemed to be clueless about some minor (but irritating) skin problems I am having, I tried TCM concoctions (Traditional Chinese Medicine). My friend doctor Gloria has patiently given me several TCM concoctions to drink.
She admitted that she herself would rather suffer the skin problems than drink the “tea”.
She recommended to only buy at Tongrentang, the famous and old pharmacy chain of Beijing.

Yes awful to drink

I would not try to identify the real content but yes there were centipedes, snake skin and stuff.
See the Tongrentang staff preparing the packages: one per day.
You have to boil it for some 20 to 30 minutes in a special pot (no metal).
And yes it tastes AWFUL. But I followed the whole treatment.

Besides this my doctor gave me a long list of food and drinks I should avoid.
Well, I wonder what I still can eat. At least a Belgian steak is allowed, but alcohol in whatever form is strongly opposed. No fun when I love a Belgian beer, red wine and a single malt.

So, my verdict? I would not dare to come to a conclusion yet though I do see some results. I do have a respect for the way TCM looks at the body and mind, something Western doctors mostly overlook (reason their treatment was totally useless).