Old China Hands Lunch 6 January

Strange date, nice turnout

Another “strange” date for our Old China Hands Lunch 6 January, just after our New Year. But again. a nice turnout with well over 20 people

Our next lunch

And yes, another “strange” date for our lunch: Friday 3 February, actually the first working day after the Chinese New Year holiday week.
After the lunch I will leave Beijing for a business trip.

2016 Men’s Jazz collection by Paloma Sanchez

Rotary and Paloma

The 2016 Men’s Jazz collection by Paloma Sanchez called on some of our “handsome” (?) Rotarians for a photo shoot that seemed to have been fun. See some of the relaxed moment of that session.
See about here her and Rotary briefly:

Beijing Rotary AGM in Johnnie Walker House: http://www.beijing1980.com/2016/12/12/beijing-rotary-agm-in-johnnie-walker-house/

The Jazz collection by Paloma Sanchez

I show here a few of the articles of the collection, I made a very personal choice as, well, I ended buying up one item. Macho vanity or gentleman’s elegance? It is a birthday gift to myself! What convinced me? The unique and careful design and the use of gemstones – I love stones. My choice went for black hematite, black jade, rock crystal quartz and more.

See the website: http://www.palomasanchez.com/

Her own introduction:
“My name is Paloma Sanchez. I am a Gemological Institute of America (GIA-accredited) Gemologist and Jewelry Designer who starts in the mines and countries where spectacular gemstones are created by Mother Nature.  I consider each stone I select to be unique, and I create a one-of-a-kind jewelry to showcase its individual personality.”
And for the Jazz Collection:
(And… my item is soooo special it is not on her website!)

Our 2016 Christmas Eve Home Party

Family United

As Valerie came over for the holidays, the 2016 Christmas Eve Home Party returned to its traditional formula, in our home office, transformed for the occasion by shifting furniture around. We needed to be a bit creative as the space has become a bit tight by moving in all our stuff we re-imported last year.

(My preferred wishes)
Of course the famous turkey was on the menu, the best you can taste in the world, super tender and juicy, not the dry bird stuffed with even drier whatevers you eat in 5-star hotels. All dishes home-made without exception (OK we did not cultivate the smoked salmon, agreed).

The invasion

2016 Christmas Eve Home Party is normally for family, close Chinese friends and a reduced quota of foreigners. Even so we had a variety of American, British, Belgian, Lithuanian and Romanian guests.
The fun part is the total chaos with 50 guests running around, drinking and eating a lot. Pretty relaxed, the least to say. All made possible as many hands were there to help by the last preparations and the cleaning up.
You can also see a glimpse of my Beijing-Belgian-Beer-Bottles collection (well over 100!) in the kitchen. I hope we won’t have an earthquake.

Chinese love queuing, sometimes

Good manners?

Our Chinese friends can be very annoying because of their queue-jumping attitudes. But Chinese love queuing, sometimes.

I am always taken aback how they can queue up for hours to get anything free of charge.
Like here in Sanlitun, to get a free ice cream “MAGNUM”, said to be “Belgian”.
I would rather pay the 30 RMB than standing in line for so long.
Oh well, I am not Chinese enough I guess.

Legend Beer and Laburnum Thai in Beijing

Legend Beer: not just food

Having fun at Legend Beer and Laburnum Thai Restaurant (they are in the same building) is not only because of the food and the beer.
People play darts, snooker and table football. When I was young we used to call that “kicker” instead of table soccer or something.
See here some of the crowds, from all corners in the world, and also a fellow Rotarian.

Laburnum Thai

At first the building hosted only the Thai restaurant. After massive renovation and construction Legend Beer with its microbrewery was added and now the Thai section is upstairs, so it’s Legend Beer and Laburnum Thai.
Food is nice – I can judge because I lived in Bangkok for four years.


See some of my dining experiences.
On 21 December we had our board meeting and dinner there, of SEDF (Sino-European Development Foundation, based in Vienna, Austria). I am director of the Board.
See: http://www.sedf.org
Nearly all are old friends. Two are former ambassadors (EU / China).Great food, lots of Gongti IPA beer. Thanks to Adam who took well care of us.