Edwin Maher in Internations Book Club

Edwin Maher, a CCTV celebrity

On Sunday 25 September we had to honor to welcome Edwin Maher in our Internations Beijing Book Reading group, to discuss his latest book “Caught on CCTV”.
I remember one of my Old China Hands lunches (Edwin is a regular), when some of our Chinese clients were having a lunch at Morel’s at the same time. We told them some ambassadors were in our lunch and if they wanted to greet them – and take a picture. Good idea till they spotted Edwin sitting there, they did not want to know about whatever ambassador: they only wanted to see Edwin and take a picture.
It says a lot about Edwin who has an impressive career in CCTV as the host for the English news.
So, happy he took some time on his Sunday before another CCTV appearance.

Edwin Maher, the author

I am fortunate to have his two books, all a present from Edwin and signed by him. His first “My China Daily” was very well received, my wife said “You see this is what and how you should write”. Yes boss.
The book we discussed was his recent Caught on CCTV.

A history of CCTV: Caught on CCTV

When I started reading the book, I was immediately shocked. He dedicated the book to Yan Yinan, a CRI reporter with whom I worked for over a year, nearly every week, for interviews on the 2008 Olympics. She was a superb girl and when she left us, many like me were shocked.

As a writer myself I was amazed on how Edwin managed to keep track of all the little details on what happened in CCTV. Did he run the HR department? Bribe the HR director? Well, he did it the Chinese way (as I learned soon after landing here myself): he always carried a notebook writing down everything. But he beats me by far by his incredible detail.
So, the book might be at times a bit heavy, like a sort of Encyclopedia, reminding me of my own book. It is however an important historical document, it will be a legacy for all later to have the insights on how CCTV became what is is today.
I found back a number of CCTV hosts who interviewed me over the years…

Edwin writes with a healthy sense of humor but carefully navigates all “sensitive” topics one might look for.

As I understood he wrote the book on his MacBook Air, much like I often do. And he was clever to use a text software instead of the usual MS Word (it is more appropriate for publishing).

All love Edwin Maher

Our discussion was very lively and most wanted an autograph in his book, and the picture of course. Edwin was as usual so patient and friendly to satisfy everybody.
The pictures talk for themselves…

(Note: this post also appears on www.damulu.com)

Expat Life Awards by FCGroup

Expat Life Awards on 10 September

China Expert International Ltd. and the FCGroup were the organizer of the 3rd Annual ELAs (Expat Life Awards). The Awards were presented on 10 September 2016 at the Expat Life Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner which was held in the Capital Club Athletic Centre 3rd floor Ballroom. Thanks to Colin for the nice evening.
See here the full results: http://fcgroup.org/the-results-of-the-2016-expat-life-awards/

Am I famous?

The 2016 Expat Life Awards also saw the first two people inducted into the Expat Life Awards Hall of Fame for their outstanding services to both Beijing’s foreign and local populace. And yes, there I am!
Sun even won the raffle with a bottle of white from Chile!

Rotaract Beijing August meetings

Rotaract Beijing still active in August!

During the “holidays”, that is for the students, Rotaract West Club did not meet but many joined the Rotaract Sanlitun meetings. Recently we met in TUCTUC, the Thai restaurant in front of De Refter and QMex in Sanlitun.

Pretty lively meetings with our Sanlitun President Peter (or Petre if you prefer). And wide mix of nationalities. See the meetings of 1 and 29 August.

Another La Pizza dinner in Sanlitun

On 9 September, another round of pizza at La Pizza, in the back of 3.3; two different types.
Packed as usual. And many Chinese.

The pizzas are really tasty, they only get a little too much burned. Also, they should spread the toppings a bit better. Maybe too busy? Quality needs to be consistent.
Need to talk to the Italian boss once… Feedback…

Beijing Heaven Supermarket survives

Heaven Supermarket gone?

On 8 september 2016 The Beijinger reported the closure of Heaven Supermarket on Xindong Lu. “Everyone’s favorite half-bar/half-liquor store Heaven Supermarket was shut down this morning as a dispute arose between the management of the popular 24-hour Sanlitun watering hole and its landlord.” Moving trucks and piles of boxes could be seen.
The Beijinger article

I pass there often but usually fairly quickly so I did not notice anything.
Intrigued I went to have a check on 13 September and … it was open again. I asked one of the senior staff I know what time they would really move. His answer was simple: we don’t move but we are looking at a second location.
So whatever dispute there was, the Heaven will remain there, at least as for now.

It has been a real institution in Beijing. It opened in 2011 and is a favorite with many foreigners and Chinese. Service is basically nil, you order and pay for the food at the cashier and take yourself the cold drinks out of the fridges. Except if you buy bottles of wisky or other liquor. Somehow they figured out a way that your food does arrive at your table: in the past that was improvized but now they use numbers.
And no, all the imported beers (immense choice) were genuine (probably parallel import). And really really cheap. I did buy some whisky there time ago, never had a fake. But yes, there are many fakes around in Beijing. Food was actually pretty OK while I always wondered about sanitary conditions. I compared it to “Beijing Railway Station” with the crowds coming and going. At one stage they took over the whole pavement in Xindong Lu, till the chengguan stopped that (everywhere actually).

A new location in the making

So what about the new location? See the pic of the poster they show.


I have to go and check where that could be because it seems right on the left side of D-One Sports Bar. Not sure there is an vacant space there. If they would go there it could become a big competition for Legend Beer and D-One.